When you are talking about snorkeling gear, what snorkeling gear is included? Snorkel mask, fins, and wetsuit? Facing so many snorkeling gears, do you feel confused? Have you hesitated to decide which snorkeling gear you should purchase? Continue reading to discover which snorkeling gear fits you best.
GENERAL TIPS FOR SNORKEL MASK
Purchasing a suitable snorkel mask is your first step in your snorkeling gear journey. When you select a snorkel mask, you should consider several points.
- The first point is the comfort. In the next part, I will show you how to choose a fitting snorkel mask.
- The second point that most snorkelers care is anti-fog. Fogging is one of the most troubling problems. Fogging will ruin your snorkeling experience. Fortunately, people come out with various anti-fog methods. With an effective method and high-quality mask, you can prevent the fogging problem.
- The third point is the range of view. The full face snorkel masks offer the most range of view (180°C). Traditional masks give you an angled view. With a frameless design, you can see a wider sight.
- The last point is sealing. Good sealing can be firmly against your face without air getting inside. High-quality materials play a vital part in sealing. Silicone sealing firmly places on your face that prevents slipping. And the silicone material is comfortable. If the sealing is not well, water will enter and cause fogging. If the water gets into your eyes, it will burn the eyes and the experience is bad. Find a watertight seal snorkel mask.
HOW DOES THE SNORKEL MASK FIT YOUR FACE?
Comfort always comes first whatever a traditional mask or a full face snorkel mask you choose. Follow the below steps to check if your snorkel mask fits your face.
Step 1: Pull back your hair. No hair on your face or on your forehand. Hold your breath and press the mask against your face. The rubber seal should mold against your skin, and stick to your face.
Step 2: With the strap on, pull the strap up and over the head to secure the mask. The best strap is wide enough. It won’t slip or move around your head.
Step 3: Pay attention to the nose section. Make sure there is a little distance between your nose and the rubber.
FULL FACE SNORKEL MASK VS. TRADITIONAL SNORKEL MASK
The table shows you how Seabeast AF90 full face snorkel mask compares with a traditional snorkel mask. “The Best Full Face Snorkel Mask – Seabeast AF90 Review” and “100% Anti Fog – Seabeast AF90 Full Face Snorkel Mask” show you how Seabeast AF90 full face snorkel mask works.
Full face snorkel masks were launched for just several years. Most people may not know this new mask well. One of the best advantages of full face snorkel masks is breathing through mouth and nose. This creative design solves the gag reflex problem. Beginners can snorkel with a full face snorkel mask. You don’t need much skills and practice with a full face snorkel mask. Full face snorkel mask combines a snorkel mask and a snorkel together. Full face snorkel mask is widely applied in surface snorkeling.
The other outstanding advantage of full face snorkel mask is the anti-fog design. Full face snorkel mask has two separate chambers to realize anti-fog. The view chamber and the breathing chamber has no effect on each other. The air-flow ventilation system realizes the in and out air via two separate tubes.
If you prefer a traditional snorkel mask, defogger is a necessary item. Most traditional snorkel mask can’t realize fog free. Snorkelers have to apply defogger, toothpaste or split to prevent fogging. Now Seabeast AF90 full face snorkel can realize 100% fog free.
Snorkel is a special and significant existence in snorkeling gear. Normally, it comes with a traditional snorkel mask. When you are in the water, your breathing all depends on the little snorkel. You should pay more attention to snorkel selection.
A snorkel has a mouthpiece and a longer curved piece that sticks out the water and lets you breathe. The primary consideration is your mouth comfort. The mouthpiece must fit your mouth size. When you go snorkeling, your breathing all depends on this snorkel. So you can see the importance of the suitable snorkel. A soft and comfortable mouthpiece has well-sealing and blocks the water.
Through the mask strap clip, the snorkel can attach to the mask. The best snorkel has a lip guard to stop saltwater from getting into the mouthpiece. In deeper water, opt for a longer snorkel. If you snorkel or dive in the deep water, you should pay attention to the length of a snorkel.
HOW TO JUDGE IF THE MOUTHPIECE FITS YOUR MOUTH OR NOT?
Place the mouthpiece into your mouth, not too big to hurt your gum or cheeks. You are able to close your mouth completely around the piece.
WHICH SNORKEL FITS YOU BEST?
A classic snorkel has a solid tube with a mouthpiece. They are in a fixed shape. Without a flexible tube section means it not so comfortable to use. There is no splash prevention or purge valves. Water enter easily. If a wave splashes onto the piece, the water will go straight down and into your mouth. In summary, a classic snorkel is not recommended although it’s the cheapest.
