What is a Dry Snorkel?

The Coastal Side is supported by readers and some links on this website are affiliate links. We may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you click through our links and make a purchase from one of our partners.

I love snorkeling, it’s one of my favorite hobbies. However, when I first began snorkeling I was terrified of water sneaking into my gear. I’m so glad I found a solution to my fear, now I can snorkel without sucking in unnecessary water.

I found that out of all the snorkeling gear, a dry snorkel helped me overcome my fears because the top valve doesn’t allow water to enter the tube! What is a dry snorkel exactly? A dry snorkel is for beginner snorkelers that come with all the bells and whistles.

How does a Dry Snorkel Work?

1 2022 09 what is a dry snorkel how does a dry snorkel work

A dry snorkel comes with the most components of any snorkel and is recommended for a beginners first snorkel. Here are some of the components a dry snorkel comes with and how they operate.I will work my way from the mouthpiece all the way to the valve at the top of the snorkel.

  • The soft silicone mouthpiece is the part of the breathing tube designed for you to gently place your mouth and teeth.
  • The reservoir is located directly below the mouthpiece and will catch the water that surprisingly leaks in.
  • The flex tube is located at the bottom of the snorkel just above the bend. This part of the snorkel provides more comfort and flexibility and prevents jaw fatigue when you want to remove the snorkel tube when swimming around. It also makes for a flexible tube so you can easily dive through waves.
  • The clip, also known as a mask clip, is provided for a mask to clip onto the snorkel. This allows for a steady snorkel while swimming. It is also useful for keeping track of your snorkel.
  • The dry valve– or float valve mechanism– at the top of the tube will stop water from flowing into the tube when you are under water. This component only seals when submerged in water.
  • The splash guard will give you extra protection from water entering the snorkel when you are above water. Splash guards will work in place of the dry valve since the dry valve only works underwater.

How do you use a dry snorkel

2 2022 09 what is a dry snorkel how to use a dry snorkel

A dry snorkel is used for the ocean or even a lake snorkeling experience. Water spray is common in these places and a dry snorkel top will help keep water from entering the tube.

To use the dry snorkel gear first you need to attach the mask to the mask strap on the snorkel, this ensures the snorkel doesn’t get lost. Then put on your mask and place your mouth on the snorkel mouthpiece. Lastly, place your head underwater and enjoy!

There is also a full-face snorkel mask that have a snorkel built in. Full face snorkel masks allow for a bigger and better view of the ocean water, and you don’t need to worry about your snorkel detaching from your mask.

How Dry Snorkels Work Underwater

3 2022 09 what is a dry snorkel how dry snorkels work underwater

If you submerge your dry snorkel underwater you may experience some water in the tube. Sometimes water will sneak by the flap that’s supposed to keep water out. If you experience this just expel water out of the tube by blowing through the mouthpiece, and that should fix the problem.

How long can you stay underwater using a snorkel?

4 2022 09 what is a dry snorkel how long can you stay underwater

You can stay underwater for as long as your body doesn’t get tired, and as long as your snorkel is not fully submerged underwater.

The beauty of a snorkel is the limitless time you can spend enjoying the underwater world. However, if you find yourself fully submerged underwater you will only be able to stay underwater as long as your lungs can handle it. Most report an average of 45 seconds holding their breath underwater.

What is the difference between Wet, Semi-Dry, and Dry Snorkels?

5 2022 09 what is a dry snorkel what is the difference

There are three basic types of snorkels; wet, semi-dry, and dry snorkels. All snorkels include a mouth piece, a j shaped tube, and an opening at the top. Each of these snorkels has a time and place to use because they all serve different purposes.

What is a Wet Snorkel?

A wet snorkel, also known as a traditional snorkel, or a classic wet snorkel has very few components. The top of the snorkel is open, and the bottom consists of a mouthpiece and a reservoir. A wet snorkel is commonly used amongst freedivers because the snorkel is lightweight and agile when diving into the water.

Unlike dry snorkels, wet snorkels are mainly used by professionals who know how to clear the water from the tube. If you are a beginner I would recommend not starting off with this type of snorkel.

What is a Semi Dry Snorkel?

Semi-dry snorkels are much like dry snorkels and have all the same components except for one. Semi-dry snorkels don’t have the dry valve at the top that holds back water when submerged in the ocean or lake. A semi dry snorkel includes a purge valve that other snokels do not have.

These types of snorkels are used for free diving and floating, in other words, it is versatile.

What is a Dry Snorkel?

As stated above, a dry snorkel is for beginners who want to tread water along along the water’s surface. These types of snorkels are the only gear that have a dry valve at the top so no water gets in the tube while you are submerged underwater.

How to Clear a Snorkel of Water?

There are several ways you can clear the water out of your snorkel through blasting or displacement.

Blasting- You can use this method with any type of snorkel. Simply put, all you need to do is blow harshly into your snorkel whenever you resurface.

Displacement- This method is perfect for snorkels without a dry valve. In other words use this method if you have classic snorkels or semi dry snorkels. Blow a tiny bit of air into your snorkel. As you start to swim upward the air bubble in the Pthe tube will become bigger and replace the water in the tube once you are at the surface.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Dry Snorkeling?

6 2022 09 what is a dry snorkel advantages and disadvantages

Even though dry snorkels pose to be a great asset for beginner snorkelers there are still some advantages and disadvantages. Here are some things you should consider before purchasing a dry snorkel.


Using a dry snorkel is perfect for those first-time snorkelers, here are some of the advantages of choosing a dry snorkel.

  • Perfect for beginners who want to be completely submerged underwater.
  • Splash guard and dry valve seals from splashes and full submersion
  • Made of a high-quality silicone mouthpiece


  • Sometimes the valve at the top will get flipped causing you to not breath through the tube.
  • The snorkel is quite buoyant underwater, making it a little more difficult to dive deep underwater. You may also find the snorkel dragging behind you if you dive through a wave.

Why I recommend a Dry Snorkel

I used to be terrified of snorkeling for the very reason of inhaling too much water. In fact I have owned several snorkels that break within a few minutes of use.

The Dry top snorkel has really helped me over come some of those fears. Now I can swim around in a “fish tank” and enjoy the marine life.

I hope you can find the perfect snorkel for your underwater adventures whether you are diving, wading, or swimming around shallow water.

About the Writer

Share this article

More to Explore

what is the best tide for snorkeling with a turtle
Snorkeling Guides

What is the Best Tide for Snorkeling [Beginner vs. Pro]

Snorkeling is one of the most enriching and awe-inspiring hobbies in the ocean. It allows you to get up close …

Read Article
How to Clean Snorkel Gear with Mildew
Snorkeling Guides

How to Clean Snorkel Gear with Mildew [Quick Guide]

During a snorkeling session, the last thing you want is for your snorkel gear to be damaged or dirty. If …

Read Article
when is it too windy to snorkel
Snorkeling Guides

When is it Too Windy to Snorkel?

Many factors will affect your snorkeling experience, and the wind is no exception. Wind can generate waves that make swimming …

Read Article