Tips for the Beginning Snorkeler



The founder and chief executive officer of Transitioning Forward, Allen Fitzsimmons earned his master’s degree in management from the Simon Business School of the University of Rochester. Outside of his professional life, Allen Fitzsimmons enjoys staying active by hiking, cycling, and snorkeling.

Like scuba diving, snorkeling is a popular recreational activity that gives participants the opportunity to see the active, vivid ecosystem just below the water’s surface. Snorkeling can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels, as long as they remember a number of safety tips for a fun and engaging experience.

-Know your skill level. Your skill level should dictate both where you snorkel and the equipment you need. For example, weaker swimmers should wear flotation devices and snorkel in areas that do not have unpredictable currents or hazards like coral near the surface. Regardless of your skill level, keep a distance from marine life.

-Wear a properly fitting mask. Key to snorkeling enjoyment, your mask ensures water does not go up your nose and gives you a clear view underwater. After measuring your face and finding a mask that may fit, perform the suction test. Without putting the strap around your head, gently press the mask to your face and inhale once through your nose. It should stay on your face without needing to be held, even if you move your face muscles. The strap should create an airtight fit with light pressure.

-Practice. If it is your first time snorkeling or if you have not snorkeled for a period of time, ease yourself into the experience with practice. Swim slowly and calmly to avoid becoming exhausted or disrupting the snorkel itself with heavy breathing. Practice breathing into the snorkel without disrupting your mask, and make sure you know how to purge your snorkel or mask if it floods.