It’s thought that the first explorers of the deep to use devices resembling today’s snorkels were sea sponge farmers diving in the Mediterranean Sea. They breathed through hollow reeds, spying their valuable prizes from the surface before diving down deep.
Today, snorkelers and scuba divers use snorkels as breathing apparatus when on the surface, enabling them to keep looking beneath the waves with a constant supply of air.
Even today snorkels are fairly simple in their construction. However, manufacturers make use of modern lightweight plastics and rubbers that are more durable, lightweight and can be molded to fit a diver’s face and mask.
Snorkels are either J or L-shaped. The best snorkels feature a one way purge valve at the bend near the mouth piece that allows the diver to clear the tube more easily as water is blown out both ends.
Your new snorkel should clip onto the strap of your mask; you should never slide it under your mask’s strap as this will break its seal allowing water to get in.
Some modern snorkels also have systems at the air inlet to stop water from getting in. This can be a useful addition if you plan to be spending a lot of time snorkelling in choppy conditions.
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