A snorkel is an essential piece of equipment for scuba divers, snorkellers, and free divers, allowing them to better appreciate the beautiful environment of the underwater world. At Bob’s Scuba, we offer top-of-the-line snorkels from some of the best brands, including Akona, Problue, Scubapro, Genesis, Mares, Head, Oceanreef and Trident.
Since a snorkel is put into your mouth, most divers prefer to have their own. The snorkel hangs off your mask and allows you to breathe at the surface. It is worn on the left side of the mask for scuba divers as the regulator is worn to the right. The three main variations of snorkel are the J tube, the semi-dry and the dry snorkel.
The Traditional J Tub Snorkel
This dependable snorkel has been around for decades, and over the years, its design has not changed much.
It is designed to have low drag. Due to its open top, water will flood the circle when you dive beneath the surface – it, therefore, requires a blast of air before it may be used as a breathing apparatus again.
The J Tube snorkel is a popular choice among spearfishermen and freedivers who appreciate the low drag of this design.
This snorkel is a bit of a hybrid between the J tube snorkel and the dry snorkel. The cover at the top of the snorkel and a purge valve at the bottom do a good job at deflecting water (such as when a wave comes over top), but the snorkel tube will still flood when the diver submerges.
This design is popular with scuba divers looking to conserve air in their tank while they are at the surface but don’t want to carry the extra bulk of a dry snorkel.
The original design of the dry snorkel was quite bulky, but over the years it has become more streamlined. The defining feature of the dry snorkel is that it has a mechanism at the top of the tube that stops water from entering when the diver submerges.
Usually, this mechanism is a flotation device inside the tube that floats upward to seal off the tube. When the snorkeler surfaces, the device falls back down, opening up the tube and allows the snorkeler to breathe again through the snorkel.
The dry snorkel is a great choice for snorkellers who enjoy quick shallow dives and don’t want the hassle of having to purge the snorkel each time they come to the surface. Because the flotation device traps air inside the tube, it makes the snorkel buoyant, which is undesirable for deeper dives.
Choosing your snorkel
Choosing your snorkel should begin with an understanding of the benefits of each type of snorkel. If you are comfortable with flooding, then a traditional J tube or semi-dry snorkel may be your best option. If flooding causes discomfort or you are interested primarily in shallow dives, then a dry snorkel may be best. Many manufacturers also design snorkels that fold or roll up for easier storage.
Take some time today to browse through our online store or contact us directly if you have any questions.