How Does Snorkeling Work Underwater – How To Use

11. How Does Snorkeling Work Underwater1
Read Time:10 Minute, 46 Second

With a snorkel mask on, you can see underwater without having water run up your nose. The snorkel is a flexible tube that lets you breathe while keeping your face submerged in water.

The tube’s top must protrude just above the water’s surface as you hold one end in your mouth for air exchange to occur.

How Does A Snorkel Operate?

What Is The Underwater Operation Of A Snorkel?

Dry snorkels of the present day are technologically sophisticated, portable, and efficient. Water cannot enter the snorkel tube while it is above water thanks to a plastic cover on top of the tube. A mechanism simply seals the tube to keep water from entering when submerged.
With one deep exhalation, purge valves enable you to remove any unexpected water from your tube and resume normal breathing.

How Do Snorkeling Masks Operate?

The mouth and nose areas of snorkel masks are sealed off. and distinct spaces for inhaling and exhaling. Instead of passing through the valve, exhaled air is taken in through side channels. As the air exits through the glass, this prevents you from breathing in again.
From chin to forehead, silicone frames guarantee a watertight seal over the entire face. Additionally, the water stop makes sure that no water can enter the mask once your snorkel is submerged.

Read More: 8 Best Full Face Snorkel Masks

With A Snorkel, How Do You Breathe Underwater?

Utilizing a snorkel may take some getting used to. Prior to diving into deep water, it is best to practice in shallow water or in a pool.

  1. First, make sure your mask fits comfortably and adjust the strap so it goes around your head. Snorkel masks must form a tight seal around your face and fit snugly to prevent fogging or water infiltration.
  2. After that, double-check that your snorkel is firmly fastened to your snorkeling mask. Snorkels have a clip or a snorkel keeper near the mouth end that you can use to fasten them to the mask strap.
  3. Put the snorkel mouthpiece in your mouth and the mask on once you’re ready to get in the water. Your lips should both hold the snorkel firmly in place and create an airtight seal around it. You can gently bite down on the mouthpiece, but be cautious because doing so too forcefully can wear out your jaw.
  4. Make sure the top of the tube stays above the water’s surface as you slowly lower your face into it.
  5. Make an effort to breathe deeply and slowly. In addition to ensuring proper air exchange, this aids in energy conservation.
  6. Once you’re comfortable with your breathing, try swimming around slowly while making sure to keep inhaling deeply.

What Takes Place If You Get Water In Your Snorkeling Gear?

Snorkels don’t allow you to breathe while completely submerged in the water, in contrast to scuba diving where you have your own air supply.

If you dive underwater to get a closer look at marine life, the breathing tube may fill up if it dips below the surface of the water. An example of this would be when a wave splashes over you. Snorkeling masks can occasionally become fogged up or filled with water, making visibility difficult.

It’s important to know how to clear your mask and get rid of water that gets into your snorkel tube or mouth, which happens to beginner snorkelers frequently.

The first thing to remember is not to panic; instead, spit out the snorkel, let the water drain out, and remove the mask if necessary to clear it.

While keeping your face submerged, it is possible to clear the water from the snorkel tube. Simply exhale quickly to force any water out of the tube. Before entering the water, it is a good idea to practice this technique.

Are All Snorkels Created Equal?

No, there are actually a number of different snorkel types from which to choose, depending on your level of snorkeling expertise.

Wet Snorkel

Wet snorkels are J-shaped tube, also known as J-style, J-tube, or classic snorkels.

Wet snorkels are suitable for experienced snorkelers and are frequently used by freedivers and spearfishers.

If you’re a beginner snorkeler, these traditional snorkels are not the best option because of their simple design and lack of special features to help keep the water out of the breathing tube.

Semi-dry Snorkel

Semi-dry snorkels are the most functional variety.

They provide both comfort and functionality, making them an excellent choice for people who intend to swim underwater like freedivers and spearfishers.

