So you’ve got your awesome snorkel mask, some great fins that’ll get you swimming faster than ever, and you’re ready to go hit the sea and explore some underwater coral life. Or are you? While many people think that all you need for snorkelling are your basic snorkel, fins, and mask, you’ll be a lot safer, more comfortable, and well protected if you also make sure you’re dressed in a little bit more than just a bikini or boardies.
In this article we’ll look at the reasons why it’s not a great idea to go out snorkelling in regular swimmers, and how a good snorkelling suit will give you a much better experience. We’ll also let you know what not to wear while snorkelling – not so that you look cool, but so that you stay safe!
Sure, you’ve slathered on some sunscreen, but when you’re snorkelling for hours out in the hot midday sun, with just the back side of your body exposed to the sun, you’re going to need a little more than just a layer of sunscreen to keep you protected from UV rays. While a nice tan is a great way to show off your new snorkelling habit, unhealthy skin is never a good idea.
Women, it’s a not-often-thought-about fact that the upper hamstring area just under your bikini – the part that keeps you afloat while snorkelling – is going to be exposed to the sun’s harsh rays all day. Enjoy a healthy tan and protected skin by making sure you hit the sea with a good, UV-resistant swimsuit that covers all your sensitive areas and keeps them hidden from the sun. That means swapping out the bikini bottoms (or speedos!) for something longer.
2. Jellyfish and other nasties
As much as we love the ocean, it’s full of a lot of nasty little creatures that can bite, sting, or just cause a little bit of irritation. While exercising extreme caution around coral and sea life can protect you to a degree, you can’t always be aware of how close your body is drifting to something that might sting or burn. Whether it’s fish, jellyfish, or coral, swimming around with an exposed body isn’t always the best idea.
Hour after hour, you’ll only be increasing your chances of coming into contact with something, and the best way to give you comfort and peace of mind while snorkelling is to make sure you’re protected with a swimsuit that covers the majority of your body. We’re not talking full body wetsuits here, but a swimsuit that offers protection to your belly, upper arms, and thighs, keeping the majority of your body safe from undesired contact with other sea life.
3. It’s cold
Let’s be real – bikinis and boardies are great when you’re laying on the sand getting some sun, but once you’re diving into the ocean it can get real chilly, real fast. Another reason why it’s not a great idea to go snorkelling in your average swimsuit is because you’re likely to be freezing your butt off not before long, and want to head back and soak up some more rays.
To make snorkelling more comfortable – so you can keep going for longer and keep your attention focused on the cool sights and not your numb toes – it’s a good idea to chuck on a snorkel suit that’ll add an extra layer of warmth. Get one with a front zipper, and putting it on and off as you enter and exit the ocean will be a breeze. No more anxiety about jumping in the cold – you’re sorted.
4. You don’t look pro
Yes, we’re saying it. Go snorkelling with a bikini or boardies on, and sure, you look like you’re having a good time. Go snorkelling with a snorkel suit on? Damn, you’re going to look like some professional underwater explorer to everyone else out there.
You’ll get envious glances from others as they squeal from the cold water’s touch. You’ll be able to snorkel for hours, and exit the water with no nasty sunburn or jellyfish stings. You’ll unzip that front zipper, and others will marvel at your toned snorkeller physique… OK, we’re getting carried away. Point is, a snorkel suit shows you’re serious about snorkelling, while a regular swimsuit will just never add up.
So… what not to wear?
Let’s stick to the basics here, and not get into the silly stuff (did someone say ‘No high heels?’)
- No jewellery – Keep your bling out on the sand, snorkellers. Wearing jewellery out at sea can reflect the sun’s rays underwater, just as a fish’s scales might. And you don’t want to reflect sun like a fish, because that attracts sharks… Yeah, keep the jewellery back on land.
- No loose clothing – OK, you don’t want to invest in a snorkel suit, but you’ll try to DIY it yourself by chucking on a t-shirt and shorts. That’s a great first step, but whatever you do, be sure to go out in clothing that’s not too loose or you’ll find swimming a real struggle. Keep things aerodynamic with tightly fitting clothes that won’t restrict movement.
OK. What else do I need?
You’ve got a rad full face mask (or if you don’t, catch up with the others and get one now), you’ve got your fins, and now you’ve got a nice protective snorkel suit. Is that it? Well, yeah. But if you’re looking to take your snorkelling activities to the next level, there are a few more bits and pieces you can invest in to take your favourite activity to new heights.
- Snorkel vest – There’s nothing better than peace of mind. And if you want to float away all day without a care in the world, chuck a snorkel vest into your collection. You’ll enjoy extra buoyancy in strong currents, and if you get lost or need help, you’ll have a little extra visibility thanks to the fluoro colours. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to dive below the water’s surface with a vest – you can easily inflate and deflate the vest while wearing.
- Dry bag – If you were freaking out when we said to leave your jewellery on the sand, you’re probably better off investing in a dry bag or backpack to take with you while snorkelling. A good waterproof dry bag will hold all your essentials while you head off exploring, keeping them safe from water and beach thieves. Store your phone, watch, wallet, snacks…
- GoPro – It’s not an essential, but like we said, this is about taking your experience to new heights. The more you snorkel, the more you see, and the more you want to be able to show people back home the incredible stuff you’ve marvelled at underwater. A GoPro can help you record incredible underwater experiences so you can create memories of your favourite adventures. Our full face snorkel mask even includes a GoPro mount, so it’s easier than ever to take snaps of crazy sea life.