Have you ever wondered how deep you can snorkel without a tank? In a captivating video by Shangerdanger, he tests the limits of snorkeling by creating the world’s longest snorkel. With a six-foot PVC pipe, he attempts to reach the bottom of the water and breathe underwater through the homemade snorkel. However, he also has a backup plan, the Nomad from Dive Blu3, which pressurizes air from the surface and allows him to breathe while diving. Watch the video to see if his DIY snorkel or the Nomad proves to be the ultimate solution for breathing underwater without a tank.

In this intriguing video, Shangerdanger explores the depths of snorkeling without a tank. With his homemade six-foot PVC pipe snorkel and the Nomad from Dive Blu3, he tests how deep he can go underwater while still being able to breathe. Join him as he dives down and discusses his experience trying out these unique breathing apparatuses, sharing his thoughts on the effectiveness of each method. Whether you’re an avid snorkeler or simply curious about diving technology, this video provides an entertaining and informative look into the world of breathing underwater without a tank.

Understanding Snorkeling and Breath-hold Diving

Snorkeling and breath-hold diving are popular activities for exploring the underwater world. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, understanding the basics, limitations, techniques, and gear involved is essential. In this comprehensive article, we will cover everything you need to know about snorkeling and breath-hold diving. From how to choose the right gear to proper breathing techniques and safety precautions, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world beneath the surface!

How deep can you snorkel? (Breathing underwater without a tank)

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The Basics of Snorkeling

Snorkeling is a recreational activity that allows you to observe underwater life while breathing through a tube called a snorkel. It is an excellent option for those who want to explore the beauty of the ocean without diving deep. Snorkeling requires minimal equipment, primarily consisting of a mask, snorkel, and fins. By combining swimming and floating near the water’s surface, you can witness the vibrant marine ecosystems from a new perspective.

Different Types of Snorkels

There are various types of snorkels available on the market, each with its own unique features. Here are some common types of snorkels:

  1. Classic Snorkel: This traditional snorkel consists of a simple tube with a mouthpiece and purge valve. It allows you to breathe while your face is submerged in water.

  2. Dry Snorkel: A dry snorkel is equipped with a valve or splash guard at the top of the tube to prevent water from entering. This type of snorkel is ideal for choppy water or snorkelers who prefer to keep their snorkel dry.

  3. Semi-dry Snorkel: Similar to dry snorkels, semi-dry snorkels have a splash guard to minimize water entry. However, they may not offer the same level of water protection as fully dry snorkels.

  4. Full-face Snorkel Mask: A full-face snorkel mask covers the entire face, providing a more panoramic view of the underwater world. It incorporates a built-in snorkel, eliminating the need for a separate mouthpiece.

When choosing a snorkel, consider factors such as comfort, ease of breathing, and water protection. Experiment with different styles to find the snorkel that works best for you.

Introduction to Breath-hold Diving

Breath-hold diving, also known as free diving, involves exploring the underwater world while holding your breath. Unlike snorkeling, breath-hold diving allows you to dive to greater depths and experience the sensation of being fully immersed in the marine environment. This activity requires proper training and knowledge of breath-holding techniques, equalizing ear pressure, and safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

The Limitations of Snorkeling

While snorkeling offers a unique way to observe marine life and explore the ocean, it does have its limitations. Understanding these limitations is crucial to ensure your safety and make the most of your snorkeling experience.

Depth Limitations of Snorkeling

Snorkeling is primarily limited to shallow depths, typically up to 15-20 feet. Beyond this depth, the water pressure increases, which can cause discomfort and potential risks. Snorkeling is best suited for observing surface-level marine life, coral reefs, and shallow reefs. If you wish to explore greater depths, breath-hold diving or scuba diving would be more suitable options.

Physical Limitations of Humans

As humans, our bodies are not designed for prolonged periods underwater. We are air-breathing creatures, and our lungs cannot extract oxygen from water like marine animals. Holding your breath underwater for extended periods can lead to oxygen deprivation, which may result in shallow water blackout or other serious risks. Understanding your physical limits and practicing proper breath-holding techniques is crucial for safe snorkeling and breath-hold diving.

Effects of Pressure and Gas Exchange

As you descend underwater, the pressure on your body increases. This pressure affects your lungs, sinuses, and ears, potentially causing discomfort or injury if not properly managed. Additionally, the exchange of gases in your body can lead to nitrogen build-up, which can result in decompression sickness or “the bends” when ascending too rapidly.

