This is a common recreational activity, especially at tropical resorts and scuba diving places. The main appeal is the ability to observe the underwater life naturally, without needing complicated training or equipment that is required of scuba divers. It is appealing to people of all ages because it requires very little effort and work.
Scuba divers also do snorkeling while they are on the surface, and by search and rescue teams doing water-based searches. This activity is also employed for sports that are played underwater, such as rugby, spearfishing and hockey. It is believed that this has been around for many years, as Aristotle mentioned it in his work.
There is not a lot of equipment that is required to do this. However, one of the most important things needed is a snorkel. These devices are tubes that are generally 30 centimeters long and feature an inner diameter between 1.5 centimeters and 2.5 centimeters Typically they are shaped like an L or J and have a mouthpiece, which may be made from rubber or plastic, that is attached at the lower half.
The snorkel is used because it allows wearers to breath even when their mouth or nose are underwater. Usually these have a rubber piece that allow for attachment to a diving mask. Approximately 40 centimeters, or 16 inches, is the optimum length for these items. Long tubes do not necessarily make it easier to breath in deep waters, as the lungs will still struggle to work in deep waters.
Dive masks are another essential, which are the same as masks worn by scuba divers. They allow the wearer to see clearly underwater, and differ in shape, style and size. Most are made from silicone or rubber material. Fins can be added to the feet to aid in swimming, but are not required. Wet suits work in the same way.
Many places that sell these things have staff who are trained and able to help people get what is best for them. Facilities that provide snorkeling sessions or classes usually provide this gear as rentals. Before doing the activity, people will be given information on safety and show how their equipment is to be used. In general, this is not an activity suggested for those who do not know how to swim, unless it is done in shallow waters.
The best snorkel gear is that which fits and is used correctly. Not much equipment or training is necessary for this activity, and the essentials are diving masks and snorkel. Wetsuits and fins are optional pieces of gear that may be employed for comfort or convenience purposes.