Snorkelling And Scuba Diving, why they are Similar yet Different.

31 Jul. 2022
Snorkelling And Scuba Diving, why they are Similar yet Different.

Snorkelling And Scuba Diving: Why they are Similar yet Different.

Both scuba diving and snorkelling are in water activities that anyone can enjoy, where you can explore the underwater world, learn new skills, see amazing creatures (marine life) in its natural environment. The main difference between snorkelling and scuba diving is how we breathe. Breathing from a scuba tank allows you to stay underwater longer and dive deeper but does need a little more training than snorkelling.

Not much more, only an extra day. Did you know that you can become a certified diver in just two days.

If you enjoy snorkelling and are curious about scuba diving, read on! Even if you don’t like snorkeling, you should still keep reading. You don’t have to like one to enjoy the other.

Difference #1: Air supply

Scuba divers carry tanks on their backs along side their bodies, drawing air from the tank via a mouthpiece attached to a sturdy hose. Snorkelers, by contrast, breathe air from the surface through a tube.

Difference #2: Equipment

Scuba divers wear a lot more equipment than snorkelers. The Scuba unit a BCD and has breathing apparatus called a regulator. Fun fact: the Star Wars production team used a scuba regulator to create Darth Vader’s creepy, ominous breathing.

Scuba divers also carry small, submersible computers and/or gauges to keep track of how deep they are and how much air they have left.

Both scuba divers and snorkelers wear a mask, snorkel and fins. In addition to snorkel gear, both divers and snorkelers typically wear some form of exposure protection. Divers typically wear a wetsuit (either a full suit or shorty); but in tropical water, some may only wear a dive skin, rash guard and trunks, or just a swimsuit.

Difference #3: Maximum Depth

The average snorkeler can swim down 3-4 meters (12-15 feet). Experienced snorkelers may reach 7 meters (25 feet). By comparison, experienced divers can explore down to 40 meters (130 feet). Don’t worry, scuba students aren’t expected (or allowed) to dive that deep. During your Scuba diver course, it’s unlikely your dives will be deeper than 12meters (40 feet).

For more info on learning to dive in Greece with the Waterhoppers click here.

Difference #4: What You Get to See

One of the major advantages of scuba diving is how much more of the underwater world you get to see. Unlike snorkelling, you’re not limited by how long you can hold your breath. You can explore deeper and stay longer, which means you can:

  • Wait for an octopus to come out of its hole
  • Watch colour-changing cuttlefish put on a show
  • Experience a manta ray ballet
  • See a turtle get its shell cleaned

Difference #5: Training Time and Cost to Get Started

If you already know how to swim, learning to snorkel is easy. People of all ages can master basic snorkelling skills in 30 minutes or less.

Learning to scuba dive does require two days of in-water training. There is also a study component that covers scuba diving essentials.

A scuba certification costs about the same as:

  • a full day of surfing lessons
  • a weekend of rock climbing, kayaking lessons or fly-fishing lessons

Difference #6: Spontaneity

Snorkelling takes very little planning or preparation. All you need to do is throw your snorkel set in a bag with sunscreen and you’re ready to go. You can pop in and out of the water as often as you like.

Scuba diving takes a bit more preparation because of the equipment required, times between dives and if you are flying home from vacation, you will need 18-24 hours gap before you step on the plane.

Ready to Dive In?

Read more about what you need to know about the Waterhoppers snorkelling activities here.

This blog post was inspired by https://blog.padi.com/snorkeling-vs-scuba-diving/

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