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Snorkelling: everything you need to know to get started


PRACTICAL - Put your head under water to discover the flowers of the sea, open your eyes wide in the mask to catch the eye of a curious fish, it's possible! Whatever the age, snorkeling or snorkeling is an activity that can be practiced easily, with the family, on our...


Does the word speak to you?

Where a single word is enough in English (snorkelling in the American zone), several are needed to describe the activity in French: we speak of snorkeling, aquatic hiking or the practice of PMT - for Palmes-Masque- Tuba.

So many terms that designate the same practice: the discovery and observation of the marine environment, the underwater fauna and flora, in an area close to the surface.

The BA-ba to get started this summer.

Read alsoFrom Marseille to Mexico, the five most spectacular underwater museums in the world

What is the interest of snorkeling?

  • It's accessible to all

Parents, children, grandparents can practice this activity together, which requires no special skills or training.

You just need to love the water, know how to swim, have some stamina and be in good physical condition.

  • She learns easily

Unlike tennis, golf, windsurfing, scuba diving or horse riding, it is not necessary to take lessons.

We put our head under water, we breathe calmly in the snorkel and hop, let's go!

  • It is inexpensive

The material is minimal (PMT kit, wetsuit).

  • It is practiced almost everywhere in France

The French coasts are ideal, even if in the Atlantic and in the Channel, you have to juggle a little with the tide times.

A slightly rocky cove or spot quickly becomes an ideal exploration ground.

  • It is zero carbon and raises environmental awareness



You do not pollute.

You leave no waste.

The children start looking for the names of fish on a board, wanting to understand the environment, its inhabitants, their habits and customs.

You will quickly learn not to touch anything, not even a pebble.

Why ?

Quite simply because by lifting, moving, moving a stone, you disturb a small animal that was hiding there and you expose it to predators.

Inadvertently, you can also be bitten by a moray eel or lay your hand on a sea urchin.

Know how to breathe in a snorkel step by step

Snorkeling is a passive activity, the body cools down quickly.

It is therefore better to equip yourself with a neoprene wetsuit on our coasts.

(Port Cros underwater trail).

Nicolas Barraque / Photo press

Sit comfortably in 50 centimeters of water, with your snorkel, a breathing tool made up of two parts: a long rigid tube and a silicone mouthpiece.

Do not tighten the tip fearing to lose it, it only serves to damage your palate.

Sealing is done with the lips, not with the teeth.

Begin to inhale and exhale only with your mouth once the mask is flat on your face without compression.

Put on the snorkel and put your head on the water, experiment.

Don't worry about the noise you make when blowing, it's normal.

Lie down using your palms resting on the sand and simply breathe.

The idea is not to lose all your bearings at the same time (feet, breathing, vision in the mask).

Proceed step by step.

Read alsoScuba diving: five tips for getting started

To the happiness of the palms

Kicking requires a minimum of technique.

Try swimming first if you have the opportunity.

Take a water aerobics board, with your back slightly curved, you will feel that your fins remain under the surface.

The effectiveness of kicking is measured in the water.

Don't kick your feet in the air, you'll get tired.

The right move?

The one that is flexible, ample, which starts from the hip and not from the knees.

You do not pedal, your joints are neither broken nor put under tension.

The knees are slightly bent and the leg from the hip sets the motion.

Put your hands along your body to adopt a fluid attitude in the water.

Arm gestures will never get you going.

Your body gives the right direction, legs and torso turning.

Basic safety rules

  • Never go alone.

    No one is immune to discomfort.

  • Hydrate before you leave, because dehydration leads to painful cramps.

  • Do not venture into an area of ​​boats, water skiing, sailing, kitesurfing.

    The practitioners of these sports will not see you.

  • Take a look at the shore from time to time.

    Don't go too far.

  • Find out before you leave about the currents, the tides, the weather.

  • Never let a child go alone.

    A drift quickly arrived.

  • No unsupervised apnea.

Read alsoManta rays, sperm whales or crocodiles: 6 diving trips to observe the lords of the oceans

The choice of material

  • A mask with wide vision, a tube with a valve, which allows water to be expelled easily or with a valve, which prevents the entry of water.

    Or a full face mask with integrated snorkel.

  • A pair of full-foot, flexible fins.

    Take care that they do not tighten because the summer the feet swell.

  • A full neoprene suit or not, depending on how resistant you are to the cold and where you are going.

    Snorkeling is a fairly passive activity, so the body cools down quickly.

    Wet, it slips on better.

    So that the zipper does not get caught in the skin of the back, put the elbows back, the back hollows out and the suit closes easily.

    On our coasts, prefer a full suit for children because they get cold very quickly - after 20 minutes, they have to be taken out of the water, even in bright sunshine.

  • The use of a hood is advisable, because the loss of heat is carried out by the nape of the neck.

  • If the weather is very nice, absolutely wear long-sleeved lycra rather than sunscreen, which will damage the seabed.

    If you leave behind, the water will act as a magnifying glass and you will be burned.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-07-05

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