It’s important to ascend slowly and practice proper equalization techniques to regulate pressure and prevent injury. Regular breaks, proper breathing, and equalizing your ears and sinuses are essential to ensuring a safe and enjoyable snorkeling or breath-hold diving experience.

Exploring Snorkeling Techniques

To fully enjoy your snorkeling experience, it’s helpful to learn and implement various techniques. These techniques focus on improving your breathing, equalizing ear pressure, and enhancing your swimming skills underwater.

Proper Breathing Techniques

Breathing correctly is crucial for snorkeling and breath-hold diving. Proper breathing techniques enable you to stay relaxed, conserve energy, and maximize your breath-holding time. Here are a few tips for proper breathing during snorkeling:

  1. Breathe deeply and slowly before submerging your face in the water.
  2. Practice diaphragmatic breathing, where you engage your diaphragm to expand your lungs fully.
  3. Exhale slowly when your face is in the water to prevent carbon dioxide build-up and conserve oxygen.

By focusing on your breath and adopting mindful breathing practices, you can enhance your snorkeling experience and increase your comfort underwater.

Equalizing Ear Pressure

Equalizing ear pressure is essential when descending to greater depths while snorkeling or breath-hold diving. Here are a few methods to equalize ear pressure:

  1. Valsalva Maneuver: Pinch your nostrils shut and gently blow through your nose while keeping your mouth closed. This technique helps equalize the pressure in your ears by opening the Eustachian tubes.

  2. Frenzel Maneuver: Close your nostrils, press the back of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, and make a “k” or “guh” sound while blowing a little air through your throat. This technique allows you to equalize your ears without using your nose.

Regularly equalizing your ears throughout your snorkeling or breath-hold diving session will prevent discomfort, pain, and potential ear injuries.

Swimming Techniques for Snorkeling

Efficient swimming techniques can greatly enhance your snorkeling experience, allowing you to move effortlessly through the water and conserve energy. Here are a few tips to improve your swimming technique:

  1. Use your legs and fins to propel yourself forward, utilizing small, controlled kicks.
  2. Keep your body horizontal and aligned with the water’s surface to minimize drag.
  3. Use long, fluid arm strokes to maintain balance and stability.

By practicing these swimming techniques, you can explore more of the underwater world and spend longer periods observing marine life.

Snorkeling Gear and Equipment

Choosing the right snorkeling gear is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are the essential pieces of equipment you will need:

Choosing the Right Snorkel Gear

When selecting snorkeling gear, consider factors such as fit, comfort, and quality. Here are the key pieces of gear to consider:

  1. Snorkel Mask: Choose a mask that fits snugly and provides a clear field of vision. Look for a mask with a soft silicone skirt and adjustable straps for a comfortable fit.

  2. Snorkel: Select a snorkel that suits your breathing style and preferences. Consider features like a purge valve, dry-top, or semi-dry design based on your environment and comfort level.

  3. Fins: Opt for fins that fit securely and offer efficient propulsion. Different fin designs cater to various swimming styles, so choose the type that best suits your needs.

Ensure your snorkel gear is properly fitted and choose high-quality equipment to enhance your snorkeling experience.

The Importance of a Snorkel Mask

A well-fitting snorkel mask is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable snorkeling experience. It should create an airtight seal around your face, preventing water from entering. Look for a mask with the following features:

  1. Tempered Glass Lens: Choose a mask with tempered glass lenses to ensure durability and minimize the risk of breakage.

  2. Wide Field of Vision: Opt for a mask that provides a panoramic or wide field of vision, allowing you to see more of the underwater world.

  3. Adjustable Straps: Look for a mask with adjustable straps to achieve a secure and comfortable fit. This feature ensures a watertight seal and prevents leaks.

Taking the time to find the right snorkel mask that suits your face shape and preferences will greatly enhance your snorkeling experience.

Other Essential Equipment for Snorkeling

In addition to the mask, snorkel, and fins, there are a few other essential items to consider when preparing for a snorkeling adventure:

  1. Sun Protection: Apply sunscreen before entering the water to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Choose a reef-safe sunscreen to minimize environmental impact.

  2. Rash Guard or Wetsuit: Depending on the water temperature and personal preference, wearing a rash guard or wetsuit can provide warmth, sun protection, and buoyancy.

  3. Dive Watch or Timer: A dive watch or timer can help you keep track of your snorkeling time and ensure you surface before your breath-holding capabilities are fully depleted.

Having the right equipment and accessories ensures your safety, comfort, and enjoyment while snorkeling.

