When I served in the military pilots weren’t allowed to sport beards, but things are slowly beginning to change.

These rules were in place because pilots need a great seal in place when they’re wearing breathing apparatus. It’s hard to fly a fighter jet like Maverick when you can’t breath.

I’m sure you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to snorkel with a beard or mustache for the same exact reason.

Can You Go Snorkeling With A Beard?

Yes, you can wear a snorkel mask when you have a beard. But it’s a bit more complicated than you think. For instance, your beard can’t be too thick and bushy. It should be short and tidy enough to create a seal capable of stopping water from pouring into your snorkeling mask.

Tips For Snorkeling With A Beard

  • Keep your beard trimmed
  • Rub grease into your beard
  • The purge valve is fantastic
  • Use a more convenient mask

Keep your beard trimmed – If you have a beard like a viking lumberjack it’s going to be almost impossible to create a seal around your face. Those with a trimmed beard shouldn’t have any difficulties achieving an effective seal provided they’re wearing a quality mask.

Rub grease into your beard – Don’t worry, all is not lost yet. If you refuse to trim your beard until it’s almost gone you could still create a waterproof seal. You’ll just look silly during your snorkeling adventure. The trick is to rub lots of grease into your beard until it sticks to your face.

In theory, it will create a barrier between the mask and your skin, which should stop water from getting inside. Although it’s not a perfect solution it does in fact work to some degree. You’ll just have to stock up on grease before going on holiday.

The purge valve is fantastic – New full face snorkel masks might look basic to the average person, but they’re full of amazing technology. Some of the best ones have a purge valve built into them. The valve will sit right at the bottom of your mask.

When water gets into the mask it falls straight to the bottom, so it doesn’t affect your eyesight. You’ll still have a 180 degree panoramic view of all the beautiful sea creatures and flora around you.

When you breathe out the water will be expelled from the mask. The bubbles will be directed away from you, so you won’t even notice them.

Use a more convenient mask – Wearing a traditional snorkel mask that doesn’t cover your entire face helps. You will still run into problems with your moustache. Maybe you’ll feel more comfortable trimming it because it will grow back quicker than a giant beard.

The grease trick will still come in handy provided it’s not too big and bushy. Also, there are some masks that will provide a seal provided your hair doesn’t come all the way up to your nose.

Can You Go Snorkeling With A Moustache?

Snorkeling with a moustache is a million times easier than snorkeling with a beard. To be honest, it’s not worth going into too much detail. Just wear a full face snorkel mask and it will take your moustache out of the equation. It will be neatly tucked away inside your mask at all times.

If you’d prefer to snorkel with a traditional masks the same rules apply as the ones above:

  • Trim your moustache
  • Rub grease into it
  • Choose the right mask

Wear Swimming Goggles And A Nose Clip

Hipsters with viking lumberjack beards should only use swimming goggles and a nose clip as a last resort. It’s not a good idea. I’m only bringing it up because some people won’t have any other choice, which is a shame because snorkeling should be enjoyed by everyone.

You’ll need very good goggles that stick to your face like glue even when you attach a snorkel to them. A dry snorkel is a must otherwise you’ll run into problems when fully submerged. A nose clip is essential too. Finally, make sure you don’t dive any deeper than 10 feet.

On the bright side, when you hit the bars at night you’ll still be able to strut around with your beard touching the floor.

Shave Your Beard Off Before Going Snorkeling

We’re going to do a complete one-eighty and jump to the other side of the spectrum. If you’re really into snorkeling it’s worth shaving your beard off. Think of all the money you’ll save on grease. Do you really think your beard is more important than becoming a snorkel master?

This won’t make sense if you’re only planning to snorkel for a few weeks while on holiday. If you live close to the ocean and plan on snorkeling being your new hobby it’s maybe time. Walk into the barber shop with tears running down your face and say goodbye one last time.

Getting The Basics Right Before Anything Else

It’s pointless trying to snorkel with a beard or moustache if you can’t get the basics right. There are a few things you should do with your snorkeling mask before getting in the water. Carry these out before heading into the water and your mission is more likely to succeed:

  • Head straps shouldn’t be too tight
  • Inhale to check for any small leaks
  • Make sure your hair isn’t in the way

Head straps shouldn’t be too tight – Some beard and mustache wearers might assume their head strap should be tighter than usual. It sounds like common sense when you think about it. When your strap is really tight it will pull the mask into your face creating a better seal.

Unfortunately, the exact opposite is true. If your snorkel strap is too tight it’s going to ruin your seal. The mask skirt is delicate and when too much pressure is applied it will crumble and distort when pulled against your face.

Just make sure the strap comfortably holds the skirt against your face without allowing it to move freely. As you snorkel deeper underwater it will become tighter on its own thanks to the change in pressure.

Inhale to check for any small leaks – Before jumping into the water with a snorkel mask you should test it on land first. Simply hold the mask against your face and inhale. Whether you do this through your mouth or nose will depend on which type of mask you’re wearing.

Bend over and relax for a while. Hold for one deep breath. If there are any leaks air will get into the mask and it will fall off your face.

Make sure your hair isn’t in the way – You don’t need a very big hole for water to get into your snorkel mask. If you have longish hair it needs to be moved out of the way before you put your mask on. A few stray hairs sitting under the mask skirt could break the waterproof seal.

Can You Go Snorkeling With A Beard Or Moustache?

You can definitely go snorkeling with a beard or moustache if you follow the advice we’ve talked about today. Now you know there is more than one way to do it. Pick the one you’ll find easiest depending on the size and style of your beard or moustache.

Keep in mind, it’s easier for something to go wrong too. You can’t assume you’ll have a great seal like hairless people, so you’ll need to take extra safety precautions just in case you run into trouble in the middle of the deep blue sea.