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Why Do You Need a Snorkel When Scuba Diving?

Why Do You Need a Snorkel When Scuba Diving?

May 29,2023

Many divers question whether scuba diving really requires a snorkel, and the topic remains a matter of debate. Although considered unnecessary by technical divers, they are generally recommended for recreational divers when taking entry-level scuba certification courses.

In fact, there is no straightforward answer to this question when it comes to commercial diving. Some experienced divers argue that they never wear snorkels because they have never encountered a situation that required them. Others stick to this rule and keep the snorkel tucked in their BCD pocket at all times.

To help you decide if a snorkel is right for you, we've listed some of the pros and cons of using a snorkel while diving.

Pros and Cons of Snorkel Diving


- Shore divers are usually advised to wear a snorkel if they have to swim a significant distance to reach the dive site. By using a snorkel, they can save air in the tank and enjoy a more comfortable swim.

- Attaching the snorkel to your mask allows you to save energy while waiting for the dive boat to pick you up. This is especially important if conditions are rough and you're exhausted. By breathing through the snorkel, you will avoid swallowing large amounts of water and emptying your diving tank.

- The snorkel helps you assess diving conditions from the surface. If you're on a dive boat, you can go into the water first with a mask and snorkel to assess current and visibility.

- The snorkel comes in handy when you're lugging a diver and need to breathe properly to the surface.

- In short, a snorkel is an essential safety tool that comes in handy in a variety of situations, not just surface swimming.


- A snorkel is obviously a great way to surface swim without running out of air in your dive tank. Once underwater, however, they become clumsy. When there is a high flow of water, the snorkel may pull or drag on the mask straps, causing water to enter the mask. It can also cause discomfort if the dangling snorkel keeps hitting your head or the dive equipment. Thankfully, the discomfort can be reduced if the snorkel is worn closer to the head or has a streamlined design.

- The snorkel tends to get caught in the diver's hair. To prevent this from happening, consider wearing a swimming cap or similar head covering.

- The snorkel creates extra resistance, especially when the water is strong or you're just entering the water. The snorkel can also easily fall off if not secured properly.

- In addition to long, flowing hair, snorkels are prone to becoming tangled in other things, including current cords, drop cords, and reel cords. To avoid danger, divers are advised not to wear snorkels when exploring underwater caves and shipwrecks. On the other hand, experienced divers who have worn snorkels the longest know how to avoid entanglement problems during their dives.

Choosing the Right Snorkel for Scuba Diving

There are different types of snorkels to choose from, including classic snorkels, dry snorkels, and semi-dry snorkels.

Classic snorkels are popular with experienced freedivers and spearfishers because they are small and not easy to drag. This snorkel is also suitable for snorkeling and scuba diving. Dry snorkels, on the other hand, have mechanisms that prevent water from rushing in when a person dives underwater. The mechanism is usually a flotation device that moves up to close off the air passage.

Meanwhile, the semi-dry snorkel has a splash guard at the top of the tube to prevent water splashes from easily entering the tube. This type of snorkel is best for divers who want to conserve air in their tanks while surface swimming without having to deal with the bulkiness of a dry snorkel.

To avoid many of the problems that come with using a snorkel, consider using a collapsible or collapsible snorkel. Choose one that can be folded and stored in your BC pocket or attached to your buoyancy compensator during dives and then attached to the mask strap when surface swimming.

The above introduces the reasons why you need a snorkel when scuba diving. If you want to know more or want to buy a diving snorkel, please contact us.

Shengbailong is a professional custom swimming and diving equipment manufacturer, integrating R&D, manufacturing, and after-sales service, specializing in the production of swimming goggles, silicone swimming caps, diving masks, snorkels, etc. Our factory is located in Dongguan City, covering an area of 12000 square meters. From new product development and anti-fog mirror lens process to finished product, all procedures are done in-house.