View Full Version : Totally Dry vs. Splash snorkels

10-22-2007, 21:48
I'm looking for an inexpensive snorkel since I'm not sure how much snorkeling I'll actually do. I will be doing my check-out dives next week at Devil's Den and we will be snorkeling the Crystal River and Rainbow River during the trip.

Does anyone have experience with either of the two snorkels. I like the interchangeable tops of the Totally Dry ($19.95), but I like the cheaper price of the Splash ($12.50).

The main thing I am wanting to get feedback on is which purge design seems the best. The tubes look almost identical, but the purges are different. Any issues with either one leaking or being more difficult to clear than the other? And, if you've only used one of them, please let me know what you think.

Thanks for any help anyone can give me.

fire diver
10-23-2007, 09:17
Welcome to ST!!

For that "difference" in price, it wouldn't matter. It's only a couple bucks. Other than that advice, I can't say. I haven't used a snorkel since I finished OW class.


10-23-2007, 12:57
I'm not a fan of totally dry snorkels. I prefer the semi-dry. Less bulky, too.

It's only a few bucks, but I have yet to be convinced of any real benefit to dry snorkels, and they are more annoying to wear since they're bulkier. If a wave splashes over you, I've also had dry snorkels slam shut in mid-breath, which is pretty startling.

I have two of the Tilos Splash snorkels that ScubaToys carries, and two of the Tusa's. I like the Tusa's better, but not by much.

No Misses
10-23-2007, 13:31
My first snorkel was a totally dry one. I found that the extra buoyancy (trapped air) made diving below the surface harder than it needed to be. I also had a bad habit of looking down and behind me. This placed the snorkel in a sideways position. Even a dry snorkel will flood if it is placed horizontal to the surface. I now snorkel with a Tusa Hyperdry, which is considered a semi dry snorkel. It has a splash guard. When I dive below the surface it fills with water. No Problem. When you surface, just blow out like a dolphin. Life is good :-)

IMHO: Dry snorkels and purges are just gimmicks. A plain old J snorkel works just as well. The splash guard does come in handy for rough water conditions. The main concern is mouth piece comfort. Second is streamlining. Many of the new styles are more of an oval shape instead of just a round tube.

Good luck with your decision.

10-23-2007, 14:43
Go with the Splash snorkel. The simpler the better is my philosophy when it comes to snorkels.

10-23-2007, 15:25
I will probably go with the Splash snorkel. I barrowed a Dry snorkel from a friend for the pool classes and it was pretty annoying. During the class where we learned to clear the snorkel as we came to the surface, I had to submerge with the mouthpiece out of my mouth to let it fill with water, put it back in my mouth and then continue with the exercise.

Thanks again for all the advice! It is much appreciated. I have heard a lot of really good things about the Tusa, but I just can't see that kind of money for a snorkel, so I think I'll go with the Splash.

10-23-2007, 15:50
I have an Oceanic Dry Snorkel and I love it. I hate having to clear my snorkel when I go down to see stuff when I am snorkeling. You really don't need one for Scuba though.

Just make sure whatever snorkel you decide to get that it has a purge valve on the bottom. It makes clearing much easier.

10-23-2007, 16:07
i have done quite a bit of snorkeling before i was a certified diver. my favorite snorkels are semi-dry (splash guard). i never liked dry snorkels.

10-23-2007, 16:27
Aqua Lung Impulse Two. Nasty wind this past weekend, so we decided to try some inshore jetties. Rock fish are more than skittish to begin with, the AQ I2 allowed quick release of air during descent, but also allowed for always tip up orientation while surface scanning. The silence of it allowed for better stalking of the aformentioned "scairdy-fish". Got four nice mangrove snapper and two groups to prove it......Not one breath of compressed air! Don't worry, It's fun, but I will never change....maybe.

10-23-2007, 16:27
Thanks for everyone's help. I just ordered the Splash snorkel. Looking forward to seeing how it does when I head down to Florida.

10-23-2007, 18:52
Based upon everyone's suggestions, I am also getting the splash snorkle.


10-23-2007, 19:13
Cool, so not only did this post help me out, it also helped someone else out. I think I'm going to like this place.

10-23-2007, 19:14
I purchased three different snorkels, including a totally dry type. In the end I went back to the plain 'ol snorkel. Much easier to clear, and totally reliable.
Of course, that's for snorkeling. My other thread states why I hate snorkels when diving.

10-23-2007, 20:20
Based upon everyone's suggestions, I am also getting the splash snorkle.



Okay, the dry snorks are even worse (been there), but the basic J is the only way to go because the others won't work for mouth-to-snorkel rescue breathing. My next snorkel will be a simple J that folds into a pocket when not in use, I've seen them for about $20, perhaps you can find them for less.

