How to Snorkel Without Swallowing Water (9 Tips!)

Snorkeling is an amazing way to enjoy marine life. One of the most attractive things about it once you get the hang of it, is that it’s pretty easy! One common problem snorkelers have is getting water in their snorkel, which is not always avoidable but there are some tips on how to snorkel without swallowing water that I can share with you.

Snorkeling is great because it requires very little equipment compared to scuba diving. All you really need is a mask, snorkel, fins and a sense of adventure! If you are just new to snorkeling, be sure to follow these tips to prevent yourself from swallowing water while snorkeling.

This is a great snorkel set with everything you need for snorkeling!
  • Full mask fin snorkel set with all-in-one bag
  • Panoramic view snorkel dive mask
  • Unobstructed breathing dry top snorkel
  • Flexible adjustable trek fins
  • Check price on Amazon

9 Tips on how to snorkel without swallowing water

1. Use equipment that fits

Like with any other sport or recreational activity, you want to make sure that your gear fits you. For snorkeling, this also means you should have a snorkel with a mouth-piece that fits comfortably in your mouth.

If the mouthpiece is too big or too small, it is bound to cause you problems and prevent you from getting a proper seal. Not to mention, it will make your experience much less comfortable.

2. Make sure your snorkel is functioning!

This sound obvious, but one reason you may be taking on or swallowing water while snorkeling is because the snorkel you are using may be leaking. Snorkeling equipment is pretty hardy but is not immune to damages.

Sometimes the valve (located at the bottom of some snorkels near the mouth-piece) will leak if it has been damaged. Another place prone to leaks is where the mouth-piece is attached to the rest of the snorkel, where the U-shaped rubber piece is.

It’s worth testing out your snorkel in a controlled setting before getting out there and realizing you have a leak!

3. Check the weather conditions

Snorkeling is highly influenced by weather conditions. If you go snorkeling on a day where it is extra choppy and the waves are crashing, there is a chance that the waves could splash water into your snorkel which is never a fun surprise!

Not to mention, the visibility will probably be pretty poor if you go snorkeling on a day with rough seas.

4. Look straight down

When you snorkel, ideally you want to be floating horizontally on the surface. This means you should be looking straight down towards the ocean floor, not at your feet!

If you have your head looking at your feet, that means you would essentially be sticking your snorkel straight into the water which is a surefire way to get water in your snorkel and therefore swallow seawater.

5. Stay at the surface

As soon as you dive down, even just a few inches, you submerge your snorkel in water. For beginners, the depth at which you begin to take on water can be surprisingly shallow, so it’s best to just stay at the surface.

6. Place your tongue at the roof of your mouth

While snorkeling, you can help to keep water out of your mouth by pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth. It’s normal for you to get at least a little bit of water in your mouth while snorkeling, but this tip will help to keep that to a minimum.

7. Breathe slowly

When you’re snorkeling it’s important to take slow and steady breaths. If you start heavy breathing, you could essentially suck water into your snorkel. Breathing heavily and quickly will also tire you out, so just relax!

8. Clear your snorkel

If you are feeling a bit more adventurous and you want to dive down while snorkeling, or you just happen to get a mouthful of water, there are two ways you can clear your snorkel.

The first way is to take the snorkel out of your mouth and physically dump the water out. This often requires you to take your mask off as well, and tread water all while trying to get water out of your snorkel.

The second and more practical way is to clear your snorkel by quickly exhaling. This requires you to exhale sharply enough to essentially blow the water out of your snorkel. One tip to help you is to exhale while making a “t” sound. This tactic doesn’t require you to remove your snorkel and in fact you can do this while on the move!

9. Buy a dry-top snorkel

There are certain types of snorkels that have valves and splash guards that go an extra step from preventing water from getting in your snorkel. While they won’t keep all water out If you submerge your snorkel in the water, they will keep a lot of the extra splash out.

Keep in mind that these snorkels tend to be a bit more expensive than your typical snorkel but are great for beginners. Here’s a dry top snorkel on Amazon that’s pretty popular.


Snorkeling is one of the best ways to view marine life. There isn’t much that beats swimming alongside the fish! One way to surely put a damper on your day though is to get a belly full of sea-water by swallowing water through your snorkel.

But, if you follow these tips and take It slow, you will definitely be on the right track to having an amazing snorkeling experience!

Written by OutdoorMotives

At we talk about all types of outdoor activities. We answer common questions and recommend the best products to help you enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.


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