Snorkeling VS Scuba Diving : Which Is Better??

Snorkeling and scuba diving are adventurous underwater activities that allow you to explore and admire the beauty of marine life—but they largely differ in how they allow you to do it.

Snorkeling involves a mask and tube (snorkel) while scuba diving requires a complicated set of equipment, which includes a prescription scuba mask and an autonomous breathing gas supply.

Should you snorkel or should you scuba dive? It all depends on how much you want to see the underwater world and the effort you put into practicing a water activity.

snorkeling underwater

There’s still a lot of confusion surrounding the difference between snorkeling and scuba diving. Snorkeling and scuba diving are exciting ways to explore the undersea world. They are also very different. Let’s look at the basics.

  • Snorkeling is swimming near the water’s surface with the use of a mask and a breathing tube, called a snorkel. Snorkelers take in underwater views from above and don’t deep dive into the water.

  • Scuba diving is done with the help of a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, called a scuba. Scuba equipment allows divers to breathe easily while underwater, completely immersing themselves.

The key difference between the two activities – how deep you go into the water. Snorkelers savor the underwater geography while floating close to the surface, while scuba divers stay underwater for a long duration. They can maneuver exploring coral reefs and marine life.

scuba snorkeling


Snorkeling is a low-risk activity. The main issues that occur include jelly stings, suffering lacerations from reefs and rocks, and getting sunburns. Serious risks include drowning and being hit by a jet ski or a motorized boat.

Scuba diving is a low-risk activity too, but it does come with more dangers than snorkeling. The scuba diving risks are decompression sickness, drowning, gear malfunction, and hypothermia.

How Does Snorkeling Work?

Snorkeling doesn’t require any previous experience and takes just a few minutes to learn. You need to know how to swim and you should feel comfortable in the water. For scuba diving, you need to be trained and certified.

Some internet users claim that swimming skills are not essential for snorkeling as you can snorkel with a life vest or a swim belt.

However, diving safety is the first priority. You don’t need to be a competitive swimmer, but it’s important that you know the basic swimming strokes.

If you’ve always wanted to discover underwater wonders, snorkeling may be your next favorite hobby. Snorkeling is great for the whole family and a good place to start before you learn to scuba dive.

scuba diving equipment list

Scuba Diving: How to Get Started

Scuba diving requires more preparation than snorkeling. You have to undergo formal training to participate in diving activities. It may seem complicated at first, learning to scuba dive is easier than you think. You can become a certified diver in only a couple of weeks.

The first step in becoming a trained scuba diver is to choose a diving agency. While there are many diving schools around the world, PADI vs NAUI – PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the largest and profit-generating organization. NAUI(National Association of Underwater Instructors), on the other hand, is a non-profit generating organization.

During your entry-level course, you learn safety skills, how to use breathing equipment, and how to navigate underwater. You also complete your first dive in the open sea under expert guidance.

After completing the course, you receive an Open Water Diver Certification — your passport to the dreamy underwater world. If you’re qualified to dive and wish to undertake further training, opt for specialized courses on advanced diving.

snorkeling means

Can I Learn to Scuba Dive?

Yes! anybody can become a scuba diver. You do need to be healthy and reasonably fit. Good health means that you don’t have any serious heart or lung conditions. Diving when pregnant is also not allowed.

Do you need to know how to swim to snorkel?

With snorkeling, you must be able to swim, but more importantly, feel confident in the water. Swimmers with no diving experience can go snorkeling without the need for any training or certifications.

However, snorkeling in reefs deeper than 12 feet will require more practice and experience in repeated breath-holding. Depending on the diving destination, the minimum age for scuba diving varies between 12 and 18 years old. Younger children can choose from a variety of courses.

This means scuba diving can be enjoyed by the whole family. Scuba diving requires some serious training in deep water diving as well as in using breathing equipment.

divers snorkeling

Can we do scuba diving without certification?

A diver certification is a must to further ensure that they have the required knowledge and skill to keep themselves safe throughout each dive. Read More

So am I a Snorkeler or a Diver?

Whether you prefer snorkeling or diving, it depends on your skills and personal preference. Do you feel confident in the water but like to explore the underwater world from the surface?

Let’s go snorkeling! Are you excited to dive deeper into the ocean? Take that open water course! The hidden beauty of the underwater world is waiting for you.