Your worst nightmare must involve being stuck at sea with nowhere to turn when you don’t know how to swim.
But you’re not on the Titanic. Snorkeling is a hundred times safer than you think even if you can’t swim.
Do you really want to miss out on all the amazing sea life you’ll be able to see under the ocean? The good news is that you don’t have to.
Is Snorkeling Safe For Non Swimmers?
Yes, snorkeling is absolutely safe for non swimmers. You can enjoy the underwater world like everyone else. You might need to follow some best practices and use extra equipment, so we’re going to spend a while looking at how you can make your snorkeling dreams come true.
You Need To Learn How To Relax
The most important thing non swimmers need to do is learn how to relax. When you start to panic while snorkeling it doesn’t help when you don’t have the ability to keep yourself afloat. There are a few specific things that will help you out much more than you think:
- Always wear a full face snorkel mask
- Go with a tour company if possible
- You must have good fins on your feet
- Check the sea conditions beforehand
Always wear a full face snorkel mask – Once you learn how to swim feel free to use any snorkel mask you want. But non swimmers should stick to the best full face snorkel masks if they want to stay relaxed for a few huge reasons:
- You can breathe through your nose
- No water can fall into the snorkel
- They come with anti-fog technology
1 – You can breathe through your nose
A full face snorkel mask covers your entire face, which means you can breathe through your mouth and nose. It feels much more natural than being forced to breathe solely through your mouth. If you can’t swim you want to cut down on the amount of problems to deal with.
You can only breathe through your mouth when using a traditional snorkel. After a while everyone does eventually get used to it.
But in an emergency situation you forget about everything you know and act on instinct. It’s in those times it’s good to know breathing through your nose will actually work.
2 – No water can fall into the snorkel
Today might be the first time you’ve seen what a full face snorkel mask looks like. Each one comes with a built-in dry snorkel. These types of snorkels prevent any water from getting into the breathing tube even when you’re fully submerged.
If you can’t swim I appreciate you might not be doing deep dives under the water. That doesn’t mean you won’t want to get closer to the giant turtles/dolphins and fully submerge your head every now and again.
3 – They come with anti-fog technology
Normal snorkel masks tend to fog up when you’re under the water. It’s nothing to worry about when you’re a good swimmer. When you can’t swim more than a few meters it’s the exact opposite. If your mask fogs up you won’t have a clue what to do.
Fortunately, good full face snorkel masks come with anti-fog technology. You can do anything you want under the water and your mask won’t fog up, so you won’t end up in any tight spots.
Bonus Reason: Full face snorkeling masks come with a 180 degree panoramic view of the ocean. You’ll be able to see much more cool stuff down there, which is a good enough reason on its own to wear one.
Go with a tour company if possible – In most tropical places with gorgeous snorkeling spots you’ll be able to book a snorkel tour through reputable companies. It might be worth thinking about if you’re a non swimmer even though they cost money.
Snorkel tour companies will know exactly where the best spots are. But more importantly you’ll have a professional guide looking after you. There will also be a lot more people closer to you in the water. If something goes wrong you have more chance of receiving help.
You must have good fins on your feet – Non swimmers should have the best snorkeling flippers on their feet. For starters, they help the lower half of your body stay buoyant. When you’re kicking your feet your body will stay perfectly horizontal.
They obviously work well when you find yourself in trouble too. Treading water is one of the most important skills you can master in emergency situations. You don’t even need to know how to swim and it’s a million times easier with snorkeling fins.
Check the sea conditions beforehand – Even though joining a tour gives you peace of mind and helps you relax it’s possible to do things solo too. Just make sure you examine weather reports to check the sea conditions before heading out to the ocean.
It’s almost impossible to relax when there are big waves. When you can’t swim you don’t want any crashing down on you. Ensure the sea is as calm as possible. If it doesn’t look good stick to drinking cocktails on the beach for a day.
Using A Snorkeling Floatation Device
A snorkel mask and fins are essentials everyone should use when they go snorkeling. There are a few pieces of equipment to take things to the next level. If you’re a non swimmer you might feel safer using a snorkel floatation device when in the ocean:
- Snorkeling Vest
- Floatation Belt
- Snorkeling Float
Snorkeling Vest – If you really want to feel safe at all times you can wear a snorkeling vest. Although it might feel a little uncomfortable snorkeling with a vest you’ll always be safe. It really helps when you’ve been snorkeling for hours and begin to get tired.
Floatation Belt – If you think snorkel vests look too bulky a floatation belt is a good alternative. It’s essentially a belt that fits around your waist and gives you more buoyancy. You’ll be able to tread water and swim around in deep water for much longer.
Snorkeling Float – Purpose built snorkeling floats are cheap and cheerful. You can blow them up and hold onto the handles to stay afloat. In theory, you could use lots of things to achieve the same goal. Holding onto one of the best bodyboards is a good example.
Beach vs Boat Snorkeling For Non Swimmers
There are two ways you’ll be able to snorkel. One involves starting at the shore and walking into the other, whereas the other involves starting in deeper waters. If you haven’t snorkeled a day in your life it might be worth starting at the shore.
But there isn’t much point staying there in most cases. It gives you a false sense of security because currents can still drag you away. Plus there is much less marvelous things to see. Test it out when getting started before heading out further.
Just make sure there is always at least one person with you at all times no matter where you go. Preferably an excellent swimmer capable of saving you with one hand tied behind their back.
Can You Snorkel Without Knowing How To Swim?
Absolutely, you can definitely snorkel even though you can’t swim. But I’m sure you’ll appreciate you do need some safety equipment to ensure you don’t drown. A few of the things we’ve touched on today should satisfy your needs even far out at sea.
Once you realize you love snorkeling you might put more effort into learning how to swim. It’s one of the most exciting ways to spend your time while near the ocean.