Snorkeling vs Scuba Diving: Which Is Better?
When your adventurous spirit rises and you’re looking for something exciting to do, snorkeling or scuba diving are great choices. The question is, do you go big with scuba diving or keep it simple with snorkeling? Both provide new and exciting experiences but require different skills, equipment, and training. To help you decide, we will compare both to see which one is better.
Snorkeling is considered to be more popular than scuba diving, but that could be due to the time and cost needed to get a diving certification. Snorkeling requires less equipment and training, so let’s talk about it first.
Snorkeling is a water surface sport, meaning you don’t have to go completely under water. You simply have to be able to swim, and the rest is learned with a few practice tries. For gear, all you need is a mask, fins, and a snorkel. You can also use flotation devices such as a vest to stay afloat without as much work.
Snorkeling equipment is pretty basic. The snorkel is either a J or L shaped tube of about 30 centimeters long, with a piece of rubber that attaches it to the mask strap. You use the snorkel for breathing air while your face is in the water. You can dive while snorkeling, but water will enter the snorkel, and you will have to clear it. There are two ways to clear a snorkel the blast method or displacement method. The blasting method is basic, just blow the water out when you surface. With the displacement method, you tilt your head back and exhale through the snorkel just before reaching the surface. Snorkeling is fun, and you can do it just about anywhere. You don’t have to lug around a ton of equipment or arrange to rent equipment while you’re on vacation.
Now let’s talk about scuba diving which is more intense. The biggest advantage to scuba diving is the freedom, you can go deeper, and see 360 degrees. Equipment consists of mask, fins, snorkel, wetsuit, buoyancy control device, regulator, depth gauge, air gauge, mouthpiece, and air tank.
Scuba diving requires training or certification. The first step for beginners is to get their open water certification. Certification takes about 2-4 days and includes a textbook course, instructional videos, stationary dives, and a minimum of four open water dives. Once you have your certification, you can dive up to 18 meters or 60 feet.
There are many certification agencies you want to choose one that follows International Standards Organization (ISO) accreditation. The major agencies that follow either ISO standards or the European equivalent are PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors), and SSI (Scuba Schools International).
When it comes to choosing which is better, it breaks down to the following; Snorkeling is easier, less expensive, with no required training. Snorkeling is also limited to the surface and only looking down into the waters. In comparison, scuba diving gives more freedom, but is more costly and requires certification time. Of course with scuba diving, you get to see and experience more of the underwater world.