Snorkeling is one of the best ways to get a look at what is living just under the water without having to get any certifications or expensive equipment. A lot of people think that you are limited to what you can while snorkeling, but with a few simple tips, you can easily explore deeper waters.

  • Make Sure You Are Using the Right Equipment
  • Be Familiar With Where You are Snorkeling
  • Practice in Shallow Waters to Get Comfortable
  • Try to Stay Relaxed and Focused While Underwater
  • Learn How to Read the Ocean 
  • You Need to Be a Good Swimmer
  • Make Sure You Know the Proper Breathing Techniques
  • Have a Snorkeling Buddy With You
  • Know Your Snorkeling Limits

Snorkeling is not only fun and a great form of exercise, but it can show you a part of the world that not everyone gets to see. With a few simple tips, you will be able to swim deeper than before, and you can feel confident and safe while doing so.

How to Go Deep While Snorkeling: 9 Simple Tips

Snorkeling is something that most people look forward to while on a tropical vacation. For those who have snorkeled with the stingrays too many times, it may be time to dive into deeper water. Snorkeling is often done in shallow water where you can easily stand up or use your snorkel at all times with no problems. Always remember to never stand on coral or fragile reefs.

Eventually, you will find yourself wanting to expand your snorkeling horizons and see what lies below. Here are nine simple tips that you can use to start snorkeling in deeper water.

When it comes to snorkeling, you need to not only have the right equipment for the job, but you want to make sure you are both comfortable using it, and that you have some familiarity with the area you are snorkeling in. By practicing in shallow water before heading into deeper waters, you can become more relaxed and be able to focus on using proper techniques with swimming and, more importantly, breathing. 

In addition to being comfortable with yourself in the water, knowing how to read the ocean can help you prepare for unexpected weather without panicking while you are out in the sea. It is always a good idea to have someone along with you just in case something goes wrong, but it is also a great way of bonding with someone.

Lastly, you should make sure that you know what your body is capable of. This can prevent any risks or potential injuries that could happen while snorkeling.

These tips will not only prepare you for snorkeling in deeper waters in terms of ability, but you will also understand the risks and how you can be more comfortable in deeper waters and enjoy the environment that you are in.

9 Tips to Help You Dive Deeper While Snorkeling

When it comes to snorkeling, it is all about your technique. With a few tips, not only can you feel more confident in both shallow and deeper water, but they can also help you become a more confident swimmer. Remember, snorkeler can be as simple as just floating. So when you start feeling fatigue, you can just stop and rest.

Here are nine of the best tips to help you feel more confident to dive deeper!

Make Sure You are Using the Right Equipment

As with any water sport, you want to make sure that you are using the right equipment. We have our top recommendations here. You want to take the time to find fins and masks that fit your frame to make sure they are not only comfortable but doing their job. Once you find the right equipment, you also should make sure that you are keeping the gear in the best shape possible. This includes cleaning your gear after every use to remove salt buildup or debris.

If you are new to snorkeling, it is worth the extra money to buy your gear from a shop that not only offers a wide variety of choices but also has knowledgeable personnel. Some shops will even let you rent different kinds of equipment to find out what is best for your snorkeling style, swimming style, or even your body frame.

Be Familiar With Where You are Snorkeling

Most people reserve snorkeling for tropical vacations. While you are getting amazing views, you may not know what lies below the water, or even how the ocean reacts to specific weather patterns in the area. If you know you are headed to a particular island or country, take the time to learn about the locality where you are snorkeling. Not only can it help keep you safe, but you may also find more tips and tricks to make your snorkeling experience as well.

Practice in Shallow Water to Get Used to the Area and Your Equipment

Before you try to head into deeper water while snorkeling, take the time to practice in shallow water to refresh yourself on your snorkeling technique as well as your breathing, sometimes getting your mask, tube, or fins can have a significant impact on how well you swim or how comfortable you feel. You can get your movements down to make sure that you can relax and enjoy your time underwater.

Try to Stay as Relaxed and Focused as Possible

Once you are finally in the water, there are a lot of things that you need to think about. Everything from how you are breathing, how long you have been underwater, and many external factors are all essential to make sure you are safe. The best way to make sure that you are doing everything you are supposed to do is to stay relaxed and fall into a rhythm of want you need to do. The best place to find this rhythm is by practicing before you enter into any open water or choose to dive down deeper than the surface of the water.

Some great tips in this video

Learn How to Read the Ocean

This might sound odd, but reading the ocean is a skill that most people who snorkel or dive are able to do. The sea can tell you a lot about knowing what kind of weather conditions may be just around the corner. Most surfers learned to do this before they ever got on a board, but it can be important for snorkelers too. The wind, tide, and swell are all essential factors if you are swimming in open water such as an ocean.

You Need to Be a Strong Swimmer

The easiest tip is that if you are looking to snorkel in deeper water, then you want to make sure that you are a good swimmer. To dive down to see certain things underwater, you are going to have to be able to swim without a flotation device. Being a good swimmer also means that your breathing technique is further along and that you are going to be able to get back to the surface in time for your next breath.

Make Sure You Know Proper Breathing Techniques

Speaking of breathing techniques, they are one of the most critical parts of becoming an excellent snorkeler. Having a proper breathing technique will prevent you from possibly blacking out while being underwater, which can be extremely dangerous. You are also going to be able to snorkel longer and make quick trips deeper into the water to see the landscape of the ocean. The best way to learn breathing techniques is by practicing in shallow waters and asking for tips and tricks from those who are avid snorkelers. Breathing techniques are not something that you can learn in a matter of a few minutes.

Have a Snorkeling Buddy With You

Another simple tip for those who are looking to dive into deeper waters is to make sure that you have a friend with you. Not only will it be an enjoyable bonding experience for you both, but if something does go wrong, you have someone there to help you.

