Snorkeling and scuba diving are two distinct practices that should not be confused: one is accessible to everyone and the other requires a minimum of training.
What is the difference between scuba diving and snorkeling?
The term “snorkeling” comes from the English word “snorkel” which means snorkel. It is a form of discovery of the seabed practiced with a mask, snorkel and fins. This sporting activity, which appeared in the 1940s and became popular in 1960, allows you to discover the underwater fauna and flora in warm or temperate and shallow water (16 to 20 ft maximum, which is better than your bathtub). Requiring little equipment and very limited training (especially necessary for safety rules), snorkeling is accessible to a large number of people, provided they are in good physical health. We swim on the surface, our heads pointing towards the seabed. For the more experienced people, snorkeling allows you to alternate between snorkeling and skin diving. For many years, a large number of tour operators have organised excursions, or even real hikes, most often in tropical seas. Thus, one can find “underwater paths” for discovering marine biology. It turns out that this is an excellent educational tool for the general public.
Scuba diving is a way to discover the seabed that requires a serious training in scuba diving school. Good physical condition and a special equipment composed, among other things, a bottle that serves as a reserve of air to breathe underwater (this allows autonomous diving).
Unlike your bathtub dives, it is a technique that allows you to descend to high depths of up to a hundred feet and discover a whole range of fauna and flora that are totally invisible from the surface. It is no longer a question of staying on the shore, but of conquering the deep blue, within the limits of the air tank and the decompression stops.
Two distinct practices but despite everything, points in common …
When you practice snorkeling, you have to learn to master a certain number of things: oral breathing (since you often wear a mask that does not allow you to breathe through the nose), the equilibrium in the water, the supports, the use of the snorkel (very often anyway), benchmarks for ease of water, the use of a neoprene garment even though light, the motricity in the water with or without fins, etc.
These landmarks also relate to the water and the marine environment. What could be scary at the beginning is gradually part of the environment (rocks, algae, plants, etc …). All these skills that are acquired little by little are all stored experiences that will serve as a basis for a potential scuba diving certification!
How to practice snorkeling
The snorkel consists in moving around the surface of the water, with a suitable material: a pair of fins, a mask and a tube; and observe the seabed. In addition, it is a sport that is also characterized by being able to breathe continuously through the tube that stays on the surface.
This practice is done in shallow waters and to practice snorkeling it is not necessary to have any previous experience, you only need to know how to swim.
It is an economic sport, accessible and quite easy to learn. It does not require any special certificate (except a swimming certificate). Snokeling mask, fins and a snorkel is what you need, apart from a place to snorkel and enjoy the underwater world.
If you want to snorkel for a long time or travel long distances, a pair of fins is recommended. A diving suit (or shorty ) is also recommended in cold waters, which keeps the upper body warm. A lifejacket is useful for swimmers without much experience.
How to go scuba diving
Diving is quite different, which is also called scuba diving. The practice of diving consists of submerging yourself in the water, with the help of some devices to be able to breathe. You will need much more specific products such as a Scuba Diving Mask, Bouyancy Control Device (BC), regulator and an oxygen tank. You will also have to go through formal training classes.
Snorkeling is a very fun and interesting sport that has minimal danger that you can do in the sea, with hardly any financial outlay. You will only have to put on your glasses and snorkel and enjoy the sea.
Scuba diving is not difficult to learn, but it is a bit more complex than snorkeling. You are fully under water, in which you will travel down into the ocean to much more depth. For this you will require other equipment and techniques. With the correct diving equipment you can submerge up to 130 ft underwater. The use of an air tank and accessories is clearly a big difference than just having a snorkel.