Best Snorkeling Gear Buying Advice – What to Consider
Snorkeling is one of the most popular activities in the warmer areas, such as Texas, Hawaii and Florida. If you live in such regions or are planning on travelling there, you may need to invest in the best snorkeling gear today. However, this is not an easy decision to make. To buy the best gear for snorkeling, there are several aspects that you have to consider, some of which are discussed below:
Choosing the Snorkel
The snorkel is the flexible, tubular component n the gear that allows you to breathe with your face facing downwards under water. The ease with which will be able to breathe while you are submerged under water largely depends on how compatible your snorkel is to your body. In this regard, you need to ensure that your preferred snorkeling gear has the right snorkel for your body type.
Basically, the available snorkels available today may be grouped into four main categories, the traditional standard models that do not have bells or whistles, the semi-dry snorkels, dry snorkels and roll-up snorkels. The semi-dry snorkels feature a cover to deflect water. This type of snorkels is not the right choice if you would like to dice into the water because the snorkel will flood.
The dry snorkels, on the other hand, are equipped with a floating valve that closes whenever you are submerged in the water to prevent flooding. If you are looking for a model that is easy to carry around, you should consider buying a roll-up snorkel. The various roll-up models available today can fit into conventional pockets, hence are easier to transport.
For adults, you should consider buying a snorkel with a bigger diameter as it allows more air in and out, making it easier to breathe. However, children may have a hard time blowing the water out. As such, snorkels meant for use by kids should have a smaller diameter.
Choosing the Snorkel Mask
If you have ever shopped for snorkeling gear before, you can attest to the fact that getting the right fit for the snorkeling mask is not easy. As you look for the right mask for snorkeling, you must get one that is comfortable to wear for long periods. The best way to go about this is to visit a local retail shop and try the various snorkeling masks they have. In these regards, there are several aspects of the mask that you need to consider.
To begin with, the mask has to be of the right size. With regards to the sizing, the right mask should be able to cover your nose and eyes comfortably. Again, you need to buy products of high quality. This is because poor quality, masks tend to wear away rather fast as the keep fogging up under the water. Although masks with a plastic lens are comparatively cheap, you should consider buying the masks that have clear tempered glass lens as they are of the best quality.
As for the seal, you should opt for the masks with a double silicone seal as opposed to the models with a single rubber seal. Some of the best snorkeling masks today are equipped with purge valves. While this is an optional feature, the one-way valve will be very helpful whenever you are expelling water that has leaked into your mask. However, it is advisable to opt for a mask that does not leak, regardless of the water expulsion mechanism it has.
Choosing the Fins
Snorkeling fins come on a myriad of appealing designs today. However, you choice should not be influenced by the visual appeal of these components. Basically, you need to buy fins of high quality and the right design, which is mostly determined by your skill level. While choosing the right fins, you will realize that there are many things that you need to consider. If you are a beginner, it is advisable to buy the full-foot snorkeling fins.
These are comparatively cheaper and easier to wear and use. However, some of the best full-foot fins should be worn alongside booties.
You may also be interested in the free-diving snorkeling fins, which feature long blades. These fins are known to deliver optimal power with fewer kick cycles. However, some scuba divers find the free-diving fins unruly or too long. If you happen to dislike the long fins, you may choose the shorter, sport scuba fins. The later type of fins is relatively more comfortable to wear under the water.
Finally, you also need to consider the straps used on your preferred snorkeling fins. In this regard, you need to choose between spring straps and the conventional rubber straps. Most divers today prefer fins with the spring straps because they are relatively easy to wear and remove. Additionally, the spring straps do not require any adjustment to offer a comfortable fit.
If you are new to snorkel and not sure how to begin then here is a helpful video I found