If you like to witness marine life in its natural habitat, scuba diving and snorkelling are also fantastic pastimes. The air supply is the primary distinction between snorkelling and scuba diving. You can stay underwater longer and go deeper if you breathe from a scuba tank, but it takes more training. Continue reading if you are interested to know more about snorkelling vs scuba diving and the differences between snorkelling and scuba diving.

Table of Contents

  • What is snorkelling?
  • What is scuba diving?
  • Snorkelling vs scuba diving - Differences
  • Snorkelling vs scuba diving - Similarities
  • Conclusion
  • Frequently asked questions

What is Snorkelling?

Using a snorkel dive mask and a breathing tube, snorkelling is a technique for exploring the ocean from the surface. Snorkelling gives divers the ability to see marine life close to the water's surface, including fish, coral reefs, and plants. Snorkelling is typically a popular recreational activity. In other words, people like doing it when on a diving trip or vacation.

The least amount of training is necessary for snorkelling among the three diving alternatives discussed in this article. Within minutes, a person who has never snorkelled before could be in the way. All that is needed is a solid understanding of mask, snorkel, and fin usage. Any age can practise snorkelling, making it the ideal pastime.

Snorkelling Gears

A mask, a snorkel, swim fins, and a wetsuit or dry suit are the necessary snorkelling gear.

  • You can see underwater when wearing a snorkel mask since it fits over your eyes and nose. Be aware that the mask prevents you from wearing glasses. But contact lenses function just fine. If you want, you can also choose to purchase a prescription mask.
  • Your mask is hooked to a breathing tube that extends above the water's surface and is known as a snorkel. You can breathe while having your face submerged.
  • Swim fins assist you to move through the water fast and easily by attaching to your feet.
  • Snorkelers use wetsuits to keep their bodies warm in all except tropical waters. You'll need to wear a dry suit and an undersuit in colder waters. In chilly water, a hood and gloves are also required.

What is Scuba Diving?

Much deeper exploration is possible with scuba diving than with snorkelling. To be independent of the water's surface and breathe underwater while they explore, scuba divers will have their own self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

Scuba diving can be done for fun to explore shipwrecks, and caves under the sea, and get up and personal with fish in their natural environment. However, it is more than simply a pastime, and many people use scuba diving professionally in their line of work, including underwater welding, military diving operations, and offshore construction (to name a few).

Scuba diving involves much more training than snorkelling because it calls for divers to stay underwater for a longer period and utilise breathing apparatus securely. Additionally, scuba diving instruction teaches students the proper safety precautions and buoyancy methods, enabling them to safely enjoy underwater exploration and diving.

Scuba Diving Gears

Snorkelers don't use as sophisticated equipment as scuba divers. A mask, a dry suit or wetsuit, a buoyancy compensator, a scuba tank, regulators, weights, and fins are all necessary pieces of dive equipment.

  • Our eyes have a poor underwater vision. Consequently, one of the most crucial pieces of diving equipment is a diving mask. Keep in mind that full face masks won't fit with a dry suit if you intend to dive.
  • To stay warm when diving, you must put on either a wetsuit or a dry suit. A dry suit and an undersuit are required if you plan to dive in water that is colder than 50°F. Diving suits are typically comprised of thick neoprene and are form-fitting. You might also need to wear gloves and a hood in addition to a suit.
  • An air-filled or airless jacket is a buoyancy compensator. It makes it easier for you to stay submerged and float effortlessly above the water.
  • The air you require is provided by a scuba tank and regulators. Pressurized air is present in the tank. Regulators, meanwhile, deliver air from your tank to you at the right pressure so you can breathe underwater.
  • People naturally have a predisposition to float while in water. Divers can counterbalance the buoyancy of their bodies and diving suits by using weights. Divers can modify their buoyancy by properly adjusting their weights. There are many weight systems, including weight belts, weight harnesses, and BCs that are integrated with weights.
  • Fins make it easier for divers to move through the water and swim effectively.

