In the video “How to Snorkel – Snorkeling for Beginners” by Joe Oceanside, you’ll find a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about snorkeling. Joe covers all the basics, from selecting the right gear like masks, snorkels, and fins, to providing valuable tips on techniques and safety aspects of snorkeling. He also discusses the difference between full-face snorkel masks and traditional masks and even includes links to his videos on full-face snorkel mask reviews and how to use them safely. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to enhance your snorkeling skills, this video is a must-watch.

Joe emphasizes the importance of selecting the right snorkel mask, fins, and snorkel for a comfortable and enjoyable snorkeling experience. He highlights the significance of skin protection while snorkeling and provides step-by-step instructions on prepping your gear and entering the water. Joe also shares valuable guidance on breathing underwater, swimming with fins, and clearing water out of the mask and snorkel. Safety tips, such as going with a buddy and being aware of surroundings, are also covered. To learn all this and more, don’t forget to subscribe to Joe Oceanside’s channel for more amazing snorkeling videos!

Selecting Snorkeling Gear

Choosing the Right Snorkel Mask

When it comes to snorkeling, selecting the right snorkel mask is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. The most important factor to consider is the fit and comfort of the mask. You want a mask that forms a good seal around your face, ensuring that no water enters and allowing you to breathe easily. Look for a mask that makes good contact with your forehead, cheeks, and under your nose, providing a secure and comfortable fit.

Additionally, it is recommended to invest in an anti-fog solution for your mask. This solution prevents the mask from fogging up, allowing for clear vision underwater. You can purchase anti-fog solutions online or at a snorkel or dive shop. Alternatively, many snorkelers find that using toothpaste as an anti-fog solution works just as effectively.

Selecting the Best Fins

A good set of fins is essential for efficient movement in the water while snorkeling. When selecting fins, opt for a basic snorkeling fin with a medium-length blade and a close-heeled foot pocket. This design allows for optimal propulsion and maneuverability underwater.

It is important to choose the right size for your foot to ensure a secure fit. Snorkeling fins come in different shoe sizes, similar to regular shoes. Ensure that your foot fits snugly inside the foot pocket and that the fins will not slip off during use.

Picking the Right Snorkel

The snorkel is another crucial piece of gear for snorkeling. There are different types of snorkels available, ranging from basic options to more advanced models. For beginners, it is recommended to start with a snorkel that has a drain valve at the bottom.

A snorkel with a drain valve allows you to easily remove any water that enters the tube. Simply raise your head above the water, and the water will naturally drain out of the bottom of the snorkel. This type of snorkel is lightweight, easy to use, and perfect for traveling.

Another option for beginners is a fully dry snorkel. This type of snorkel has a valve at the top that automatically shuts off when submerged, preventing water from entering the tube. It also includes a drain valve at the bottom. A fully dry snorkel provides added peace of mind by minimizing the risk of water entering the snorkel.

Importance of Skin Protection

Snorkeling often involves spending long periods of time under the sun. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize skin protection to avoid sunburn and long-term damage. Here are some essential tips for protecting your skin while snorkeling:

Wearing Sunscreen

Applying sunscreen before going snorkeling is a must. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF (sun protection factor) to ensure maximum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply it generously all over your body, paying special attention to areas not covered by your swimwear or rash guard. Reapply regularly, especially after spending extended periods of time in the water.

Covering Up with Rash Guards

Wearing a rash guard provides an extra layer of sun protection for your skin. They are designed to be lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying, making them perfect for snorkeling. Rash guards cover your arms, torso, and neck, shielding them from direct sunlight. Look for rash guards with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating for added sun protection.

Protecting Your Head and Hair

Don’t forget to protect your head and hair while snorkeling under the sun. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat or a cap with a neck flap provides additional shade for your face and neck. It is also essential to protect your hair from the sun’s harmful rays. Consider wearing a swim cap or applying leave-in conditioner with UV protection to prevent damage and dryness.

