View Full Version : Need budget snorkel and mask

08-06-2007, 18:36
I plan on buying a good set of fins. I am leaning towards the Tusa zoom fins at $129. I will be buying two sets of fins (one set for the wife) and I really don't want to go broke. So I am looking for a nice budget mask, snorkel and boots. Maybe a weight belt too. Since I am buying everything in doubles, I want to get good quality, simple no frills equipment that will last us for the first couple years of diving. We can always upgrade to fancy super clear, low volume, waxes your car on the way home equiptment later. After the $260 for fins, I would like to stay under $400 total (so $70 per person for the mask, snorkel, boots) if it is possible.



08-06-2007, 18:39

Give scubatoys a call and tell them that you're a new member of the board. That'll knock off 10% of the total cost. If you make 10 posts, you'll get a $10.00 gift certificate and if you make 250 posts, they'll give you an additional $50.00 gift certificate. That should help keep costs down. All you need to do for the gift certificates is PM Scubatoys Joe and he'll take care of the rest.

08-06-2007, 18:41
You can get quality fins for about $75. Skip the latest super hydrodynamic vortex thruster buster aquamagic pieces of plastic.

You can also get a frameless low volume mask for $30 to $50, and of course don't blow $50 on a snorkel.

In short, you can get a quality set of gear (fins/mask/snorkel) for what you plan on paying for just the fins.

08-06-2007, 19:14
I have heard good things about the Zooms from this board, scubaboard, and the dive instructor who is going to teach the class recomended them. He even encouraged me to buy them from a local shop near me to build a relationship, to bad I have not found one yet that I would like to build a relationship with. If I take the 10 % off and the $10 gift certificate, that brings me to 107 for each set of fins ( the wife will need to create an account pronto) which I don't think is a bad price for something that should last me years, and is IMWorthlessO pretty vital to a good scuba experience.

So what mask do you recomend in the $30-$50 range?

08-06-2007, 19:24
I've heard good things about the Zooms too. A buddy of mine just bought a pair, but hasn't had a chance to dive them yet.

I'm currently diving a Mares X-vision. Looks like the site has it for $44.95. I paid $70.00 at my LDS. Boy did I get screwed :).


Anyway, I've got a narrow face and it fits me real well. The important thing is fit. Everything else is just fluff when it comes to masks.

08-06-2007, 19:30
It's your money, spend it how you want. Fins are just plastic and rubber thingies to push you through the water. Don't buy into name brand or popularity. Buy based on performance characteristics. Understand the differences between split fins, stiff fins, and paddle fins. Consider the kind of diving you will be doing. Only then can you find the right fin for you.

No matter what you buy, in a few years or less you'll have your sight set on something else.

08-06-2007, 19:32
The zoom's are nice and I had a pair that I used for a couple of years. But for less money, I find the ScubaPro Jet's to be a better and more versatile fin. It's negatively bouyant and moves a lot of water. They can be had pretty reasonably, and you can add spring straps to make them even more reliable.

As far as "building a relationship" with a local shop, don't worry about local. Find a shop you are comfortable with (weather local or online) and build one from there. Scubatoys is a fantastic operation that will go above and beyond what many local shops will do at far better prices.

As far as masks, they's an individual prefrence depending on your face. Try different one's on or borrow some to find what you like

And don't spend huge money on a snorkel. They simply come off and put in a bag more often than not once class is complete.


08-06-2007, 19:47
Well, I would really like to try everything before I buy, but the Fins, snorkel, boots and mask are required for the class.

I like to buy once and use things for a while. If its not broke, why try to fix it? The reason I am willing to spend more on fins is that I know they typically last a long time. I am sure no matter what mask I buy, the silicone will probably begin to wear and become stiff, and it will begin to leak. I am sure the boots will need replacing, before the fins. And from what I gather, the snorkel is only useful for the OW class, however I may see myself using it to free dive on the beach.

08-06-2007, 19:52
Even though I'm not using it anymore, I have a 12 year old mask that still works fine and my booties were $20.00 cheapies that I bought in 1991 and still use today. A lot of stuff lasts a long time if it's taken care of. Sometimes though, new stuff falls apart. Shrug.

08-06-2007, 19:56
I have been browsing the Retail portion of the Scuba Toys website, should I go with hard sole or soft boots? I will probably do 90% of my dives in the gulf of Mexico, and I would say a split between boat and beach dives.

08-06-2007, 20:31
Most people will tell you that hard soles are better for beach diving, but I've done a fair share of rock scrambling in soft soles. To me, there's no difference.