When I first moved to Hawaii in January of 2014 it
took almost no time at all to fall in love with
snorkeling. Since then I have spent much of my
entire time on the Islands snorkeling;
learning about snorkeling, spear fishing, swimming
with turtles, taking photographs, finding the
best(and secret!) snorkeling spots, etc.
I’ve even taken numerous trips to other snorkeling
locations between the Hawaiian Islands, Guam, and
Palau. Snorkeling is my passion.
Soon after, my postings of photos and snorkeling
adventures on Facebook and on another website,
people began to contact me for snorkeling advice.
•They wanted to know very specific things like:
•What kind of snorkeling gear is best?
•What kind of snorkeling gear should they get for
•Is renting snorkel gear a good idea?
•what to do? where to go? when to go?
That’s when and why I started the Snorkel
Store. It not only gives me a place to review
snorkeling gear and snorkeling sets but it also
allows me to blog about sno3 rkeling.
Snorkeling can be a dangerous activity. Just when
you may think everything is okey-dokey, you could
find yourself in rough surf, a strong current,
cramping up, a mask or snorkel full of water,
scrapes, bumps, bruises, and exhausted. What do
We’re not here to scare you or in any way trying to
persuade you from snorkeling but those are the
facts. Snorkeling can go from fun to dangerous in a
very short amount of time.
In Hawaii alone, between 2009 and 2013, 79
people died while snorkeling (KITV.COM).
Keep in mind that much of the information that you
hear or read about in regards to snorkeling
locations, even on this website, may come from
The best rule of thumb is this:
If you’re not looking at the conditions then don’t
assume they’re great based on a snorkeling location
review. To ensure that you have a safe snorkeling
experience there are certain fundamental skills and
tricks that you should know.
Never Snorkel Alone
Many snorkeling accidents and fatalities happen to
snorkelers who go it alone.
Always have a buddy with you while in the water
and stay close to each other.
this is someone who you know well, are
comfortable with, has a decent attention span, and
is a good to great swimmer.
Never Snorkel if You can’t Swim
This may seem like a no-brainer but you’d be
surprised at the number of people who see
snorkeling as the easiest thing possible and try to
do it with zero to little swimming experience. It’s a
bit more difficult than just throwing on a mask,
snorkel, flippers and a snorkeling vest. Not a whole
lot more difficult, but more so never-the-less.
Stay Close to Dry Land
A lot of snorkelers over estimate their ability and
their endurance. It is easy to get tired and
exhausted when you’re in surf or current.
Swimming is strenuous. Be close enough to shore
that you have enough energy to get back.
Always gauge your ability to get back to shore! If
you do get tired, roll on to your back and tread
water to regain some energ8y. snorkelstore.net
Know the Area You’re In
I have a mantra that I live by when I snorkel,
particularly in certain areas of Hawaii: “Never Turn
Your Back to the Ocean”. It will eat you up. Know
the area. Be aware of surf, currents, and where the
rocks and coral are. At Sharks Cove on Oahu I was
thrown back into shore and up against the rocks
during a time when I shouldn’t have been
snorkeling there…there was just too much surf that
day. Luckily I was not hurt but I did get a little
scraped and bruised. It was stupid of me.
Energy is Your Friend
I don’t care how great of a swimmer you are or if
you were a certified life guard when you were 18
(and your 41 now!) you can never go wrong by
snorkeling with a vest. It saves vital energy and
makes snorkeling that much easier.
Sure, some of us like to dive down every once in a
while for a better look or a sea shell but the vest
will float and you can put it on again after.
Again…DO NOT TOUCH MARINE LIFE
Anything could happen. That pretty fish may have
teeth like daggers and feel threatened by your
hand and arms.
Probably not, but unless you are a professional at
identifying marine life and fish…keep your hands
where they belong. Moray eels are notorious for
snapping when they feel threatened.
Besides that, coral cuts and sea urchin pokes can
be a horribly painful and dangerous thing to deal
Exotic Marine Life Encounters
Fish and turtles are always a treat to see and be
around but there are times when you may
encounter something that you don’t expect or
want to encounter.
My daughter was barked at underwater by a monk
seal while snorkeling off of West Oahu one time. It
really freaked her out and she almost panicked
except the seal left abruptly.
Also, dolphins show up every once in a blue moon
and, more rarely, sharks. Don’t panic. Turn on your
back with your mask still in the water and facing
the shark. Calmly move away (preferably towards
shore). Never panic and thrash…that just gets the
attention of predators as they’ll think you’re in
trouble. If a shark get’s too close….then kick it in
the nose and keep moving away from it.
If it goes to one side or another…turn to face it.
Gauge the Ability of Your Guest
Sometimes we go snorkeling with
people we have never snorkeled
Prior to getting to deep and
caught up in the snorkeling
adventure take the time to gauge
their ability in the water. It may
just save your life and theirs.
Don’t make anyone snorkel where
they’re not comfortable and
never let anyone tell you “you’ll
be fine…just come on. Trust me.”
It’s not worth it. When you are
comfortable go a little deeper.
Until then…enjoy the beautiful
snorkeling close to shore and in
Store has helped
thousands of people and
families find the
snorkeling gear and
answers that they’re
Lizzy and I hope it does
the same for you!