A snorkel is a device used for breathing air from above the surface when the wearer's head is face downwards in the water with the mouth and the nose submerged. It may be either separate or integrated into a swimming or diving mask. The integrated version is only suitable for surface snorkelling, while the separate device may also be used for underwater activities such as spearfishing, freediving, finswimming, underwater hockey, underwater rugby and for surface breathing with scuba equipment. A swimmer's snorkel is a tube bent into a shape often resembling the letter "L" or "J", fitted with a mouthpiece at the lower end and constructed of light metal, rubber or plastic. The snorkel may come with a rubber loop or a plastic clip enabling the snorkel to be attached to the outside of the head strap of the diving mask. Although the snorkel may also be secured by tucking the tube between the mask-strap and the head, this alternative strategy can lead to physical discomfort, mask leakage or even snorkel loss.
The bikini remains preferred by most players and corporate sponsors. US women's team has cited several advantages of bikini uniforms, such as comfort while playing on sand during hot weather. Competitors Natalie Cook and Holly McPeak support the bikini as a practical uniform for a sport played on sand during the heat of summer. Olympic gold medal winner Kerry Walsh said, "I love our uniforms." According to fellow gold medalist Misty May-Treanor and Walsh it does not restrict movement.
All existing new-generation snorkel-masks (see Figure 3) are full-face masks covering the eyes, the nose and the mouth. They enable surface snorkellers to breathe nasally or orally and may be a workaround in the case of surface snorkellers who gag in response to the presence of standard snorkel mouthpieces in their mouths. Some old-generation snorkel-masks (See Figure 11) are full-face masks covering the eyes, nose and mouth, while others exclude the mouth, covering the eyes and the nose only. The 1950s US Divers "Marino" hybrid comprised a single snorkel mask with eye and nose coverage and a separate snorkel for the mouth.