Once the skills of using mask, fins and snorkel have been mastered there is a need to offer activities which are fun but also continue the development of basic watermanship competence.
The following games are suggested as a means of sustaining and developing interest of snorkel members - young and old:
- Snorkel sharing
This skill can start from solo sharing by passing the snorkel behind your back with face immersed in water, refit, clear, take a breath and repeat.
A game may develop of sharing between two or more snorkellers, static initially and then on the move. Try out different patterns of passing the snorkel around. The maximum achieved in this skill is two passes around six people in a circle in the shallows. Can you do better?
- Underwater leapfrog
This may be a single or two-team game. Place two suitable light weights on the bottom of the pool about one metre apart. Performing surface dives, each
member of the team dives and moves the rear weight in front of the leading weight thus leapfrogging it.
In this fashion the two objects move from one end of the pool to the other and back either, as a race or simply as an exercise. This is a very effective skill for improving surface-dive technique, working up to deeper dives or just improving pre dive-season fitness.
- Weightbelt removal
This exercise is performed by barrel rolling out of a fitted weight belt and then diving to perform the same manoeuvre but refitting the belt.
Take care to remain horizontal underwater, facing down and with the weights on your back. This makes refastening the quick release buckle much easier.
Ensure that the weights are placed onto the pool bottom and not dropped, and that they are of an appropriate weight for the student.
- Multiple mask clearing
This is a great confidence booster. In shallow water wearing mask only start by breathing out through the nose underwater and show how bubbles dispel from the nose socket. This is best achieved by applying pressure to the top of the mask and tilting the head back.
Then try allowing a little water into the mask, without the head strap in place, and expel by exhaling via the nose.
Next try rocking the mask away from the forehead to fill it then replace, apply pressure and clear. With practice as many as 15 or 16 clears may be achieved with one breath.
This skill not only develops confidence, but also teaches the student to be economical with air during mask clearing.
- Inverted mask clearing
An interesting variation on multiple mask clearing. This technique requires a complete reversal of the conventional skill when pressure is applied to the lower part of the mask and the chin is pushed towards the chest.
- Obstacle course
Various objects may be suspended in the pool, such as weighted hoops and bars to form an obstacle course. This is best run as a two-team game and is an excellent way of finishing a training session.