SNORKEL WITH FLEXIBLE TUBE SECTION & PURGE VALVE
The second kind snorkels have a flexible tube section and a purge valve. It’s the most common type of snorkel in the market. With a flexible tube, you can change the mouthpiece angel as you wish. It’s much more comfortable. And it’s easier to attach to a mask.
A purge valve is located at the bottom of a snorkel, normally under the mouthpiece. It’s a place to collect water. How does a purge valve work? In a classic snorkel, you have to blow the water out the top. With a purge valve, you can blow water out the bottom. It consumes less effort. You need to pay attention to clean it before you go snorkeling.
How to prevent water from entering is a troubling problem. People come out the idea of a splash guard to prevent the splashed water from entering. However, it won’t stop water from entering if you snorkel underwater. So it’s called semi-dry snorkel.
Dry snorkel will stop all water and air. Dry snorkel has angled notches in the tube to block out water. You can snorkel or dive underwater without worrying about water leaking problem. Another benefit is that you do not need to clear it after using. It’s super convenient.
No matter you choose a traditional snorkel mask or a full face snorkel mask, the fins must be on your snorkeling gear shopping list.
WHY DO YOU NEED A PAIR OF FINS?
If you are an experienced snorkeler, you must understand the importance of fins. You can jump to the next part to check which type fin you prefer. Don’t forget to leave us a comment to share your favorite fins. If you are new to snorkeling, I recommend you to continue reading.
A pair of fins can help you snorkel easier and faster, especially for beginners. Beginners prefer snorkeling in calm water which costs more energy than in a strong current. Fins help save energy and protect your feet from hurt by rocks and coral. You must understand some coral are very dangerous. A pair of fins offers you an essential protection. Even you are tired, fins can make tread water easier that may save your life. You may feel nervous sometimes under the water, and then you will consume more air and energy than normal condition. In this situation, good quality fins help you save energy and offer you more security.
HOW DO YOU SELECT A GOOD PAIR OF FINS?
You get so many options in the market. Which one does fit you the best? Whatever which type you choose, comfort should come first.
CLOSED FINS VS. OPEN FINS
Full Foot Fin is the classically closed foot fins. Full foot fin can offer better hydrodynamics, so it is proven more efficient than an open heel fin. But you need to consider how to pack it in your suitcase.
OPEN HEEL FINS
An open heel with fully adjustable strap allows you to get the perfect fit for your foot. Bungee straps are attached to these fins to keep your feet firmly in place. Bungee straps are quite useful for ease of use when putting on or taking off. Save time in equipment, meaning more time in the water. The open-backed fins are best used with boots. Wearing boots can benefit you if you snorkel in cold water or rocky beach. More comfortable fit around the foot pocket area and lessens the possibilities of ankle injuries.
Open heel fins are popular among divers because they need to dive in the deep water and carry heavy gear. Boots can protect them from the cold water. Their feet are more comfortable. Here I need to mention that open heel fins are normally heavier and stiffer than full foot fins. But there are some short blade open heel fins. They are smaller and lighter that is perfect for snorkelers. I will introduce them in the below.
PADDLE FINS VS. SPLIT FINS
Paddle fins are traditional, and split fins are modern. Paddle fins are a basic choice, and split fins are more technological. You need to use more energy to swim with paddle fins, using your legs more effectively. Some people prefer paddle fins because they feel to have better control of their movement and position. Paddle fins can be an open heel or closed heel.
Split fins can make more advantage of water force than paddle fins. It can support you to swim for a longer time and save more energy than a paddle fin. And you are able to swim faster. With split fins, you feel less resistance in the water. You can move and change your position easier in the water.
No matter which fin you purchase, the comfort and quality must be in your consideration. If you have a limit budget, you can choose paddle fins instead of split fins.
In the above, you have mentioned that some fins with short blades, which are called travel fins. They are designed for travel, meaning space-saving and lightweight. Normally they have a short, wider, and open foot. Compared with other type fins, travel fins offer less hydrodynamics. More energy is cost, and less speed is achieved. Travel fins are better used in calm water instead of strong current. Beginners and novice snorkelers can try travel fins. There is one kind fin which blades can be flipped to allow divers and snorkelers to walk on the beach without removing their fins.
HOW TO TRY ON FITTING FINS?
Fins come in a wide range of sizes and colors. When you try on a pair of fins, there are some steps or tips you need to follow.
- First, you need to understand your requirements. You choose the fin type according to their different characteristics.
- Second, fit your feet, your feet snugly and easy to walk in. Try them on in the store and take a short walk. The fins should be tight, won’t fall off. And at the same time, they should be loose enough. Do not cut into your skin.
- Third, if you purchase open heel fins, please wear the boots to try on. And make sure the boots are long enough to protect your ankles.
- Finally, the most important of all is COMFORT.
