We come from snorkel purists. If you didn’t buy it cheap 20 years ago, and it isn’t rotting, it’s not a real snorkel. My mom uses a snorkel that’s not far, technologically, from a hollow marsh reed. So it wasn’t until two years ago that I gave in and…gulp…upgraded to an Aqua Lung snorkel, complete with purge valve and a flexible neck snorkel, with a curved top that’s designed not to let water in the top.
Wow. Did I say wow? What a difference this has made for me. It’s especially helpful in choppy conditions where getting water in the top of the snorkel can easily happen.
I’d been trained to avoid purge valves. Everyone says they break. They leak. Well, I’ve used this a lot and haven’t had an issue. And, frankly, I’d just get a new snorkel if it did because the purge valve is so useful for us little lunged folk.
Yes, you can clear your snorkel with your own air by blasting it through the top. But, folks, why? With the purge valve your breath only needs to travel to the bottom to get the air out. It’s easy. You don’t have to gasp and blow out with an elephant snort to make it work. For me, it was a revolution.
So, shed those preconceptions. Visit a dive shop and check things out.