Tricky Situations New Snorkelers May Find Themselves In and What to Do about Them

Free diver girl glides with school of fishes in blue ocean

Snorkeling can be a ton of fun. It’s an opportunity to get a clear view of a world that is vastly different from the one on land we’re so familiar with. There’s more to snorkeling than just putting your gear on and splashing around in the water. As with anything new you try, there are bound to be some challenges before you get the hang of it.

Leaking Mask

The whole point of snorkeling is to be able to clearly see the underwater world. That’s tough to do if your mask starts leaking water. Masks tend to leak water when they don’t create a good seal around your face. Because you’re snorkeling and not scuba diving, surfacing to clear your mask is probably the best move. Make sure your mask fits properly and isn’t too tight or too loose. Keep your hair out of the way too, since that can cause the seal to break as well.

Water in the Snorkel

Few things are disconcerting quite the way trying to breathe and instead of getting a mouthful of water can be. If you submerge more than a few inches, odds are that you’ll end up with water in your snorkel. It’s not hard to clear, but it can still be unsettling. Practice clearing water from your snorkel until it becomes something you’re used to. Alternatively, you can also get a dry snorkel or one with a splash guard. This will help prevent water from entering the snorkel in the first place.


Swimming is a workout. When you’re snorkeling and experiencing all the beauty of the underwater world, it can be easy to lose track of time and not pay attention to how much energy you have. Becoming exhausted is exceptionally dangerous when swimming. It’s important to know your limits. Make sure you know how to float to conserve energy and consider wearing a floatation device.

If you’re new to snorkeling, you’re bound to find yourself dealing with some tricky situations. What makes them tricky is not knowing quite what to do about them because they’re so new, for the most part. Have a plan for how you want to handle them in advance so when they arise you can spend your energy fixing the problem instead of trying to figure out what to do.

One of the best things you can do to save energy is to float. Not sure how to do it right? Read this next: Learn How to Float in Water.