How Long Can You Stay Underwater With a Snorkel

Wondering how long you can stay underwater with a snorkel? Most people can stay submerged for 30 seconds to 1 minute on a single breath. Experienced free-divers can hold their breath for 3 to 4 minutes. And some humans have been known to remain underwater for up to 10 minutes!

There are many variables that affect how long you can stay underwater, such as your lung capacity, body fat percentage, age, health, and medications. If you have any conditions that affect your lungs or heart, you should check with your doctor before going snorkeling.

Now let’s dive into the details of how long you can stay underwater with a snorkel.

How Long Can You Stay Underwater?

With a snorkel, you can stay underwater for as long as you have air in your lungs. Of course, how long you can stay underwater depends on how much air you have in your lungs and how good of a swimmer you are. If you want to stay underwater longer, you can get a diving mask and snorkel.

Factors That Affect How Long You Can Hold Your Breath

There are many factors that affect how long you can hold your breath, including:

  • age
  • physical condition
  • diving experience
  • altitude
  • temperature of the water
  • use of medication or drugs

Body size

One of the most important factors in understanding how long you can stay underwater is your body size. Larger people have a higher volume of blood and more hemoglobin, which means they can store more oxygen. This allows them to stay underwater for longer periods of time.

Body fat percentage

At a body fat percentage of .2, most men would be considered suffering from anorexia nervosa. This eating disorder is characterized by extremely restricted eating, an intense fear of gaining weight, and a distorted body image. Men with anorexia may also suffer from depression and anxiety. While there are no definitive guidelines for how long someone can survive without food, people with anorexia typically survive for months or even years without eating enough to sustain their bodies.


In order to find out how long you can safely stay underwater, it is best to start with some training. One method is called the Apnea Total Immersion method. This involves finding a body of water that is at least 10 feet deep and warm enough to comfortable spend extended periods of time in (a pool or hot tub works well for this).

You will need a friend or family member to help you with this training, as they will need to keep an eye on you while you are practicing. To start, have your helper lower you into the water so that only your face is exposed. Once you are in the water, take a deep breath and see how long you can hold it.

Keep track of how long you were able to hold your breath and try to beat that time each day. Once you are comfortable holding your breath for at least 2 minutes, you can move on to the next stage of training.

Why You Shouldn’t Stay Underwater for Too Long

When you are snorkeling, you will want to stay underwater as long as possible to enjoy the experience. However, it is important to know how long you can stay underwater before it becomes dangerous.

The main risk of staying underwater for too long is hypoxia, which is a condition caused by insufficient oxygen reaching the tissues and organs. Symptoms of hypoxia include dizziness, confusion, and unconsciousness. If not treated quickly, hypoxia can be fatal.

Another danger of staying underwater for too long is that you may forget to breathe and end up inhaling water. This can cause drowning.

It is recommended that you take a break every few minutes when snorkeling to avoid these risks. If you feel any symptoms of hypoxia, such as dizziness or confusion, get to the surface immediately and take a break.

You could drown

You might be thinking, “Can’t I just dive down, take a breath and swim back up?” That would be a very bad idea and here is why…

Water is much more dense than air, about 800 times more dense. Because of this, when you add more water to the mix (by diving deeper), there is more pressure on your body and specifically your lungs.

Your lungs are like an inflated balloon. When they are full of air, they can take the pressure, but if you put them under too much pressure (by diving too deep) the air inside them will start to compress. This compression makes it harder for you to inhale and can eventually lead to lung collapse. And once your lungs have collapsed, it is very difficult to get them working again without medical help.

So how deep can you go before the pressure becomes too much? The simple answer is that it depends on how strong and healthy your lungs are. A recreational diver with healthy lungs can safely dive to about 130 feet (40 meters), but even a small change in lung function (from a cold or allergies, for example) can reduce that depth by half.

Divers who want to go even deeper use what’s called a “rebreather” which recycles their air and prevents them from having to decompress as often. But even with this technology, there is a limit to how deep you can go before the risk of serious injury or death becomes too great.

For most people, snorkeling is a safe and enjoyable way to explore the underwater world without having to worry about the risks associated with diving. So put on your mask, grab your snorkel and enjoy the view!

You could get an ear infection

If you jump into the water without clearing your snorkel first, water can enter your ear through the Eustachian tubes and give you an ear infection.

How to Extend Your Time Underwater

Snorkeling is a great way to get up close and personal with the underwater world without having to put on a bulky scuba diving suit and tanks. However, you are limited to the amount of time you can spend underwater because you need to come up for air. In this article, we will discuss some tips on how you can extend your time underwater so you can enjoy snorkeling for longer.


Equalizing is crucial to staying underwater longer because it balances the pressure on your eardrums so they don’t pop. Although you may have learned the valsalva maneuver (pinching your nose shut and blowing gently) to equalize in the past, this technique can actually cause more harm than good and should be avoided. A better option is the Frenzel maneuver, which is what most freedivers use. To do this, pinch your nose shut and make an “O” shape with your mouth. Now push your tongue back against the roof of your mouth and swallow. You should feel a “clicking” sensation as your Eustachian tubes open.


Snorkeling is a great way to enjoy the underwater world without having to worry about things like air tanks and diving gear. However, even though snorkeling is relatively safe, there are still some risks involved. One of the biggest dangers of snorkeling is running out of air and having to surface too quickly. This can lead to a condition called decompression sickness, which can be fatal.

Therefore, it is important to know how long you can stay underwater with a snorkel before you need to surface. The general rule of thumb is that you should not stay underwater for more than 30 seconds at a time. This will help to prevent you from running out of air and will also help to prevent decompression sickness.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. If you are swimming in calm water and are not exerting yourself, you may be able to stay underwater for longer periods of time. However, if you are swimming in rough water or are exerting yourself, you will need to surface more frequently.

In general, it is best to err on the side of caution and surface every 30 seconds or so just to be safe. This will help to ensure that you do not run out of air and will also help to prevent decompression sickness.

Use a Snorkel

With a snorkel, you can stay underwater for a considerable amount of time without needing to surface for air. By breathing through the tube, you can remain submerged for long enough to explore the underwater world without having to worry about coming up for air every few seconds.

A snorkel is a tube that allows you to breathe without having to surface for air. Snorkels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are made from different materials. The most important factor in choosing a snorkel is finding one that fits well and is comfortable to use.

There are two main types of snorkels: dry and wet. Dry snorkels have a valve at the top that prevents water from entering the tube, while wet snorkels do not have this valve. Wet snorkels are recommended for beginner snorkelers, as they are easier to use and less likely to flood than dry snorkels.

When using a snorkel, it is important to remember to breathe slowly and evenly. If you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded, it is important to surface immediately and take a break. It is also important to be aware of your surroundings when snorkeling, as there may be dangerous animals or objects nearby.


In general, you can stay underwater for as long as you can hold your breath. If you want to extend your time, consider taking a freediving course to learn proper breathing techniques. With proper training, you will be able to increase your breath-hold time and enjoy the underwater world for even longer!

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