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How Does a Snorkel Work?

    How Does a Snorkel Work

    Snorkeling is a popular component in the itinerary of individuals who are out for a perfect vacation, mainly on ocean fronts. However, you will always need proper snorkeling equipment for the best experience. But first, you need to understand: how does a snorkel work? What are the components of a snorkeling gear? What are the various snorkeling types?

    While snorkeling is quite an exciting water sport, it also comes with lots of dangers, considering at times you might be submerged in the ocean. As such, not only do you need to know how to snorkel well, but you will also need quality snorkeling equipment. Moreover, you will also need to know how to handle each item of the snorkeling gear.

    You can also read: Best Snorkel Gear for the Money

    How Does A Snorkel Work?- Equipment Definition

    Before trying to understand how a snorkel works, you first have to know what it is. This information is critical if you want to learn how to breathe underwater.

    A snorkel is a piece of equipment that helps you to breathe underwater. It is usually made of a rubber or a plastic tube that has a diameter of between 0.6 and 1 inch. It further has a J or L shaped mouthpiece, which you have to fit into your mouth.

    Other Components of a Snorkeling Gear

    A snorkeling gear comes with several pieces of equipment of which a snorkel is the main. Other components include a diving mask and some swimming fins. In comparison to other more intense water sports such as scuba diving, these equipment do not require any form of specialized training.

    However, good knowledge of the use of such items comes in handy in giving you an experience of a lifetime. Moreover, such knowledge would be of great help in case of unexpected complications during your snorkeling escapades.

    Different Types of Snorkels

    How Does a Snorkel Work?
    How Does a Snorkel Work?

    The question, how does a snorkel work, is best answered by understanding the different types of snorkels available in the market today. While the different types serve the same purpose of giving you an idea of how to breathe underwater, they slightly differ on how each accomplishes this purpose. Some of the available snorkels in the market today include the following:

    1.      Classic Snorkel

    A classic snorkel is also known as the J-style snorkel and is among the traditional types that have been used from way back in time. It is one of the simplest makes that consists of a plastic tube with an attached mouthpiece, and not only can it be used for snorkeling but also scuba diving. The J-style is also arguably the cheapest and most cost-effective type you can get in the market today.

    While its simplicity makes it perfect for beginners who want to learn how to snorkel, it also comes with some unappealing features that you might not enjoy. First of all, it is made of rigid plastic, making it quite uncomfortable. Furthermore, it is hard to exhale when you are completely submerged in water.

    2.      Full-Face Snorkel Mask

    A full-face snorkel mask is a blend of a dry snorkel and a full-face mask. It is the ideal answer to the question: how does a snorkel work? For snorkeling beginners, it flaunts features that help them master this water sport. With this type, you do not need a mouthpiece to breathe; it has a tube connecting to your mask that allows you to breathe normally.

    While other types of snorkels may be used for scuba diving too, this model does not allow. To allow you to breathe normally, the air is collected in your mask, and such leads to accumulation of pressure, which could prove quite uncomfortable underwater.

    A full-face snorkel mask’s downsides include a build-up of pressure around your face and accumulation of warm air when you exhale. Remember, you are breathing normally through the mask; hence exhaled warm breath will be all over your face.

    3.      Flexible Snorkel with Purge Valve

    A flexible snorkel is perfect for both snorkeling and scuba diving. It comes with a one-way valve that ensures that should water get into your snorkel, it can be expelled with ease. Even better, it comes with a perfectly fitting snorkeling mask due to its flexibility.

    This model’s flexibility contributes significantly to its ease of use and comfort. The purge valve comes in handy to maximize breathing by disposing of any water when you exhale. Furthermore, when you do not want to use it, its flexibility allows you to pull it away from your face.

    Its only downside is the fact that the slightest entry of dirt or sand can lead to its failure.

    4.      Semi-Dry Snorkel

    A blend of dry and classic models is the best description of a semi-dry snorkel. It may come with a purge valve, a splash guard, and a flexible tube. A splash guard works towards preventing water from getting into the flexible tube hence maximizing on your breathing. However, should you encounter high waves, there is no guarantee that the splash guard will work perfectly; water may still find its way into your tube.

    For models whose splash guards adopt moving mechanical devices, chances of getting jammed by dirt or sand are high. Even worse, this may lead to failure.

    5.      Dry Snorkel

    This is the best snorkel type to answer the question, how does a snorkel work? It flaunts improved features that aim at optimizing your snorkeling experience. Not only does it have a purge valve at the bottom, but it also has another added valve at the top, which keeps off water and air in case you decide to go deeper.

    This type of snorkel can also be used for scuba diving due to its improved features. The protective valve keeps water from getting into your tube, and should any make it through, the purge valve comes in handy to dispose of such.

    A dry snorkel’s major flaw is the fact that the top valve is subject to jamming should dirt or sand get in.


    Having some knowledge of how most of the above snorkels work is the initial step in having an excellent snorkeling experience. Furthermore, such knowledge comes in handy in case you encounter some issues when you are out in the ocean.



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    Source: Wikipedia