Do You Need to Wear a Wetsuit for Snorkeling?

by Liz H. January 06, 2019

Do You Need to Wear a Wetsuit for Snorkeling?

Snorkeling is one of the most popular water recreational activities. Usually, the snorkeler will don the required equipment and then swim on water to observe underwater life. It is a favorite water activity for many since it allows them to see underwater attractions in a natural habitat with great ease. With snorkeling, there is no need to carry complex equipment and learn complicated skills in order to spend time underwater as is the case with scuba diving. But what do you need to wear when you go snorkeling? Do you have to wear a wetsuit for this activity? Read on for more information on the subject.           

 

Dive Skins vs Wetsuits     

Dive skins and wetsuits have one thing in common; they cover most of your body. But that is about as far as the similarities go. They are made of different materials and are perfectly suited for different water activities. Whereas the primary function of dive skins is to protect your skin from the sun as you engage in on-water activities, wetsuits are meant to protect you from cold while you swim in cold waters. So, when should you wear a dive skin or wet suit when snorkeling?         

 

Dive Skins for Snorkeling     

Dive skins are made from light materials such as Nylon, Lycra and Spandex. Because they are light in weight, they offer the swimmer unparalleled flexibility. They cover your body extensively thus protecting you from harmful UV rays. They also protect you from stings from which sea creatures. On the flipside, they do not offer you any thermal protection which is why they should only be worn in warm waters. Considering that most snorkeling doesn’t happen too deep below the water surface, these skins are ideal for snorkeling especially in warmer climates.          

 

Wetsuits for Snorkeling     

Wetsuits are thick. They seal your body thus preventing exposure to water. These two properties ensure that you remain insulated at all times, which allows you to snorkel for as long as you wish without fear of getting too cold. They protect you from stings and cuts when you are underwater. They also boost buoyancy a great deal which is a big pro when snorkeling. On the downside, the thick material restrains movement, which can be quite disadvantageous especially when you are snorkeling. Unless you are snorkeling in freezing waters, there is usually no need to wear a wetsuit. If on the other hand you have to go on an underwater tour, say a dolphin or turtle tour, you may consider wearing a wetsuit for the occasion.         

 

Conclusion     

Both a wetsuit and a dive skin have pros and cons that you should seriously consider before you decide on one. If hypothermia is a real threat, by all means choose the wetsuit for snorkeling. It will offer you warmth thus keeping extreme cold at bay. If on the other hand you will be snorkeling in tropical waters, the dive skin is without doubt your best option. This light weight swimming gear will offer you immense flexibility while still protecting you from the sun and jellyfish stings. Whether you choose a dive skin or wetsuit is entirely dependent on your snorkeling conditions.

 

Liz H.
Liz H.


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