Is Snorkeling A Sport? Or Is It A Hobby?


Since snorkeling on it’s own doesn’t include any kind of competition, it is not categorized as being a sport. Snorkeling is known as a hobby or an activity.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s explain exactly why that is. Later on in this article we also discuss a few ways to make this hobby even more exciting.

What Is A Sport?

A sport involves competition. This means that you (or your team) compete against another person (or their team). Through practice you develop the skills to master a certain kind of sport.

Sport also involves entertainment. Think about rugby for example. Fans can personally visit the stadium or watch the match on television. Since everyone is allowed to support their own team, the competition can be sensed far beyond the match itself.

What Is A Hobby?

A hobby is a personal preference for a certain activity. Hobbies are practiced in one’s spare time, like in the weekend or on holidays for example. They are all about pleasure and enjoyment.

An example of a hobby would be reading a book. However, hobbies can also be more active like hiking for example. People have all kinds of ways to entertain themselves in their free time.

Where It Gets Confusing

Since hobbies can be pretty active, and since competition can show up in a big variety of circumstance, people have different opinions about this topic.

For instance, maybe you like cooking and consider it to be your hobby. However, on television these days you come across a bunch of cooking challenges. People compete against each other, they are extremely busy, they sweat, just like a sport right? Therefore, some people could say that cooking is their hobby whilst others consider it their sport.


How To Keep Snorkeling Interesting

A hobby like snorkeling is a common practice on many people’s holidays. It’s entertaining enough to grab a snorkel mask and check out some cute little fish. However, for some of us this activity has become more serious over time. Some people buy better snorkel gear, they do more research or even plan their trip around snorkeling.

Understanding Fish

Knowing just a little bit about fish species can already make snorkeling way more interesting. If you know there are sea turtles within the area, you’ll probably try to find one. The same goes for corals. Some locations offer a wide variety of them. Simply knowing their name can already be fun.

A lot of fish species can be found in different parts of the world. In other words, just by recognizing a few you’re almost half way there (so to speak). We started to gain an interest in black and white fish, whilst other people are fascinated by the yellowtail families.

Take Pictures

More and more underwater cameras find their way to photography enthusiasts. Taking pictures and understanding a little bit about lighting can already make your journey a whole lot more interesting. Let’s say you’re staying at the same resort for a whole week, you get bored of snorkeling, or the amount of fish just doesn’t do it for you. How about capturing them on camera?

Besides taking pictures, it can be fun to make a video as well. We personally love to do that and edit them once we’re back home. There is a whole lot of gear available in order to enhance the excitement.

Tip: If you’re curious about taking underwater pictures or videos, feel free to read our giant guide for snorkeling with a GoPro.

Going On Excursions

A lot of holiday destinations these days offer a snorkeling tour for visitors. After a couple of days you might want to try something different. Maybe you heard about that nearby reef but you don’t know how to get there. Going on a little trip, often by boat, can really make your hobby even more exciting.

Another great thing about excursions is that you get to talk to an instructor. Since they know the area, they should be able to give you a couple of good tips. Most boats even provide information about local fish species. Always good to learn a little more and to experience new adventures.

Having Your Own Gear

Renting a snorkel mask can be fun if you occasionally enjoy this activity. Once you start to get more serious, having your own gear will make the experience much better. You get to select a mask and snorkel that fits you well, maybe you even want fins, or who knows a full face snorkel mask.

Besides all the necessary equipment, some people find their entertainment in gadgets. We once wrote an article about snorkeling with an underwater scooter. Even though they can actually help people out, some just get one for entertainment purposes.

Doing Research

Before going on a trip, why not interact online a little? There are a lot of forums to join and even more videos to check out. You can ask questions, and people are often willing to help you out. Maybe you plan to visit a tropical island, but you have no idea which bay to visit. Who knows someone can share his or her own experience together with some tips. TripAdvisor can already be of help.

After a trip you could share your experience as well. Who knows you’ll even create a Youtube channel. Videos bring back good memories, even after years. In other words, there’s a whole lot of fun to explore besides snorkeling itself.

Bringing The Family

Maybe you have a partner who shares the same interest, or who knows even kids that can’t wait for their first snorkel adventure. Having fun all together can result in a perfect beach day with some fine memories.

You should never snorkel alone and always pay attention to everyone’s safety. If you want to snorkel with kids, make sure to look after them. However, once you understand how much they enjoy themselves, you must feel better about the day as well, right?


Final Thoughts

Snorkeling is not considered to be a sport. Instead, think of it as a hobby or a way of entertainment. A lot of people enjoy it when spending a day at the beach. Some locations offer a wide range of marine life, which usually is what we’re after. Through practice and education you could become an experienced snorkeler. Staying up to date can help to keep a hobby interesting.

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