Snorkel Alaska offers optional weightbelts for those who are looking for an extra adventure while snorkeling at Mountain Point. Our wetsuits are extremely buoyant so they make you float like a cork. It is literally like wearing a full body lifejacket. Thanks to all that positive buoyancy we can take people who can’t even swim! That’s right, if you don’t know how to swim don’t worry you will float comfortably at the surface throughout the tour.
However, if you’d like to break free from the surface and swim down into the depths you will need a weightbelt in order to do so. We offer a variety of weight increments based on your suit size. A small child in a Youth XXS might wear 5 pounds of weight. A gal in an XS suit would wear 10 pounds. We also have 12 pound belts, 16 pounds and up to 20 pounds for a guy in an XXXL suit. The bigger the suit is the more buoyant it is so more weight is needed. You will still float with a weightbelt but the weights will help offset the positive buoyancy of the wetsuit which will allow you to freedive.
We teach proper freediving technique while out on tour. First you pair up with a buddy to keep an eye each other. We say one buddy up and one buddy down. So while one person is freediving the other person is observing from the surface to keep an eye on the freediver. The proper technique involves a pike dive where the freediver lifts his / her legs up and out of the water while bending at the waist. The higher you get your legs out of the water and above your head the easier it is to break that surface tension and get underwater.
Once underwater you should use slow and purposeful movement and kicks. Rather than a rapid, jerky movements. On the way down it’s very important to equalize your ears and the airspace inside your mask. You equalize your ears by pinching your nose closed and gently blowing until your ears “pop”. You should do this early and often like every 2 -3 feet or every 1 meter of descent. It’s important to equalize early before you feel any pain or pressure in your ears. If you can’t equalize come back to the surface and try again. Some people can equalize just by swallowing or wiggling their jaw side to side. Your mask will suck onto your face while descending so it’s important to exhale a small amount of air into it while descending. Often times this can be done at the same time you are equalizing.
The wall at Mountain Point drops off to about 100 feet in spots so it’s an amazing view as you descend into the depths. You can go as deep as you want depending how long you can hold your breath! There are also much shallower areas to practice. And if you are not interested in freediving that’s okay, don’t take a weightbelt. Whatever your skill level is we are happy to guide you accordingly.