Since we don't have gills yet, as humans we've had to come up with ideas to breath underwater. Snorkels just happen to be one of the best inventions ever. So simple, yet so cool.
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Snorkel Gear: The Three Types of Snorkels
The latest in snorkeling equipment technology is the dry snorkel. Dry snorkels have a patented self regulating valve that senses the difference in weight between air and water. The snorkel top "shuts off" when submerged and automatically "opens up" when you surface.
Semi-dry snorkeling gear includes the semi dry snorkels, which have a splash guard at the top. While semi-dry snorkels keep out a majority of water, they do not block your air source completely as dry snorkels will. This allows for reduced breathing resistance and more flexibility on wavy days.
Purge snorkels have a completely open top but have a purge valve at the bottom for easier clearing.
Snorkel gear also varies in size and style to accommodate kids and also watersports such as freediving and spearfishing. There are kid's snorkels with a smaller overall length and smaller mouthpiece, allowing for easier use. Other specially designed snorkeling gear includes spearfishing or freediving snorkels. The shapes of silicone mouthpiece and the air tube on this specially designed gear have been designed to follow the profile of the diver's face. The internal diameter of the tube is large enough to optimize the airflow rate. Freediving snorkels are designed to stay out of the way and reduce drag.