Using a snorkel for open water swimming

Using a swim snorkel for open water training can offer lots of benefits for your swim stroke.

| September 5, 2017 | GEAR

You’re used to seeing top swimmers training with a snorkel and have no-doubt wondered if it might be something for you to try to improve your swim stroke. The bottom line is, yes, there are lots of benefits to training with a snorkel including (amongst others):

Those are all things you can work on in the pool, but being able to work on all of these technical aspects in open water has some added benefits. Because you’re not having to stop and start every 25 or 50 m, you’re able to get into a rhythm and repeat the motion for a much longer time.

Swimming in open water with a snorkel, then, makes lots of sense. The problem in the past, though, was that the traditional snorkel was basically a tube that had you breathe in and out through the same apparatus. As you took more and more breaths, you end up rebreathing some of the air you’ve exhaled. Not a big deal if you’re doing 50s, but it becomes an issue if you’re trying a 1 km swim.

One snorkel that can alleviate those issues is the Ameo PowerBreather. It uses two tubes that allow you to get lots of fresh air and the mouthpiece has a valve with a special membrane at the bottom of the snorkel that allows you to exhale through your mouth (the Ameo Fresh Air System) and have the exhaled air go out through the valve rather than the tubes. That means you’re not re-breathing any air as you swim.

Ameo, the company that makes the PowerBreather, actually sells a “wave” version of the product with longer tube inserts that will get you through choppy water without any issues, too. The end result is a snorkel that you can happily take out for an open water swim and use for as long as you care to go.

There’s one other upside to the PowerBreather as a training tool. Once you’ve done your workout and want to do some snorkelling, you’ve got the perfect tool for a leisurely afternoon at the beach taking in the sights.