Snorkeling is one of the most fun ways to explore our oceans, offering gorgeous underwater sights and low-stress physical exercise. But just like with any water activity, it’s important to know the dangers in order to stay safe. To help you out, we’ve put together some essential snorkeling safety tips that will help make sure you have a great time during your ocean adventure.
1. Go with a Buddy
Snorkeling is not typically a solo activity, especially if you’re still learning how to properly snorkel. Bring a friend along during your excursions or tag along on a tour with a guide. And always snorkel in clear water so you can easily keep an eye on one another. This will help ensure that, if there is an accident, someone is close by to assist and help you get to safety.
2. Choose Quality Equipment Over Cheap Rentals
Make sure that your gear fits you properly and is in good condition. Your mask should fit you comfortably to prevent leaks and fogging when you’re in the water. For your fins, they shouldn’t be too tight or loose, not too long or short in length. And splurge on the dry snorkel if you’re new to snorkeling – you’ll thank yourself later when you don’t have to worry about water getting into the tube.
3. Practice With Your Gear Before the Real Thing
Once you have your gear or if you grab new equipment, be sure to take it out for a practice spin before jumping into the ocean. Go to a pool or in shallow water at a beach to make sure it fits properly as well that it’s working as expected. The last thing you want to worry about is your gear failing when you’re snorkeling.
4. Stay Calm and Read the Current
Staying relaxed is key for a stress-free snorkel experience. But don’t be so relaxed that you don’t pay attention to your surroundings. Having your back to the waves or losing track of the current can result in you getting slammed by water out of nowhere. If you feel overwhelmed, do your best to keep calm and swim safely back to the surface and back to your launch point.
5. Pick a Good Spot for Snorkeling
You know your skill level and should choose a place that won’t unreasonably challenge you. Unless you’re an expert, use a sandy beach to enter and exit the water versus dropping into the ocean from a boat. Keep an eye on weather conditions so that you don’t find yourself struggling with a storm surge or unexpected cold temperatures.
Bonus Tip: Be a Friend to the Ocean
This safety precaution is for both you and the wildlife you’ll encounter as you’re snorkeling. Do your best to not touch coral, fish, or any other living organisms, as they can either harm you or vice versa. And be sure to wear a biodegradable sunscreen – this type of sun protection is often more water-resistant and doesn’t contain harmful ingredients.