Snorkeling (British spelling: snorkelling) is the practice of swimming on or through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped tube called a snorkel, and usually swimfins. Spearfishing is an ancient method of fishing that has been used throughout the world for millennia. Early civilizations were familiar with the custom of spearing fish from rivers and streams using sharpened sticks. Today modern spearfishing makes use of elastic powered spearguns and slings, or compressed gas pneumatic powered spearguns, to strike the hunted fish. Specialized techniques and equipment have been developed for various types of aquatic environments and target fish. Spearfishing may be done using free-diving, snorkeling, or scuba diving techniques. Spearfishing while using scuba equipment is illegal in some countries. The use of mechanically powered spearguns is also outlawed in some countries and jurisdictions. Spearfishing is highly selective, normally uses no bait and has no by-catch.
A swimmer's snorkel is a tube typically about 30 centimeters long and with an inside diameter of between 1.5 and 2.5 centimeters, usually L- or J-shaped and fitted with a mouthpiece at the lower end, and constructed of rubber or plastic. It is used for breathing air from above the water surface when the wearer's mouth and nose are submerged. The snorkel usually has a piece of rubber that attaches the snorkel to the outside of the strap of the diving mask. The most common type of snorkel is a simple tube that is allowed to flood when underwater. The snorkeler expels water from the snorkel either with a sharp exhalation on return to the surface (blast clearing) or by tilting the head back shortly before reaching the surface and exhaling until reaching or "breaking" the surface (displacement method) and facing forward again before inhaling the next breath. The displacement method expels water by displacing its presence in the snorkel with air; it is a more advanced technique that takes practice but clears the snorkel with much greater efficiency.
Snorkelers normally wear the same kind of mask as those worn by scuba divers. By creating an airspace, the mask enables the snorkeler to see clearly underwater. All scuba diving masks consist of the lenses also known as a faceplate, a comfortable skirt, which also encloses the nose, and a head strap. There are different styles and shapes. These range from oval shaped models to lower internal volume masks and may be made from different materials; common choices are silicone and rubber.
A wetsuit is a garment, usually made of foamed neoprene, which is worn by surfers, divers, windsurfers, canoeists, and others engaged in water sports, providingthermal insulation, abrasion resistance and buoyancy. The insulation properties depend on bubbles of gas enclosed within the material, which reduce its ability toconduct heat. The bubbles also give the wetsuit a low density, providing buoyancy in water.
Wetsuits designed specifically for spearfishing are often two-piece (jacket and high waisted pants or 'long-john' style pants with shoulder straps) and are black or are fully or partially camouflage. Camouflage patterns include, blue for open ocean, green or brown for reef hunting. Commonly they have a pad on the chest to aid in loading spearguns. Sometimes they have reinforced elbows and/or knees. Often they have an "open-cell" interior, which offers superior warmth because of its very close suction fit to the skin (consequently lubrication is required to put on an open-cell wetsuit). Nylon exteriors are generally used to protect the spearo wetsuit from reefs but more delicate uncovered "smooth skin" wetsuits are sometimes used when diving from boats, because they dry quickly. Different types of wetsuit are made for different uses and for different temperatures. Suits range from a thin (2 mm or less) "shortie", covering just the torso, to a full 8 mm...
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