How to Buy Snorkeling Gear

How to Buy Snorkeling Gear
Whether you are exploring the pristine underwater world of Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii, marveling at the abundant marine life of Culebra Bay in Costa Rica, or perusing with green sea turtles in remote areas of the Cook Islands, a good set of snorkel gear will serve you well on your adventure journey. From state-of-the-art fins and masks to the tried-and-true simple tube that serves as a snorkel, the right kind of equipment can truly enhance your snorkeling excursions.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to Buy Snorkeling Gear

Things You’ll Need:
  • Snorkel Mask Fins
  • Snorkel
  • Mask
  • Fins
Step 1
Visit a reputable dive shop or dive/snorkel rental outlet to observe its inventory of snorkel gear. A good shop will offer a variety of choices for beginners as well as advanced snorkelers. The equipment should include snorkels, fins and masks, along with accessories such as rash guards, bags, wetsuits, defogging sprays and flotation devices.
Step 2
Determine whether you want to spend money on top-of-the-line gear or if you would rather purchase basic equipment suitable for the beginner. For advanced snorkeling, consider purchasing split fins designed specifically for increased propulsion. Swimmers who wear booties would best be served by an open-heeled fin. Masks come in varied styles, including those with magnification devices embedded in the lens for close-up vision, or those that accommodate men with moustaches. If you are near-sighted, considered obtaining a customized prescription mask so you don't risk damaging your contact lenses with sea water.
Step 3
Try the mask on to determine the proper fit. Place the mask directly on your face and suck through your nose. If the mask has a good seal for your face, it should stay put. Refrain from pulling the mask too tight, as it will flatten it out and compromise the seal.
Step 4
Decide what type of snorkel would best suit your skill level. For beginners, the "dry" or "semi-dry" snorkel features one-way valves or vents that prevent water from entering the mouth. Make sure the mouthpiece fits comfortably in your bite. For snorkeling "on the go," bendable snorkels can be folded and put in your pocket for easy transport.
Step 5
Purchase a de-fogging solution to rub on your mask before you enter the water. Make sure you rinse your mask for a few seconds after applying the solution, otherwise it could sting your eyes when you are in the water.

Tips & Warnings

 
Consider using a flotation device or styrofoam "noodle" if you are not confident in the water.
 
Consider using a flotation device or styrofoam "noodle" if you are not confident in the water.
 
Always be mindful of where you are drifting as you snorkel. Keep an eye out for reefs, rocks, other snorkelers and strong currents.
 
Always be mindful of where you are drifting as you snorkel. Keep an eye out for reefs, rocks, other snorkelers and strong currents.

Article Written By Karen Sprinkles

Karen Sprinkles has been a freelance writer since 1988. She's currently the managing editor of a luxury home magazine and has written for regional newspapers and magazines. Sprinkles received the Award of Excellence from the Hawaii Book Publishers Association for "The Hawaii Home Book," which reached No. 1 on the Hawaii bestsellers list. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California.

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