Exploring the Sea: A Guide to Essential Snorkeling Gear

Some of the earliest known snorkeling adventures took place around 3,000 BC by Cretian sponge farmers who used reeds to dive deep under the water. Even with the sophisticated methods available now through scuba gear, snorkeling continues to be popular, especially with tourists on vacation and those who live in tropical climates.

For those who want to glide on the surface looking down at the ocean scenery, spearfish, or play sports such as underwater rugby, you will want to have your own set of snorkeling gear. 

Since not all equipment is the same, investing in the right gear for snorkeling is essential to having the best sub-aquatic experience. Continue reading for some tips on what gear you need before you head to the ocean.

Snorkel Mask

The first piece of essential snorkeling gear that you should get is your mask. When purchasing a mask it is important that you try it on for fit, comfort, and preference.

There are two types of diving masks; single-lens and dual-lens. A dual-lens mask is separated by the nose pocket in the middle, while a single-lens covers the entire length. 

Fans of single-lens masks like the wider view that it accommodates, while those who prefer the dual-lens find them easier to fit more face shapes. Some dual-lens masks can accommodate prescription lenses for those who need eye correction. 

The Snorkel

A good snorkel, especially for beginners, is a dry snorkel. These snorkels have a float valve that closes up if you submerge underwater. They also sport a splash guard that keeps water coming down the tube if you are above water. 

Another popular feature is a flexible tube at the bottom of the snorkel. It lets the user have a wider range of movement from side to side and helps with comfort at the mouthpiece.

Fins

Apart from allowing you to swim without high exertion, fins can help with buoyancy, and you won’t need to use your arms while swimming. 

Closed-foot fins are used in warm water, while open-heeled fins are designed for use in cold water while wearing boots. Whichever one you choose, make sure the fit is snug. Starting with your shoe size is a good choice if you can’t try them on. 

Safety Tips

Standard water safety tips apply, even to veteran snorkelers and confident swimmers. These tips include:

  • Double-check all snorkeling equipment before you leave the shore
  • Don’t snorkel alone
  • Don’t touch the wildlife or reefs
  • Stay hydrated
  • Use sun protection
  • Make sure you know the weather
  • Follow all safety signs on the beach, like riptide warnings

If you don’t know how to snorkel or it has been a long time, consider purchasing one or two snorkeling lessons. If you are with a vacation group, many guided boat tours include snorkeling with their packages and you can get snorkeling tips from a guide. 

Also, investing in the right swimming gear for whatever ages will be in the water is a must. Rash guards or full-body water suits can protect against the sun, stings from potential wildlife encounters, and rubbing against rocks.

Dive Right in With Your New Snorkeling Gear 

With the right snorkeling gear, you won’t have to just get your toes wet the next time you are at the beach. Being able to venture further out into the ocean will enable you to have new experiences and widen your horizons.

For more articles full of fun tips like this one, be sure to check out our Entertainment section. 

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