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Deep Water Snorkeling (What Is It?)

Snorkeling is usually done in shallow waters so that you can breathe through your snorkel. But there is a term “Deep water snorkeling” that usually surfaces in the snorkeling community. But, what is deep water snorkeling? And how does that even work? 

Deepwater snorkeling is diving deeper than normal snorkeling depths. However, you cannot breathe through the snorkel in this case. You have to rely on breathing techniques. 

In this article, I will answer some basic questions about deep-water snorkeling. You will also learn how deep you can snorkel and some deep water snorkeling techniques. So, let’s get into it!

How Deep Can You Snorkel Underwater?

Snorkelers can dive from 10 to 30 feet underwater, depending on their skill level. This, however, highly depends on their swimming style, ability to hold their breath, and ability to withstand underwater pressure.

Snorkeling is typically done in shallow and clean water. Your body will be about 12 inches or 30 cm deep, and you will wear a snorkel. The maximum length of snorkels can be 14 to 16 inches.

Underwater, there are many beautiful things to see, such as various species of fish, starfish, turtles, and coral. So, sometimes you may want to dive deep underwater to check out these things.

Since it is not possible to use the snorkel underwater, you have to rely on your breathing skills. You must be able to hold your breath long enough to dive and then come back to the surface. 

Hence, to snorkel deep in the water, learn to hold your breath for a long time, like 1 to 2 minutes. Beginners should aim for 45 seconds to 1 minute at first.  

Besides, it depends on the pressure of the water. The deeper you go, the more pressure you will feel in your lungs. Therefore, first-timers should be careful when they go deep snorkeling. 

How Can You Snorkel Deep Underwater?

You want to try snorkeling underwater for the first time, but you are not sure how to. So, here are some tips and techniques that will help you learn to snorkel underwater. 

Get The Right Equipment

If you plan to dive deep while you are snorkeling, you must get the best equipment. Choose the right kind of fin that will support you when diving deep.

You should be able to move your ankle easily because it is important for you to swim fast underwater. The swimsuit should be thick and comfortable as well. 

The snorkeling mask should also fit your face frame. Water should not get into the mask easily when you dive deep. The snorkel should also be of high quality so that water does not get inside your mouth.

If you are a beginner, talk with an expert before you buy or rent equipment. 

Learn More About Your Snorkeling Spot

Snorkeling spots can be reserved before you go there. Learn more about the area. You must be sure about the safety of the spot, and know how deep you can go. 

If possible, ask the locals about the diving spot. You can learn about what you can see underwater in that area. This way, you will have some necessary information to snorkel deep at the snorkeling spot. 

Practice Before Diving For Real

Imagine snorkeling in shallow water, and suddenly, you thought about diving deep to see more. But this is not a good idea if you have no practice in snorkeling underwater.

You must practice several times before going on snorkeling adventures in deep water. 

Take advice from an expert snorkeler and practice diving and snorkeling in shallow water. Moreover, it is crucial to learn how to hold your breath for 1 to 2 minutes with ease. 

Learn To Duck Dive

Knowing how to duck dive is essential for diving underwater to snorkel. When you snorkel in shallow water, you often swim horizontally.

You have to turn your upper body downwards into the water. Therefore, duck diving is necessary. 

Before you dive into the water, you need to hold your breath. Relax and calmly breathe on the surface to get prepared to dive.

Take a minute or two to breathe normally. When you are ready, take a nice big deep breath in and dive into the water.  

Here is how you duck dive: 

  • First, you must know if there is sufficient depth to dive in.
  • Then do the breathing exercise to take a deep breath and get ready for the dive.
  • Roll your body forward and get your feet up. Rolling your body forward will direct you downward, and the upward feet will help your body push down. 
  • Once your feet get below the water, start moving your ankle. Kick and swim downward. 
  • As you go down, you will start to feel the water pressure on your ears. To clear your ears, pinch down your nose and blow slightly. You will feel your ears pop. Then you will feel at ease. 
  • When you feel you should go back to the surface, swim upwards to the surface. 
  • Get your head above the water. Blow on your snorkel and get all the water out of the tube. Clean your mask if you have to.
  • Then relax and take a deep breath to go back into the water again. 

So, this is how you snorkel underwater. When you get habituated to diving in the water, you can enjoy the underworld of the sea with little problem.

You should keep your mind calm and observe the area as much as you can. 

Things To Consider For Deep Water Snorkeling

Swimming underwater and holding your breath is not easy, especially for a beginner. Remember, you will dive deep without breathing equipment, so you have to be an excellent swimmer. 

Besides, there are a few other things you need to be aware of while you snorkel. Here are some rules you should follow for deep-water snorkeling: 

  • Know your limit. If you feel dizzy and uncomfortable, get to the surface as soon as you can. 
  • Keep the snorkel in place while you swim underwater. It should not get in your way while you swim.
  • Do not breathe with your snorkel underwater. To block water from getting into your mouth, use your tongue to seal the mouth of the snorkel. 
  • Go snorkeling with a friend or a group. Snorkeling is fun, no doubt. But it is better to be safe. When you are out in the water, you should have someone to make sure you are alright. You also have to keep an eye on them to make sure they are alright. 
  • You should have a whistle with you to call for help. If you are going out snorkeling with a dive boat, put a flag on your diving spot to signal the boaters and the others about your location. 
  • Many people use extra weight to make diving easy. But that is true for deep divers who use oxygen tanks in the water. For a deep-water snorkeler, extra weight is dangerous. It will weigh you down when you try to come to the surface. 
  • Finally, be careful about your surroundings when you are underwater. The weather should be calm and peaceful for diving deep. Also, do not touch anything down the water for safety. 


By now, you must have learned, what is deep-water snorkeling. It is actually a form of freestyle diving without oxygen tanks. But, you should learn how to go deep water snorkeling first before you can dive deep and explore the sea. 

If you are looking for snorkeling gear we have a huge list of lists to help you find just the right snorkeling gear to get you up and moving, check it out here!

Learn and practice the techniques mentioned above and seek additional guidance from an experienced deep water snorkeler, and you will be good to go!