Whether you’re a beginner or experienced snorkeler or just going on a snorkeling excursion to Hawaii, it’s important to know what colors wear or not to wear when going on a snorkeling adventure and exploring the underwater world.
Avoid colors that are difficult to see, such as blue, since they may blend in with the water and be difficult to detect. When it gets dark, black is almost impossible to see. If you wear bright colors you will be easier to spot, however contrasting colors can be easier seen by sharks as well, or may attract certain sea creatures.
In this guide, we’ll share some dos and don’ts when it comes to choosing your outfit’s color for snorkeling.
Stay safe and have fun!
Table of Contents
Snorkeling Gear Colors
Wetsuit colors are usually black, or blue. While these are safe colors to wear snorkeling, avoid white and other light-colored clothing as they can make you more visible to aquatic life and boats.
Snorkeling equipment such as snorkeling fins or a snorkel vest or a breathing tube or water shoes will usually feature other colors than black or dark blue. The mixing of neon colors with black is a very popular combination when it comes to wearing fins or other snorkeling gear.
Covering your skin helps to avoid injuries and sunburn, so it’s important to choose the right color wetsuit for your snorkeling trip. You won’t need as much sunscreen when wearing a regular wetsuit. UV protection is also important, and can be found in most good quality suits. These suits may also prevent getting cut from sharp objects.
If there’s hot weather and you don’t want to wear a full wetsuit, we suggest wearing shorts and a rash guard. A rash guard is a tight-fitting shirt that will protect your skin from the sun’s rays.
When choosing your snorkeling gear, it’s important to consider the colors you’ll be wearing in the water.
Yellow and orange stand out the most against the blue of the sea and are the most visible colors. If you’re looking to avoid attracting attention from aquatic life or boats, we recommend sticking to darker colors.
A diving or snorkeling instructor or teacher usually also wears some bright colors to help students identify them quickly in the water.
If you’re not sure what to wear, it’s always a good idea to ask around or check with the experts before your trip.
What Colors Should You Not Wear When Diving?
Dark colors are less visible in the water than light colors. If you’re diving, avoid wearing white, beige or other light colors that can easily be seen from a distance.
As far as underwater marine life is considered noise is what drives away sealife the most and sharks can see some color and contrast so avoid shiny jewellery and things, too.
Sharks may mistake shiny stuff for the scales of fish prey and can also be attracted to bright colors. So, unless you’re looking to attract sharks, it’s a good idea to leave all your jewelry at home.
Color Loss with Depth
Water impedes light underwater, so the further down you go, the less colorful everything becomes. When snorkeling, you won’t be going as deep as scuba divers, but it’s still important to be aware of the color loss that occurs with deeper water. The deeper you go the less color you will see.
Importance for Making Underwater Photographs
Depth effects light, color and the quality of photos taken underwater. To make the colors in your photos more vibrant and to help offset the color loss that occurs with depth, you will have to make extra preparations.
Some waterproof cameras also have settings for taking photos underwater. If you’re serious about capturing beautiful underwater photos, it’s important to learn about your camera’s settings and how they work.
Snorkelers are less effected than divers, since the surface is closer to the sun and the natural light has a greater chance of penetrating the water.
Scuba divers, especially those who go deep, need artificial light to see colors and take photographs with good contrast.
Having a dive torch at hand will help you set the right light settings and see the actual colors. If you’re not sure how to do this, there are many online tutorials that can help.
Underwater Marine Life and Colors
Sharks notice contrast better than colors, so wearing a brightly colored swimsuit is not as risky as some people think. However, it’s still important to avoid clothing that will stand out against the natural environment.
Buoyancy aids, flotation devices and life vests are often bright colored in order to be seen by rescuers, but we recommend avoiding these colors when snorkeling as they can scare away fish and other aquatic life.
Exotic fish are often colored to be able to hide in the similarly colorful coral reef, so it’s important to be respectful of their natural surroundings and avoid wearing too brightly colored clothing when snorkeling.
However, it also depends on the type of aquatic life and colorful fish you’re hoping to see. Possibly the noise and splashing in the water will scare away some fish but on the other hand, if you’re lucky enough you might get to see a fish that is attracted to colors.
While the study’s conclusions may seem like common sense, it is always important to be aware of our surroundings and take precautions while enjoying outdoor activities.
For example, if you are snorkeling in a brightly-colored wetsuit, make sure that you are easily visible to boaters and other swimmers if you are a beginner. If you get lost, it is easier to notice and rescue you if you are wearing a bright dress.
If you are a novice snorkeler, you may also wear a bright colored bandana, so your fellow snorkeler friends may spot you from afar.
Remember, when in doubt, ask for help. With these safety tips in mind, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable summer season!
Happy snorkeling and have a great snorkeling experience!