There’s nothing like seeing colorful coral bursting with sea life up close. Snorkeling is a fun water activity that gives you a glimpse of the underwater world.
But, it’s not as easy as travel brochures make it seem.
There’s a real learning curve to snorkeling. If you’ve never done it before, it can seem a little scary. Luckily, there are a few key snorkeling tips that make it easier.
Keep reading to learn how to snorkel as a beginner and start exploring the blue.
1. Find a Buddy
When you go snorkeling the first few times, go with a buddy. Preferably someone who has snorkeled before and can help you.
Follow their direction in the water and signal them when you need a break. A thumbs up means you’re doing okay, point upwards when you need a break.
Since you’re near the surface of the water, you can swim up whenever you need. But, if you get tired or have a cramp, it’s good to have support nearby.
2. Wear the Right Fit
Resorts and hotels rent out one-size-fits-all snorkeling equipment. This is fine if you know how to adjust the equipment to fit you well.
Ill-fitting equipment, especially masks, can ruin your first snorkeling experience.
Try the equipment on before you get in the water. Adjust it so it fits perfectly. Learn what to do if your mask gets foggy or a fin falls off.
3. Know the Water Conditions
Optimal snorkeling conditions consist of clear, calm water during the daytime. Anything outside those parameters could be dangerous or unenjoyable.
Avoid snorkeling around dusk, dawn, and nighttime. You have limited visibility during these hours. Not only will you not be able to see much, but sea predators do their hunting then.
If the lifeguards say the water is too rough to snorkel or swim, listen to them. Undercurrents and rough waters are dangerous. Learn to snorkel in the safest and clearest water conditions.
4. Protect Yourself
We all forget to put sunscreen on at the beach from time to time. If we don’t feel the sun, we can’t burn, right? Wrong.
You can get severely sunburned while snorkeling if your skin is exposed. Although you feel cool and wet under the surface, the sun is still getting to you.
Make sure you reapply sunscreen frequently when snorkeling. Or, wear water gear and suits that cover your skin. If you’re unsure of what gear you need, get more info from the local surf shop.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Never feel pressured to go in the ocean before you’re ready. If you’re uncomfortable, insist on starting in a pool.
Learn how it feels to kick with fins on and breath through a snorkel. Get accustomed to staying calm under water and using minimal energy to swim.
Then, practice swimming in the ocean by entering from the beach. Eventually, snorkeling off a boat will be fun and easy. Until then, stay where you feel safe and comfortable.
Ready for More Beginner Snorkeling Tips?
Snorkeling is a magical activity once you get the hang of it. You get to see different fish species, coral, and water animals. Each beach has different creatures to observe.
Use the snorkeling tips above to learn how to snorkel safely. Once you feel comfortable, the oceans are your oysters to explore. Just make sure you bring all the important beach essentials with you!