If you boil snorkeling down to its essence, it is simply floating face down along the surface of the water with a tube in your mouth to breath from. If you’re advanced enough, you might occasionally duck dive, but you’ll never reach the depths or the length of time that a scuba diver can go underwater. Essentially, isn’t it a little boring?
There are many words to describe snorkeling, but boring is not how we’d describe it. We prefer these words instead: relaxing, peaceful, beautiful, calming, serene, tranquil, and so on. Snorkeling is just chill, man. If you find it boring, fair enough, you are probably better off doing some of its more extreme variations. For the rest of us, there are ways to make snorkeling interesting that doesn’t require learning a new sport.
In this article, we will discuss why snorkeling might get boring for some people, and ways they can keep this activity feeling fresh – at least for a little while longer. Let’s dive in.
Why snorkeling can get boring
First off, let’s discuss what snorkeling is and isn’t.
What it is is an easy, cheap, and accessible way for the widest number of people to spend time in the water and get a glimpse of the underwater world. The barrier of entry is so low; you just need to get a snorkel, mask, and fins, and into the water you go. Even non-swimmers and young children can technically snorkel with the help of a buoyancy aid.
Since snorkeling caters to so many people, naturally those who have more extreme inclinations will feel that it’s not exciting or challenging enough. And here we get into what snorkeling isn’t. Recreational snorkeling is not intended to be extreme. Even what skin divers can do aren’t as extreme as a competitive freediver or deep scuba diver who are trying to push past human limits.
Snorkeling is a way for people to have fun on vacation. It’s a way for family and friends to spend time together. The entire family can do it: kids, parents, even grandparents. You don’t need to get certified in order to go snorkeling, though there are courses available.
If snorkeling ever gets boring, it’s probably because:
- You are looking for a more exciting activity.
- You’ve been snorkeling at the same spot(s) for too long.
- You aren’t trying to learn new skills or improve your snorkeling knowledge.
- You need to challenge yourself in some new way.
When snorkeling is starting to get boring, you can approach this problem in a few ways. The first is to simply take a break from it. Maybe you’re just in a rut, but this problem might go away on its own given enough time.
The second solution is to do a more exciting activity. Snorkeling is a great introduction to the underwater world. Use it as a stepping stone to segue into a more exciting activity, such as freediving or scuba diving. Snorkeling also has some extreme variations you might want to look into, such as underwater rugby, underwater hockey, underwater target shooting, and so on.
Third, and this is the one we recommend the most, is to approach snorkeling in a new way. Instead of doing the same old things over again, why not set some new goals?
You can try brushing up on your knowledge of the local fish. Each time you dive, try to identify the marine life you see and keep an eye out for rare ones. You could also learn underwater photography, improve your snorkeling technique, learn about skin diving, and introduce a buddy to snorkeling. There are many ways to keep snorkeling interesting; the world is your oyster.
Let’s discuss each of these options in more detail.
Get yourself out of the rut
This solution is pretty obvious. As much as we hate to admit it, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. If you eat steak once a week, it’s a treat. If you eat it everyday, you’re going to get sick of it because it’s no longer special.
Applied to snorkeling, it just means you keep seeing and doing the same things over and over again. Whatever spark of magic it once had is long gone. When your body is moving on autopilot, and you’re just going through the motions, anything can get pretty boring.
Either take some time off until you start longing to snorkel again, or you can be proactive and actively force yourself to do new things with snorkeling. An easy way to make snorkeling more exciting is to travel to new snorkeling areas. This one change is often enough to make you excited again.
No two snorkeling sites are the same. You will be treated to interesting new vistas, new marine life, even the water will feel different because of the water conditions.
Rather than thinking about snorkeling as an inherently fun thing, you can take action to make it feel even more fun. What you get out of it is equivalent to how much effort you put in. And honestly, this kind of effort is the good kind of effort. It doesn’t feel like work, and planning out what to do and looking forward to it is honestly part of the fun of snorkeling.
Try a snorkeling adjacent water sport
If you’re young, adventurous, and looking for the next challenge, we can see how recreational snorkeling would fail to deliver on the excitement levels after the initial few sessions. If you think that’s all there is to snorkeling, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.
Snorkeling is just the tip of the iceberg. Due to how accessible it is, snorkeling is often the first point of contact for people when it comes to getting started with a water sport other than swimming. For instance, it’s not unusual for a snorkeler to decide they want to get their Open Water Diver certification and start scuba diving.
