Snorkeling at it’s most basic premise is a simple sport. As long as you have the weather and the location, then the only equipment you need is a snorkel and mask.
Fins are great, but you can snorkel without them in many places, or if you don’t like them.
Personally, I’d always wear fins given the chance but everyone to their own.
The mask and the snorkel have to work in tandem. They are the two quintessential pieces of kit. A mask that fits comfortably and a snorkel with a purge valve and splash guard are all you need to make the most of the clear blue water in front of you.
The often unmentioned item you also need is a snorkel keeper, so if you’re unaware, what is a snorkel keeper?
A snorkel keeper is a device that attaches the snorkel to the mask and holds it firmly in place. They can be plastic clips or silicon figure of eight styled but the idea will be to hold the snorkel more vertically when the head is in the water.
They are inexpensive items that are often only a few dollars delivered, but they’re essential to snorkeling. Without them, that snorkel is mightly annoying to hold upright.
Different Styles Of Snorkel Keepers
In general, there are 2 types of snorkel keeper.
The first type is some sort of clip and attach mechanism. There’s a clip to go around the snorkel tube, and an attachment for the mask strap to slip through. Sometimes they are one piece devices where the mask slide is hinged.
Other times they are two-piece with the ability to clip each piece together.
The second type is normally made of silicone, but you can get them made from neoprene. The normal ones are a stretchy bit of silicone with ringed ends. The ringed end slips over the top of the snorkel, around the mask strap and then the second silicone ring goes over the snorkel top again.
Both are very simple to use and take a moment to set up.
Why The Cheap Snorkel Keepers Are The Best
Whilst the figure of eight snorkel keepers made from silicone they can have some great benefits despite being the simplest option.
There’s no need to overcomplicate matters. Having a couple of these in your snorkeling kit is a wise idea, in case you lose a clip in any event.
What tends to happen is that beginner snorkelers have the clip too near the front of the mask and the clip too low down on the snorkel tube.
As a result, when you are face down in the water, the snorkel tube top, which draws in the air is pointed far too far forward.
This leads to more water down the tube when breathing, and splashing along with waves has a greater impact.
On mask straps, you often get a larger back portion to be on the back of your head which prevents plastic clips from being used too far back.
As everyone is different, a silicone snorkel keeper like the figure of eight type can be used further back, and higher up the snorkel tube.
This will point the tube more straight up and make for easier snorkeling. Underwater, the snorkel is less obtrusive as well and becomes much more manageable.
Final Thoughts – Parting Waves
A snorkel keeper, whichever style you prefer is an invaluable piece of kit. You can’t realistically snorkel without one.
A snorkel keeper will keep your snorkel attached to the mask strap so that you can breathe comfortable while face down in the water.
Position correctly it will poke more straight up, rather than forward, and the silicone styled snorkel keeper are easier to set up, move, and perfect than any of the other styles.