How to Flipturn with a Snorkel – Part 2

Breathing during the Turn

Once you have tightly affixed your snorkel, you need to think about two primary breathing techniques when executing your flipturn. First you must blow bubbles out through your nose as you flip. Then as you push off the wall and come to the surface, you must forcefully expel air from your lungs to clear the snorkel of water. This “purge” is similar to how dolphins and whales expel a bit of water every time they breach the surface. These two techniques must be learned to avoid swallowing and choking on water.

The key to clearing water from the snorkel after the flipturn is preparation. In order to purge properly, the swimmer must exhale with a burst of air. If this exhalation is not short and powerful, water will remain in the tube and you will have some trouble breathing! As you come into your flipturn, remember to have enough air in your lungs so that you can clear the snorkel after pushing off the wall. I would suggest taking an extra large breath on your last two strokes before your flipturn.

As you begin to flip, you will need to use a bit of your stored air to keep water from going up your nose. Just like in a normal flipturn, you will want to blow a few bubbles out through your nose. Before you attempt flipping with the snorkel, try floating on the surface of the water; calmly breathe in through the snorkel tube and out through your nose.

Once you have executed the flip, the next step is to push off the wall in a tight streamline. Continue to hold the stored air in your lungs until you reach the surface. At that point, forcefully blow out the water that is remaining in your tube. Your snorkel will be cleared and you can resume your normal breathing.

Now I know this all might sound a little intimidating at first, but the entire process becomes habit after trying it a few times. Do you have your own method or technique for flipping with the swimmer’s snorkel? Let everyone know by leaving a comment below.

- Paul