How Long Can You Snorkel Underwater? – Wetsuit Wearhouse Blog

How Long Can You Snorkel Underwater?

Donna Kos  
January 10th, 2020  
Posted In: Articles  

How Long Can You Snorkel Underwater?

You’ve booked your airfare for a Bucket List snorkeling destination you’ve been dreaming of for years. You’re fairly new to snorkeling and have so many questions. How long can you snorkel underwater? What kind of equipment is best for your snorkeling needs? How long you can snorkel underwater depends on numerous factors. What kind of equipment you’ve rented or purchased can make all the difference. Your comfort level in the open water is a big factor. Are you going to a warm water destination or will you need a wetsuit?

Doing some research ahead of time can ensure you have a safe, comfortable and mind-blowing snorkeling experience.

How Long Can You Snorkel Underwater Depends on Your Equipment

What kind of equipment you’ve rented or purchased makes all the difference. If you borrowed Uncle Joe’s traditional, old snorkel, mask and fins your time underwater is going to depend on how long you can comfortably hold your breath (which for most, is usually not very long). You’ll be holding your breath the whole time and will need to clear the snorkel when you come back to the surface. Most people stay on top of the water when they’re using this type of equipment and depending on the water conditions it’s not uncommon for water to get in the tube. Some people find this extremely uncomfortable and even panic. That’s not a good feeling!

how long can you snorkel underwaterAnother type of snorkel has a dry top that prevents water from entering the snorkel (most of the time) for a better snorkeling experience. When you resurface after diving down to get closer to the underwater wildlife you’re far less likely to have to clear the snorkel.

Scorkl is a real game-changer for any water enthusiast and is the brainchild of Melbourne-based David Hallamore. Scorkl makes a full face snorkel that will let you be fully submerged for 10 minutes. The “tank” can be pumped up by hand or with a scuba tank. It can be reused and pumped up as many times as you want to use it any day. You can breathe through your nose and mouth for a much more enjoyable, relaxing snorkeling experience. You’ll be able to smile for underwater pictures too! Each device is fitted with a pressure gauge that tells you exactly how much air you have left.

*Disclaimer: SCUBA, SNUBA, and breathing compressed air underwater presents risks and requires professional instruction prior to participation. Never hold your breath when breathing compressed air!*

How Long Can You Snorkel Underwater Depends on These Factors

How long can you snorkel underwater if the currents are strong? What if the weather is bad and the water is choppy? How long you can snorkel underwater will depend on your health as well. When you begin snorkeling, it will take some practice before you get comfortable in this new life-changing, sometimes a little scary environment. It’s important to listen to your body and mind. If you feel fairly uncomfortable in open water and it’s a choppy day you may not last as long as you’d like.

Diving down and getting closer to the incredible, awe-inspiring underwater sea life is phenomenal and worth getting out of your comfort zone. But know when to draw the line. Know your health limitations as well. How long can you snorkel underwater if the water temperature is far colder than you would like? This is a place you really need to listen to your body! Hypothermia can kill you. It can also be prevented with the proper snorkeling wetsuit if your trip takes you somewhere cold.

How Long Can You Snorkel Underwater Depends on the Proper Wetsuit

If your epic snorkeling adventure is taking you somewhere the water temperatures are less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit you may want to consider wearing a wetsuit. If the water is cold, a proper wetsuit could lengthen your time snorkeling. Keeping your core body temperature warm enough is key to having an enjoyable snorkeling experience.

Proper gear will make or break your snorkeling trip. If you’ve never worn a wetsuit don’t expect it to slide on like your jeans. They take some getting used to so be sure and give it several tries before giving up. The underwater wonderland you’ll be able to experience is worth the effort and you’ll be glad you squeezed yourself into a wetsuit. Buying a quality wetsuit makes all the difference. Know what kind of water temperatures you’ll be snorkeling or diving in so you buy the proper gear.

Here are general guidelines for wetsuit thickness needed for temperature ranges:

>85 °F: Nothing to Rashguard

73-84 °F: 2mm to 3mm fullsuit

66-72 °F: 5mm fullsuit

50-65 °F: 7mm fullsuit

<50 °F: Drysuit

In warmer temperatures but still on the cold scale, you may need a wetsuit vest, shorts or shorty springsuit. Colder temperatures are going to necessitate one or more of these wetsuit items: booties, pants, full wetsuit, hood or gloves!

How long can you snorkel underwater will depend on gear, weather conditions, currents, and if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone. Hold your breath longer. Squeeze yourself into a wetsuit since your Bucket List snorkeling destination requires it! Learn to clear the snorkel if it gets water in it or spring for a top of the line model. Whatever you need to do will be worth it! Swimming in the underwater world surrounded by awe-inspiring creatures will create memories you’ll cherish for the rest of your life!

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