Snorkeling vs. Scuba diving

Snorkeling and scuba diving are both exciting ways to explore the undersea world. Snorkeling is another type of diving that does not require special physical training and is great for children and adults of different ages while scuba diving requires more than that.

⏭️ 4 key differences between these two activities:

  1. Essential equipment
  2. Skill level
  3. Duration & depth under the water
  4. Danger and risks

Given the table below, whether you prefer snorkeling or diving really depends on your skills and personal preference. 

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⏭️  Let’s take a look closer at the basics.

1/ Essential equipment 

Snorkeling is swimming near the water’s surface with the use of a mask and a breathing tube, called a snorkel. The mask helps keep water out of your eyes and nose while the snorkel allows you to keep your face submerged underwater while still being able to breathe.

Meanwhile, scuba diving is diving with the help of a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, called a scuba. It requires a lot more equipment including a suitable scuba mask for you, a dive suit, a buoyancy compensator, a compressed gas tank with an attached scuba regulator, and swim fins.


2/ Skill level

Snorkeling only requires the ability to swim and feel comfortable in the water. Basically, it doesn’t require much previous experience and takes just a few minutes to learn.

However, as for scuba diving, you need to be trained and certified to ensure you have good condition of both physical & mental health. There’s no real technique needed since it requires the use of a scuba tank.


Snorkeling Vs. Scuba Diving
Snorkeling in the An Thoi Archipelago Phu Quoc is suitable for many ages



3/ Duration & depth under the water

Snorkeling is usually swimming near the water’s surface. Snorkelers savor the underwater geography while floating close to the surface (3 – 6 meter depth), while scuba divers stay underwater longer and go deeper. You can snorkel as long as you want as the breathing tube allows you to have enough & a regular supply of air.

Scuba diving with a tank allows you to stay underwater for longer periods of time until your tank runs out of gas (it may happen faster when you dive deeper).


4/  Dangers & Risks

Snorkeling is relatively safe and risk-free. The only real danger is if you end up getting in the way of motorized boats and jet skis as they may not be able to spot your snorkel from afar.  But there’s also the risk of cuts and scrapes from rocks and corals, jellyfish stings, and other possible injuries from underwater life forms.

Far from it, scuba diving can come with some real risks and dangers if not done properly. There’s a possibility of equipment malfunction, which can result in decompression sickness or even drowning.


Side note, snorkelers can safely hold their breath at any time. Conversely, breath-holding is extremely dangerous on scuba. 

You may already understand the pull of gravity underwater which gets higher when you go deeper and that leads the air inside your lungs are compressed. If this air can escape by exhalation, this is totally fine. However, it’s the big problem when the breath is held, much like a balloon pops when you blow too much air inside, your lungs can tear or collapse, which may result in heart pressure or even fatal.


Phu Quoc things to do - Enjoying free-dive in South Phu Quoc
Phu Quoc things to do – Enjoying free-dive in South Phu Quoc


To sum up, do you feel confident in the water but prefer to explore the underwater world from the surface? Let’s go snorkeling with OnBird.

Make sure you prioritize your safety and health condition so that you can make the most out of the underwater experience. Have fun!

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