The best way for a beginner to learn snorkeling is in shallow water. It is the safest place to learn how to use the equipment correctly and effectively. Even though it is pretty easy to learn how to use the mask and snorkel, beginners should know how to clear the snorkel of water if any enters. Learning this skill is essential when water is splashed or waves get into the open end of the snorkel as this can be very scary for beginners and even cause some to stop trying for fear of drowning. Also, mask can sometimes develop tiny leaks when in the water a lot and beginners need to know the safest way to get the water out of the mask.
Snorkeling is a wonderful and fun hobby that can give people the opportunity of getting a close up and personal look at marine life. Part of learning how to snorkel is learning the breathing techniques so, people who have not been in a long time and especially those who have never been, need to take lessons to either re-familiarize themselves with the equipment and how to use it or learn from the beginning. Taking lessons is the smartest thing to do even for those who have been a couple of times and know the basics so that you do not get frustrated, fatigued or scared if something happens and you do not know how to handle it.
The first thing you need to do is find a snorkeling instructor who has been certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, also known as PADI. You should have no problem finding a PADI as there are thousands across the country. Another thing you can do is ask around to see if any of your family members of friends have ever snorkeled and if so, find out who their instructor was and where they found them. Sometimes, word of mouth can help you find what you are looking for, in this case, a PADI. Sometimes you can get information about snorkeling from a sporting goods store.
At sporting goods stores you may be able to find pamphlets or brochures about snorkeling. Also, when you go on vacation and are at a tourist destination close to the ocean , get brochures and pamphlets from the lobby of your hotel or stop by the local marina and ask around. You should be able to gather many pamphlets for people and places that offer snorkeling instruction.
Depending on where you live, there may be snorkeling centers or places with diving instructors in your area. Speak with the people and ask if you can speak to an instructor. If you are able to speak with a snorkel instructor, find out what all you will learn, how long it will take, if the equipment is provided or if you have to buy it. If you have to buy equipment, find out everything you will need and what all is including in the lessons. Also ask if the instructor offers private lessons or only group lessons.