Snorkelling Vs Scuba Diving - Differences

Particulars Scuba diving Snorkelling
Purposes Diving for fun - ice diving, wreck diving, and cave diving. Work-related objectives - civil engineering, underwater welding, offshore construction, or military applications Fish, algae, and coral reefs can all be seen for recreational purposes, especially in warm, wave-free bodies of water. There are many interesting things to observe right next to the water.
Technique The swimmer is submerged to the waist. A diving mask covers the diver's eyes and nose; the diver must learn to breathe through a regulator's mouthpiece because they cannot breathe through their nose except when wearing a full-face diving mask. Head and nose submerged. The snorkel tube may overflow while submerged. When returning to the surface, the snorkeler either exhales sharply or tilts their head back just before coming to the surface
Underwater duration Because there is no need to hold one's breath, one can submerge themselves for longer. To swim beneath the surface of the water, one must hold their breath.
Equipment Swim fins fastened to feet, diving suit, pressurised gas tank fastened to the diver's back, single hose, open-circuit 2-stage diving regulator with the first stage linked to the gas tank and the second to a mouthpiece. Swimming fins may occasionally be added to the feet, an L- or J-shaped tube with a mouthpiece, and a diving mask.
About A technique for breathing underwater while wearing equipment. Abbreviation for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. Wearing a snorkelling mask while swimming on or through a body of water.
Training Need instruction on using the breathing apparatus, safety precautions, and troubleshooting. Despite the lack of a centralised certifying or regulatory body, many dive rental and retail establishments demand documentation of diver certification. Snorkelers prefer shallow reefs that are 3–12 feet above sea level. Deeper reefs are also beneficial, but diving to those depths requires frequent breath holding, which restricts the number of divers who can do it and raises the bar for fitness and competence.
Effect on Health Decompression sickness, nitrogen narcosis, oxygen toxicity, refraction, and underwater vision are a few side effects of breathing compressed air. The biggest risk is not being seen by jet skis and other watercraft because divers frequently submerge underwater with only a tube poking above the surface. Hyperventilation, dehydration, and contact with toxic coral Long hours often result in sunburn.

Snorkelling Vs Scuba Diving - Similarities

Despite the fundamental similarities between snorkelling vs scuba diving are as follows:

  • Both snorkelling and scuba diving can be done as a hobby to watch fish, algae, and coral reefs.
  • Whether you are snorkelling or scuba diving, time flies in the ocean.
  • Both hobbies offer equipment for rent. While you can rent snorkelling gear from any vacation resort, you will need to look around a bit to find a scuba-gear rental business.
  • Both hobbies involve the use of masks and fins.


We hope now our readers are aware about snorkelling vs scuba diving. Scuba divers and snorkelers are almost anyone's sport! Your degree of experience and personal preferences will determine the ideal activity for you. The easiest way to explore the marine environment from the ocean's surface is by snorkelling. Enroll in an Open Water Diver Certification course and go scuba diving if you're feeling more ambitious. Regardless of what you decide, you will undoubtedly have an amazing underwater excursion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to know swimming to snorkel?

No, you need not know proper swimming to do snorkelling. In essence, snorkelling is a surface activity that primarily includes floating and involves little to no swimming.

Can I wear contact lenses while snorkelling?

Soft contacts are secure for scuba diving, yes. The particles in seawater marginally enhance the risk of illness. Just be sure to properly dispose of your lenses after the dive.

How deep can you go snorkelling?

You may easily dive down up to six feet underwater while using a snorkel mask. However, the CO2 in your snorkel mask could build up and make breathing difficult. You shouldn't dive more than six feet below or even stay in the water for longer than 25 to 30 minutes as a result.

Is scuba diving safe?

Statistically, yes scuba-diving is absolutely safe activity. However just like any other sport, it do have certain inherent risk which cannot be eliminated.

Can non swimmers do scuba diving?

Therefore, the short answer is that non-swimmers can scuba dive. However, there are a number of factors at play, so the practical, in-the-real-world response is that they shouldn't try the course. Scuba divers need to feel comfortable in the water, yet the majority of people who cannot swim feel uneasy once their feet are off of solid ground.

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