Keeping Water out of your Snorkel
snorkeler swimming in front of Komodo Island

Snorkels, no matter how complex the splash guard is, always seem to let a bit of water into the tube. Typically, the little bit of water that does enter our snorkel just sort of gurgles in the bottom of the chamber at the base of the tube and never poses a problem to us as we snorkel. On occasion, our snorkels may get swamped with a wave, or if we happen to submerge our head just a bit too far underwater completely filling the tube, forcing us to blow the water out with a big exhale. With the exception of the little drops of water that seem to be perpetually bubbling around in the bottom of our snorkel tubes, in general, it’s pretty easy to keep water out of our snorkels consistently, no matter how choppy the conditions. We just need to keep in mind a few things. 

Left Side

If you look at a snorkel carefully, nearly all will be designed to be worn on the left-hand side. The reason being, divers have their regulator coming over the right shoulder so the snorkel needs to be worn on the left. Some snorkels, like the classic J-shaped ones can fit on both left and right. Just about all other snorkels will be made to be worn on the left. 

Tube Facing Slightly Backwards

Most snorkels will also have a soft rubber base connected with a harder plastic tube which you are able to rotate. If you find that you are getting more water in your snorkel than you’re comfortable with, try twisting the tube so that it faces slightly backward when worn on your head. This will help keep the snorkel from shoveling up water as we swim. 

Avoid Looking Straight Down 

If we snorkel looking straight down we not only risk missing a lot of the action that could be passing all around us, but we also run the risk of scooping up water right into the snorkel tube. As we push our chin towards our chest our snorkel goes from a more rear-facing/vertical position to a precarious forward position which allows water to enter much easier. The best way to snorkel is with your head looking forward and just slightly down so we have a maximum field of view which also allows our snorkel to do its job a lot easier. 

Turn with the Body

When you want to turn to look to your right, especially when it’s nearly a full head turn to the right or left, you are pretty much just dunking your snorkel right in the water. Slight head turns to the right and left are ok, but big head turns to require you to move your body. The best habit to get into when it comes to looking left and right is to move with your whole body, keeping it more vertical and rotating with the body rather than the neck. This type of movement will keep your snorkel out of the water, which is always a best practice. 

About Author

Alex Lindbloom
Alex is a Snorkel Venture and Dive Safari Asia guide as well as the video and photo pros for both companies. Alex is also a field editor for a popular underwater photography magazine. Prior to joining Snorkel Venture in 2018 Alex lived and worked all over the world working as an underwater cameraman, with five of those years living/working on a yacht in Indonesia. Alex's images and videos have garnered many international awards such as Underwater Photographer of the Year and can be seen on NatGeo, Discovery Channel, the UN Building, and various magazines.