Underwater Breathing Techniques

Breath-hold diving allows you to explore the depths of the ocean while holding your breath. Mastering underwater breathing techniques is essential for prolonging your breath-holding time and maximizing your diving experience.

The Physiology of Breath-hold Diving

Understanding the physiological changes that occur during breath-hold diving can help you optimize your performance and stay safe underwater. When you hold your breath, several changes take place in your body:

  1. Decreased Heart Rate: Your heart rate slows down to conserve oxygen and redirect blood flow to vital organs.

  2. Reduced Blood Flow: Blood flow is diverted away from non-essential tissues, such as muscles, toward essential organs like the brain and heart.

  3. Oxygen Conservation: To conserve oxygen, less oxygen is delivered to non-essential tissues, reducing their metabolic activity.

By understanding these changes, you can improve your breath-holding abilities and make the most of your time underwater.

Increasing Breath-holding Time

Increasing your breath-holding time requires practice, relaxation, and proper technique. Here are a few tips to extend your breath-holding capabilities:

  1. Relaxation Techniques: Practice meditation, breath control exercises, and visualization to calm your mind and body before each breath-hold dive.

  2. Progressive Breath-holds: Gradually increase the duration of your breath-holds during practice sessions. Start with short durations and gradually extend the time as your comfort level improves.

  3. Dry Breath-holds Exercises: Engage in dry breath-hold exercises outside the water to improve your lung capacity and breath-holding stamina.

Remember to always listen to your body, never push your limits, and surface when you feel the urge to breathe. Safety should always be your top priority while engaging in breath-hold diving.

Breathing and Relaxation Exercises

Proper breathing and relaxation techniques are crucial for breath-hold diving. Here are a few exercises you can practice to improve your breathing efficiency and relaxation skills:

  1. Diaphragmatic Breathing: Practice deep breathing by expanding your diaphragm to fill your lungs fully. Breathe in deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.

  2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Start from your toes and work your way up to your head, consciously tensing and relaxing each muscle group. This technique promotes overall relaxation and can help you stay calm during breath-hold dives.

  3. Visualization: Imagine yourself diving effortlessly, surrounded by the beauty of the underwater world. Visualize a calm and peaceful environment, helping to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

Incorporating these exercises into your training routine will enhance your breath-holding abilities and improve your overall diving experience.

Understanding the Risks of Breath-hold Diving

While breath-hold diving can be an exhilarating experience, it is not without risks. Understanding these risks and taking appropriate safety precautions is vital for your well-being. Here are some potential hazards associated with breath-hold diving:

Hypoxia and Hyperventilation

Hypoxia occurs when the body is deprived of sufficient oxygen. Hyperventilation, or excessive breathing before a breath-hold dive, can result in hypocapnia, a decrease in carbon dioxide levels. This can trick the body into thinking it has more oxygen than it actually does, leading to an increased risk of blackout.

To prevent hypoxia and hyperventilation-induced blackout, practice proper breathing techniques, avoid excessive breath-holding, and ensure you have a safety partner nearby.

Shallow Water Blackout

Shallow water blackout is a sudden loss of consciousness due to a lack of oxygen during a breath-hold dive. It can occur when breath-holding limits are pushed too far or when surfacing and inhaling are delayed. Shallow water blackout can be extremely dangerous and even fatal.

To reduce the risk of shallow water blackout, never dive alone, know your limits, surface at the first urge to breathe, and have a safety partner who can monitor your dives.

Safety Precautions for Breath-hold Diving

To ensure your safety while breath-hold diving, follow these essential safety precautions:

  1. Never dive alone: Always have a safety partner who is aware of your diving plans and can assist in case of an emergency.

  2. Know your limits: Understand your personal breath-holding capabilities and never push yourself beyond your comfort level.

  3. Observe proper recovery time: Allow sufficient time for recovery and reoxygenation between dives to prevent hypoxia and minimize the risk of blackout.

  4. Stay hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for maintaining healthy lungs and reducing the risk of shallow water blackout. Drink plenty of fluids before and after diving.

  5. Avoid prolonged breath-holds: Long breath-holding sessions can increase the risk of oxygen deprivation and shallow water blackout. Keep your breath-holds within safe limits.

By adhering to these safety precautions and being mindful of your body’s signals, you can enjoy breath-hold diving while minimizing the associated risks.

Advanced Techniques for Deep Snorkeling

For those who wish to explore greater depths while snorkeling, advanced techniques can be employed to extend your diving range. These techniques require training, practice, and familiarity with the risks involved.

