How To Stay Afloat While Snorkeling

How To Stay Afloat While Snorkeling (Snorkeling Flotation Tips) 

Snorkeling is a fun activity that is enjoyed in just about any body of water around the world. One of the major advantages of snorkeling is that you can discover a whole new world under the water that many people do not get the chance to witness, without having to purchase expensive scuba diving equipment. Many people enjoyed snorkeling because it allows them to witness the many splendors that occur under the ocean surface while staying afloat on the water. But, is this even possible? How do you stay afloat while snorkeling?

What Is Natural Floating, and How Do I Do It? 

How To Stay Afloat While Snorkeling (Snorkeling Flotation Tips) The term “natural floating” refers to one’s ability to stay afloat on the water’s surface. This skill is especially sought-after by those who enjoyed snorkeling because it allows them to witness what is happening beneath the water’s surface without submerging your body the water’s surface. The average human body has a 0.98 relative density to water. However, this is not a set percentage, so flotation will vary from person to person. For example, a person with more fatty tissue would be more inclined to float than a leaner person because they are less dense.

While the amount of fatty tissue or muscle mass contained within your body will affect your ability to float, you will find that most people are fully capable of staying afloat while snorkeling. With a little practice and a lot of patience, just about anybody should be able to master the skill of natural floating. Listed below are a few factors that can affect your ability to stay afloat while snorkeling, as well as a few tips on how to overcome some of the obstacles you may face when trying to float.

Have Air In Your Lungs

The first tip that I can offer you on how to stay afloat while snorkeling is to fill your lungs with as much air as possible. The air contained within your lungs will help you today afloat, while you will certainly sink if you do not have an abundance of air in your lungs. While snorkeling, this is not much of an issue because you are still able to breathe. However, there are many exercises that you can do which will increase your lungs capacity, which will also increase your chances of staying afloat while you are getting a glimpse of life under the ocean’s surface. 

I have found that the most effective way to increase your lung capacity is by doing simple breathing exercises. One of these breathing exercises will require you to draw as much air as you possibly can into your lungs, and hold it for as long as possible. When you exhale, be sure to exhale slowly. Try to take as long to exhale as you did when you were holding your breath. Each time you do this exercise, try to increase your time by five to ten seconds. You will be amazed at how quickly you will be able to increase your lung capacity, increasing your chances to stay afloat. 

Learn How To Move Your Hands and Feet 

Although your lung capacity plays an essential role in your ability to float on the water’s surface, the way you move your hands and feet are also quite important. While I know that this may initially sound counter-intuitive because movements will cause you to expend energy and increase your breathing, keep in mind that some movement will be necessary if you want to float. One of the most effective ways that you can move your hands and feet to stay afloat while snorkeling is by practicing a movement known as “flipper movements.” Mastering the flipper movement is a two-step process, which is quite simple to learn. 

First, you must learn to kick your feet back and forth in a slow, rhythmic pattern. The key is to make sure that you are kicking slowly, as you do not want to expend too much energy, which will cause you to breathe harder. Kick your feet fast enough to keep you afloat, but no more than that. Next, you must learn how to move your arms. First, cup your hands. Secondly, flap your arms gently up and down, using your cupped hands to push the water down each time you move your arms in a downward motion. Your arms should look very similar to a bird flapping its wings. This movement should easily keep you afloat.

Can you snorkel with a lifejacket? Find out here.

Try To Snorkel In Saltwater 

How To Stay Afloat While Snorkeling (Snorkeling Flotation Tips) Believe it or not, the type of water in which you choose to snorkel is just as important as your movements and your lung capacity when it comes to staying afloat. According to Snorkel Planet, one of the amazing aspects of snorkeling in salt water is that it facilitates floating. So, how does salt water facilitate floating better than freshwater? The answer is simple. Saltwater has a much higher density than freshwater, so it promotes buoyancy, or the ability to float. Swimming is also much easier in salt water than it is in freshwater, because of the same concept.

If you are anything like me, I’m sure that you have seen videos of people effortlessly floating on the surface of the Dead Sea. The reason why it is so easy to stay afloat on the Dead Sea is that it has the highest salt concentration of any body of water in the world, with an astonishing 34% salt concentration, per the website Born To Swim. While life can’t survive in water that is that salty, floating is rather easy because the high salt concentration makes the water very dense. The human body is not as dense as saltwater. Therefore, it is much easier to float in saltwater than it is in freshwater.

Is There Equipment or Accessories That Can Help Me To Float?

If you have trouble staying afloat while snorkeling, never fear. There is equipment and accessories that can help you. Two examples of equipment that can help you to float while snorkeling that immediately comes to mind are wetsuits and life vests. Both of these pieces of equipment can be especially helpful to beginning snorkelers who have not yet mastered the technique of staying afloat while snorkeling.


One example of equipment that can help you to stay afloat while snorkeling is a wetsuit, which will also keep you warm and protect you from stings. The reason that a wetsuit will help you to stay afloat is that the thickness of the neoprene in the wetsuit promotes buoyancy. While some wetsuits are between 2 and 3 mm thick, some are available at 5 mm thick. The thicker the wetsuit, the more buoyancy it will help you achieve.

Life Vests

If you want to be able to stay afloat on the ocean surface, perhaps the most effective piece of equipment you can use is a life vest. They are usually either made of foam, or they are inflatable and are designed to keep you afloat. Another bonus of using a life vest is that it will help you conserve energy because you are not expending energy on arm or leg movements to stay on top of the water’s surface. While it may initially seem like it would be embarrassing to snorkel with a life vest, you will soon notice that many people are doing the same.


How To Stay Afloat While Snorkeling (Snorkeling Flotation Tips) Whether you choose to employ any of the techniques we have discussed in natural floating, or if you choose to utilize any of the equipment we have discussed in this article, it is possible to snorkel while floating on the water’s surface. If you decide to forgo the equipment and practice natural floating, remember that your lung capacity plays a key role in your ability to float. The more your lungs can hold, the more likely you will be to float. You can also practice flipper movements, which will help you to stay afloat while snorkeling. Finally, if floating is your primary goal, snorkeling in salt water will help you achieve that goal much easier than snorkeling in freshwater.

While some people choose to float naturally, Others May choose to use equipment or accessories to stay afloat while snorkeling. Two pieces of equipment that will help you to stay atop the water’s surface are wetsuits and life vests. The neoprene from which wetsuits are made promotes buoyancy. The thicker the wetsuit, the more likely you will be to float in it. Life vests are available in either foam versions or inflatable versions. Both are designed to help you to stay afloat, and either will work for snorkeling. However, you choose to stay afloat, here’s to a great day of snorkeling!

Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or medical advice. Please consult a legal expert or medical professional to address your specific needs.

Shawn Chun

Aloha! My name is Shawn and I Love the Beach and Ocean! From surfing to beach sports to boating and fishing I like it all. More importantly, I Love the people I get to meet who also share a passion for the sand and surf. Living and growing up near the ocean my heart has always been connected to the beach and its lifestyle. I wish to share my experience with those around the world. Mahalo (Thank You) for visiting and enjoy your stay here on my site!

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