We carry a huge variety of snorkel gear to include masks, snorkels, boots, fins, wetsuits, sport skins, snorkel vests, and much more. Below is a sampling of the types of gear that we carry with a description of some of the options and features. We have gear for all ages. Having your own gear when on vacation allows you to snorkel on your own schedule and not be tied to the rental schedule at the resort. Also, it eliminates the worry of whether the mask and snorkel were sanitized since the prior person used them.
A proper fitting mask is probably your most important piece of gear. It is a key in determining how much you will enjoy your snorkeling experience. Face structures can be very different, so having a mask fitting is important. Our trained staff will assist you in determining which mask will work the best for your face structure. Mask Features:
- High Volume vs. Low Volume – a low volume mask fits closer to your face (less air in the mask) and a high volume mask lens is further from your face. Sometimes high volume masks have side view lenses in addition to the front lens.
- Purge Valve – We have masks with and without purge valves. A purge valve allows you to clear any excess water from your mask by simply exhaling through your nose. The purge valve is a one way valve, so no water will come in through the valve. Note: A purge valve should not be necessary if your mask fits properly.
- Clear Skirt vs. Black Skirt – If a snorkeler worries about claustrophobia, we often suggest a mask with a clear skirt. If the snorkeler will be taking pictures, we will recommend a black skirt. Pupil dilation is less in masks with black skirts, making it easier to see underwater. Photographers find it easier to see what is in their camera lens.
- Prescription lenses – Prescription lenses can be ground and bonded into any mask (including bifocals). We do carry a few styles of masks that have removable lenses that can be replaced with corrective lenses. We carry the corrective lenses in stock as well. For some, disposable contacts work well.
- Mask Defog
- Mask Bag
- Mask Seal – better sealing for those with moustaches
- Hair Guard – great to keep the silicone strap from tugging on or getting tangled in your hair
- Mouthpiece – Some mouthpieces are more comfortable and are more easily held in your mouth. These require less “biting” to hold them in and eliminate jaw fatigue.
- Snorkel Keepers – various types of snorkel keepers. Each snorkel has their own type of keeper. We carry some of our favorite, easy to use snorkel keepers in case you don’t like the stock one that comes on the snorkel.
- Purge Valve – the purge valve at the bottom of the snorkel makes it easier to clear. Many snorkelers like to dive down to the bottom to get a closer look at underwater life. Upon returning to the surface, the bottom purge valve makes clearing the snorkel a cinch.
- Semi-Dry Snorkels – Similar to the purge valve at the bottom, we carry semi-dry snorkels that have a purge valve at the top. This purges out the water that may enter the snorkel from wave action.
- Dry Snorkels – Some snorkels have a mechanism at the top that will close off when put under water and reset itself again at the surface.
- Foot fins vs. strap fins – Foot fins are not as common as they used to be with the introduction of the strap style fins designed for bare feet. Aqua Glide fins from Deep See offer strap fins for snorkeling as well as split fin technology.
- Boots – Some styles of strap fins are designed to be worn with boots. The boots make fins much more comfortable and eliminated chaffing that may occur from wearing fins with bare feet. They also protect your feet as you wade into the water if you are shore snorkeling.
- Split fin vs. paddle fin – split fins are much more efficient and require less energy to use. You will experience fewer leg cramps with split fins.
- Spring Straps – Spring straps are available for a variety of fins and eliminate the need to be adjusting your fins straps every time you take them on and off.
- Spring straps
- Neoprene socks
General Snorkeling Accessories Options
- Mesh carrying bag – Self draining, backpack style. Easy way to transport your gear.
- Wetsuit or sport skin – provides protection from sun, coral scrapes, and jelly fish stings
- Snorkel Vest – Jacket or horse collar styles. Orally inflated.
- Extra mask and fin strap – just in case.
- Mask Seal – moustache seal
- Hair Guard
- Snorkel Keeper
- Mask Defog
Caring for your snorkel gear
Always rinse your snorkeling gear in fresh water after use. Let it dry thoroughly before storing. It is best not to dry it in the sun because the sun will, over time, yellow any clear silicone on your gear.
Special care for your mask: When you purchase your mask, you will want to clean it well before you begin using it. This cleaning will remove the residual releasing agent from manufacturing and reduce the fogging going forward. You will still need to use defog, but the defog will be more effective.
- You will need toothpaste and dishwashing liquid to clean your mask.
- Begin with the toothpaste and scrub (with your finger) the inside lens of your mask.
- Rinse well.
- Mix up some dishwashing liquid and warm/hot water in the sink. Again with your finger, scrub the inside of the skirt well and let the mask soak in the dishwater for about 20 minutes.
- If you continue to have fogging issues, do this again. You can also do this after a trip or any time your mask does not seem to seal as well as it used to. Suntan lotion, body oils, or moisturizing lotions may build up on the skirt of your mask causing it not seal as well. A little dishwashing liquid and water will clear that right up.
Snorkeling Travel Tips:
- Pack your mask in your carry-on bag, especially if it has a prescription in it. Luggage handlers are very rough with luggage and we have witnessed many shattered masks as a result.
- The snorkel keeper (part of the snorkel that allows it to adjust to the mask) is adjustable. You may need to shift it up or down the snorkel to find the best position for you.
- Best to be clean shaven – having a day or two moustache growth is just enough to push your mask away from your face and cause it to leak.
- Use mask seal if your mask does not seal over your moustache.