Snorkel Vest: Why Use It At All?

Though a lot of people consider the snorkel vest to be an unnecessary addition to their collection of snorkel gear, it can be useful in many ways. The argument against the snorkel vest is that in warm waters, where the best coral reefs and other tropical fauna and flora thrive, it is largely unrequired, and it may restrict movement, albeit to a very small extent. However, there are other elements to consider before you discard the snorkel vestidea of owning a snorkel vest. Here we'll explore why buying one would be a good in'vest'ment in terms of what you will need in your snorkel kit at all times.

Snorkel Vest Protection: Danger Lurks Under Blue Waters

Reef dives can be very exciting, not only for the first timer or amateur, but also for the expert diver. It somehow never gets 'old', and you'll hear that a lot from experienced divers who have grown up near famous reef systems. The down side of this is the safety factor. Unless you've got several hundred hours of diving under your belt, or you're diving with an instructor-level dive partner, it can be dangerous too. There are so many colourful things down there that are very tempting to go up close to, but beware – too close and you're likely to be stung or pricked or bitten in defense. Though some reefs may be made up entirely of deal coral, natural or farmed coral reefs are also found in plenty; that's where the danger lies. When you're swimming close to the corals, it's not possible to be aware of your every move, and this is where snorkel vests will protect you. Because they form a thick layer between you and the outside, they can effectively safeguard you from the usual hazards of swimming amongst poisonous anemones and other coelenterates that populate a typical coral reef. If that doesn't convince you to buy a snorkel vest, try the next one. This one's a real doozy.

Shiver Me Timbers And Rattle Me Bones

So you thought that tropical waters are warm. Well, you're half right. The answer is yes and no. On the surface, the water might be warm, but as you go deeper, the water get colder – and fast. It may come as a rude shock to know how quickly the water can get cold as you go deeper. In dive terminology, there's a layer of water that separates the warmer surface water from the colder deep waters, called a Thermocline. Although you're not likely to come across this when snorkelling, some reefs may be at greater depths than usual. That's when you'll thank your stars that snorkel vests form a kind of thermal blanket around your torso. Cold shock is not a very pleasant experience to go through, as anyone who's been pushed into an unheated swimming pool knows.

Pick Up That Boy And See What I'll Do

The next reason for owning a snorkel vest is not as severely scientific as thermoclines and coelenterate toxicity, but it makes equal sense just the same. It's a very simple principle called buoyancy. Yes, a snorkel vest will help you float easier, and keep you close to the water's surface with minimal effort. Of course, you could argue that salt water helps you float easier anyway so why bother with a vest? Well, that does hold water, but what about those long sessions where you are in the water for hours. Unless you have something to hold on to, you'll be treading water the whole time. You may not notice it at the time but your muscles will be screaming out in pain, the noise only heard the next day. With a snorkel vest, you can just let your muscles relax and let that lactic acid (which causes muscle fatigue) in them drain away naturally, letting you stay in the water much longer. If you're still not convinced that you need a snorkel vest, then all I can do is wish you all the best.