Snorkelling was my love at first breath. When I dived for the first time I was so excited that I wanted to announce it to the whole world. As a result I almost chocked. I was as happy as a sandboy and wanted to laugh like a child. Unfortunately it’s impossible under water. You can figure out how it finished for me. Now I try to get less excited but no other water sport gives me as much pleasure. That’s why I decided to invest in my own equipment last year, a mask and a snorkel. It’s most often the expenditure up to a dozen or so złotych. Mine cost 15 €. It’s selection is very important both for your comfort and safety. I hope you’ll find my tips useful while selecting your own equipment. And later see here my snorkelling at Bali in Indonesia.
Snorkelling: where to buy equipment ?
First of all I think you should be reasonable while buying, meaning find a good quality for a good price. For a start it’s enough to have amateur equipment. I found out a long time ago that high price and a well-known brand aren’t coupled. Specialist stores have usually very high margins. Sports chain stores like Decathlon, Go Sport or Intersport seem to be a good idea. Having looked through their offers I decided to purchase online in Decathlon. I had no time to go there physically but I had a possibility to return the product. As I wrote, I focused mainly on three criterion: safety, quality and price. Precisely in this order. My assumed budget was 25 €. Finally my set was, as I had already mentioned, 15 €.
Snorkelling: how to select mask?
While selecting your mask, the size is of great importance. The mask shouldn’t be too tight and too loose as it may leak. The best one should have a silicon sealing and regulated strap which doesn’t pinch us in the head but sits tightly on it. It’s good for the strap to be made of good and elastic material so that it won’t break or loosen up in use.
Secondly, a mask should have the so called a nose which a simply a nose cover which also should be well adhering instead of pinching. There should be a minimal space between a nose and a cover.
Snorkelling: how to select a snorkel?
A snorkel usually goes with a mask in a set. You can buy it separately but I personally recommend buying ready sets. This solution is more practical and cheaper. It’s good when a snorkel has a hook to hang a mask by its strap. It’s more stable and doesn’t move at sudden movements.
A good snorkel shouldn’t be straight. It’s good when a deflector placed on its top is a bit curved. In this way an upper inlet of a snorkeler is protected against water. It’s also good when a snorkeler has a protection cap at its end that protects against water coming in. It’s especially useful when we swim during big waves.
Some masks are also equipped in a plugging system in the form of a ball which closes a snorkeler the moment we go completely under water. There is still some air in a mask. It’s useful when we sometimes plan to go deeper under water. I don’t have it but it also doesn’t bother me especially. Finally, it must be checked whether our equipment has all necessary approvals and whether our mouthpiece is comfortable. We’ll be holding this piece of plastic in our mouth for several hours eventually.
The set I personally use is a mask snorkeler 100+ tribord (kit observer 500) and I can honestly recommend it for people who are only just starting their adventure with snorkelling and for those already know what this fun activity is all about. As a result I still had some cash for flippers but instead of them I bought some water shoes. They will protect me against corals and sea urchins. Buying flippers, if only you have enough space in your suitcase, is a quite good idea because swimming is a bit easier with them.
I hope you’ll find my tips useful. I don’t know about you, but I already can’t wait when I swim with a mask again. And when was the last time you swam with a mask? Do you especially recommend any place? Write about them in the comments.