Prepping Gear and Entering the Water

Before entering the water, it is essential to clean and assemble your snorkel gear properly. Follow these steps for prepping your gear and ensuring a smooth transition into the water:

Cleaning and Assembling Snorkel Gear

Start by cleaning your mask, snorkel, and fins with fresh water to remove any sand, salt, or debris. Rinse them thoroughly to ensure they are free from any particles that may hinder their performance. Once clean, assemble the snorkel to your mask by clipping it on securely. Ensure that the snorkel is positioned approximately halfway down the mask strap, with the mouthpiece located where your mouth will rest.

Putting on the Snorkel Mask

To put on your snorkel mask, hold it with both hands and place the mask on your forehead. Lower the mask gently onto your face, ensuring that the skirt forms a tight seal all around. Avoid trapping any hair within the seal as this can disrupt the fit and create leaks. Adjust the strap to the tightest but still comfortable setting, positioning it on the peak of your head for a secure hold.

Getting into the Water

When entering the water, it is best to walk backward to make it easier to navigate with fins. Stand in waist-deep water and slowly lower your body into the water, ensuring you maintain a firm grip on your snorkel gear. Take a moment to get comfortable with the water, submerging your face and adjusting to breathing through the snorkel. Once you feel at ease, start exploring the underwater world at your own pace.

Breathing Underwater and Swimming with Fins

Breathing underwater and swimming with fins might seem challenging at first, but with practice, it becomes second nature. To help you navigate these techniques, here are some tips:

Breathing Techniques

To snorkel effectively, it is important to master your breathing technique. Breathe slowly and deeply through the snorkel tube, ensuring that your mouth and lips create a tight seal around the mouthpiece. Take slow, controlled breaths, and exhale fully to clear the snorkel of any water droplets that may enter.

Mastering the Flutter Kick

The flutter kick is the most efficient way to swim with fins while snorkeling. To master this technique, keep your legs straight and your ankles relaxed. Initiate the kick from your hips, with a small downward thrust of your legs and feet, followed by a gentle upward snap. Practice this motion until you find a comfortable rhythm and can propel yourself smoothly through the water.

Maintaining Proper Body Position

To maintain the correct body position while snorkeling, keep your head down and your feet close to the water’s surface. Look downward to maximize your visibility underwater and minimize strain on your neck. By keeping your body straight and streamlined, you can glide effortlessly through the water and conserve energy during your snorkeling adventure.

Clearing Water from the Mask and Snorkel

It is common to encounter water in your mask or snorkel while snorkeling. Knowing how to clear them effectively will greatly enhance your experience. Here’s how to handle water in both your mask and snorkel:

How to Snorkel - Snorkeling for Beginners

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Clearing Water from the Mask

To clear water from your mask, follow these steps:

  1. Tilt your head backward slightly, allowing the water to collect at the bottom of the mask.
  2. Place your fingers on the upper part of the mask’s skirt, ensuring a firm grip.
  3. With a swift motion, lift the lower part of the mask away from your face, allowing the water to drain out through the bottom.
  4. While bringing the mask back to its original position, exhale sharply through your nose to clear any remaining water droplets.

By practicing this technique, you can quickly and effectively remove water from your mask, allowing for clear vision and an uninterrupted snorkeling experience.

Clearing Water from the Snorkel

To clear water from your snorkel, use the following method:

  1. Lift your head above the water, ensuring the top of the snorkel tube is exposed to the air.
  2. Blow forcefully and steadily into the snorkel to clear any water from the tube.
  3. Take a deep breath in through the mouthpiece to ensure proper airflow.

Remember to blow forcefully but steadily to avoid dislodging the purge valve at the bottom of the snorkel. This technique will eliminate any water that may have entered the snorkel, allowing for effortless breathing and preventing water from entering your lungs.

