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Snorkeling Safety: How to Prevent Your Snorkel from Flooding

Are you a beginner snorkeler having trouble staying dry? Do you constantly find yourself filling up with water each time you take a dip?

If so, don’t worry – it happens to everyone first! This blog post will examine why your snorkel is filling up with water and what you can do to prevent it.

Young woman out snorkeling in crystal blue water

What is a snorkel?

A snorkel is an essential piece of equipment for anyone who wants to explore the underwater world.

It is a tube that extends from the surface to the bottom of the water, allowing you to breathe while underwater.

Snorkels come in various shapes and sizes, and some even have a floating valve, special purge valve, or other features that help keep water out.

Knowing how to use and maintain your snorkel is vital to keeping your head above water and enjoying your underwater adventures.

With the proper knowledge and equipment, you can stay dry while snorkeling and enjoy exploring the aquatic world.

What causes a snorkel to fill with water?

What causes a snorkel to fill with water? There are several potential causes of water entering a snorkel. The most common is diving too deep and submerging the open end.

A leak where the mouthpiece attaches can also cause a snorkel to fill with water.

Additionally, if your snorkel isn’t fitting correctly or you aren’t controlling your breathing properly, you may be more likely to swallow water while snorkeling.

To avoid this, ensure that your equipment fits you correctly and use your tongue as a splash guard when you exhale sharply.

Cruising on the surface can also help keep your snorkel dry. With the float valve method and other tips mentioned above, you can ensure that your snorkel remains dry and free of water.

The Float Valve Method

The float valve method is a common way to keep your snorkel dry when diving, a float valve is a small device attached to the open end of the snorkel tube.

When the open end is submerged, the float valve seals the snorkel tube, trapping air inside and preventing water from entering.

This keeps your snorkel dry and free from water, allowing you to breathe comfortably underwater.

It is important to note that the float valve seal can be broken if there is too much pressure on it, so it’s important to remember that proper fitting and adjustment are needed for an effective seal.

Additionally, if you use a dry snorkel, it should be combined with the exhale sharply and cruising on the surface methods for best results.

The Exhale Sharply Method

The Exhale Sharply method is a popular technique for clearing a snorkel of water.

It involves controlling your breathing, using your tongue as a splash guard when inhaling, and forcefully exhaling when needed to blow any water out of the snorkel.

This technique is most effective when used in combination with the float valve method, which keeps the snorkel tip pointed down and prevented water from entering the tube in the first place.

Similarly, the exhale sharply method can be used with a dry snorkel to reduce the amount of water that enters and builds up inside the tube.

Combining these methods allows you to get the most out of your snorkeling experience and remain dry while exploring underwater.

Cruising on the Surface Method

Cruising on the surface is an effective way of keeping your snorkel from filling up with water.

This method relies on maintaining a position just below the surface of the water and keeping your snorkel tube above the water as you move.

This will allow you to remain in contact with the air and keep your snorkel dry.

To do this, you must practice proper body positioning, which includes keeping your back straight and your arms extended for balance.

Doing this allows you to move slowly through the water and keep your snorkel dry throughout your journey.

To ensure no water is reaching your snorkel, remember to keep it slightly angled so that it points downward and away from any waves or splashes.

Tips for Keeping Your Snorkel Dry

To ensure your snorkel remains dry, it is crucial to know where the top of the snorkel is pointing when your head is in the water.

If you point your head too far forward or too far back, the top of the snorkel can submerge and fill with water.

Additionally, it can help to use a semi-dry or dry snorkel designed to keep water out.

Semi-dry snorkels include a splash guard at the top of the tube and a purge valve at the bottom, while dry snorkels have a float valve in the tube to seal it when submerged.

It can also help to exhale sharply when entering or exiting the water, as this will force any water in the tube out.

Finally, when cruising on the surface, try not to submerge too deep, as this will cause the open end of the snorkel to fill with water.

These tips can help ensure your snorkel remains dry and free from water.

How to Fit and Adjust Your Snorkel

Fitting and adjusting your snorkel ensures a dry and comfortable experience while snorkeling.

Proper fit and adjustment of the snorkel primarily depend on your face size. To adjust your snorkel, firstly, ensure your mask has a good fit and adjust the strap to fit over your head correctly.

Then, check that your mouthpiece is the right size for your mouth. If it’s too large, it can allow water to enter the tube.

It may be uncomfortable or cause bite marks if it’s too small. To prevent water from entering the snorkel, you can also use the float valve method or exhale sharply, as previously discussed in this blog.

Once you have correctly fitted and adjusted your snorkel, you will be ready to explore the underwater world safely and comfortably.

Using a Dry Snorkel

A dry snorkel is ideal for those looking to keep their snorkel free of water; they have what is known as a float valve located at the top of the snorkel tube.

The valve seals the tube, preventing water from entering when you dive down.

Additionally, some dry snorkels also have a purge valve at the bottom, which can expel small amounts of water that enter the snorkel.

When combined with proper fitting and adjusting techniques, wearing a dry snorkel can effectively keep your snorkel free of water while snorkeling.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Snorkel

Cleaning and maintaining your snorkel is essential for keeping it free of saltwater abrasions or mask scratches.

Before and after each use, you should rinse in fresh water to remove any debris, sand, or saltwater that may have been collected in the grooves.

If the snorkel has been used in saltwater, it should be soaked in warm, soapy water for 30 minutes.

To sanitize the mouthpiece, you can use diluted vinegar and water. After cleaning, ensure the snorkel is completely dry before storing away in a cool and dry place.

These steps will ensure that your snorkel remains in excellent condition for all your underwater adventures.

3 Top Snorkels on Amazon

If you’re looking for the best in snorkeling, look no further than Amazon! Here you can find a wide range of snorkels from different brands and at different price points.

To help you narrow down your choices, we have compiled a list of the top three snorkels on Amazon.

The first on our list is the SEAC Vortex Dry Snorkel.

This snorkel comes with a dry top valve, bottom purge valve, and flexible tube for easier breathing.

The dry top valve helps keep your snorkel from filling with water, while the bottom purge valve makes it easy to clear any water that may have gotten inside.

The next snorkel on our list is the Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180° V2 Snorkel Mask.

This mask is designed to provide a full panoramic view of the underwater world.

It also features a floating ball design, which helps keep it afloat even when submerged underwater. Plus, it has a semi-dry top that prevents water from entering the mask.

Last is the U.S. Divers Trek Lux Dive Mask and Snorkel Set.

This set includes a dive mask and snorkel combo with an exclusive purge valve design that clears any water or air from your snorkel quickly and easily.

Plus, it has an ergonomic design that fits almost any face shape for maximum comfort.

Each of these snorkels comes with unique features that make them perfect for anyone exploring the underwater world.

Whether you are an experienced diver or just starting, these snorkels will help make your diving experience both enjoyable and safe!


In conclusion, snorkeling can be an enjoyable and relaxing experience. However, knowing why your snorkel may fill with water is crucial.

The most common causes are water splashing over the top of the tube, incorrectly positioned and/or too-tight straps, and sand/debris caught in the purge valve.

You can use several methods to clear your snorkel, such as the float valve method, exhale sharply method, cruising on the surface method, and using a dry snorkel.

Also, properly fitting and adjusting your snorkel is essential for a dry experience. Lastly, cleaning and maintaining your snorkel will help keep it in good condition.

With these tips in mind, you can have a safe and enjoyable time in the sea. Check out our best lists here if you are interested in other snorkel gear!