How to Swim with a Snorkel | Tricks & Tips To Be the Best

Snorkeling for non-swimmers is often an undervalued activity. Many travelers to tropical destinations offer something anyone can do, which includes plowing the surface with rental gear and swim vests. But snorkeling diving can be a lot more! In this guide, I will explain to you how to swim with a snorkel.

There is a good chance that nothing will happen when you go swimming in the ocean, even if you don’t know how to swim. But it is still important not to underestimate the power of open water. Like most outdoor activities, it involves risk.

Your ideal goal is to reduce those risks! And in the case of diving with snorkel, there are some things you can do to help yourself. 

However, there are many things you can do to help make a safe snorkeling adventure.

And save snorkeling experience is what can lead to a fun snorkeling adventure! A snorkeling disaster is no fun!

How to Swim with a Snorkel

  • Be calm in the water
  • Take a swimming lesson to learn how to do breaststroke
  • Learn breaststroke
  • Take swimming lessons at your local YMCA
  • Practice snorkeling in the pool
  • Study snorkel underwater
  • Don’t swim alone
  • Stay in shallow and calm water
  • Wear a snorkel vest
  • Wear fins
  • Think twice about that snorkeling tour

Is it a good idea to know how to swim when you go snorkeling? The answer is YES! Here are some snorkeling tips for beginners when you don’t know how to swim.

Be calm in the water

Even if you don’t know exactly how to swim, you have to be comfortable in the water.

And for that matter, there are some snorkeling tips even for confident swimmers! We will not leave until you feel 100% comfortable with what you wear. 

Staying comfortable in the ocean, even if you don’t know exactly how to swim, you want to be comfortable in the water. If you are not comfortable in the water, you will not have comfortable snorkeling, which means snorkeling diving will not be any fun!

How to Swim with a Snorkel

Take a swimming lesson to learn how to do breaststroke

Even if your swimming skills level is at the beginner level, only one lesson will make a difference. Asking to learn how to swim freestyle in a lesson can be a little overwhelming.

Learn breaststroke

But if you don’t know how to do breaststroke, it would be appropriate to have a swimming lesson to learn how to do it. Choosing a breaststroke can be a little easier, and a swimming stroke can be useful in the time snorkeling experience, as it is about to pass through water. Learn how snorkels work underwater.

It can also be useful for learning the proper way to kick if you are wearing fins. To kick effectively means you don’t have to kick with unnecessary energy as you move into the water. Of course, if you are willing to spend a little more time and money, better lessons!

Take swimming lessons at your local YMCA

It can be around 50 bucks. You have to consider it an investment as part of your vacation budget! Have more fun during your snorkeling trip! Or, if you want to practice a little on your own, take a look at the open swimming hours of your local high school.

Some high schools offer this open swimming time for less than 5 bucks per swim in their pool. You can also take adult swimming lessons in high school.

Note: If your children are taking snorkeling, definitely include them in the swimming lesson group if they do not know how to swim!

Practice snorkeling in the pool

And if you’re heading to the ocean, it’s a good idea to keep your snorkeling gear with you so you can feel comfortable breathing with the snorkel.

The full-face snorkeling mask is considered suitable for the beginner, as the standard snorkeling equipment can make a little more adjustment.

That’s the more reason you need to practice! It can be a terrible combination if you struggle to breathe while snorkeling and don’t know how to swim.

swim snorkel for beginners

Study snorkel underwater

If you have a summer before your snorkeling vacation that will certainly give you more temperature, you can head to a local lake to practice snorkeling in calm, open water!

Don’t swim alone

Whether you swim in faith or not, it is good not to swim alone in open water. This is even truer if you do not know how to swim in deep water. Using a companion system or flotation device when you are snorkeling is an added level of security.

Stay in shallow and calm water

This is more about keeping your comfort level low. The more comfortable you are, the more you will enjoy snorkeling diving! Depending on where your snorkeling destination is, you will find beaches with good snorkeling beaches in shallow water.

But, don’t forget shallow water and calm water to stay completely safe. Always remember, the sea can be powerful! It would help if you were 100% sure that your first experience with scuba diving is in very shallow water or the swimming pool.

Wear a snorkel vest

If you don’t know how to swim, you should consider wearing a snorkel vest. Not only will it help you stay afloat while snorkeling, but the vest can also give you some relief when you need to take a break. Even if you are in shallow water, consider wearing a vest because you never know how seawater will work!

open water swimming snorkel

Wear fins

Wearing snorkel fins is another thing that can provide an extra level of protection. They can help you move forward more easily. This means you will be able to snorkel more easily without getting tired. And when you are not confident in your swimming ability, you need all the help you can get!

The only problem with fins is that they take up a lot of space in your luggage. But if space is not a problem, then take a look at snorkeling fins. Otherwise, if you are traveling to a snorkeling destination, there will be little or no space for other snorkeling equipment.

This way, you can bring the mask and snorkel you are practicing with and then rent the fins when you reach the beach. This will give you 100% confidence and safety in the water, as it is impossible to drown while wearing, and you will enjoy snorkeling without any worries. 

Think twice about that snorkeling tour

If you are thinking of a sun rising tour that takes you on a boat in the middle of the ocean, then you should think hard about whether you want to go on that swimming tour. For those of you who are not 100% comfortable in the water, the thought of hiking in the open sea can be terrible. 

If you’re sitting in your pleasant home right now, thinking you’re not worried about getting out in the open water, when you get out of there, it could be a whole different story.

What to Pack for your Snorkeling Trip

Now here are some things you can consider packing for your beach vacation.

  • Standard snorkel set or full-face snorkeling mask.
  • A case so you can take pictures of natural water with your phone.
  • A pouch so you can carry your valuables in the water with you!
  • A personal buoy or flotation snorkel vest so you can be found in the water instantly whenever you are lost!
  • Wear a UV protection shirt, so you don’t get burned under strong tropical sun rays when you’re in the water.
  • A beach shoe that can protect your feet from sharp rocks hidden on the beach and under the sand in the water!
  • Beach bag that is open-air to start drying your beach gear. 
How to Swim with a Snorkel

How to Swim with a Snorkel: Frequently Asked Questions

Is snorkeling safe for non-swimmers?

The short answer is, YES, a completely non-swimmer can snorkel! Once this is understood, a shallow water area is required for a start. Here non-swimmers feel safe and are open to listening to any instruction.

How do you snorkel without knowing swimming?

Essentially, snorkeling is a surface sport. You don’t go completely underwater. Plenty of non-swimmers snorkel always.

Do you know how to swim to snorkel?

You don’t need to know how to swim just wear a hot-air balloon snorkel vest, and you must wear fins. Keep in mind to snorkel with a friend and not be alone.


Snorkeling is a wonderful activity that people of all ages can enjoy, and if you already know how to swim, you will benefit greatly. You will have the confidence to swim in different areas of the reef and dive down to get closer to all the fish and coral you want to see better.

However, that does not mean that those who cannot swim should lose all pleasure. 

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