How to Use Dive Accessories and Breathe Through a Snorkel

Accessories are a huge part to snorkeling and diving. It all starts with the mask. To don the mask, position it on your face so that it is oriented properly and slide the strap down onto the back of your head. Make sure the strap is not twisted and not too low. 

The mask should be snug on your face, but it should not be tight. If it is too loose, it will leak. If it is too tight, it will become uncomfortable very quickly. When you take your mask off and there is a red ring on your skin where the mask seal was located, the mask was too tight. 

Snorkel is the most important sport that all swimmers are fond of and don’t miss any opportunity to enjoy a little excursion into sea’s depths and meet their extended family members from their second home, which has become a regular practice these days with divers taking it as a challenge to prove their potential as the kings of sea and all they require for this is the best mask for snorkeling.  

There must be no hair trapped under the seal of the mask or it will leak. If you’re wearing a hood, the face seal for the mask goes underneath the hood and seals on your face, just as it would normally. If the face seal goes over the hood, the mask will leak. 

Most divers put their gloves on either right before they put their mask on or right after. Be sure to fasten any tabs that help hold the gloves on your hand. 

Always be sure to use a diver’s down flag whenever you are snorkeling or skin diving. If you are diving from a small boat, be sure to hoist the flag right before you enter the water. If you are using a boogie board or inner tube, your flag should be rigged with a clamp or other attachment so it will stand vertically and can be seen easily by boat operators. Most dive stores sell devices to help rig your flag. 

Breathing through a snorkel takes a bit more effort than breathing normally. You must breathe just a bit more forcefully and deeply than you would without the snorkel. If you don’t breathe strongly enough you will become exhausted very quickly. 

When you are snorkeling on the surface, occasionally waves will lap over the top of your snorkel. If your snorkel is equipped with a top valve, this should help keep most of the water out of the mouthpiece. However, if the snorkel is completely submerged, it will fill with water. 

You must learn to become attuned to what’s known as “snorkel tension,” which is how easy it is to draw air through the snorkel. The moment this changes this is a signal that water has entered the snorkel. You must also learn to control your airway, so that if you are inhaling you know to instantly stop if you sense water entering the snorkel. 

Snorkels not equipped with self-draining valves must be cleared of water when they are flooded. The most effective way to do this is to use the “blast method” of snorkel clearing. To do this, forcefully exhale whenever the snorkel fills with water to blast the water out. Before you take another breath, it is important to inhale cautiously to ensure there is no water left in the snorkel. By inhaling cautiously, you can actually breathe “around” small amounts of water in the snorkel. However, if you inhale vigorously, you will suck up any remaining water in the snorkel. 

If you have difficulty mastering the blast method of snorkel clearing, you can always simply life your head out of the water, and remove the snorkel from your mouth. This will allow the water to drain out of the snorkel. This method is acceptable, although in this position it’s more likely you will swallow some water if any waves hit your face. It’s also not considered very professional and will mark you as a novice snorkeler to others.