The Absolute Basics for Picking a Snorkel

If there’s one thing humans cannot live without, it’s air. Therefore, the snorkel is a basic piece of diving equipment, and helps both divers and snorkelers keep a steady supply of air in their lungs. While some people question the need for a snorkel when they already have a cylinder with air and a regulator, the fact of the matter is that a snorkel is a piece of equipment that is required in many locations. For more information about the types of snorkels and how to pick the right one for your trip, keep reading!

Components and Design

The world of snorkels is more complex that you would ever imagine. The common “J” snorkel is made up of four primary parts: the mouthpiece, the mask attachment, the tube, and the top.

  • The Mouthpiece: This part of the snorkel connects with the user’s mouth, and works with the top of the tubing to deliver air to the person wearing it.
  • The Mask Attachment: A handy component for those who need to be “hands free” at all times, the mask attachment is a small plastic or metal loop attached to the snorkel. This loop allows divers to attach their mask to the snorkel to keep the two separate pieces together.
  • The Tube: Arguably the most important part of the snorkel, the tube is what allows the user to breathe air. When the top of the tube is exposed to air, and the mouthpiece is yielded in someone’s mouth, breathing is just as easy as being on land!
  • The Top: The top of the tube is the only part of the snorkel that stays out of the water. As the sport of diving progresses, more complex styles of tube tops are coming out. Some of the newer snorkel tops have valves or leak protection to prevent water from entering through the top.



Choosing our Snorkel

Choosing the right kind of snorkel for our diving experience doesn’t have to be confusing. In fact, it can be easy! When picking your gear:

  • Be sure your mouthpiece fits. An uncomfortable mouthpiece can cut at your lips, make breathing underwater harder, and lower the quality of your diving experience. Make sure the gear you choose has a comfortable rubber mouthpiece that fits well in your mouth.
  • Pick something light. When you’re swimming, the last thing you need is more weight on your body. Picking a light snorkel will stop you from feeling tired and give you a more enjoyable diving experience.
  • Beware of added features. While some added features, like leak protection and customized mouthpieces, can be beneficial to your diving experience, not all accessories may be the best choice for your adventure. Over- the-top add ons like FM radio may distract you from your diving rather than make it more enjoyable.
  • Pick something you like. As with any equipment, picking a snorkel that looks and feels appealing to you is important. Since no-one else will be using this but you, making sure the style, weight, and features are to your taste is important.

So, we already have our mask, fins and snorkel. With just this equipment we already can go for some snorkeling and also a few diving activities.

Soon we will write about the other basic components of our scuba diving equipment. If you want to receive the new posts in your email just subscribe to our blog.

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2 thoughts on “The Absolute Basics for Picking a Snorkel

  • Sophie

    Great post. I really didn’t know there was so much to think about when picking a snorkel. I like the bit about beware of added features – didn’t know you could have a radio when you snorkel! The only thing is how do you know if the mouthpiece is going to be uncomfortable as normally you can’t try as they are packaged. I’ll looking into a new snorkel soon anyway as I live in North QLD Australia so when summer comes I’ll be snorkelling.

    • Best Diving Stuff Post author

      Hi Sophie.
      Be sure that your snorkel has a comfortable rubber mouthpiece. Avoid other materials.
      If you are investing some money on it, buy online is a good option and be sure that the mouthpiece can be replaced.
      An extra tip for you is that many diving shops sell snorkels that are not plastic packaged, so you can check the mouth piece. Also, there you’ll find better quality product and service. Once you find a snorkel you like, you can check its price online in Amazon and if you save money buy it there.