A snorkel for freediving is a simple but essential piece of your equipment. This unit of our freediving gear guide will explain you what type of freedive snorkel you need to buy, what to look for and what to avoid if it comes to different models.
How to choose a snorkel for freediving – 5 points guide
A good snorkel for freediving (and also for spearfishing) is a simple „J type” without any extras like dry-top and purge valve system. Freedive snorkels rarely come in set with masks; you need to take a little time to choose a freedive mask and snorkel separately. When choosing a snorkel for freediving, these are the 5 most important features you need to check out:
Saying that the best snorkel for freediving is often the simplest one does not mean it is just a rigid tube. The flexibility of the material is really important. If it is too hard, it will wobble while descending/ascending causing discomfort, or even pain by hitting your head/ears. If it is too soft, and you fix it under your mask strap as many freedivers do, it can get compressed, and restricts the air flow.
Your snorkel has to be flexible enough to bend in the water and against objects, but also rigid to spring back into its original position. A top quality snorkel for freediving made from silicone or special polymers, has medium stiffness and excellent shape memory.
Freedivers spend longer time in the water than scuba divers, therefore comfort is very important. Scuba and snorkeling snorkels use to have bigger mouthpieces, but a freedive snorkel needs a smaller, soft silicone mouthpiece with comfortable angle and a correct distance from the tube.
For the most effective breathing, your snorkel needs to come with an ideal tube diameter. If it is too small, you won’t get enough air. If it is too big, it is difficult to clear the snorkel. Experienced manufacturers design their freedive snorkels with slightly big, but comfortable and effective tube diameter.
Dry-top systems are very useful for snorkelers but make the snorkel heavier and restrict air-flow. For freediving, you need a lightweight snorkel that allows you to breathe-up on the most effective way. Generally, there is no need for dry-tops. However, some freedivers still use snorkels with wave protection if they expect big waves.
Freedive snorkels basically come without purging system. It would just create drag and extra weight. If you can’t give up the comfort of having it, some are still equipped with purge valve.
The best freedive snorkels
Find here the most recommended snorkels for freediving and spearfishing:
Cressi Corsica is one of the best snorkels for freediving, spearfishing and also for scuba diving. It is available in several solid as well as camouflage colors. The large diameter tube allows easy breathing, while the slightly bended design makes the clearing easy. Cressi Corsica is bendable and ultra-flexible for a comfortable positioning, and can be fully folded. Made from high-grade hypoallergenic silicone for maximum comfort.
- light and comfortable J snorkel
- ideal for freediving, scuba and spearfishing too
- large diameter tube for easy breathing
- ultra flexible design
SEAC Jet is a simple yet reliable, easy-to-use freedive snorkel that is available in classic black, brown, green and also camouflage versions too so freedivers and spearfishermen can find the perfect match. The durable PVC tube is flexible enough to bend when needed, but thanks to its shape memory feature it quickly returns back to its original form. A soft ergonomic silicone mouthpiece ensures a comfortable fit.
- contoured J-shape snorkel
- excellent shape memory
- comfortable silicone mouthpiece
- in solid and camouflage colors
Mares Pure Instinct
The most suitable J-type snorkel that is perfect for extended use. Mares Pure Instinct is an easy to clear, comfortable model that was designed with collaborating an Italian orthodontic laboratory. The bi-material construction provides optimal flexibility, while the hydrodynamic design minimizes vibration when descending/ascending. A low-profile snorkel keeper ensures comfortable wearing on the surface and underwater too.
- flexible, hydrodynamic design
- hypoallergenic silicone mouthpiece
- developed with collaborating an Italian orthodontic lab
- perfect for long-term use
Proper use of a snorkel for freediving
Using a snorkel on the surface is easy, but out of freedivers’ perspective, some things are working on a different way if it comes to the proper use of a snorkel. This section is intended to explain why is it important to remove your snorkel from the mouth when you finished with the breathe-up and where professionals keep the snorkel when underwater.
Why you need to remove your snorkel from the mouth?
It’s a very important rule, remove your snorkel from your mouth before you start descending! When swimming on the surface, you are plugging up the hole at the end of your snorkel with your tongue so water cannot enter to your mouth and lungs. If you would freedive with the snorkel in your mouth, in case of a blackout your tongue would not plug the hole anymore (because you are not able to control it) and water can enter into your lungs through the tube. This is the main safety reason, but there is another practical one too.
If your intention is to get close to marine life, you can avoid making that „bubbling” noises when your snorkel is filling up with water. Spit the snorkel out when you finished the breathe-up!
Where to put your snorkel after breathe-up?
Hobby freedivers usually breathe-up through snorkel and keep it attached to the freedive mask. The preferred way to wear the snorkel is under the mask strap. In this case, a nice, soft rubber/silicone snorkel is the most comfortable that won’t cause any pain or discomfort against the head. Generally, the mask strap is fixing the snorkel better than a snorkel keeper resulting less drag. If you prefer to fix it to the mask strap in the traditional way, do it with a comfortable lightweight silicone snorkel keeper !
Deep freedivers and/or competitive freedivers usually don’t do their final breathe-up through the snorkel. Those deep divers who prefer to breathe-up using snorkel, use to leave it on the surface. They simple secure it to the inflatable freedive buoy with a string or else just take it off the mouth and a buddy will collect it.
More freediving gear buying guides:
- Freediving weight belt tips
- Freediving computer buying tips
- Freediving wetsuit types
- How to find the best freediving fins
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