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Difference between Snorkeling and Scuba

The simple explanation relates to the breathing and swimming techniques. The key differences also involve the specialist equipment and the maximum depth levels.

This section explains the basic difference between snorkeling and scuba diving. But, there is extra information on which water activity is easier, safer, and often - more fun.

Let's start off with the key differences between snorkel breathing and scuba breathing techniques. Scuba divers get an air supply under water from the scuba tank - snorkelers do not!

Snorkel vs. Scuba Diving Breathing Techniques

Snorkel Breathing

If you have snorkeled before you will already know that snorkelers generally float at the surface of the water. Your face is in the water for most of the experience. You spend most time looking in a downward direction to see the underwater world below.

Can you breathe underwater with a snorkel? The closest you can get to breathing underwater while snorkeling is by breathing through a snorkel tube. It gets attached to your mask. It is then held in the proper position by gripping a rubber (or silicon) mouthpiece with your teeth.

It means there is no need for you to lift your head out of the water for air. You can breathe with ease through the breathing pipe. In simple terms, you see through the mask and you breathe through the snorkel.

Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus

SCUBA divers breathe from an aqualung or compressed air tank. There will be other scuba diving breathing apparatus equipment attached. This allows divers to stay longer at given depths below the surface without surfacing.

Note: There is some training required to dive safely. There are safety concerns with air cylinders and the physiological effects of breathing compressed gases under water.

There is another big advantage of using a scuba breathing apparatus instead of a snorkel tube. Divers can go deeper so they can examine the sea bed and its formations and marine life species.

With a little training in free diving techniques, snorkelers can swim down for short bursts after taking a large breath. Most inexperienced breath hold divers would average between 30 seconds and one minute underwater. They would do so on one breath before needing to surface for more air.

Snorkel Swimming and Finning Skills

You need a limited amount of swimming knowledge to appreciate and experience the basics about snorkeling. In fact, given the right conditions, no specific footwear is required. Even non-swimmers can have a lot of fun.

Even so, there are some circumstances where snorkelers and divers should wear proper swimming fins for assisted propulsion. An example would be in fast-moving water. The leg motions used in both activities are very similar and there should be little or no arm movement. Underwater kick styles used with fins will differ slightly from surface swimming.

Snorkeling and Scuba Depth Levels

The Pattaya snorkeling tours usually take place around shallow coral reefs. They range from sea level down to about five meters. It depends most on the underwater visibility. Skin diving to deeper reefs is generally associated with experienced snorkelers. This is because it requires an increased fitness and skill level.

By comparison, scuba divers often reach a depth of twelve meters or more. The maximum is 12 meters (40 feet) during an introductory program. As divers gain more experience and training they see the benefits of submerging deeper. They often go to depths approaching 25 to 30 meters. The maximum 'safe' depth for recreational scuba diving is 40 meters (130 feet) below sea level.

Snorkel vs. Scuba Equipment

Equipment for scuba diving is significantly more complex and heavier if you compare it to a basic snorkeling set.

Snorkeling Equipment

Scuba Gear

Different Physiological Effects on Health

The physiological effects for scuba divers breathing compressed gas under water have clear health implications including;

Even so, one of the big dangers for all snorkelers and scuba divers is not getting seen by jet skis and boats. There are other hazards of power boat propellers or powered other water crafts.

Both activities require its participants to follow some basic polite boating etiquette and common sense safety precautions. Statistically, whether you are a snorkeler or a diver they are both considered to be a soft-contact family based pastime. Thus, they entertain families with children for hours of 'relatively' inexpensive fun.

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