Whether you’re a snorkeler, a diver or even a spearfisherman, a snorkel is an essential part of your gear even if you use it differently!
Whilst it doesn’t seem like much, there’s no doubt that the snorkel was the first instrument invented for freediving: Aristotle talked about it in the 4th century BC! The bamboo stem of yesteryear has become the thoroughly modern plastic tube! Diving snorkel, snorkelling snorkel, spearfishing snorkel. With all these models and technical features to choose from, Subea is providing a guide and tips to help you choose the right snorkel for your sport!
CHOOSE ACCORDING TO YOUR SPORT
SNORKELS FOR SNORKELING
Prioritise a snorkel with a deflector so you don’t swallow water in waves. A snorkel fitted with a valve around the mouth also makes it easier to get rid of water if you dip under the water.
Choose a bright model to make yourself visible and easy to find on the surface.
SCUBA DIVING SNORKEL
A snorkel is an essential piece of gear on a PADI course. Go for a more flexible, compact snorkel, or even very flexible, to be able to fold it up and keep it in your jacket pocket. Forget about the drain and deflector: focus on simplicity and bright colours so the boat is able to see you on the surface.
SNORKEL FOR SPEARFISHING AND FREEDIVING
Go for simple snorkels with dark colours, so you don’t scare the fish as you move closer, with no drain or deflector, and a slightly larger diameter to ventilate it properly between two freedivers.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SNORKELS
Ideal for beginners, this type of snorkel does not have a deflector or a valve. It is generally a bright colour so that it can be spotted from boats and it is used for both snorkelling and scuba diving.
This snorkel has a deflector that will stop you swallowing water in the event of choppy water. It comes with and without a valve at the bottom to make it easier to remove any water that might get in.
Generally brightly coloured to be spotted by boats, this type of snorkel is recommended for snorkelling and scuba diving.
This type of snorkel has a valve located at the bottom to thereby make it easier to remove any water that might get in as it drains naturally this way.
Some snorkels have a valve but also a defector depending on the type. Just like a classic snorkel or a snorkel with a deflector, the snorkel with a valve is generally a bright colour and is therefore good for snorkelling and scuba diving.
SNORKEL FOR SPEARFISHING AND FREEDIVING
The snorkel for spearfishing is not very different from a classic snorkel. In general, it does not have a valve or a deflector.
There is above all one feature that is different: its colour! The spearfishing snorkel is often a dark colour to make it as subtle as possible so not scare off any possible prey. It can also be good for freediving.
SELECT A COMFORTABLE SNORKEL ABOVE ALL!
Have you worked out which snorkel you need? Make your choice depending on the comfort level.
First of all assess the mouthpiece: classic or orthodontic, it can be changed easily. Make the most of this module-design to find one that suits you best. The silicon snorkel mouthpiece should fit your mouth. Its shape and thickness should not tire out your jaw muscles or irritate your gums. Moreover, there are special mouthpieces that you can mould at home, after soaking them in hot water. This is highly appreciated!
Finally, the shape of the snorkel and more particularly its bend, flexibility and suppleness should also be taken into account. Particularly for kids’ snorkels: the diameter should match the breathing capacity of your apprentice snorkelers and have a suitable, smaller mouthpiece!
BREATHING PROPERLY THROUGH YOUR SNORKEL
Be prepared for over breathing. Under the water, when you are breathing with your snorkel, your “dead space volume” increases significantly. This volume corresponds to all airways (mouth, throat, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles) that do not participate in gas exchanges.
What’s the risk?
Overbreathing! Particularly if you keep breathing quickly and superficially, as the air in your lungs will not be renewed. You’ll actually be breathing in the air that you have just blown into your snorkel. You’re bound to feel like you’re suffocating and could faint at any point! To avoid this situation, be sure to increase the volume you breath out so as to eliminate the carbon dioxide properly.
Blow deep, a bit like during a yoga or relaxation exercise. You will thereby increase your ventilation amplitude, not its frequency (except in the case of more sustained efforts). Do you have a headache or feel dizzy? Stop right there, reduce your physical effort and breathe out deep, raising the snorkel if possible to make it easier to get back to normal faster.
Other products that you’ll require along with your Snorkel