Snorkeling is one of the most popular activities for those who visit Siesta Key, and Point of Rocks Beach is the place to go! (Read More here) If you are looking forward to snorkeling in the Gulf of Mexico, we are here to try something new, this post is for you. Let’s take a look at some of the basic things you need to know to snorkel our waters.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Snorkeling

Here are a few things to be sure to consider when preparing to snorkel:

  • make sure you are confident in your swimming skills
  • rent or purchase good quality snorkeling equipment that fits correctly
  • if you aren’t sure how to properly use the snorkeling equipment, ask!
  • practice in a swimming pool or in shallow water first
  • always snorkel with a buddy or have someone watching close by
  • be aware of the weather and ocean conditions
  • educate yourself about marine species you may potentially encounter

Of course, there are also some things to avoid when snorkeling as a beginner.

  • don’t go into the water if you are afraid
  • stay out of deep water if you aren’t a strong swimmer
  • avoid using poor-quality or ill-fitting equipment
  • never snorkel alone
  • don’t snorkel if weather or water conditions are not favorable
  • don’t touch, harass, or chase marine life – just enjoy watching
  • don’t feed the fish

    Beginner Snorkelers: FAQs

    Is snorkeling appropriate for everyone? Snorkeling can be a great activity for most people, but there are a few scenarios when it is not recommended. Those with physical or mental challenges, as well as young children, should always be watched carefully. Healthy pregnant women are typically cleared for snorkeling by their obstetricians, as it is a low-impact activity. If you have any concerns about any health conditions, ask your regular physician or healthcare provider for advice.

    Are special skills required for snorkeling? There aren’t many specific skills required for snorkeling on Siesta Key – in fact, as long as you stay in shallow water, you don’t even have to be a strong swimmer. However, you may wish to practice breathing through a snorkel before swimming or floating out to your snorkeling area. You can practice in a swimming pool or submerge your face while in waist-deep water to get accustomed to the sensation of breathing through a snorkel. Beginners may also choose to practice swimming with fins on their feet before trying to do so while also concentrating on breathing.

    Do you have to be a strong swimmer in order to snorkel? As discussed above, you can enjoy snorkeling even if you are not a proficient swimmer. It is recommended that you wear a life jacket, which will offer buoyancy and allow you to float on the surface without effort. Fins will permit you to move easily through the water as well. However, non-swimmers might become panicked if they realize they are in deep water and cannot stand up – so if you plan on snorkeling in deeper water (such as off a boat) it helps to practice floating in a safe depth before heading into deeper waters.

    Can you snorkel if you wear glasses? Glasses do not fit comfortably under a snorkel mask, so you cannot wear glasses while snorkeling. However, contact lenses are appropriate if you have them. You can also purchase a prescription mask if you have tried snorkeling, enjoy it and plan on exploring the sport more in the future.

    Ride and Paddle Has Your Gear!

    Ride and Paddle is known for renting bicycles, scooters and kayaks, but we also provide all of the snorkeling equipment you’ll need for your vacation adventure. Call today to reserve your gear – and don’t forget to check out our entire inventory of equipment and beach gear.