In order to preserve the air in their air tanks, scuba divers also use these types of snorkels to move on the water’s surface.

A splash guard is located at the tube’s top on semi-dry snorkels.

The snorkel could potentially get wet from splashes from waves or other swimmers, but this splash guard helps prevent that from happening.

A purge valve is also included in semi-dry snorkels. The snorkel’s bottom end has a purge valve that makes it very simple to get rid of water in the tube.

Dry Snorkel

Similar characteristics, such as purge valves, are shared by semi-dry and dry snorkels, but dry snorkels also have a float valve.

When the breathing tube is fully submerged, the float valve closes, preventing water from entering.

For novice snorkelers and when snorkeling in waves, dry snorkels are a good idea.

The float valve does, however, trap air in the tube, which can lead to increased drag and buoyancy when diving underwater.

For these reasons, dry snorkels aren’t a good choice for activities like spearfishing, freediving, or scuba diving where you spend more time submerged.

11. How Does Snorkeling Work Underwater2

Skills Required For Snorkeling

Snorkeling is a very simple water sport that doesn’t call for any specialized knowledge. However, mastering the strategies listed below will enhance your experience.


Even though non-swimmers can snorkel, swimming ability will increase your safety and enjoyment. It might be advantageous to take swimming lessons in advance if you’re thinking about going snorkeling but lack confidence in the water.

You should be particularly aware of your kick. You can save energy by using only your legs and fins to propel yourself through the water, with your arms hanging loosely at your sides. Keep splashing to a minimum to prevent frightening fish.

Deep Breathing

While snorkeling, using the right breathing techniques will keep you safe, calm, and prevent vertigo. Your lungs must exert more effort to fill the additional respiratory dead space created by breathing through a snorkel. There may be an accumulation of carbon dioxide in the blood because each time you exhale, some of the air is left in the tube and is inhaled once more.

By more effectively exchanging the air in the snorkel tube, deep breathing techniques can, when used properly, help prevent this from happening. Prepare yourself for deep breathing exercises and practice taking slow, deep breaths before entering the water.

Breath-hold Diving

Breath-hold diving, a skill practiced by experienced snorkelers and freedivers, involves holding one’s breath while swimming and exploring beneath the surface. You can dive deeper into the underwater world and get closer to coral reefs and other marine life by mastering this technique and lengthening the time you can hold your breath.

Avoid hyperventilating before diving as it can be harmful.

Do I Need Any Other Snorkeling Equipment?

A wetsuit, fins, and a snorkel vest are optional but you might want to think about using them.


It usually depends on the temperature of the water whether you need a wetsuit.

Different levels of thermal insulation are provided by wetsuits.

Wetsuits offer sun protection even in warmer waters, but they are essential if you are snorkeling in cooler waters to reduce the risk of hypothermia.

Additionally, wetsuits can shield you from other underwater dangers like coral reef grazes, jellyfish stings, and other grazes from sharp rocks.


You can easily float through the water with the aid of fins.

They are helpful for beginners because they enable you to conserve energy and stay in the water for longer periods of time without becoming overly exhausted.

Snorkeling Vest

You can swim and float while wearing a snorkel vest so your face stays in the water. For novice snorkelers and inexperienced swimmers, a snorkel vest is a good idea because it helps maintain the body’s natural position for more secure and comfortable snorkeling excursions.


Now that you understand the fundamentals of how snorkel functions, read on for some frequently asked snorkeling questions.

What Is The Function Of A Snorkel Mask?

You can see underwater by wearing a snorkel mask, which forms a watertight seal over your eyes. In order to keep water out, they also cover your nose.

It’s crucial to find a snorkel mask that properly fits your face because they come in various sizes. If it’s too small, you’ll feel uncomfortable, and if it’s too big, your face won’t be completely dry.

In addition, the mask has a head strap that is adjustable. In order to prevent water from entering the mask, make sure it is not loose. If the fit is too tight, snorkeling might not be the most enjoyable activity.

