Before You Dive - Buy A Good Snorkel First
Your next piece of personal scuba diving equipment is a snorkel – used to breathe whenever you are at the surface.
It attaches to the left side of your dive mask strap using either a plastic or rubber keeper.
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Scuba Dive Tip: Always buy a back-up snorkel keeper(holder) and keep it in your ‘Save-a-dive’ kit.
Whenever you are leaving the shore or boat, or are in the water, you should always have either it or your regulator in your mouth.
By using it when on the surface, you are prepared for any sudden wave that may hit and you are also conserving more air which can be used to lengthen your time and enjoyment underwater.
As with masks, there are many brands, shapes, sizes, options and colors. The best one is the one that feels the most comfortable in your mouth, allows you to purge water out easily, and lets in the optimal amount of oxygen.
Talk to your dive retailer about the pros and cons of each type.
The length of the tube must be right to ensure you can properly purge water and carbon dioxide and easily obtain oxygen, but not too short that it readily fills with water.
The diameter of the tube should be around three quarters of an inch (1.9 cm) and should allow you to breathe and swim easily.
Any other options, such as flexible hose, purge valve, etc., are also a matter of personal preference. Try out a bunch and see which ones feel right for you.
Remember that a bright colored snorkel will be easier to find if it is ever dropped, and will also stand out and be noticed when you are at or near the surface.
Also remember to properly rinse all your gear in clean, fresh water after each dive, and to dry it prior to storing it away until your next dive adventure.
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