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Snorkeling 101: How to Float When Snorkeling

snorkel vest

For some people snorkeling seems to come naturally. It’s easy for them to just throw on some snorkeling equipment and then head out to the corals and see fish, turtles, and all sort of living marine creatures. For others, snorkeling doesn’t as easily.

Floating and staying in place is usually the biggest problem that new snorkelers have, especially those who aren’t strong swimmers in the first place. However, snorkeling doesn’t have to be just an activity that strong swimmers can do. Floating is easy, especially in the salt water because the salinity of the water adds extra buoyancy.

The easiest way to float while snorkeling is through the use of a snorkeling vest. A snorkel vest can be both a necessary piece of snorkeling equipment or one of convenience.

Why Use a Snorkel Vest?

  • Snorkel vests give additional buoyancy to those who need it, especially children.
  • For older and younger people who need a rest every now and then, a snorkel vest allows a much needed “sit and float” comfort.
  • The outer covering of a snorkel vest will protect against minor coral scrapes as well as stings from jelly fish and the life.
  • Many snorkel vests have UV protection meaning that yours and your loved ones skin will be protected from the harmful rays of the sun.

How to Use a Snorkel Vest


You inflate the snorkel vest by using an oral inflation mouthpiece that is attached to a tube that fills the air bladder of the snorkel vest. In most makes today the inflation tube and mouthpiece have an o-ring that and depressor mechanism that needs to be engaged to inflate. Once you stop pressing it then the tube closes so as to avoid accidental or unwanted deflation.

To inflate simple grasp the oral inflation device with two fingers and depress it while you blow air into it. Once it is full it will become difficult or impossible to blow more air in. By releasing the mechanism the tube will close and air will not be able to get out. If air does seep out then you have a defective snorkel vest and you should return it as soon possible and not use the vest.

How to Wear the Straps on a Snorkel Vest

The buckle system on most makes of snorkel vests are easy to operate. They are designed to be worn to the user’s comfort and to ensure that it fits securely. To tighten the straps simply grab the end and secure the vest until it is unable to come off but not so tight that it is uncomfortable. To loosen the straps you may need to two hands to slightly tilt the buckle and pull the strap until it starts to feed through the buckle and loosen back up.

Below is a very friendly and easy video to follow for using a snorkel vest:

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