Pool Noodle as an Equipment Holder for Snorkeling

by Kent
(Fleetwood, PA, USA)

My pool noodle equipment holder

My pool noodle equipment holder

While on a trip to St. Thomas and St. John in the USVI we went on a sailing excursion and did some snorkeling in which we used pool noodles to help keep us afloat. Although I enjoyed using a noodle, I also wanted the freedom to dive to take some pictures.

Next month, we’re going to Turks and Caicos and I know that we’ll be headed out to a few locations on our own and will need to take our phone and other valuables with us. Having read about your making a utility belt, I came up with the idea of using a pool noodle that I can secure to my ankle so I can dive to take pictures while not having the noodle blow away and still also have other items secured to it. Attached is a picture of my semi-final product. I still want to change out the small S carabiners for slightly larger ones.

I’ll let you know what I think of using it when I get back from the Turks & Caicos Islands.

In 2016 my wife and I vacationed in St. Thomas. While researching for the trip I came across this site and purchased your eBook on St. John. I'm glad I did both.

Comments for Pool Noodle as an Equipment Holder for Snorkeling

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Apr 19, 2019
Consider this Safety Issue
by: Galen

Hi Kent, you have a creative idea, but my main concern with it is a safety issue when freediving. Think carefully about what happens if you dive down and the rope attached to your ankle gets caught on a piece of coral or a rock, and it prevents you from getting back to the surface. Maybe you will be able to release the velcro at your ankle, but in a high stress situation it is not a risk I would be willing to take, or recommend. I am very wary of anything attached even to a snorkeling or weight belt when freediving, and what it might get caught on. My freediving weight belt has a quick release clasp for that reason.

I also wonder how the rope would interact with your fins when kicking, but that is less of a concern.

Please be careful.

Apr 20, 2019
Agree With Galen
by: Richard

I agree with Galen. I have a self-created rule that nothing should be attached to my body whether freediving or even just on the surface. Probably would never be a problem but... "what can happen will happen."

Apr 21, 2019
Many Choices, One Life
by: Steve

I concur. Please be careful when using this. It only takes one adverse event to ruin your life.

May 30, 2019
The Verdict is in...
by: Kent

... and I agree that this is something that would need to be used with caution.

I tested this in open shallow water (about 5 feet) that had a sandy bottom and here is what I experienced.

During snorkeling on top of the water the rope was a little bit of a nuisance. While diving it was fine. However, I did not feel comfortable diving in the water while using it if the water was choppy (i.e. I moved back and forth due to waves or currents) or if I was diving on a reef where I would be diving into a tight spot among coral or rocks.

I'm going to modify this by disconnecting the rope portion that attaches to my ankle but allow an easy means to attach it if I want to. I doubt that I will use it if I want to dive but I want to keep that option available.

Thanks for the feedback. It is great advice.

Jun 29, 2019
A suggestion for safely towing a surface float.
by: Jerry

Hi Kent, in Rhode Island we are required to tow a dive flag for scuba or snorkeling. Since I always have an underwater camera with me I simply attach the tow line to the camera. This way I can release the line at any time since I'm not physically attached to it, and also if I drop the camera for any reason it will have a marker float on it. Sometimes I even leave the camera next to an interesting site on the bottom while I surface for air, then return and get some more photos of something I might have otherwise lost sight of.

Just another idea, but I will lend my voice to the chorus of being wary of having a tow line attached to your body, particularly while breath-holding!

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