Wearing a Snorkel

Snorkels are considered a core piece of scuba gear. Mask, fins, and snorkel: the three items every beginner starts with. We take this for granted, and dive away with those plastic tubes strapped to our head. After a while, though, we start to question the utility of a snorkel. When diving the smooth Caribbean waters, for example, is a snorkel really necessary?

At this juncture, there are a few paths the blossoming diver can take:

  • Keep the snorkel. Your first option is to heed your training and continue to dive while wearing a snorkel at all times. Sure, it can be uncomfortable in a current, but you rest easy knowing it’s always there.
  • Exchange the snorkel for a pocket snorkel. Your next option is to remove the snorkel from your mask. Aaah, how liberating! There are times when you may need a snorkel, so for those situations you carry a foldable pocket snorkel in your BCD pocket. In an emergency, it’s only a zipper away.
  • Ditch the snorkel. Look out, divers, this future tech diver means business! The last option is to ditch the snorkel completely. I don’t imagine anyone throws their snorkel away, but rather keeps it in their gear bag and wears it on a case-by-case basis. Choppy waters with low viz? Bring the snorkel. Bonaire shore dive? No thanks.

If you find a snorkel uncomfortable, I think carrying a pocket snorkel is your best option. I don’t own one (yet), so I wear a snorkel based on the dive conditions. However, be aware that some dive operators may not let you in the water if you don’t have a snorkel. For this reason, you should always carry a snorkel with your gear.

What do you think? Are snorkels for sissies, or would only a fool go in the water without one?

Photo by chrisada

3 Responses to “Wearing a Snorkel”

  1. Taylan Says:

    I have stopped wearing my snorkel for the last 4 dives, and I found myself uncomfortable while waiting for my buddies at the surface. I never use the regulator to conserve air while on the surface so I think I will keep my snorkel from now on. You may never know when you will need it, you may run out of air and have to carry an unconscious buddy for a long distance! you may be submerged while carrying someone.

    So I think keeping the snorkel with you is worth the discomfort comparing the feeling of being ready for any situation.

  2. hotel zakopane Says:

    I love it when people get together and share opinions.
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  3. Frank Arcangeli Says:

    I gave up my snorkel about 4 years ago. However, this spring while on the surface in Cozumel, I waited in choppy water for some time. I wished I had my snorkel. So I think the idea of bringing a pocket snorkel is a good one. I actually lost my snorkel while diving Cozumel, 4 years ago, in a strong current. So I would recommend, while diving in a strong current, putting your snorkel away in a pocket.

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