Selecting the right snorkel for you
There are a lot of different brands and models of pretty much every product, so it isn't surprising that there are so many snorkels on the market, but you need to know what it is you need.
There are two options for the material of your snorkel; rubber and silicon; rubber is cheaper and more popular, however it ages faster and can easily become cracked, a rubber snorkel is more likely to need replacing more often. A silicon snorkel however is much longer lasting and more durable against things such as UV light and chlorine; however as it gets older clear silicon can take on a yellowish tinge.
If you're looking for something cheap and basic then a basic tube snorkel is the way to go, though this would only really be recommended for experienced snorkelers, divers or those using the snorkel in a lake, as it is completely unprotected against flooding.
If you're snorkelling in the sea you will almost definitely want a snorkel that features a wave chamber, this helps to prevent the amount of water in your snorkel if a wave does go over your head.
If you dislike the idea of water getting into your mouth you should select a snorkel with a small water chamber below the purge valve, this collects the water to prevent it from getting into your mouth.
Shape and Style
The base of the tube comes in both fixed and flexi varieties, flexible is generally advised as it makes manipulating the position of the snorkel very easy, which can make a more comfortable experience. This is particularly useful for divers who need to swap to regulator quickly and efficiently.
Straight tube snorkels can wobble due to the fact they are not as streamlined as curved tubes, making them a much less popular choice particularly for beginners.
Semi Dry vs. Total Dry
A semi-dry snorkel is more common for those who don't snorkel as often or for as long and can be used in both sea and lake conditions, the bore opening is a little more protected than with a basic tube snorkel which means that there is less flooding. This mostly prevents splash from entering.
A total-dry snorkel is popular among beginners and those who just don't like water in their snorkel, as the name suggests the idea is to let as little water as possible into the snorkel, while it obviously can't be fool proof this is proven to be very effective.
Total Dry Snorkel