How To Use A Snorkel?

Your mask and snorkel must be comfortable for you to wear; a mask with an adjustable strap will guarantee a secure fit without leaking. Around your eyes and nose, the mask should seal.
Face down, lie flat on the water. Once your lips have sealed around the snorkel’s mouthpiece, gently bite on it to secure it in place. Get into a rhythm by taking slow, deep breaths without panicking – you can hear your breathing through the snorkel barrel.
If water enters your snorkel, hold your breath and lower your head so the snorkel’s end is submerged. After you surface and quickly exhale through your mouth, the water entering the snorkel barrel can be blasted clear. A second forceful exhalation will force any extra water to the surface.
Remove your head from the water and breathe through the mouthpiece if there is too much water and you are short of air.

The Operation Of A Full Face Snorkel Mask

Full-face snorkel masks are a single piece of snorkeling gear that includes both the snorkel and the mask.

The snorkel tube at the top end of the mask extends over your entire face.

They give you a really clear view because, unlike with regular snorkel masks, your peripheral vision is not restricted.

In addition to allowing you to breathe in and out through your nose, full-face masks are also easier to use because there is no need to bite the snorkel mouthpiece.

Sadly, they do have a significant flaw. Due to the constrained space inside the mask, high levels of carbon dioxide can be inhaled when wearing a full-face mask for an extended period of time. Unconsciousness, vertigo, and disorientation may be brought on by elevated carbon dioxide levels.

Because of their tight fit, they are one of the main causes of death while snorkeling and can be difficult to remove, especially if you’re feeling disoriented.

Do You Need To Be A Swimmer To Snorkel?

Snorkeling can be attempted by people who cannot swim. To observe marine life in shallow waters, such as sea turtles, you can wade in your depth or, with supervision, hold onto a tethered flotation device.

It’s also advised for non-swimmers to wear life jackets or snorkel vests. It is better to be able to swim in order to maximize your safety and snorkeling experience.

What Age Do You Need To Snorkel?

There is no set age at which a child must be in order to try snorkeling. Kids as young as two can try snorkeling with specialized equipment for toddlers, but most kids can use a snorkel when they are between the ages of four and six.

For the best snorkeling experiences, being able to swim is beneficial. Life jackets or snorkel vests can also be used to help them float.

What Knowledge Is Beneficial For Snorkeling?

You can benefit from a few skills while snorkeling in addition to swimming. You can maintain your calm and relaxation by engaging in deep breathing exercises.

Deep breathing promotes more effective air exchange and prevents carbon dioxide buildup. Before diving into the water, it’s a good idea to practice taking slow, deep breaths.

Breath-hold diving can extend the amount of time you can spend underwater, enabling you to get much closer to marine life and coral reefs.


For those interested in trying snorkeling, it’s crucial to comprehend how it operates as well as the kinds of abilities and gear needed. Your chances of having a safe and enjoyable snorkeling experience should increase now that you are aware of the answers to these questions.

Remember that learning how to snorkel properly takes practice. Have fun, be patient, and go slowly.

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

How Does Scoring Work In Diving? - What Should You Know?
Diving Knowledge

How Does Scoring Work In Diving? – What Should You Know?

Divers are graded in diving competitions using a points system based on a variety of criteria, such as difficulty level and execution.

Read More
Ocean Or Space - Why Have We Explored More of Space Than the Ocean?
Diving Knowledge

Ocean Or Space – Why Have We Explored More of Space Than the Ocean?

You may have read or heard that 95% of the oceans on Earth have not yet been explored. Despite the slight exaggeration, we actually don’t know as much about the ocean as we would like to.

Read More
PADI vs SSI Certification for Scuba Diving - Differences & How to Choose
Diving Knowledge

PADI vs SSI Certification for Scuba Diving – Differences & How to Choose

PADI and SSI courses are somewhat comparable to one another. The way that lessons are taught varies the most. The course can be further customized or expanded upon by SSI instructors.

Read More