10-25-2007, 07:33
What do you all think would be easiest to learn with? Plain, semi dry, dry...? I've never been snorkling and we are going to ST tomorrow to get all of our stuff. I think I have the mask (whatever fits best for the price) and fins (split) decided, but this thread has me questioning a dry snorkle. I do want to dive down, but when swimming I tend to let out my breath while under water and KNOW that my first reaction when surfacing with a snorkle will still be to breath IN. A lungful of salt water does not sound real appetizing. :smiley11: I don't plan to upgrade soon, so I'm sure I'll get used to whatever I buy, but if it's easier I'll have a better time and want to do it more.



10-25-2007, 09:34
What do you all think would be easiest to learn with?

Learn to snorkel with or learn OW with? For the latter it doesn't matter because you just breathe it during surface swims, if at all.

But my choice would be foldable plain-J because a) it works for mouth-to-snorkel rescue breathing unlike the other, b) since you don't use it almost at all during scuba you can just fold it into your BC or thigh pocket and leave there, rather than have it clipped to the mask where it will dangle and drive you insane.

That said a basic snork with a splash guard and purge at the bottom is best for active snorkeling in my opinion - it just won't work for rescue breathing and it won't fit in your pocket.

Some people love the dry snorks, but I tried one and didn't like it. Instead of feeling water in your mouth, which your then purge by exhaling after ascending slightly, you end up sucking on a closed pipe. I preferred feeling the water - also I felt the air trapped in the dry snork when it closed was wasted. You don't have to worry about sucking your lungs full of water by the way, you'll learn to inhale carefully so that you'll feel it when the water starts coming in, or if out of breath you just spit the snork out, swim up and inhale normally at the surface.

Just my opinion, you should try several different types to know what's best for you.

10-25-2007, 09:56
(My husband was pm'ing Joe when I got up and I ended up posting under him (chip). His logging on in a new window logged me off on mine.)

Thanks Floater. I'm just looking to snorkle for the first time on a cruise next month. I'm kinda nervous about spending too much money on something I'm not sure if I'm going to like. I'm here picking everyones brains trying to be sure to get the right stuff the first time, so maybe I'll want to do it again. :detective: I think I would rather hit a little water when breathing in than a closed pipe. I use a spoon with a thick shake because I hate working too hard to suck it thru the straw, I'd probably give myself a headache with a dry snorkle!

What is "OW"? And why/how do you use a snorkle for rescue breathing?

Thanks again,


10-25-2007, 10:28
What is "OW"? And why/how do you use a snorkle for rescue breathing?

OW= Open Water, as in your beginning scuba course, and later, Advanced Open Water (AOW).

Delivering rescue breaths to an unconscious diver floating at the surface is tricky. You'll learn how in Rescue class, someday. A simple J snorkel can help with positioning a bit, by putting the mouthpiece in the victim's mouth and breathing into it. Also keeps water out.

Personally, those odds are so unlikely I'm not going to alter my equipment choices to accommodate it. I like a nice purge valve in a snorkel. I dove J snorkels for years, but when the first reliable purge snorkels came out (now referred to as "semi-dry"), I felt they were a huge advance, and still do.

10-25-2007, 13:15
Hey, Thanks! I think I'll be leaning towards the spashguard / purge / semi dry snorkle.


10-25-2007, 14:10
Hey, Thanks! I think I'll be leaning towards the spashguard / purge / semi dry snorkle.


I think that's best if you are not planning to scuba dive with it.

For those interested in mouth-to-snorkel rescue breathing, here's how PADI teaches it:


They say it's well suited to situations when you need to tow the diver and giving him or her "mouth-to-mouth" of some form.

10-25-2007, 14:27
semi dry for me too... its such a pain to clear a standard snorkel...

and some purges work way better than others... I like my Tusa, hate my wifes completely dry snorkel... its big, bulky, ugly...

10-25-2007, 14:40

the basic J is the only way to go because the others won't work for mouth-to-snorkel rescue breathing.

Interesting. I carry, and would use my rescue breathing kit thinggy doodle for that!

I generally don't dive with a snorkel, so having it handy for rescue purposes ain't gooona happen!

10-26-2007, 20:28
Well, my Splash arrived today, so I'll give my thoughts on it once I get back from Florida next weekend. I ordered black, but got titanium, which isn't a big deal since the titanium is a very dark gray.

10-26-2007, 20:38
what's wrong with the plain old snorkel with just a bottom purge. I tried 2-3 different partially dry and totally dry and found them worthless and a pain in the butt to use. So I went back to my orignal snorkel with nothing but a bottom purge and it rocks. not to mention they are cheap

10-26-2007, 21:25
don't like any snorkel but they are a necessary evil so I have a pocket snorkel :smiley36: