How to Snorkel From a Kayak


Snorkeling is a great way to experience life under the water. There are many excellent snorkeling sites close to shore, however the water close to shore can sometimes be murky and sandy next to beaches, making for poor visibility. Often the better snorkeling can be found further out. An easy way to access these offshore snorkel sites is via a kayak. All you have to do is load up your snorkeling gear on your kayak and you'll be ready to go.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry bag and towel
  • Kayak, paddle, Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
  • Snorkel, mask and fins
  • Bungee cord (if necessary)
  • Kayak buddy

Preparing to Kayak Snorkel

  • Gather your snorkel gear together. Along with your snorkel, fins and mask, pack a dry bag with a beach towel in it so that you can dry off when you're finished snorkeling.

  • Load the snorkel gear onto the kayak so that it's easily accessible. If you have a storage hatch, you can place your dry bag and snorkel gear in there until you are ready to use it. If not, you can use a bungee cord attached to the eyelets on your kayak to hold your gear in place.

  • Locate a place to stop and snorkel. To find a good snorkeling spot, look to see where other snorkelers are snorkeling. If you can't find other snorkelers, then look for a spot next to a reef which is where you'll probably see the most sea life.

  • Put your snorkeling equipment on. You can put your mask and snorkel on while seated in your kayak, but it's often easier to swing your legs over the side of the kayak when you're ready to put your fins on.

  • Stabilize the kayak. While you're sitting on the side of the kayak have your snorkel buddy hold on to the opposite side of the kayak so that all the weight isn't on one side, causing your kayak to capsize.

  • Lower yourself into the water when you are ready.

  • Tow the kayak using your oar. Since you're not using an anchor, you'll need a way to keep your kayak with you. Holding onto the oar lets you do that and also acts as a flotation device for you.

Climbing Back Into the Kayak

  • Hold onto the side of the kayak with your buddy holding onto the opposite side.

  • Remove your fins and throw them onto the kayak.

  • Haul your upper body into the kayak. Use your arms to help push your body forward onto the kayak deck.

  • Swing your legs over onto the kayak and slowly get yourself seated back in the kayak.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're not comfortable swimming in open water, wear your PFD while you snorkel.
  • You should never kayak by yourself. Always bring a buddy.

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