How to choose a snorkel, mask and fins

How to choose a snorkel, mask and fins

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How to choose a snorkel, mask and fins

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Choosing a snorkel
Gone are the days where you one snorkel type fits all. Now it’s all about comfort and features. Did you know you can even get snorkels which allow you to attach a waterproof action cameras? Imagine capturing your underwater adventure in video format or the amazing photos for Instagram.

Before buying a snorkel, there are a few other aspects to take into consideration, however if you are a beginner, it may be a case of trial and error to find the type of snorkel that works for you.

Look for a purge chamber which will allow the water to clear more easily and a wave deflector to prevent water splashing down into the tube.

A corrugated flexible section near the mouthpiece will provide a more comfortable fit than the rigid J-shaped snorkels.

Mask clips will make fitting your snorkel to the mask easier.

Dry top valves are sometimes found on the high end snorkels, which opens and closes if the snorkel goes underwater

Avoid snorkels which are made from rigid plastic. The best snorkels are flexible with some firmness, meaning you can bend it, but it will return to its original shape.

Snorkels should be curved to hug the side of your head, this will prevent it from flapping against the mask when underwater.

The mouthpiece should fit without pulling.

Choosing a mask
A decent mask is essential. Don’t choose your mask because it suits you better or because it’s said to be the best brand and latest technology.  The mask should form a tight seal around your nose and eyes. It should also be the width of your head, not too wide or you will end up with a slow leak. Pick a mask that has a silicon skirting (that’s the bit that presses against your face) as it will last longer than rubber.
Good peripheral visibility is always helpful, so you can be hyper vigilant for impending danger.

Choosing fins for snorkelling
It’s not essential to have fins for snorkelling, but they do help you propel through the water faster without burning excess energy, and protect your feet from reefs. (Get a cut on your foot, bleed, attract sharks…you get the picture?)

Comfort should be at the forefront of your decision making process, just like a pair of good running shoes, you should be able to wear them without getting blisters.

There are two styles of fins to choose from

Open foot fins
An open foot fin has an adjustable strap which provides you with the option of reef shoes. These fins are generally heavier with less flexibility.

Closed foot fins
You slip your feet into closed foot fins, like you would a pair of shoes, so they effectively become a lightweight extension of your foot. They are not conducive to walking to the shore’s edge, so don’t forget to grab your favourite pair of thongs, which you can leave on the beach or attach to a belt.