Snorkel Equipment: What Snorkel Gear you really need
From snorkeling beginners who have only taken a few trips, we often hear that they wonder what to wear for snorkeling. The fact is that the right snorkelling gear depends strongly on the area of use. The different water temperatures and other local characteristics are the reason why snorkel clothing varies from place to place.
Of course, snorkeling equipment for children differs from that for night snorkeling. However, all snorkelers have a certain basic equipment. This equipment is part of it.
Without the snorkel, understandably little works. After all, the sport is even named after this object. The selection of available snorkels is now enormous and the search for a suitable model accordingly exhausting.
A high quality snorkel also gives you the opportunity to explore the fantastic underwater world without having to breathe all the time.
Good models come with additional features like a ball valve. The valve is located on top of the snorkel and prevents water from entering. In this way you can dive under water with your snorkel without swallowing salt water.
Snorkels that have this feature are also called dry snorkels and usually cost a little more money. However, a dry snorkel is essential for snorkelling in swelly waters or when short dives are required from time to time.
2. Diving Goggles
Good diving goggles often make the difference between a successful adventure where you discover new animals and underwater landscapes, and a miserable experience where you constantly struggle with the misting up snorkel mask.
Another common problem is that the snorkel mask is leaking. In most cases, this is because the mask does not fit tightly to the face. Therefore, when buying diving goggles, make sure that they have a border made of a soft material.
This material is silicone at best, as it is particularly flexible and can seal the glasses airtight and watertight. The glasses should also be able to be securely fastened with the headband without pressure points forming.
Time that you invest in the search for a suitable pair of glasses is well used time. After all, a well-fitting mask is the basic requirement for a unique snorkeling trip. If water constantly flows into the diving goggles, frustration quickly arises.
In the shop or at home after ordering online, you have to try on the goggles before you go on your first tour. Put on the goggles (or snorkel mask) and fasten them with the headgear.
Now tilt your head up and breathe through your nose. Now lower your head again and watch if air escapes. If the mask sits correctly on your face, no air should escape. However, if the mask is not airtight, repeat the game with a different size.
3. Snorkel Full Face Masks
Snorkel full masks are a new development. The masks combine snorkel and diving goggles in one. The design promises a wide field of vision and free breathing. The full face masks do not require a mouthpiece and rarely mist up thanks to the separation of the breathing chamber.
The wearing of a full face mask is not obligatory, but proves to be quite practical. Especially the free breathing through mouth and nose is practical. In addition, there are special snorkel masks for children that are designed for a smaller head size.
-> View snorkel full masks
4. Snorkel Fins
Snorkel fins are divided into two species. Closed fins and tool fins, which are attached to the heel with a strap, both have their advantages. Closed fins are often slightly smaller and are worn barefoot or with thin neoprene socks.
This is fine for warm waters. In cold water it is better to use fins, because they are worn with shoes on. Both types of fins protect the feet from injuries by pointed rocks and from animals.
With large snorkel fins the progress is easier and faster, but the way into the water is all the more difficult. Shorter fins are preferred by beginners as they are easier to transport and more agile.
-> view snorkel fins
The neoprene suit is standard equipment for snorkelers. If you are not in the middle of summer or at the most beautiful snorkeling spots in Thailand, you will probably have to deal with cooler water temperatures.
A good wetsuit ensures that you don’t have to rely on good weather and warm water. Furthermore the wetsuit is an effective protection against UV radiation and protects against injuries caused by sharp reefs, jellyfish and other animals. In warm waters, wearing a shorty (short sleeves and short trouser legs) wetsuit is an alternative.
6. Sun Cream
Once you really get into the urge to explore and are fully gripped by the lively underwater worlds, you don’t even notice how quickly time passes. One hour feels more like 15 minutes on a snorkel tour and this is exactly where the danger lies.
On the water the sun has a much stronger effect and the sun rays are additionally reflected by the water. All this quickly leads to a serious sunburn, which is unattractive but also painful and increases the risk of cancer.
Before you start your next snorkeling trip, you should therefore use a waterproof sun cream or a spray with a high sun protection factor. Don’t forget to re-apply the cream after the trip.
7. Safety Equipment
Snorkeling is not a dangerous sport, but to be properly equipped in case of need has never harmed anyone.
A whistle will help if you are not alone (which we don’t advise anyone to do anyway). If you’ve lost sight of yourself, you’ll find yourself quickly thanks to the whistle.
In an emergency you can use the whistle to make passers-by aware of you or to make it easier for rescue workers to find you.
A diver’s knife, on the other hand, is suitable for freeing yourself from dangerous situations such as getting caught in ropes or fishing nets and should therefore always be carried along when exploring new waters.
8. Snorkel Vest
Snorkel vests should not be confused with life jackets. The first is a practical buoyancy aid, which makes long snorkeling tours easier and especially benefits children and inexperienced swimmers.
The latter offer more buoyancy and are designed to keep the head above water even in the event of fainting. Life jackets are real lifesavers in emergencies, but also practical for everyday use, as they have pockets for the pipe and the diving knife, for example.
-> view snorkel vests
The beauty of the underwater worlds quickly fascinates snorkelers. If you have just tried snorkelling, you will want to explore even more of the underwater landscapes and unique wildlife.
Instead of constantly borrowing the snorkeling equipment, ambitious snorkelers can also buy the individual parts themselves. In the long run this is much cheaper.
As you can see in this guide, not much snorkeling equipment is needed. With a snorkel mask, fins and a vest the most important things are already covered. The sun cream is on the beach anyway and the knife and the pipe are only for your own safety.
Once the snorkeling equipment is together, nothing stands in the way of many new adventures!