A Beginner’s Guide to Snorkeling

Looking for an inexpensive and easy way to explore the world beneath the waves? Try snorkeling! Snorkeling provides a relaxing way to view creatures and environments underwater. It only takes basic swimming skills, with an emphasis on the ability to float. As far as equipment goes, it only requires a dive mask and shaped breathing tube. Additional equipment is optional, but it can bring you extra mobility and safety.



The best type of mask for snorkeling features wide eye sockets and covers your nose to keep water out of your nostrils. Some masks cover only the eyes and nose, while others provide more viewing space with full-face coverage. It also includes head-strapping that leaves room for easy attachment of a tube.

  • All typically feature mildly-suctioning silicone along the edges for a comfortable fit against your face.

  • The glass for viewing can come with a variety of qualities, such as UV protection, anti-reflective, scratch-resistance, and more, depending on your preferences.

  • Check out some quality snorkel masks we have to offer, such as the best-selling HEAD Sea Vu Dry Full Face Snorkeling Mask to keeps your entire face dry and the IST Imperial Scuba Mask featuring a built-in nose purge.


The snorkel is the tube that allows you to breathe while keeping your face in the water.

  • Snorkels with valves make spewing out water easier, and you should choose one with a soft mouthpiece. The mouthpiece should be held comfortably between your teeth--silicone designs often provide the most flexibility.

  • The tube itself should be wide for easy access to air.

  • See our best snorkels designed for snorkeling (as opposed to competitive swim training) like the highly-rated Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel and best-selling Intex Easy-Flo Snorkel.


Fins improve your comfort, safety, and mobility in the water by making it easier to swim.

  • Short fins work, but the longer the fin, the less effort you have to put forth to move.

  • Fins should be long and flexible, and come in a full-foot or open heel style. Some even offer include an adjustable strap for a perfect fit.

  • Ideal fins come down to personal preference, but we have plenty of snorkeling-equipped fins to choose from: some favorites include the IST Super S Fins, Cressi Clio Fins and Mares Avanti Tre Dive Fins.

Safety Equipment

In addition to the basics of snorkeling, safety equipment gives you a little less to worry about in the water.

  • Sunscreen--Snorkeling allows you to drift along the water’s surface for extended periods of time. Make sure you’re coated in a protective layer of sunscreen before every snorkeling experience.

  • Rashguard/Wetsuit--Rashguards add another layer on top of sunscreen to block harmful sun rays, and come in varying lengths and styles. If you’re snorkeling in colder water, a wetsuit may be ideal for buoyancy, warmth, and sun protection.

  • Anti-mist--The goal of snorkeling is to see beneath the water. Make sure your mask does not fog up by coating the inside with an anti-fog spray before each adventure.

  • Snorkel Vest--A brightly-colored snorkel vest alerts any oncoming boat traffic to your presence in the water. It also inflates slightly to make maintaining the snorkeling position easier.  

  • Storage--A water-tight bag can store any equipment (keys, wallet, camera, etc.) with you while out in the water. Most include an easy-attachment strap to keep your stuff from drifting away.

Preparing to Snorkel

Before throwing on your mask and splashing into the water, follow these steps before your first snorkeling experience:

  1. Practice breathing with your mask and snorkel while on dry land, as well as taking the mask on and off.

  2. Test breathing and seeing through the mask in water you can stand up in. Practice at this stage should be done while you stand vertically in the water.

  3. Practice removing water from the tube by blowing it out. You can also work on getting water out of your mask by lifting the bottom.

  4. Float horizontally on top of the water where it is easy to stand up again. Practice breathing this way, and staying relaxed.

  5. Finally, move forward in your horizontal position slowly, keeping your arms alongside your body for less water resistance. Perform this easy motion until you feel confident enough in your breathing to venture out farther in the water.

Start Snorkeling Today!

While involving little physical effort, snorkeling is best done in warm, shallow water on calm days. You want the water to be clear for high visibility, and the less choppy it is, the easier peacefully swimming and viewing from the surface can be. Unlike scuba diving, snorkeling is considerably cheap, and does not require certifications on top of an oxygen tank. Snorkeling is a fun, easy activity to make any day in the water extra exciting. Equip yourself with everything you need to become an avid snorkeler from SwimOutlet.com!

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