To bring or not to bring a snorkel – have you batted this question back and forth in conversations with other divers? For such a small, lightweight, unassuming piece of equipment, conversations can get lively as divers on both sides espouse their opinions!
One camp believes snorkels are lifesavers and the other believes they are accidents waiting to happen.
Before scuba gear became commonplace, snorkels were the main tool for diving, when we called it skin diving. By the way, in case you were wondering, skin diving got its name from the military — if service members needed to bring their snorkel gear, the acronym SKIN was posted to stand for “swim kit is needed.”
Some of us who have been around for a while may remember snorkels of decades past, which were basically straight plastic tubes attached to a u-shaped tube and a hard, unyielding mouthpiece! Fortunately, snorkels have evolved significantly, and now we have high-tech ones with purge chambers, swiveling adapters, dry top vents or gaskets and ergonomic mouthpiece like this one (right).
Why You Might Want a Snorkel
Why You Might Not Want a Snorkel
Fortunately, no one is going to force you to bring or leave your snorkel behind. It’s a personal choice.
You can also decide based on conditions — if you know you’ll have a long surface swim, you’ll need it. If you’re going into a kelp forest or caves where it can get snagged, leave it behind.
Many divers have chosen to bring snorkels that can be rolled up or collapsed and fit into a BC pocket. This is the best of both worlds – you can easily get to it if you need it, but it’s no longer a hindrance. Check out this Oceanic folding one (right).
Speaking of snorkels, need a new one? Check out our large online inventory, or swing by Scuba Toys at 1609 S Interstate 35E, Carrollton, TX 75006 and we’ll hook you up!
Do you use a snorkel or not when you dive? Let us know why you made the choice you made in the comments section below!
Image attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/goodncrazy/