Tips for Preventing Water Entry

While knowing how to clear water from your mask and snorkel is crucial, taking preventative measures can minimize the likelihood of water entering in the first place. Here are a few tips to prevent water entry:

  1. Ensure a proper seal: Start by selecting a mask that fits snugly and forms a tight seal around your face. Avoid trapping hair within the seal, as this can create leaks. Additionally, when attaching the snorkel to the mask, ensure a secure connection to prevent water from entering.

  2. Properly position the snorkel: Make sure that the snorkel is positioned correctly on your mask strap. Having it placed too high or too low can affect its performance and result in water entering the snorkel.

  3. Control your breathing: Take slow, controlled breaths through the snorkel, avoiding sudden or forceful inhalations that can draw water into the snorkel tube.

By following these tips, you can minimize the risk of water entering your mask and snorkel, enhancing your snorkeling experience.

Safety Tips for Snorkeling

As with any water activity, safety should always be a priority while snorkeling. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind:

Always Snorkel with a Buddy

Snorkeling with a buddy is not only more enjoyable but also significantly safer. Having someone with you ensures that there is immediate assistance available in case of an emergency. It also allows for shared experiences and the opportunity to explore underwater together. Remember to stay within sight of your buddy at all times and communicate regularly.

Be Aware of Surroundings

While snorkeling, it is crucial to be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for boats, jet skis, or other watercraft that may be present in the area. Stay clear of swim zones marked by buoys or signage, as these areas may have strong currents or potential hazards. Also, be cautious of coral reefs and other marine life, avoiding contact to protect both the environment and yourself.

Understanding Ocean Conditions

Before heading out snorkeling, it is essential to understand the ocean conditions for the day. Check the weather forecast, paying attention to wind and wave conditions. Strong winds and rough seas can make snorkeling more challenging and increase the risk of accidents. Additionally, be aware of tides and currents, as they can impact your ability to navigate in the water. If in doubt, consult local authorities or experienced snorkelers for advice.

By following these safety tips, you can enjoy a safe and unforgettable snorkeling experience.

Diving Techniques for Snorkelers

Diving underwater allows snorkelers to explore marine life more closely and discover hidden wonders beneath the surface. Here are some diving techniques to enhance your snorkeling adventure:

Equalizing Pressure

When diving underwater, it is important to equalize the pressure in your ears to avoid discomfort or potential ear injuries. To equalize, pinch your nose with your fingers and gently blow through your nose while keeping your mouth closed. This technique helps to open the Eustachian tubes and equalize the pressure between your ears and the surrounding water.

Mastering the Duck Dive

The duck dive is a technique used by snorkelers to submerge themselves more efficiently. To perform a duck dive, follow these steps:

  1. Take a deep breath and position your body horizontally on the surface of the water.
  2. Bend at the waist and tuck your head downward, aiming for the desired depth.
  3. Extend your arms in front of you and press down with your hands, using them to guide your dive.
  4. Kick your legs gently to help propel yourself downward.
  5. Once submerged, release your breath steadily through your nose while maintaining a relaxed position.

Mastering the duck dive allows you to explore underwater environments more closely and observe marine life from a whole new perspective.

Practicing Controlled Descents

Controlled descents are useful when exploring deeper areas while snorkeling. To perform a controlled descent:

  1. Start by taking a deep breath and positioning your body horizontally on the surface of the water.
  2. Slowly exhale through your snorkel while bending at the waist and tucking your head downward.
  3. Maintain a relaxed and controlled pace as you descend, equalizing your ears as needed.
  4. Maintain awareness of your depth and time underwater to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
  5. When you are ready to resurface, gently kick your legs and use your arms to push off the bottom if necessary, ascending at a controlled pace.

Practicing controlled descents allows you to explore different depths and discover the mesmerizing underwater world while snorkeling.

