Essential Snorkeling Gear

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.

What Gear Do I Need?

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 And A Vest

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.

Other Snorkeling Items

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.

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