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How to Choose a Swimmers' Snorkel

Swimmers' snorkels have become a popular training tool over the past few years. Last year's review from Julie Stupp broke down some of the specific brands and styles that are out on the market. This guide takes you through some of the more basic questions that most people have when choosing a swimmers' snorkel.

Who are you buying the snorkel for?

Snorkels come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. They all have a similar effect but a different use depending on the specific features and the individual swimmer's needs. Swimmers can use snorkels for hypoxic training, stroke technique work, and overall aerobic training – which might be geared more to the fitness swimmer rather than the competitive swimmer. Triathletes and open water enthusiasts use snorkels for open water swimming and working on their technique with the added open water elements like wave swells and chop.

Key features to consider when making your choice:

Spout size: The size of the snorkel spout can become very important when answering the question, what are you using the snorkel for and where are you using it? Depending on whether you are using a snorkel for hypoxic training or in open water, you should take a look at the spout size needed for each activity. Some snorkels, such as the TYR Ultralight, have different spout caps that restrict the airflow into the snorkel. The Ultralight snorkel is a good training tool for more experienced sprinters whose focus is on hypoxic training. Snorkels with a larger spout are great for beginners or open water swimmers who want more oxygen flow. There is no right size; the best option is based on your preferences and needs.

Head piece + strap construction: Some snorkels, like the Speedo Bullet, have additional padding on the head piece. This extra cushion is great for younger swimmers, long distance athletes, and anyone looking for more comfort. Be sure to pay attention to the strap construction, since the athletes head size and personal preferences determine which strap style is most comfortable.

Snorkel tube length + shape: The length and shape of the snorkel tube is important because it can create a better snorkel experience when practicing different strokes. Open water swimmers typically benefit from snorkels with longer tubes as they are better at preventing rough water from entering, helping them to break through heavy chop and high swells. Snorkels with shorter tubes are useful for younger or beginning swimmers as these types of snorkels are easier to control. Curved snorkel tubes that fit the shape of a swimmers head, like the Finis Freestyle Snorkel, are ideal for specific stroke technique work and long distance swimmers. The curved tube shape creates less interference on flip turns, which is excellent for distance freestylers and breaststrokers. The curved design reduces water entry so the swimmer can work on their technique without the worry of swallowing water while diving forward on the glide portion of each stroke.


All of the swimmer-specific snorkels available at range from about $20 to $40. Snorkels are all designed with the purpose of allowing the swimmer to continue to breathe while keeping their head in the water. Beyond that function, the specific features that you need are based on your preferences. Swimmers' snorkels not only help you train more efficiently in the open water, but they help you enhance technical stroke gains, improve hypoxic functions, and build aerobic capacity in the pool. The size, shape, and construction of the headpiece are important factors to consider when purchasing a snorkel, as are its key training features. When searching for your next swim snorkel, be sure to use this outline to help you narrow down your choices.

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3 months ago.
I want to buy a Finis Snorkel but I don't know what size to buy?
3 months ago.
Hi Katie! Snorkels with a larger spout are great for beginners or open water swimmers who want more oxygen flow. There is no right size; the best option is based on your preferences and needs.
Holly Chitwood
3 months ago.
So which models have the larger spout? Looks like from the above article that is the Finis? Is also the Finis freestyle model?
3 months ago.
Hi Holly!

We recommend the "FINIS Original Swimmer's Swim Snorkel Pink".
7 months ago.
Looking to buy a snorkel for my 11 year old competitive swimmer. She is not a new swimmer but her age group is requiring snorkels now and this will be a first experience with that. Which snorkel do you recommend?
7 months ago.
Hello Juls,
We recommend a snorkel with a purge valve, these let air in without allowing water to come into the mouth piece at all. They are good first time snorkels. Something like the FINIS Swimmer's Swim Snorkel (PC 1221).
10 months ago.
My 6- year old swim team daughter has a small head and mouth. Which snorkel is angled for small faces and has a small mouthpiece?
9 months ago.
Hi Christopher!

