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The Basics for First -Time Snorkelers
Be in good physical shape.
Be careful when snorkeling with small children.
Don't consume alcohol while snorkeling and don't snorkel if you have a hangover.
If you are a beginner swimmer, consider using a life jacket while snorkeling.
Don't snorkel in prohibited areas.
Don't snorkel alone, always snorkel with a buddy.
Be careful near Aquatic Life, Coral and Seaweed.
Don't snorkel when there is high surf or dangerous conditions.
Don't snorkel while taking cold medicine. Please consult your doctor for further advice.
IS SNORKELING ALLOWED HERE?
Depending on the location, there might be restrictions so it is always a good idea to check for posted signs first.
IS IT SAFE FOR KIDS?
Before allowing your children into the ocean to snorkel, it is recommended that you try it first to verify they can handle the current conditions. Many unexpected things can happen so you want to be well prepared. Holding their hands while entering is a good idea. It may also be worth investing in a leash.
KNOW THE CONDITIONS!
To be best prepared, check not only the weather conditions, but the tidal schedule in your location ahead of time. Because of the additional exertion that comes from kicking with your fins, you should always stretch before and after. Otherwise, it may cause cramping. You can never be too prepared.
MAKE SURE YOU’RE HYDRATED!
It is very important to hydrate. Even though you are surrounded by water, the combination of the hot sun and the extra effort that your body is not familiar with can easily dehydrate you. Snorkeling can be so mesmerizing that you forget about some of the basics like drinking water. Not from the ocean though.
TAKE IT SLOW
There are a few good practices to keep in mind. It may be easier to put your fins on while still on the beach. While wearing the fins, you should walk sideways or backwards so that the fin tips don’t get caught in the sand and cause you to stumble. Once in the water with your mask, snorkel and fins on, you should relax and lay face down on the surface. Practice breathing through the snorkel in this position while remaining in shallow water until you are comfortable to roam around. If you have a hard time floating, try spreading your limbs out or wearing a buoyancy jacket.
MATCH YOUR BUDDIES PACE
Whether you are with a friend or your children, it is always good practice to go at the slower pace of the persons involved. Struggling to keep up can cause cramping and exhaustion. If you are with kids, who tend to have more energy than adults, the parents should take turns to avoid feeling weak or tired.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF FIN KICKS
Different conditions might call for different kicking methods. Your fin kicking is what causes your propulsion while very little effort should come from your arms. Choosing the right kick for the conditions can increase your efficiency and cause less exhaustion.
The Flutter Kick is cause by the vertical up and down movement of your entire leg from thigh to the toes. This is the most powerful kick and allows you to get through current easily. It is also the most energy consuming kick.
The Frog Kick is a wide kick that utilizes the full strength of your legs. It is also great for snorkeling close to the bottom so that you don’t kick up sand or disturb the coral.
The Bent-Knee Kick causes the least amount of strain and air consumption. With smaller movements from your hips and ankles, you can get through tighter spaces using this method if needed.
HOW TO DEAL WITH LEG CRAMPING
Leg cramps can really put a damper on your experience so it is important to know how to deal with them. The first and most important thing is to make sure you are hydrated. If you feel a cramp, it most likely on the back of your leg (the hamstring). The easy way to deal with this is to remain calm, grab a hold of the tip of your fin, and pull it towards you while keeping a straight leg. If this doesn’t do the trick, safely reach the shore and try it again from a better sitting position.