Rather than pivoting to a new activity, you could take your snorkeling skills and learn an adjacent activity. As we mentioned, since snorkeling is so easy for some people, you’ll be happy to learn that snorkeling has been made into multiple different sports.
Instead of snorkeling, you can also try out:
- Underwater football
- Underwater rugby
- Underwater hockey
- Underwater ice hockey
- Underwater target shooting
- Bog snorkeling
These are all full-fledged sports with official rules, competitions, and a governing body overseeing them. For some of these sports, you can compete individually whereas some require a team. A few of these sports also allow men and women to compete with each other, though not at the highest levels (the exception is underwater target shooting).
As you can see, there are a lot of options. So pick one you’re interested in and appreciate a different side of snorkeling.
Learn about the marine life
There is a certain joy in increasing your knowledge, and what better way to make snorkeling more fun than to learn about all of the wildlife that you’re seeing when you go snorkeling. Figure out the names of each animal, their temperament, what they like to eat, where they like to live, and see if you can apply this knowledge each time you head out.
The same goes for corals, which are also considered a type of animal. Depending on the location, you may see some marine life but not others. You can make it a game – what kind of marine life can you spot, and can you name them? What are the rare fish species in the area you’re in, and can you find them?
For instance, if you know there are sea turtles in the area, try to keep an eye out for them. See if you can learn about the places they are most likely to appear, what kind of habits sea turtles have, and using these tips, you can more easily find rare marine life.
Just by increasing your knowledge of the wildlife, it changes the way you snorkel. Instead of passively waiting to see what kind of fish happen to be in the area and not really having any understanding of what you’re seeing, it’s better to take control of the situation. By knowing exactly what you want to see and proactively seeking it out, snorkeling can be more fun and interesting than ever before.
Take up underwater photography
Once you’ve gotten good at identifying fish and spotting rare ones, you can combine the above tip with this one: take up underwater photography. If you know how to take pictures while snorkeling, you can show family, friends, and even strangers the exciting adventures you go on.
Learning about photography is a whole different animal all its own. If you find snorkeling to be too straightforward, as soon as you add the complexities of photography, suddenly it might seem overwhelming. Learn about how to frame the perfect shot, get the optimal lighting, learn about a different kind of rule of thirds than scuba divers do, and much more.
A fair bit of warning: underwater photography can get quite expensive. While entry level underwater cameras are relatively affordable, once you start looking into getting a DSLR camera with all of its different lenses and an underwater housing for them, you will be looking to spend thousands of dollars.
On top of that, you have to be an exceptional snorkeler to be able to safely snorkel and take good pictures or videos. Carrying all of that camera gear can be difficult, and if the housing gets compromised, then you will be out several thousands of dollars.
However, getting the perfect shot is worth it. You can keep these memories with you forever and reminisce about it with family and friends. You can also impress people you meet with your amazing photography.
Go on excursions
Many holiday destinations offer a snorkeling tour for visitors. There are many benefits to going on a tour, particularly if you’re a new snorkeler. First, if you’re unfamiliar with the area, a tour is the easiest way to guarantee you will be taken to some interesting snorkeling sites and that you will be kept safe in a group.
Second, the tour guide will be able to point out interesting things that you might have otherwise missed. Again, if you’re unfamiliar with the animals in the area, you won’t know what to look for. The tour guide will take you through the most scenic routes with clear entry and exit points so everything can go smoothly.
The benefit of going on a tour is that the second time around, you don’t need a tour guide anymore. You can learn a lot about the environment by having someone guide you through the first time. Ideally, you would have a snorkeling buddy do that for you, but if don’t, then there’s nothing wrong with going on a snorkeling excursion with a guide.
Get your own snorkel set
Another way to make snorkeling fun and interesting is to have your own set of snorkel gear instead of always renting. When you are using your own gear, you can ensure that the fit is comfortable, the snorkel and mask works, and that everything is clean and hygienic.
If you have to rent each time, there’s a possibility that the dive mask and snorkel have a poor fit. Furthermore, you don’t know how many people have used the gear before you or if the staff have even properly sanitized it before lending it to you. The frustration of a bad or uncomfortable fit can easily make snorkeling feel like a bad experience each time.
When your mask and snorkel slides on like it was designed just for you, you can get a sense of satisfaction knowing that you don’t have to waste any time with rental gear anymore. A good mask, snorkel, and fins can drastically improve your snorkeling experience.