FIN SIZING CHART
When you purchase snorkeling fins, you should notice these figures. Different brands have slightly different in size. Especially when you buy them online, it’s important to know the specific figures. Consult with the sale service to get your suitable fins.
|FIN LENGTH||FIN WIDTH||FIN HEIGHT||POCKET LENGTH||POCKET WIDTH|
FIT’S MEN’S SHOE SIZE
FIT WOMEN’S SHOE SIZE
Here is a shoe size chart for your convenient check.
WHAT ABOUT SNORKELING SETS?
Many brands have launched the snorkeling sets. Not all snorkeling sets are alike. Features and fits make an educated choice.
A rash guard is usually made from spandex, polyester or nylon. You can wear them under a wetsuit or alone. A rash guard is widely applied in water sports. They play a significant role in protection. Wearing a rash guard provides your skin an extra protection. When you snorkel or dive under the water, there is a chance to get hurt by corals or others. Rash guards work at that time. So if you still don’t have a rash guard, please add it on your snorkeling gear shopping list.
Wearing a rash guard can protect you from sunburn, and offer extra warmth in cold water. Most snorkeling destinations are located in tropical areas. The sunshine is strong. A rash guard can offer you sun protection. That’s why high-quality rash guards made from UV protection materials.
If you snorkel in little cold water, wearing a rash guard can keep you warm in some way. Especially when you wear a wetsuit, it’s better to wear a rash guard under a wetsuit. It makes put on or take off a wetsuit easier. Considering the weather and water condition, you can choose to wear a rash guard or a wetsuit.
HOW SHOULD A RASH GUARD FIT?
Via the above context, you must understand the significance of a rash guard. Now the problem is how to choose a fitting rash guard.
LOOSE FIT VS. REGULAR FIT
A loose fit is like a T-shirt while a regular fit is tighter. You can choose according to your preference. A regular/tight fit gives less resistance when you are in the water. If you plan to wear it under your wetsuit, you need to buy a regular fit.
THE FAMOUS BRAND O’NEILL
When you buy a rash guard, please check the stitching first. A rash guard with over-lock seams could cause rubbing and chafing when you move. A rash guard with flat seams is what you are looking for. It can avoid the chafing problem effectively.
Finally, there are tanks, short, and long sleeves. A longer sleeve gives you more protection from the sun and chafing. Some rash guards are unisex. It’s better to purchase a male or female rash guard due to their different shape.
HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR RASH GUARD?
If you are a fan of water sports, you will often wear a rash guard. So how to maintain/wash your rash guard is a skill. You can wear them for a longer time if you follow the below tips.
Tip 1: Before you wash a rash guard, you should read the washing instructions. It shows you the best way to wash/maintain. Some high-quality materials require extra-attention.
Tip 2: Rash guard gets easier to fade away because of chlorine and salt in the water. So you need to water it in cold water in time.
Tip 3: Hand washing is recommended. Even you have to use a machine, place it in a protective bag and wash it separately.
Tip 4: Avoid the sun. Hang it to drip dry.
In some snorkeling destinations, you need to wear a wetsuit to keep warm. In some ways, a wetsuit works the similar function as a rash guard. A wetsuit protects you from the cold water and strong sunshine. Protect you from the coral reef, and it works better than a rash guard because the wetsuit materials are thicker than rash guard’s.
HOW TIGHT SHOULD A SUITABLE WETSUIT BE?
When you buy a wetsuit, please make sure it fits your body without any gaps. However, how tight is the best? The answers depend on different people. Overall, a suitable wetsuit can allow you to move freely and not add resistance in the water.
Here are some tips for you to check when you purchase a wetsuit.
Tip 1: Try on a wetsuit for the first time. It should be a little tighter than normal.
Tip 2: Try to move your body with a wetsuit on. You need to make sure your movement in the water is free.
Tip 3: If you plan to wear a rash guard under the wetsuit, you should be sure there is enough gap.
Tip 4: There are several parts you need to pay attention, including the crotch area, arms and legs, and the back area.
WHICH TYPE WETSUIT SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Most snorkeling destinations don’t require you to wear a wetsuit. So the first thing is to check your snorkeling destination, the temperature of the weather and water. Select your wetsuit due to the temperature. Normally, a 2-3mm thickness is enough when the water temperature is about 65-75 degrees. You also need to consider how long you gonna to stay in the water. It’s better to take a rest every half hour. You need to drink water and rest. Read the “Top 10 Advanced Snorkeling Tips“ before you go snorkeling. A wetsuit is an essential gear for diving, but it’s an optional one for snorkeling.
Have you got all you need about snorkeling gear? This guide to snorkeling gear is focusing on the main equipment. You can find an additional snorkeling list on “What to prepare for snorkeling“.
Thank you for your reading and sharing!