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Snorkeling FAQ

Contents

How do I make sure my mask fits? top
To make sure your mask fits correctly and will seal out the water, hold it up to your face lightly.  The mask should make contact with your face at all points on the skirt of the mask.  (This is where a knowledgeable sales person can assist you.)  If the mask is touching your skin without any gaps, inhale gently through your nose.  The mask should make a vacuum on your face.  It should seal and not allow any more air to be inhaled.  The mask will remain on your face until you stop inhaling.
Can I wear contacts while snorkeling? top
Of course you can.  Just be aware that if your mask floods, you may lose your contacts.  An alternative to wearing contacts is to purchase a mask with prescription lenses.  It's a simple and relatively inexpensive procedure to install prescription lenses into a modern snorkeling mask.
What is the difference between strap fins and those without straps? top
Most snorkelers in warm water, such as in the Caribbean, prefer to wear non-strap fins.  These fins are generally smaller and easier to use at the surface.  They pack better and are less expensive than strap fins.  They are also more comfortable for most people.  If you are going to snorkel in colder water, like the lakes of Minnesota, you might be more comfortable wearing a strap fin which will accommodate an insulated wetsuit boot.  If you took a poll of snorkeling and scuba instructors around the world, you would probably find some preferring straps and some opting for no straps.  It's really a matter of personal preference in combination with the location of your snorkeling.  Dive shop personnel can help direct you toward equipment best suited to your needs.
How do I prevent choking on water in the snorkel? top
Get an Impulse Snorkel from Aqualung (U.S. Divers)!  There is no other snorkel on the market which comes close to matching the Impulse for ease of clearing and for keeping water out of the mouthpiece when you are at the surface.  Young children, elderly people, beginners as well as advanced use this snorkel without problems.  As long as the snorkel tip remains above the surface, any water coming over the top is drained out BEFORE it reaches your mouth.  If the snorkel fills with water when you dive under, all you need to do is say the word "too" to clear the snorkel after returning to the surface.  The Impulse is such a wonderful piece of equipment that it is the only snorkel Smith Diving rents.  (The reason: No Problems!)
Is it OK to use a life jacket when snorkeling? top
Rather than using a life jacket, we recommend wearing a snorkeling vest.  Snorkeling vests are worn on the front and held in place with straps around the back.  You fill the vest by blowing air into it with your mouth.  A little air in the vest can make a nervous snorkeler more confident, and lots of air inside allows anyone to rest comfortably at the surface.  Snorkeling vests are becoming more popular every year at the world's best snorkeling destinations and aboard major cruise lines.

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