Mandatory for PADI training, pick a flexible and compact snorkel for scuba diving. This will enable you to easily store it in one of the pockets of your BCD. A classical snorkel will do the job, ideally a brightly coloured one so as to be easily seen on the surface!
For this activity, a snorkel with a splash guard is best in order to avoid water entry if there’s a bit of a swell, or with a purge valve that will enable you to clear the water if you dive deeper from time to time. To be seen and located more easily, pick a brightly coloured snorkel.
Pick a classical snorkel in a dark colour, so as not to startle your prey as you approach, but with a somewhat larger diameter for good ventilation between two freedives.
2. Technical Criteria for Correctly Choosing your Snorkel
BREATHING EASE The volume and size of the snorkel must be suitable for your physique, to ensure easy breathing. As such, there are snorkels specially designed for children and adults.
MOUTH COMFORT Snorkel mouthpieces are interchangeable. If the original one doesn’t suit you, don’t hesitate to change it. For maximum comfort, it’s essential for the mouthpiece to fit your mouth perfectly.
SEAL To limit water entry in case of small waves or in other situations, select a snorkel with a splash guard at the top. This splash guard will provide protection.
WATER CLEARING If you want to be able to clear the water from your snorkel in case of a swell or a short dive, you’ll want a snorkel with a purge valve. Located at the bottom of your snorkel, this valve allows you to clear the water by blowing gently.
3. The Different Types of Snorkels
This type of snorkel can be used for snorkeling or scuba diving. It’s a very simple snorkel, ideal for beginners. It’s generally brightly coloured so that you’ll be very visible while you’re snorkeling, particularly from boats.
A snorkel’s purge valve works like any other valve. It’s located at the bottom of your snorkel and allows you to easily clear any water that may have entered the snorkel. In case of water in your snorkel, you have only to blow gently so that the water will be cleared via the valve. In fact, most of the water will be cleared from the bottom, which takes less breathing effort when compared with a classical snorkel, from which water is cleared via the top. Just like a classical snorkel, this type of snorkel is suitable both for snorkeling and scuba diving. On certain valve-fitted snorkels, there will also be a splash guard at the top, to serve as “protection”. It serves to prevent water from entering the upper part of the snorkel (shown in orange in the image).
This type of snorkel is primarily used for snorkeling. Its upper end includes a valve that closes and prevents water from entering the snorkel. For example: in case of small waves on the surface or when the user leans his or her head too far forward in order to look at the seabed. Under similar conditions, a user with a traditional snorkel could end up swallowing some water.
Snorkels for underwater hunting or freediving are often in dark colours, so as to be more discreet when looking for underwater fauna. It’s like a classical snorkel, since it has no splash guard or purge valve.