What a great post, I really enjoyed this "íTell you what: Iíll wear your goddam snorkel on every dive (cave and wreck dives excepted, of course) if youíll take my dry suit to the Caribbean and wear it in 85-degree water. See how much you like that &$%^$#.
Guess I opened a can of worms in here. <---look no snorkel.
MMMMMMMMM..... Beeeeer! -Homer J. Simpson
Believe it or not, PADI states that the student must HAVE a snorkel, but other then when specific training exercises require a snorkel, the student does not need to wear them. This was verified at 08 DEMA. This pretty much sums up how I teach snorkel use - wear it if you need it, and (especially with the newer folding models) tuck it away when you do not. Sort of the best of both worlds.
I'm just a big lovable old Teddy Bear - Until you tick off my inner Grizzly!
PADI OW Manual:
1. During all open water training dives, each student diver, certified assistant and instructor must have:
a. fins, mask and snorkel (Although recommended, Ice Diver, Wreck Diver and Cavern Diver Specialty course students are not required to have snorkels.)
So, as Blondie pointed out, the only people who are truly impacted by this on an ongoing basis are Dive Pros.
Thanks for more clarification, George!
No matter where you go, there you are!
I wore one for my first 20 dives or so, then I removed it as I never used it. Then I started boat diving more and wish I had it. It'd help with me trying to get up the ladder. (I have a weird way I get back on the boat.) Plus, I'm usually the first in the water off the boat and on windy days, I'd rather use the snorkel than my air.
I keep forgetting it though...
No sig here.... yet.
I don't do long surface swims if I can avoid them. But, if I need to cover some distance on the surface, I won't be on my belly, sucking out of a snorkel. I don't really care much for surface swims, so I'm going to move as quickly as I can to my drop point. For me, that means laying on my back and kicking my ass off. I can't get a full stroke when I'm belly kicking on the surface.
I don't want or need a snorkel for surface swims, but since standards require it for instruction, I keep one rolled up and out of my way in my pocket.
I suspect people who dive almost exclusively in warm clear tropical locations tend to feel a bit differently about snorkels than those of us in cold water with limited vis. Snorkeling to a drop point in Hawaii or Bonaire, with fascinating things to watch down below, is very different from snorkeling out to a drop point here in SoCal, where the only thing you can (usually) see below you is green murk.
Uh-oh... what happens if you chose both pills?!?
I think snorkeling is a fundamental element of SCUBA which needs to be taught, so I have no problem with the requirement for OW students. What I do have a problem with is shops selling $52 snorkels with flap traps and valves as though they are necessary features. What I have a problem with are sales peeps/divers who personally don't dive with a snorkel, but whose goal is to sell a student the most expensive snorkel in the shop.
They're pretty proud of their snorkels when they show up for class and as much as I'd like to, I can't tell them they've been taken. But, if I do a decent job with instruction, they figure that out on their own.
To the original poster I believe training agencies will never remove a snorkel from being a required tool in beginning SCUBA diver training. The value one gets from learning and experiencing the air/ water interface while using a snorkel and training at the surface is invaluable. I believe it is the building block to becoming a comfortable diver in all types of conditions.