Salt water in my mouth. Hard plastic mask against my face. Tangled, rubber snorkel pinching at my ears.
This is what I remember from my first experience snorkeling in Hawaii.
The overwhelming feeling I had in the water was in stark contrast to the images of friendly sea turtles my family and I saw on signs as we walked through Lahaina.
So why did many of us have a difficult time snorkeling when we were kids?
For many of us, we had trouble snorkeling when we were young because of cheaply made snorkel gear and poor instruction the first 5 minutes in the water.
Back in the day, cheaply made gear was EVERYWHERE. The seals on the masks were made of hard rubber, the snorkel was a simple plastic cylinder shooting out of the water, and nothing seemed to work.
The snorkels you knew as a kid were uncomfortable, and they let water into your nose and mouth with the slightest movement.
Quality snorkel masks are made from a super-soft silicone. They seal snugly to your face snug so water doesn’t enter when you make a funny-face under water.
If you’ve kept up on snorkel technology over the last 15 years, you may have had a little too much time on your hands.
To catch you up to date—modern snorkels have fancy valves in them that keep water out of your mouth automatically.
If water gets in the top, it purges out before it gets to your mouth. If water slips by, you can easily eject it out by saying “two” into the mouthpiece.
Poorly made snorkels put us at a disadvantage when we were kids but it was a lack of “know-how” that had us flailing around in the ocean.
With a big hunk of plastic in our mouth and our noses trapped behind plastic window it’s no wonder we hyperventilated on our first dip.
Becoming a good snorkeler is all about getting comfortable with the first 5-minutes in the water. Follow this short-timeline and become a competent snorkeler for the rest of your life:
These 5 steps will allow you to get comfortable in the ocean. Snorkeling is like riding a bike: when you’ve learned it once you’ve got it for life.
There was a time when fancy snorkels, with valves and soft materials, were much more expensive than the cheaply made stuff.
Now days quality, dry-mouth snorkels cost about the same as the discount gear you’ll see in pamphlets and magazines all over Maui.
Make sure to get custom-fit, non-thinking snorkels when you snorkel in Maui.This will ensure you’re comfortable in the water, and you’ll likely see more sea turtles taboot.
Check out this 1-minute video and learn about dry-mouth snorkels. Technology can be fun.