I would recommend the MP Michael Phelps Small Fit Focus Swim Snorkel or the ylon-a® YSTI Swim Snorkel by cordiO2.
10 months ago.
I have never been able to generate sufficient pressure to clear my nose, and want to wear a low profile snorkel mask for open water/ocean swimming, rather than nose clips.
I am considering buying a Finis Swimmers Snorkel and adding a dry top.
This will be for open water swimming.
My question is: Can I use this (or any other front facing swim snorkel) with a low profile snorkel mask that covers my nose?
1 year ago.
I am a beginner swimmer and have asthma and a back injury. My respiratory doctor wants me to start walking more and trying to increase my lung capacity. But my orthopedist suggest I get the aerobic exercise in the pool. What swim Snorkel and goggles would you recommend? Or is it better to use a mask so I don’t get any water in my nose because I have super hyper reflexive lungs and choke easily.
1 year ago.
Hi Sue!

Either snorkel or mask works for you. Please try the FINIS Swimmer's Swim Snorkel as it has a 1-way purge valve for quick water release, clear and easy breathing.
1 year ago.
I'm an adult man looking for a swim snorkel that will allow maximum oxygen flow for aerobic swimming. I'm relatively new to swimming, but am not a beginner. What are my best options?
1 year ago.
Hi David!

We do not have an information for such snorkel but here's the list of our snorkels according to highest rated:
2 years ago.
Hi, what snorkel do you recommend that the strap won't hurt your head...after long periods of use, I swim min. 30-60 min a day- usually front crawl and breast stroke.
2 years ago.
Hi Nathalie,

We would recommend the Speedo Bullet Head Swim Snorkel. The head band is made of flexible TPR head band for comfort, eliminating headaches and pinching. Please click the link below for reference.
2 years ago.
hello and good day ,
I swim 1/2 hour to 1 hour a day..mostly front crawl and breast stroke.
My physio suggested I get a snorkel to relieve neck/back hyper/extension.
which one would you suggest? Thank you so very much:)
2 years ago.
Hi Nathalie! Here's our recommendation:

1. MP Michael Phelps FOCUS Swim Snorkel [Product Code: 8130833]
2. FINIS Original Swimmer's Swim Snorkel Pink [Product Code: 18902]
3. FINIS Swimmer's Swim Snorkel [Product Code: 10804]
3 years ago.
I have maybe an odd question - I am looking to find a way I can continue swimming while fasting - so basically I need someway to prevent any water getting into my mouth. Would a snorkel be the best way to do this? If so, which would you recommend? Thanks in advance.
3 years ago.
Yes, a snorkel will help to keep water out of your mouth. We recommend something with a purge valve so if water gets in the top it will come out of the bottom rather than ending up in your mouth. Something like the FINIS Swimmer's Swim Snorkel will work great!
3 years ago.
I'm glad that you talked about how it would be better for a beginner to use a shorter snorkel tube, because they are easier to control. My son has been wanting to try snorkeling in our pool, and I wasn't sure what kind to get. I can see how it's smart to get him a shorter one, so he doesn't lose control of it underwater.
3 years ago.
Hi Scott,

I am glad you found our information regarding snorkel length helpful! I would recommend the Arena Swim Snorkel for your son! You can view this at the following link:
4 years ago.
I never learned to the proper breathing technique....when young. Am 73 now and swim laps but I keep getting tried keeping my head out of considering a snorkel so I can do more stroking for the exercise as it keeps me going, active and aerobic as well ...Not interested in the swimming breathing technique---just snorkel, googles, nasal 'clamp'. I swimm30 minute about 3-4 times a week.
4 years ago.
Hi Ken!
The FINIS Swimmer's Swim Snorkel is a great option as this snorkel allows you to keep your head tucked while swimming laps. You can view this at the following link:
4 years ago.
I am a beginning swimmer. What will be the best swimming snorkle for me. I want to use it in swimming pool to improve my swimming techniques.

4 years ago.
Hi Shahzad, the FINIS Swimmer's Swim Snorkel is a really great option!
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