Free Diving Techniques for Snorkeling

Free diving techniques can be incorporated into your snorkeling sessions to dive to greater depths. These techniques focus on optimizing breath-holding abilities, equalizing ear pressure, and minimizing energy expenditure. Some advanced free diving techniques include:

  1. Constant Weight Snorkeling: This technique involves diving to a predetermined depth while relying solely on your snorkel and fins.

  2. Dynamic Snorkeling: Dynamic snorkeling refers to swimming horizontally or vertically underwater while utilizing snorkeling gear.

  3. Variable Weight Snorkeling: Variable weight snorkeling involves using additional weights to assist in descending and ascending.

By learning these techniques and practicing them under professional supervision, you can safely explore deeper waters and experience the thrill of extended snorkeling sessions.

Training and Conditioning for Deep Snorkeling

To improve your deep snorkeling abilities, regular training and conditioning are essential. Here are a few strategies to enhance your performance:

  1. Cardiovascular Exercise: Engage in regular cardiovascular training, such as swimming or running, to improve your stamina and lung capacity.

  2. Strength Training: Strengthen your core, legs, and arms to enhance swimming power and efficiency.

  3. Apnea Training: Practice specific breath-holding exercises and train yourself to become more comfortable with extended breath-holding durations.

Working with a professional instructor or joining a free diving club can provide additional guidance and structured training programs to help you progress in deep snorkeling.

Breathing and Relaxation Techniques for Deep Snorkeling

Proper breathing and relaxation techniques are crucial for successful deep snorkeling. Here are additional exercises you can incorporate into your training routine:

  1. CO₂ Tolerance Training: Gradually increase your tolerance to elevated carbon dioxide levels by practicing breath-holding exercises with controlled breath-to-breath intervals.

  2. Mental Visualization: Visualize yourself diving effortlessly to greater depths, embracing the challenges, and enjoying the beauty of the underwater world.

  3. Cold Water Adaptation: Cold water can induce the mammalian dive reflex, allowing for extended breath-holds. Gradually expose yourself to colder water temperatures to enhance your adaptation.

By incorporating these techniques into your training regimen, you can improve your deep snorkeling abilities and make the most of your underwater explorations.

The Role of Technology in Snorkeling

Technological advancements have revolutionized the world of snorkeling, introducing innovative devices to enhance safety, comfort, and overall experience. Let’s explore some of the latest snorkeling devices and their pros and cons.

Introduction to Snorkeling Devices

Snorkeling devices are designed to improve breathing efficiency and extend the duration of your snorkeling sessions underwater. Here are a few popular snorkeling devices:

  1. Full-face Snorkel Mask: This device covers the entire face and incorporates a built-in snorkel, allowing for easy breathing and a wider field of vision.

  2. Snorkel Vest: A snorkel vest is an inflatable vest worn around the waist or neck, providing buoyancy and assistance in staying afloat while conserving energy.

  3. Underwater Scooters: Underwater scooters, also known as sea scooters, are handheld devices that propel you through the water, minimizing the effort required for swimming.

These devices aim to enhance your comfort, reduce fatigue, and increase your overall enjoyment while snorkeling. However, it’s important to recognize the limitations and potential risks associated with them.

The Nomad by Dive Blu3 – Breathing Underwater without a Tank

The Nomad by Dive Blu3 is an innovative device that allows for underwater breathing without the use of a tank. The Nomad pressurizes air from the surface and sends it down a tube, enabling breath-hold divers to explore greater depths while continuously receiving a supply of breathable air.

Pros of the Nomad include:

  1. Extended Dive Times: With the Nomad, breath-hold divers can stay submerged for longer periods, significantly extending their underwater exploration time.

  2. Increased Safety: The Nomad provides a continuous supply of air, minimizing the risk of oxygen deprivation and shallow water blackout.

  3. Ease of Use: The device is user-friendly and requires minimal training, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced breath-hold divers.

Cons of the Nomad include:

  1. Cost: The Nomad, being a specialized piece of equipment, is relatively expensive compared to traditional snorkeling gear.

  2. Limited Availability: Availability of the Nomad might vary in different regions, and it may not be accessible to all snorkelers.

When using any snorkeling device, including the Nomad, it’s important to follow safety guidelines, practice responsible diving, and be aware of the potential risks associated with breath-hold diving.

Pros and Cons of Snorkeling Devices

While snorkeling devices offer various advantages, it’s essential to consider their pros and cons before incorporating them into your snorkeling routine. Here are some general pros and cons of snorkeling devices:

Pros of snorkeling devices:

  1. Enhanced Safety: Snorkeling devices, such as full-face masks and vests, can provide added safety and support for beginners or those who may feel less confident in the water.

