Why Do Scuba Divers Wear Snorkels?

Scuba divers carry air tanks with them every time while diving. If you’ve ever seen them, you may also notice that scuba divers usually have snorkels as well. Many scuba divers have asked if it is necessary to wear a snorkel while scuba diving. The answer to this remains controversial. However, there are a few reasons it is advised to wear snorkels while diving.

While diving, scuba divers use snorkels for breathing on the surface without using their air tanks. By breathing through a snorkel, divers can conserve air for longer dives. Snorkels may also serve as emergency air backup for the surface if any equipment fails or the supply runs out. 

It is essential to have a snorkel in many situations. For example, if you are diving in a group and must wait for another diver to descend. It may be necessary to wait for the boat to pick you up on the surface. Snorkels are essential in both cases.

Why Should You Wear Snorkels While Scuba Diving?

There is a list of benefits explaining why divers should wear a snorkel while scuba diving. Keep reading below.

  • Saving up on the air tank: If you have a longer swim duration to and from the entry point, you can save the tank for times in need by breathing through a snorkel. 
  • Check water while on the surface: Snorkels help you to check the water while on the surface. You can check its visibility and the current flow before going for an extensive dive. 
  • Surface swimming: Surface swimmers can also use snorkels for the same reason: saving up on their air tanks. If the water conditions are choppy, a backup air supply is vital. 
  • Breathing at the surface: It may not be necessary to wear a snorkel for surface swimming before or after scuba diving in ideal water conditions. However, wearing a snorkel is vital if you face rough water, high surface tides, rain, or wind. This would help you with creating an environment where you can breathe appropriately.

Choosing The Right Snorkel

There are many options to choose from when deciding on the correct snorkel for scuba diving. For instance:

  • Dry snorkels prevent water from flooding while diving underwater by shutting the air pathway. 
  • Semi-dry snorkels consist of a splash guard, preventing sprays from entering the snorkel tube.
  • Classic snorkels are the most popular snorkels among scuba divers because of their low volume and lightweight.

Innovation Makes Its Way

There are new kinds of snorkels now available for scuba diving that prevent the issues of getting caught on tiny things inside the water. These snorkels are smaller and foldable to fit in the diver’s pocket or get attached to the diving suit elsewhere. Since these snorkels are very handy, you can just take them out of your pocket and use them in need. 


It is entirely their choice for scuba divers to carry or not to carry a snorkel with them while scuba diving. However, it is advisable to take one just if it may be required as a safety backup device during rough water conditions.

Latest articles

Related articles