For most of us, when we think about snorkels, we think of the neon plastic apparatuses that we would use in our blow-up pools, filled 2-feet deep with water in our backyards. Not that they didn’t fulfill their purpose, which was for the ability to breathe underwater.
However, the majority our time was spent trying to get the water out of our lungs due to one of our friend’s playfully pouring water into the snorkel tube above us. My point is that most of us who are new to freestyle snorkeling have never had to take buying a snorkel very seriously. Now that this is the case, there are numerous features that we need to take into consideration.
Snorkels are, in fact, centuries old; however, their design has stayed relatively close in design. There are four different variations of the snorkel mask and tube.
The first design is the snorkel we referenced above, the no bells and no whistles variation that one would find in the toy section of any major retailer. This design is the simple old-fashioned snorkel where the diver breathes from one end and the other end is open in the air.
The second design is called a ‘semi-dry snorkel’. A semi-dry snorkel has a cover designed to deflect water on the surface but will still flood if the diver chooses to submerge.
The third design is called a ‘dry snorkel’; a dry snorkel has a floating valve within the breathing tube that will close when the diver goes below water to stop the snorkel from flooding. The fourth design is referred to as a ‘roll-up snorkel’.
A roll-up snorkel has a compact design and can roll up into a pocket and is thus travel-friendly. Essentially when a swimmer snorkel or training snorkel isn’t in use, the mask and snorkel tube can be removed from the diver’s head and stored in a pocket. Choosing the right snorkel for the diver really depends on what the diver is looking for.
If they are looking for something inexpensive and used for only surface ‘diving’ then the basic snorkel is good for them. If the diver is concerned about flooding then a dry or semi-dry may be more what they are looking for. Likewise, if the diver is concerned about being able to travel or if space is a concern, then the roll up snorkel should be their option.
Now that we have discussed the types of snorkels available, let’s talk about more specific snorkels: Swimming snorkels. Swimming snorkels can fall under any of the above-listed categories, though they are usually semi-dry snorkels.
The reason for this is that swimmers only completely submerge when they are kicking off after a lap, hence why we typically see a large number of bubbles coming from the snorkel when they kick off (the swimmer is exhaling to keep the snorkel clear of water).
They have become more popular over the last few years for those training on the competitive level because it has special training benefits; for example, it aids in balancing out the swimmer’s stroke, it encourages the swimmer to keep their head down, and it helps provide a fuller kick. For this reason, more professional athletes have started training with a snorkel. We have provided the top 3 best swimming snorkels on the market to help in your search for the best snorkel.
This product is rated 4/5 stars on Amazon. This product has a curved shape to promote proper freestyle head position to keep both eyes and head down. It can be worn with swim caps and goggles. It increases aerobic capacity and stays in place for all competitive strokes (including flip turns).
This product is rated 5/5 stars on Amazon. The GLIDE snorkel is comfortable in the water and allows the swimmer to breathe easily and in perfect balance.
It is also curved to reduce drag and promote proper body position. It increases aerobic capacity, has an adjustable strap creating a universal fit and stays in place for all competitive strokes (including flip turns).
This Product Has:
This product is rated 4.5/5 stars on Amazon. Designed by the master himself, Michael Phelps, this product helps the swimmer focus on proper technique, body position, and efficiency by eliminating the need to turn the swimmers head to breathe.
It has a unique low profile tube design that reduces drag and allows for easy breathing. It is lightweight and ensures a comfortable fit.
These snorkels are similar in design and purpose with minor differences between them. They are all rated highly on Amazon (all within the 4-5 star range). For the price point, they are all within the same range and all within a reasonable price range for the budget spender. Color tends to be limited but all have a sleek design.
Overall, the hydrodynamic tube and comfortable mouthpiece are common features, both of which are very important. They also all encourage proper body position which aids in better and more effective training for the swimmer.
All of these products had far more positive comments than negative with purchasers. And who is better at designing snorkels than the master himself, Michael Phelps, who has won over 20 gold medals in his career? We hope this article helped you in your search for the correct apparatus for your needs when training.