A good snorkel is a simple but essential piece of your freedive gear. Buying a good snorkel for freediving is pretty easy, read through the points below and you will know what to look for and what to avoid!
Choosing a snorkel for freediving – 5 points guide
A good snorkel for freediving 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.
- The Corsica is the ideal snorkel for freediving, spearfishing and scuba diving. Very light and comfortable.
- Large diameter snorkel tube provides unobstructed ease of breathing.
- Soft bendable snorkel tube to maintain proper and comfortable positioning.
- Specially designed and molded u-bend provides easier clearing capability.
- Anatomical hypoallergenic silicone mouthpiece provides extreme comfort during prolonged use.
The 5 most important features you need to check out when choosing a freedive snorkel:
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 and 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, 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, correct distance from the tube.
- Tube diameter
For the most effective breathing, your snorkel needs to come with an ideal diameter tube. 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
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! (Some freedivers still use snorkels with wave protection if they expect big waves.)
- Purge valve
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.
- Simple design for flexibility and durability
- Quickly rolls up for easy traveling or storage
- Great for freediving, scuba diving and snorkeling
- Silicone snorkel keeper included
- Storage Case
Why you have to remove your snorkel from the mouth while freediving
It’s a very important rule, remove your snorkel from your mouth! You are plugging up the hole at the end of your snorkel with your tongue while swimming on the surface so water cannot enter to your mouth and lungs. If you would freedive with snorkel in your mouth, in case of 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. 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 for freediving?
Hobby freedivers usually breathe-up through snorkel and keep it with them. It is a preferred way to wear the snorkel 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. 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 snorkel. Those deep divers who prefer to breathe-up using snorkel, use to leave it on the surface. They simple secure it to the floating freedive buoy with a string or else just take it off the mouth and a buddy will collect it.
- Buoyancy foam/float to keep your mask and snorkel afloat, they won't sink, it's a snorkel float, mask float
- Snorkel float will keep your mask floating too, can be used as camera float, key float, dive reel float, reef marker buoy, and of course for snorkel and mask
- Not a safety device but if a mask and snorkel is seen floating on the surface, it will alert that someone has lost theirs and may be in trouble
- prevents damage to ocean bed, coral and marine life - no mask and snorkel sinking to the bottom to destroy environment
- highly visible on the surface, also visible from under the water