A snorkel allows you to breathe while your face is in the water looking at the beautiful reef and marine life. For snorkeling, it is a required piece of gear. For scuba diving, it is nice to have when you're bobbing on the surface waiting for your dive buddy, the dive boat, or for doing a surface swim out to the dive site.
A soft, silicone mouthpiece will provide a more comfortable fit in your mouth. All snorkels come with a standard size mouthpiece, but are easily changed for other types of mouthpieces. For most good-quality snorkels, the mouthpiece can simply be pulled off and replaced with another mouthpiece when needed.
The flexible tube that connects the top part of the snorkel with the bottom mouthpiece is flexible and easily bent. This is to allow for a more comfortable fit while in your mouth and allows the mouthpiece to drop away from your face when not in use. This is more comfortable than a snorkel with a rigid, non-flexing tube.
A one-way purge valve located near the mouthpiece will allow unwanted water to be blown out of the snorkel by simply exhaling forcefully into the mouthpiece. Compared with a non-purge snorkel where the water will need to be blown all the way out the top of the snorkel.
The type of top on your snorkel can include an open-end, semi-dry top, or dry top. The open-end snorkel is fully open at the top with no wave-guard to prevent splashes from entering your snorkel. The semi-dry top will usually include a wave-guard that prevents splashes and waves from entering the snorkel, but will still allow water to enter if you dive down below the surface. A dry-top will not only prevent waves and splashes from entering the snorkel on the surface, but will also prevent water from entering the tube when you dive down below the surface.
The snorkel keeper is what keeps your snorkel attached to your mask. The snorkel keeper should be included with the snorkel when you purchase the snorkel. There are many types of snorkel keepers.
You can get a basic "figure 8" keeper that is made of either rubber or silicone and looks like the number 8. the two holes of the 8 slide onto the snorkel and the middle part between the two holes is what wraps around the mask strap.
A plastic keeper is usually a better option and is easier to clip on and off of the mask strap. Some types are a two-part "quick-release" style. The one part stays attached to the mask strap and the other stays on the snorkel. The two parts clip together easily when you need the snorkel attached to the mask.
Care & Maintenance
Even taking the best care of your snorkel, you may find that over time parts of your snorkel wear out or get broken. Prior to heading out on your next snorkeling excursion, check out your snorkel to ensure that it's in good working order. Check that the mouthpiece is still good and that the bite tabs aren't missing. Check the bottom purge valve to ensure the one-way valve is still in place and not missing. Ensure the snorkel is clean and free of encrusted salt and sand that may be left from your last snorkeling adventure.
If you find the clip that attaches your snorkel to your mask (snorkel keeper) or mouthpiece is missing or broken, you can find some replacement parts on our website. Email us a photo of your snorkel and a close-up of the broken part and we'll see if we can source out a replacement part for you.
After using your snorkel, especially in salt water or chlorine, be sure to wash with mild soap and rinse well with clean, fresh water to rid the snorkel of chlorine and salty residue. Air-dry, then store out of direct sunlight.