Know Your Limits

Knowing what your body can and cannot do is something that you should be aware of before you ever attempt to go into the water. You should know your strength in swimming, breathing, and stamina. If you are new to deeper waters with snorkeling, set yourself a reasonable goal of maybe an extra thirty seconds under the water. This will give you plenty of time to look at your surroundings, but it will also ensure that you have enough time to get back to the surface.

What are the Risks with Snorkeling in Deep Water?

Many snorkelers are not aware of the risks of deep water, and they are sometimes unaware of the severe dangers that come from deep water. Scuba divers have the training and a lot of equipment for a reason! Here are a few of the significant risks that deepwater brings along.

Ear Damage

As mentioned, the pressure increases the deeper you go into the water. Equalizing is a technique that is used to balance the pressure in your ears while you are underwater, and is a common practice in freediving. Without equalizing in deeper water, you can cause severe damage to your eardrum. This is important for those who are considering snorkeling into deeper water. If you do not know how to equalize or why you should do it, then make sure you ask an instructor to learn the proper technique.


Not only does the depth you dive have a severe impact on the pressure of your lungs and body, but the compression can also start to have intense effects on your gear even at as little as three feet will begin to tighten on your body. An ill-fitting mask can cause bruising to your face that could result in permanent scarring.

Decompression Illness

The risks exists after spending at least 20-30 minutes at depth, however, so it is not an issue while snorkeling. This applies to scuba diving risks. While it is much more uncommon in shallow water, if you spend enough time underwater, you could start to feel the effects of decompression sickness.

Not only can it hurt your joints, but it can also cause severe issues with your heart, lungs, and brain. Spending too much time underwater at a depth of just under ten feet can enhance your chance of dealing with the bends. But again snorkelers and free divers can’t stay at depth long enough to be at risk.


Most of the time, if you want to head into deeper water while snorkeling, you are going to be holding your breath. The tube that is used as the breathing apparatus in snorkeling is usually only a few inches long and is not suitable for trying to breathe. If you hold your breath too long, then you may experience the blackouts while underwater. Not only is it dangerous to spend too long underwater, but if this happens in an open water area such as an ocean, it could become even more severe.

Underwater Dangers

The most obvious dangers of snorkeling are what lies under the water and even the water itself. Bad weather can intensify the threat of snorkeling in shallow water and especially deep water. Certain structures such as coral can injure you, and fish and other creatures can present risks as well. The best way to avoid any underwater dangers is to be aware of what is around you at all times.

Great advanced free diving examples from PADI course

How is Snorkeling Different Than Scuba Diving?

A lot of people will tell you that you cannot really go deep with snorkeling and if you want to go deeper than you should look into scuba diving. The truth is that you will never be able to go as deep with snorkeling as you can with scuba diving, but that doesn’t mean you are stuck to the surface forever. Diving into slightly deeper water is possible while snorkeling, and with some practice and the right equipment, it is easier to do than you think. I can reach about 20 feet for 30 seconds with years of experience.

Snorkeling requires less equipment than scuba diving. You can usually get by with a well-fitting mask, some fins, and a breathing tube. Scuba diving requires much more equipment, which is necessary for being able to survive in deeper waters. This equipment is usually much more expensive, and you have to have certification to dive in many areas.

How Deep Can You Actually Go While Snorkeling?

So, the real question is, how deep can you swim while snorkeling? The pressure underwater is more intense than the pressure that we experience on land. For every 32 feet you go down, your body experiences 1 extra atmosphere of pressure.

In other words, at 66 feet, you are feeling 3 times the pressure you feel on the surface. Our bodies begin to feel pressure around 9 feet, but depending on your fitness level and snorkeling experience, you can train to dive deeper, but there are risks. 

Since you are breathing through a small tube in snorkeling, you are going to have to be able to return to the surface for breath. Even if you have trained yourself to hold your breath for an extended time, you will eventually run out. You do not want to go so deep that you are unable to get back to the surface to catch another breath.

Since snorkeling is typically just on the surface of the water, going a few feet deeper to find something should be more than enough to keep you occupied. For those who are more into freediving, it is worth the time to practice and learn what your body is capable of doing and what it can handle.

Do You Really Need Fins to Snorkel?

The truth is that you do not technically need fins to snorkel, but they provide far more advantages to wearing them than if you don’t wear them. You are going to be able to put in less energy, but you will be able to swim further and faster than if you were not wearing them.

Fins are also going to help you dive vertically so you can get to deeper waters at a quicker speed. They are also great to protect your feet from rocks or marine life, and fins could possibly save your life if you run into rough waters.

 Even if you have your own snorkel equipment that you love, it is still worth the extra money to rent some fins from a local shop. Fins come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most people hate fins because they were not wearing a pair that suited their feet.

If you are more of an avid snorkeler, or you are looking to spend as much time as you can in deeper waters, a nice pair of fins that are fitted to your body and swim style is worth the additional investment. Fitted socks worn under the fins can also help. You can also choose fins that can be worn with water shoes (more on that.)

Is It Better To Use a Boat or Not?

For those who are just starting out in snorkeling, you are going to be safer if you are able to enter and exit the water on your own. This makes shore snorkeling great for those who are either looking to practice or are maybe more interested in staying closer to the surface of the water. 

If you are looking for a better experience, boat snorkeling is just as popular as shore snorkeling. You are able to take advantage of the open water, where you are more likely to have better views both above and below the water. Since there is more space, your chances of seeing unique formations and marine life are improved as well. 

When it comes to boat snorkeling, it is often better to be a strong swimmer or have previous snorkeling experience. You will feel more confident in the water, and you will be able to get back to the boat with ease no matter how far you snorkel away.