A Student Diver's Guide to Snorkel Clips
Bottom Line: As a student diver, consider the design of the snorkel clip (keeper) when you purchase your snorkel and make sure the keeper is compatible with your mask strap. A closed snorkel keeper design (as seen in Image #3) will keep your snorkel where it belongs—on your mask and off the ocean floor.
As a new PADI Open Water Diver student, part of your mandatory dive equipment is a snorkel. This article is not a pro or con debate on snorkels but rather an observation of what student divers purchase when it comes to that small little piece of seemingly insignificant plastic attached to your snorkel, the snorkel keeper, also known as the snorkel clip.
Those of us at ATA/BAR DIVERS like snorkels, and we like to keep the snorkels we buy. What we frequently see are student divers with snorkels that won’t stay clipped to their mask straps. Two of the biggest problems with snorkel purchases are ill-informed salespeople or the students themselves as they wade through a sea of snorkel options and styles.
There are many different keeper designs on the market that can be grouped into two broad categories: Open and Closed Designs. The open design keeper (as seen in Images 2, 4, and 6, above) allows divers to easily slip the keeper onto and off of the mask strap. The closed keeper design (Images 1, 3, and 5) has a loop that stays on the mask strap. The clip depicted in Image 3 is designed to stay on the mask strap and allows the snorkel to be easily removed using an interlocking device.
Not surprisingly, a snorkel that easily disconnects from your mask intentionally will also become disconnected unintentionally at the most inopportune times—and this is why we do not recommend open keeper designs similar to those depicted in Images 2, 4, or 6.
Image 3 shows the fully-closed keeper design of the Tusa Platina II Hyperdry line of snorkels, which we recommend. This keeper—patented by Tusa as the Comfort Swivel—allows for snorkel swiveling and a quick-disconnect from the mask; it is also available with Hyperdry Elite II snorkels. For more information, visit the Tusa website.
Something else to consider is the compatibility of your mask strap with your snorkel. The two are not always made for each other, especially considering the very narrow mask straps seen with today’s new masks. Some straps are only ¾”-wide, which is probably great for mask-wearing comfort, but not so great for supporting the weight of an attached snorkel. Make sure to try on the two together to ensure their symbiotic relationship is sound.
Are you in love with your Tusa snorkel with its fully-enclosed Comfort Swivel design but HATE changing the keeper between masks and are too cheap to buy another snorkel for that other mask you own? You can purchase an extra black (TC-507) or white (TC-506) snorkel adaptor (and other snorkel parts) from Tusa directly at http://tusaparts.mwrc.net/en/category.php?product_category_id=9892.