Snorkeling the sparkling, blue waters of your favorite destination, in the company of beautiful reefs, rainbow colored fish, and other underwater aquatics, can be an exciting and life-altering experience. In fact, it is one of the main reasons many travelers go on vacation.
While preparing for your snorkeling excursion, you may wonder if is better to rent your snorkel gear once you arrive or to simply buy it. To help with your decision, take a look at some of the benefits and cons of both.
The benefits of renting snorkeling equipment:
The main benefit of renting snorkeling gear is that you don’t have to lug big, heavy equipment along with you on your trip. For instance, fins are especially large and can take up quite a bit of space in your luggage.
Another benefit of renting snorkeling gear vs buying it is that it comes at a cheaper price, which is especially beneficial for first time snorkelers who may never snorkel again, or often.
In addition, if you plan to take up snorkeling as a hobby, renting your gear provides the option to try out various equipment without paying a hefty price or being stuck with the wrong gear.
The cons of renting snorkeling equipment:
Though rental gear is sanitized often, the idea of using face masks and snorkels after someone else is enough to deter some people from renting. Furthermore, depending on the location and time of year, snorkel rentals may be busy, which means it might be harder to find a mask or other equipment that properly fits your face.
The quality of rental gear can also be an issue, as some rental places do not typically keep up with the latest in snorkeling gear. In addition, rental gear can be pretty banged up or scratched from multiple uses.
Lastly, if there are no snorkel gear rentals near the area where you are staying or plan to snorkel, it could mean taking extra time to search for one.
The benefits of buying snorkeling equipment:
The main benefit of having your own snorkel gear is that it eliminates the hassle of searching for the right gear or rental shop once you reach your destination.
Furthermore, buying your own snorkel gear means having equipment that fits you properly. It also provides the option of searching different shops for a variety of equipment at a price that fits your budget. Many sporting good stores offer a variety of budget-friendly equipment, which is just perfect for families and non-hobbyist snorkelers.
Sanitation concerns will also be eliminated because you are the only user; therefore, you are in control of rather the equipment is properly sanitized or not.
Lastly, owning your own gear means you have the freedom and versatility to snorkel anywhere and anytime you’d like as opposed to having to rely on tour groups.
The cons of buying snorkeling equipment:
The biggest issue with buying snorkel gear is that it can be expensive, which can be a hassle if you’re only planning to snorkel once.
Additionally, carrying your gear with you on trips also means having less space in your luggage, which could be used to transport other items.
How to Get the Best of Both Worlds:
When it comes to obtaining snorkel equipment, experts suggest not limiting yourself to just one or the other. Instead, they suggest purchasing your own snorkel and mask from a local snorkel shop, since they are fairly light, and renting your fins once you arrive at your destination.
In addition, having your own mask and snorkel means having equipment that fits your face properly and eliminates the issue of sanitation, which will help give you a peace of mind while snorkeling.
Water sports are extremely popular worldwide. In fact, when you think of water sports most people usually only think of skiing and swimming. There are others, of course, and one of the most fascinating and intriguing of these is the sport of snorkeling. Snorkeling is not like scuba diving because you are not going very deep you are mostly only going right beneath the surface of the water. You might go as deep as 6 or 8 feet or so but only for brief instances. Even though you usually don’t go that deep, snorkeling shows you some of the most amazing sights the oceans have to offer.
Good snorkeling gear is essential for a good underwater experience. What you need first for this sport are a mask and a snorkel. The mask is, of course, the viewing device you wear over your face to see underwater. They come in many types and styles. Some are made with optical quality glass and some are made of plastic. Some of the masks have purge valves and some don’t. You can even get full face masks if you desire. Do some research on the various kinds available before you decide what you want to use.
The next device you need is a good snorkel. The snorkel is the device that lets you breathe air while your face is submerged in the water. Snorkels come in different sizes for adults and children. Like the masks, some have purge valves and some don’t. In some, the barrels are longer and there are even several designs with other features that make their use more comfortable for the user.
Swim Fins are worn on your feet to help make propelling you through the water much easier. There are two basic types of swim fins, the kind that attaches to your foot with a shoe type pocket and the kind that attaches to a half foot pocket and includes a heel strap. The kind that is best for you is generally more of a personal preference.
This now brings us to the snorkeling vest. Is a vest absolutely necessary? No, not really but a vest can be quite useful if you aren’t a strong swimmer and are especially good for children. The vest allows the wearer to inflate and deflate it to adjust their buoyancy in the water. This can be very useful if you are snorkeling and want to take a rest. You can also inflate your vest to relax just a bit. The vest can, however, hinder the user from free diving to depth.
While none of these items are absolutely essential to the sport they can be quite handy. One is a form of skin protection. This can be a wetsuit or other lycra based or waterproof jumpsuit. These garments can be used as a form of thermal insulation and even as a sun guard to keep you from getting sunburn.
The other question that always arises is what kind of gear is the best to have? Though many people may think that the most expensive equipment is the best this is not necessarily true. With snorkeling gear the equipment should be comfortable to use and it should fit you exactly. Also take into account the materials the piece is made of. A poor quality material will affect the pieces durability, fit, and even its comfort. Also look at options that the piece has that may enhance its usefulness. Check if the piece has any replacement parts available and of course consider the price along with the other factors.