Subscribe for More Snorkeling Videos

If you want to learn more about snorkeling and continue improving your skills, consider subscribing to Joe Oceanside’s YouTube channel. Subscribing offers several benefits:

Benefits of Subscribing

By subscribing to Joe Oceanside’s channel, you gain access to a wealth of snorkeling tips, techniques, and gear recommendations. You can stay updated on the latest snorkeling videos, ensuring that you don’t miss any valuable information or exciting new content.

Getting Updates on New Videos

Subscribing to Joe Oceanside’s channel allows you to receive notifications whenever new snorkeling videos are uploaded. This ensures that you are among the first to discover and learn from the latest snorkeling content.

Exploring Additional Snorkeling Tips

Joe Oceanside’s channel provides a variety of snorkeling-related content beyond the tips covered in this video. By subscribing, you can explore additional snorkeling tips and tricks to enhance your snorkeling experience further.

Difference Between Full Face Snorkel Masks and Old Style Masks

There are different types of snorkel masks available, including two popular options: full face snorkel masks and old-style masks. Understanding the differences between these two options can help you make an informed decision when selecting a mask for your snorkeling adventures.

Overview of Full Face Snorkel Masks

Full face snorkel masks cover the entire face, providing a panoramic view of the underwater world. These masks have a built-in snorkel tube that extends from the top, allowing for easy breathing without a separate snorkel. Full face masks also feature a dry top system that prevents water from entering the mask through the snorkel tube.

Pros and Cons of Full Face Masks

Full face snorkel masks offer several benefits, including increased visibility, ease of breathing, and a secure fit. The panoramic view provided by these masks allows for a more immersive snorkeling experience, as you can see more of your surroundings. Additionally, the dry top system prevents water from entering the mask, reducing the need for clearing water while snorkeling.

However, there are also some considerations to keep in mind when using full face masks. Some users report that the larger profile of these masks can cause a feeling of claustrophobia or discomfort for those not accustomed to wearing them. In addition, it is essential to ensure a proper fit and proper sizing to prevent leaks and fogging. It is also important to note that full face masks are not recommended for freediving or extended periods of time underwater.

Advantages of Old Style Masks

Old-style masks, also known as scuba-style masks, have been the traditional choice for snorkeling for many years. These masks consist of a separate mask and snorkel, allowing for more customization and versatility. The separate design allows you to choose a mask that fits your face shape and preferences, while the snorkel can be easily detached or replaced.

Old-style masks offer a wide range of options, with various types of masks and snorkels available to suit different needs and preferences. This flexibility allows for a more personalized and tailored snorkeling experience. Additionally, the smaller profile of old-style masks may be preferable for those who prefer a more minimalist and lightweight option.


Snorkeling is an incredible way to explore the underwater world and connect with marine life. By selecting the right snorkeling gear, prioritizing skin protection, mastering essential techniques, and following safety guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable snorkeling experience.

Remember to choose a snorkel mask that provides a comfortable fit and clear vision, select fins that offer optimal propulsion, and pick a snorkel that suits your needs and preferences. Prioritize skin protection by wearing sunscreen, covering up with a rash guard, and protecting your head and hair.

Prepare your gear properly by cleaning and assembling it before entering the water. Put on your snorkel mask correctly, ensuring a secure seal, and get comfortable with breathing underwater. Practice breathing techniques, master the flutter kick, and maintain proper body position while swimming with fins.

Learn to clear water from your mask and snorkel efficiently and follow safety guidelines by snorkeling with a buddy, being aware of your surroundings, and understanding ocean conditions. Consider incorporating diving techniques such as equalizing pressure, mastering the duck dive, and practicing controlled descents.

If you’re looking for more snorkeling tips and guidance, consider subscribing to Joe Oceanside’s YouTube channel. And finally, understand the differences between full-face snorkel masks and old-style masks to choose the one that suits your preferences and needs.

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of snorkeling from start to finish, it’s time to dive in and start enjoying the wonders of the underwater world. Happy snorkeling!