There’s something about the ocean that makes us drawn to it. When life gets too hectic and responsibilities begin to weigh us down, we often turn to the ocean for a sense of peace and clarity.
Our affinity for the ocean is undeniable. Just being in the water can calm the senses, re-energize our spirits, and connect us with others. Many people love spending their vacation on the beach or near the ocean where they can bask in the sun and enjoy watersports. Two of the most loved watersports are snorkeling and diving because they usher you to a whole new world beneath the waves.
What makes snorkeling and diving different
Fun, adventurous, and exciting are common characteristics of snorkeling and scuba diving. These underwater activities enable you to explore and appreciate the incredible beauty of the marine world. Despite their similarities, these two watersports are different in the following ways.
Equipment and depth
A snorkeler only uses a mask that covers the eyes and nose and a breathing tube called a snorkel. The limited gear also confines a snorkeler’s ability to go deep into the water. No worries because a snorkeler can still appreciate the panoramic views of the underwater world by swimming near the water’s surface. If you’re snorkeling, the mask and snorkel will allow you to keep your face submerged while still being able to breathe. You may also wear a pair of fins but this is optional.
A diver, on the other hand, uses a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. The scuba equipment enables the diver to comfortably breathe and immerse himself in the underwater environment. The depth limit of a diver depends on his diving level. Beginners like the PADI Open Water Diving can dive to a depth of 12m accompanied by a PADI Pro. While PADI Advanced Open Water Diving allows you to dive to a depth of 30m with a dive buddy. Divers who take up the Deep Dive Specialty course are equipped to explore dive sites up to 40m such as wrecks. If you’re in Dubai or have plans to visit soon, you can join our deep sea diving Dubai to explore the colorful underwater world.
When you’re snorkeling, you keep your face underwater while the end of the tube sticks out of the water. This prevents the breathing tube from flooding. It’s possible to go below the surface and dive a little deeper by holding your breath and removing the snorkel from your mouth. When you feel the need to take another breath, go back near the surface and let the other end of the breathing tube jut out of the water. Next, blow air out of the snorkel to clear it out before you inhale more air.
If this seems like a hassle, you might consider using a dry snorkel. It is a good choice if you want to dive a bit deeper because it’s equipped with a specialized valve mechanism on top of the tube called a float valve. This keeps the water out by automatically sealing the top end of the tube when submerged. It also comes with a purge valve to remove water easier should it enter the tube.
In scuba diving, you use a scuba tank, so breathing underwater comes more naturally. You can keep your whole body underwater and breathe using a regulator mouthpiece. This equipment is created to release gas whenever you inhale.
There’s no time restriction when you go snorkeling because your breathing tube enables you to have a continuous supply of air while floating just below the surface. However, when you dive a little deeper, you become limited to how long you can hold your breath while you’re underwater.
It’s a different matter when it comes to scuba diving since you’re using a tank. The advantage of using a scuba tank is being able to stay underwater for longer periods without the need to hold your breath. You might wonder, how long does the air in a scuba tank last? Well, that may depend on several factors including depth, decompression limits, environmental factors, and the diver’s level of physical exertion. You’ll learn about this in your diving course.
Level of skill and budget
Snorkeling is ideal for both young and old without the need for training or previous experience. But for safety reasons, more practice and experience are recommended when snorkeling in reefs deeper than 12 feet. It’s budget-friendly because there’s no need for special equipment or clothing. When you have a diving mask and a snorkel, then you’re good to go. You may also wear swim fins but they are optional.
Unlike snorkeling, scuba diving requires professional training which is a combination of theoretical and in-water scuba lessons. Although you have to pay for scuba courses, the result is always worth the price. Once you earn a diver certification, you can dive to certain depths based on your level. Diving is a great activity for different ages as young as 10 years old.
Snorkeling and diving are both fun!
Whichever watersport you choose, always prioritize your safety so you can make the most out of the experience. Enjoy the water!