Best Snorkeling Tips for Every Level

Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t have your degree in snorkolology when you come to Hawaii!  There are a few tips that will make you look like a pro, even if this is your first underwater rodeo!

#1 Make friends with your mask

If there is one thing you need to make your underwater adventure successful, its a properly fitting mask. If the mask is too loose, the water leaking in will make your trip miserable. If your mask is too tight, your headache will be more memorable than swimming with turtles! The best way to make sure your mask fits perfectly is to go for a trial run. When you put it on, imagine it feeling that way for the next two hours. Are there pressure points or any uncomfortable pinching? While those are signs it needs to be loosened, you also don’t want a lazy mask. There will be a rather solid suctioning feeling, but it should feel bearable. To check the mask, press it against your face and forcefully inhale through your nose. The mask seal should be secure enough that it no longer requires you to hold it against your face.

Maui snorkeling


#2 The buddy system

Kindergarden was on to something when they required a buddy for field trips. Not only is it more fun to have a friend along, there is a safety in numbers. Always bring someone along on your ocean adventures. Tides can turn, fins can float away and swimmers can get tired. And if you don’t know anyone on the island, a guided tour is the perfect fit for you!

Buddy system snorkeling in Maui

#3 Equip yourself for success

Some people aren’t the strongest swimmers, and feel like snorkeling might be out of their comfort range. There are so many fun pieces of equipment that can give you the confidence boost to float along with the best of them! You’re not the first or the last to opt for a noodle or a kick board to better assist you in enjoying yourself. Because in the end, having fun is the most important part!

Snorkeling Flotation devices

#4 Troubleshoot like a pro

Not everything goes exactly as planned, even on vacation. And snorkeling can sometimes have equal parts magic and mishap. But with these few tips, the mishaps will only be a blip on the radar of an amazing day!

*Water in your snorkel: Thankfully, there’s a quick fix for this one. Exhale with a strong force through your mouth, and the water will make its way back out the snorkel.

*Water in your mask: Swim to the surface and pull forward on your mask to drain the water. If you can’t bear to be away from the tropical fish for even one moment, you can clear your mask underwater by pressing the top of the mask to the forehead and blowing out the nose. Air will bubble into the mask, pushing the water out the bottom.

*Foggy Mask: Most snorkeling tour guides carry a little spray bottle of diluted baby shampoo and water to rub on the inside of your mask. But it doesn’t hurt to make a small bottle for your trip. Nothing is worse than squinting through a foggy mask at blurry turtles!

*Tired Swimmer:
If you overestimated your ability, resting is possible. Simply flip onto your back and tread water. The inverted leg movements will be much easier and will let your muscles relax while your get your energy back. If you’re doing it correctly, it will feel like your body is in a semi-sitting position with your head above water.

#5 One love

When someone comes to your house, I’m sure they’re respectful of your way of living. They might take off their shoes, be careful with the furniture and pick up any trash from their visit. We owe the same respect to the ocean. We’re entering the home of these fish, coral, turtles and dolphins. They so kindly allow us to observe them up close in their natural habitat, so make sure to keep it pleasant for all! Try not to touch anything, from the coral to the turtles. Leave the beautiful shells and swaying seaweed for the marine life that use them for survival. Make sure to wear eco-friendly sunscreen, as many chemicals in other sunscreens can bleach and kill the coral. And please take all your belongings with your and not leave anything in the water. Feel free to even remove any trash you might find along the way! Keep these oceans clean and thriving so we can continue to enjoy their beauty!

Maui Snorkeling - underwater photos

Snorkeling is such a spectacular way to experience the ocean and its friendly inhabitants.  And if you have any questions, a guided tour is such a great way to have fun without the guesswork!  For more information, check out our guided tours!

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