View Full Version : Looking to get started

10-04-2007, 05:46
My husband and I are planning to try snorkeling (first time for me, he did it a few times 30 years ago) during a cruise this winter. Any suggestions on what to look for in equipment? I'm not sure we'll like it, so I don't want to spend a lot right off the bat, but I don't want to have such junk that we can't like it.



ScubaToys Larry
10-04-2007, 05:59
Ok, I posted up in your welcome area too with this... but here you go (and this is a better place to put the questions and answers... Good Job...)

The thing I always hate to see is people buying cheap stuff...

It's like a self fulfilling prophecy. "I'll get cheap stuff cause I don't know if I'll like it." And because they do get cheap stuff - they don't like it.

A nice mask snorkel and fin set up, with a bag a soft strap, defog etc... even all that in good quality stuff is only about 75 bucks

and that's before your additional discounts, gift certificates, etc.

And I can tell you... when you hit that crystal blue water and look down at the brilliant colored fish... you're right - you'll never want to snorkel again. You'll want to learn how to dive so you can get down there closer and stay longer!

Welcome to the board and feel free to even ask the dumb ones!

10-04-2007, 06:43
Larry, as usual, has hit the nail on the head. He is especially right about once you try snorkeling you'll want to get "down closer" to really see the cool stuff. If your budget will accept it I would go ahead and stretch to one of these packages.


That way when you decide to get certified you will already have SCUBA ready personal gear packages. The second one is just a little more than the snorkeling package, but I think well worth the investment!!

10-04-2007, 06:45
Exactly so on the "I'll get cheap stuff cause I don't know if I'll like it." comment. Why go cheap? Cheap will be that- CHEAP, pay a little more and get things that will fit, be comfortable, and longer lasting, you'll benefit in the long run and can cost effectively transition over to diving!

10-04-2007, 10:39
Welcome to the board.. you've come to the right place :)

10-04-2007, 11:03
I would go one farther than Larry's or the others suggested snorkeling kit, and say pay some $$$ for a mask that fits. I'm sure ST would work with you on this, but the most expensive mask in the world is worthless if it leaks. I think that the PanView mask fits a lot of faces, but not all.

I also prefer the BigEye style of mask like THIS (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/search_results.asp?iLevel=1&txtsearchParamCat=ALL&txtsearchParamMan=ALL&txtsearchParamVen=ALL&txtsearchParamType=ALL&txtFromSearch=fromSearch&txtsearchParamTxt=Atomic+frameless&Submit=Search)

I have a PanView mask, in fact I got certified in it. I used it for exactly four dives (and some pool time). Then I tried a buddies XVision mask, and bought that. I now use an Atomic Frameless mask, and use the XVision as a backup.

The only thing worst than buying cheap equipment and regretting it is purchasing more expensive equipment and regretting it! :smiley2:

I'm not trying to make this difficult for you, but IMO a mask choice is one of the more important factors in a dive or snorkeling experience. So make sure what you get fits, that you enjoy the view (I like BIG views) and IMO it's worth spending a few extra bucks.

The good news is ST will most likely work with you on all this. I'm very positive that they would be happy to substitute different masks at least in some of their packages.

IMO I would avoid spending a huge amount of $$$ on open heel fins and booties for snorkeling. If you do choose to dive, than you can cross that bridge when you come to it. But open heel fins are generally larger, heavier, and require booties vs. full foot fins. A nice set of full foot fins is MUCH less expensive vs. open heel. They travel better (size and weight), and they perform as well or better than most full foot fins.

I have THESE (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/search_results.asp?iLevel=1&txtsearchParamCat=ALL&txtsearchParamMan=ALL&txtsearchParamVen=ALL&txtsearchParamType=ALL&txtFromSearch=fromSearch&txtsearchParamTxt=aeris+Velocity+Full&Submit=Search) Full Foot fins, and they work very well for tropical snorkeling, and even diving. They are also very nice when you want to work out in the pool. You may want to use Neoprene socks with FF fins as they can chafe, but that depends on how much time you spend in the water.

10-04-2007, 13:46
I'm pretty sure we are not going to end up diving. We hardly have time to take a vacation somewhere that we might snorkel at. Too many horse shows and dog shows - at least we are not showing cattle anymore!

You guys are talking about getting certified to dive, right? Do we need lessons to snorkel or is it kinda self explanatory? We are both strong swimmers, even though we don't swim often, and very comfortable in the water.

10-04-2007, 16:08
Snorkeling is easy, especially if you know how to swim. Put on mask, snorkel, and fins....lie face down in the water and float around, kicking as necessary. If you want to dive down to get a closer look at something, you'll want to make sure when you come back to the surface that you blow air out your snorkel before taking a breath again (otherwise the tube will be full of water).

When you buy your first mask, don't forget to scrub out the inside with toothpaste (on your finger). Make sure it's paste not gel and clean the inside a couple of times rinsing in between. This will get the factory film off the glass so it won't fog up while snorkeling. For easy no-fog, either buy a little bottle of stuff at the dive store, or take a small bottle of baby shampoo and put a tiny bit in the mask with water and swish it around.

10-04-2007, 16:55
You may wish to invest in a snorkeling vest for each of you as well. By inflating it, you can easily cruise the surface without working hard to stay there. And, if you get tired, just lean back and float until you're rested.

The only downside is that if you want to dive down, you can't unless you deflate the vest. Most snorkelers keep the vest deflated for this reason.

When snorkeling, learn to do the Pike Dive from the surface. This is the most efficient method to get down.

10-04-2007, 17:05
If you're planning on taking this further than snorkeling, ie into scuba, I wouldn't be too concerned about the price. Getting a mask and fins that FIT and that you feel comfortable wearing. Joe and Larry can help you out. I would suggest looking at some of their packages.

10-05-2007, 10:43
Paste toothpaste seems to be useful for everything (except brushing my teeth, I like gel). I bought some to clean the silver on our work bridles. Thanks for the tip on cleaning a mask!

I plan to dive down a lot. Growing up we practically lived at the pool and my mom would throw coins and stuff in for us to dive down and pick up. I used to be real good at getting down there fast and having time to look around, hopefully it will kick back in.

What do you guys suggest as far as a "dry", "semi-dry" or other snorkel? Which would be easiest to use? I really don't like to swallow salt water...

Charles R
10-05-2007, 10:48
Larry nailed it on the head spend the money to get good gear cause in the end it will make the experience that much better and it may save money in the long run when you start scuba diving we all started somewhere that led us to this place called Scuba