Apparently very simple and often overlooked, the snorkel is the second element of the basic trio of diving equipment (Mask, Snorkel and Fins).
Although limited to the displacement to the surface, where it becomes the natural complement of the mask, the tube in situations is determinant for the safety and comfort of the diver.
Its function is related to the displacements of the diver to the surface, allowing them to breathe with his face in the water without wasting air from the dive bottle. In situations of the rougher sea the use of the snorkel on the surface, even with the face out of the water, is essential for the safety and comfort of the diver before and after diving.
CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALS
On the market there are several models of pipes, ranging from the most archaic to the most avant-garde design, some of the simple design, others with valves and appendages in their design, in addition to models specially directed for underwater fishing or specific for swimming with fins. The diameter and curvature of the snorkel profile and the position of the nozzle also vary important details for the comfort of use. The most common form of the nozzle is a “J” or an “L”.
The tube is basically composed of two parts:
- A soft rubber or silicone nozzle, which the diver fixes between the teeth (without cracking) and seals between the lips, and
- A rigid or semi-rigid tube that rises to the side of the head, allowing air to enter.
CHOOSE THE SNORKEL
The length of the tube must not exceed 40cm. The larger it is, the greater the space and volume of air that we will have to mobilize in inspiration and expiration. The route that air performs in the trachea and upper airways is now increased by the tube, which translates into greater difficulty in performing respiratory cycles.
In addition, if the pipe is too long, it will also make it difficult to expel the water from inside. On the other hand, if it is too short it will allow an easy entry of water and can lead the diver to choke.
As for the inner diameter, it should be approximately 2cm (more or less the diameter where the thumb fits, but the most correct is to measure). If the diameter is larger it makes it difficult to expel the water and if it is much smaller it offers resistance to air passage and may create difficulties to breathing.
There are two ways to place the tube:
- It can be attached to the mask strap with a clamping piece.
- Simply stuck under the strap, without any attachment part (be careful when resuming the mask so as not to lose the tube).
For the diver with scaffolding, the most convenient tube model is as simple as possible and with the following characteristics:
- Have a sufficiently wide diameter (2 cm) to avoid respiratory fatigue.
- Having about 40cm because the weight of the scaffolding on the surface tends to sink the head.
- Have the right profile, to prevent the entry of water with ripple.
Maintenance care is the same as for the mask: rinse with fresh water after diving and dry in the shade.