  2. Extended Breath-holding Time: Some snorkeling devices allow for easier breathing, reducing the effort required and extending the duration of breath-hold dives.

  3. Comfort and Ease of Use: Snorkeling devices can enhance comfort and eliminate the need for separate components, making them convenient and user-friendly.

Cons of snorkeling devices:

  1. Cost: Snorkeling devices can be more expensive compared to traditional snorkeling gear, which may deter some individuals from investing in them.

  2. Reduced Sensory Experience: Some snorkeling devices, particularly full-face masks, may limit the sensation of water on the face and decrease the sensory connection with the underwater environment.

  3. Dependency on Equipment: Reliance on snorkeling devices can reduce the opportunity for developing natural breath-holding and swimming abilities, limiting the overall snorkeling experience.

It’s important to carefully assess your personal preferences, goals, and comfort level when deciding whether to utilize snorkeling devices. Consider trying them out before making a purchase to ensure they meet your specific needs.

Exploring the Depths with Snorkeling Devices

Snorkeling devices can open up new possibilities for exploring greater depths underwater. However, it’s crucial to understand their limitations, safety considerations, and best practices when using them.

Depth Limitations of Snorkeling Devices

While snorkeling devices like full-face masks and the Nomad can allow for deeper dives compared to traditional snorkeling, they still have depth limitations. These devices are generally recommended for depths up to 40 feet or as specified by the manufacturer. Going beyond the recommended depth may compromise safety and increase the risk of accidents.

Therefore, it’s vital to adhere to the recommended depth limits of snorkeling devices and never exceed your personal comfort level or training.

Safety Considerations for Using Snorkeling Devices

Just like any snorkeling or diving activity, using snorkeling devices requires adherence to safety guidelines. Here are some safety considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Proper Fit and Adjustment: Ensure your snorkeling device, whether it’s a full-face mask or the Nomad, fits securely and comfortable. Adjust straps and seals as needed to maintain a watertight seal and prevent leaks.

  2. Regular Maintenance: Check your snorkeling device for any signs of wear or damage before each use. Ensure it is clean, functioning properly, and free from any obstructions that may impede breathing.

  3. Dive Buddy System: Whenever using snorkeling devices or engaging in breath-hold diving, always dive with a buddy. Having a safety partner who can monitor your dives, provide assistance if needed, and act as an emergency responder is essential.

  4. Follow Manufacturer Guidelines: Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s instructions, guidelines, and restrictions specific to your snorkeling device. Adhering to these guidelines helps ensure optimal performance and safety.

By prioritizing safety and following recommendations, snorkeling devices can provide a safe and enjoyable experience.

Best Practices for Snorkeling with Devices

To make the most of your snorkeling experience with devices, here are some best practices to consider:

  1. Practice with the Device: Familiarize yourself with the operation, functionality, and fit of the snorkeling device before your actual snorkeling session. This practice will help you feel more comfortable and confident underwater.

  2. Gradual Depth Progression: As with any new equipment or technique, gradually increase your depth over time to become acquainted with the device’s performance and your own comfort level.

  3. Check and Replace Consumables: If your device has replaceable parts or consumables, such as filters or seals, regularly inspect and replace them as needed to ensure proper functioning and prevent leaks.

  4. Maintain Awareness: Always stay aware of your surroundings, other snorkelers or divers, currents, and potential underwater hazards. Maintaining situational awareness helps prevent accidents and ensures an enjoyable experience for all.

Remember, responsible snorkeling involves being mindful of your own safety, respecting the marine environment, and enjoying the incredible beauty beneath the surface.


Snorkeling and breath-hold diving offer unique opportunities to explore the underwater world and connect with nature. By understanding the basics, limitations, techniques, and gear involved, you can make the most of your snorkeling experiences. From choosing the right snorkel gear to mastering breathing techniques and safety precautions, being well-informed and prepared is key.

As technology advances, snorkeling devices are providing innovative solutions to enhance safety, comfort, and overall enjoyment. While these devices can extend your diving range, it’s important to recognize their limitations and always prioritize safety.

With the right knowledge, training, and equipment, you can embark on incredible underwater adventures, witness the wonders of marine life, and create lasting memories. So, get ready to dip beneath the waves, embrace the tranquility of the underwater world, and embark on your next snorkeling or breath-hold diving adventure!