For instance, if your dive mask is wide and has been treated properly, it will not fog up and it will allow you to take advantage of your peripheral vision. If your snorkel is a semi-dry or dry snorkel, it can drastically reduce the chances you swallow water and will make it easier for you to breathe with.
As for fins, there are many types to choose from. If you are traveling by plane to your holiday destination, then we recommend getting a pair of short fins which are much easier to squeeze into your luggage. Short fins don’t generate as much thrust per kick compared to long fins, however they are cheaper, easier to pack, and lightweight.
If you really want to make your snorkeling experience fun, then you can consider purchasing an underwater scooter. Underwater scooters allow you to cover huge distances without tiring yourself out. They are also incredibly fun to hold onto and can help you reach speeds you normally couldn’t.
Go snorkeling at night
Next, if you’re getting tired of snorkeling in the same area each time, there’s still a way for you to squeeze more fun out of it before moving on. Have you ever tried snorkeling at night? The difference in the marine life you will find is staggering. There are some fish that sleep during the day and are only active at night.
This is your opportunity to see an entirely new ecosystem. You get to see lobsters, eels, octopuses, and coral blooms that open up when it’s dark. Depending on the time of year and where you’re at, the tides might bring in a multitude of phosphorescent plankton. You can stick your hand into this wall of bioluminescence and feel like you’re on a different planet.
In order to see these majestic creatures, you need to bring a powerful dive torch with you. Since the nighttime is much colder, you also need to be wearing a full wetsuit for the extra insulation. You might even need to wear neoprene socks and dive gloves to protect your extremities.
If you’re used to snorkeling alone, this is one of the few times that you shouldn’t. At night, all of the dangers of being in the water are amplified. You definitely need other people with you just in case. You should also already be familiar with the area you’ll be snorkeling in, because it will seem like a different place when it’s dark.
A good way to experience night snorkeling if you’ve never done it before is to take a guided tour. That way, you will be with others, and an instructor will teach you how to safely snorkel at night. The first time you see how different night snorkeling is, you’ll be hooked.
Once you know how to snorkel at night, your number of snorkeling sites has essentially doubled. You can go to a snorkeling area during the day, and once more at night for a different feel. This will certainly help keep snorkeling interesting for those of you looking for a thrill.
Teach family and friends how to snorkel
If you want to fall in love with snorkeling all over again, why not try teaching family and friends how to snorkel? One of the most fulfilling things you can do in life is to share your passions with someone and see their face light up as they realize how fun it is.
Furthermore, if you were snorkeling alone all this time, maybe you needed a companion, and if you already had one, maybe you needed a new one. Being with the right person can make a big difference. Instead of always snorkeling with friends, it’d make a big difference if your snorkeling partner was your significant other or another family member.
If you have any nephews or nieces or kids of your own, sharing the joy of snorkeling with them can be one of the most fulfilling things you can do. Seeing their wonder and amazement at how beautiful mother nature is can remind you of what got you into snorkeling in the first place.
They also say that teaching someone is the best way to demonstrate your mastery over the subject. If you want to improve your snorkeling skills, try teaching somebody else how to snorkel. When you realize that you’re pretty dang good at it yourself, maybe you can find a new appreciation for this wonderful activity.
If you’ve been snorkeling for a while, snorkeling might get a little boring. However, that doesn’t mean that you should just give up on this hobby. Perhaps you’re just stuck in a rut and need something new to do.
You may still be interested in some kind of water sport, so why not give some sports based snorkeling a try? You can also try snorkeling at night, or snorkeling in different areas for a completely new experience.
Perhaps you want to try your hand at underwater photography. That way, you can combine two hobbies into one. Instead of passively floating around, once you have the goal of photographing a rare fish, then each snorkeling session can become fun and engaging as you try to find the best subjects to snap a photo or video of.
When you’ve lost your love for snorkeling, you can try reigniting your passions by teaching someone else how to snorkel. Take your nieces, nephews, or kids out for a day at the beach and show them how to breathe underwater with a snorkel. Teach your significant other, and you will have a fantastic snorkeling buddy to create beautiful memories with while snorkeling.
Lastly, maybe snorkeling being boring isn’t a bad thing. Would you call going on a walk through the forest a waste of time? Snorkeling is much the same, except it’s the water equivalent of that. Snorkeling is an excellent way to relax, unwind, and get away from the stress of daily life. Just take in the beauty and majesty of the underwater world and enjoy the peace and tranquility it provides. Honestly, boring is good, and there’s nothing wrong with it.