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Thread: snorkeling questions.

 


  1. #1
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    snorkeling questions.

    hello,
    Im new to the board and looking for a bit of info and help on choosing some snorkel gear.I have had a go at snorkeling a few times now and i am wanting to get some decent gear as my last stuff was cheap and my mask broke and the fins were useless.Ive been looking all over the net getting info and reviews of snorkelling gear.As there are no shops near me i cant go in and get one on one advice.Im looking at what would a good setup for a novice snorkeler be?from the reviews and stuff i have read i have chose the atomic sv1 snorkel and The cressi big eyes evolution mask as it sounds like it would fit me and feel comfortable on my face with the flexible strap clips.the thing im stuck on is the fins,there is so much choice and so many good reviews about alot of the fins its hard to choose.The vortex v16's looked good but they look a bit heavy duty.my budget on fins is around £80.
    many thanks
    richard

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    First, Welcome to the board.
    The most important part of your snorkeling kit is your mask. This is also probably the hardest things to buy. you really need to find a local shop where you can try them on. A dive shop will also be able to help you check to make sure it fits correctly, and is adjusted correctly.

    As for fins, in the snorkeling world, you can go cheap on fins. I wouldn't worry to much, I had used a cheap pair of bundled fins from Costco (Its a whole sale club in the US not sure if you have them in the UK) for years before I made the plunge to scuba.

    As for the snorkel, I know it is very tempting with all of these dry, semi dry, etc. But the reality is with a bit of practice, and some time on youtube watching techniques you can make any snorkel work for you. I prefer, and use a standard snorkel with maybe a splash guard, and a one-way valve at the bottom of the mouth piece to assist in light clearing. To me there is little reason to spend $55(£36) on a snorkel, especially when you would probably be just as happy with a $20(£13) snorkel.

    But at the same time, if it makes you happy go for it


    Actually could someone explain to me why that atomic sv1 is so expensive? is it a stream lined dry snorkel? the images I am finding look very basic and over priced to me.

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    thanks for the reply.
    it is a lined one i think.a tube inside a tube so the splash water goes straight to the scupper valve.i would buy cheap stuff but it failed on me last time and the mask and snorkel didnt feel right from the start.i love snorkeling but i dont like water.lol.i think i need some gear that feels strong to make me relax abit.sounds stupid i no but,as im not too fond of water i need to feel good/safe/relaxed.i need a decent snorkel with a very flexible part as my last one wasnt and it really didnt feel good.the nearest shop is quite far from me.as im snorkeling in the near future i will be starting to learn to dive so im not really wanting to spend twice on mask and fins.i might even do a bit in march.lol

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    You may consider waiting to purchase your new gear until you get to where you are going to use it. Any good diving destination will have many shops to choose from and with all the competition the prices are often not too bad either. I know that when I go to Hawaii or Florida, even the K-Marts and Wall-Marts have diving gear.

    I agree with ekrmer, the most important thing is the mask, and the most important mask feature you want to make sure your new mask has, is a good fit to your face. It is a very individual thing and getting a good fit from an on-line purchase is possible, but unlikely.

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    lachojski85, When it comes to a snorkel, there isn't much there to break if you get a simple one I use something like this currently: Genesis Surf Snorkel

    and when I lose this one, (they never break, they always grow legs on me :P ) I would like to go even simpler with something like this:Cressi Freediving MiniGringo Clear Snorkel

    The floppy corrugation is starting to get on my nerves.

    As for fins, before I started SCUBA I used something like this: well scratch that, it was a US divers fin that came in a package, and they appear to not sell it anymore. I did snorkel with these for a few years as they were my first diving fin also.
    Genesis Response Open Heel Fins

    But on the other hand, fins are probably the most personal piece of snorkel gear I have now. and while with a mask, you find the one that fits best, fins are more a personal choice then, when it comes to just snorkeling I know a lot of people don't even bother with fins. So get what you want there


    Did you have any other failure beyond the mask? cause yes I agree those kit masks are the worst...but I used the snorkel and fins for years after the mask broke.

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    Hi from a fellow Brit! I've snorkelled for over fifty years, latterly in the North Sea off the North East coast of England. In the past, however, I've also swum with fins, mask and snorkel in the Mediterranean, in the lakes of Minnesota and in La Jolla in Southern California. I'm happy to be "just a snorkeller" in the sea, which is just eight miles away from where I live. I'm not in the least tempted to follow the example of other UK citizens who feel the need to fly long distances to the tropics to enjoy snorkelling.

    You have received excellent advice so far. Fit is the paramount criterion when choosing snorkelling gear. In the case of fins, foot pockets have to match a snorkeller's feet not only length-wise but also in terms of width and arch height. If you're planning to wear socks or boots with your fins, you will need to wear them when trying on fins for size. Contrary to common opinion, footwear can be worn with full-foot as well as open-heel fins, but you will need to purchase a pair larger than what would be the correct size for fins worn barefoot. As for fin blades, you will have to experiment to determine what stiffness or flexibility suits your strength and the conditions in which you will be swimming. Forget about brand names. The best fins for you aren't necessarily the most expensive or the most popular. If you can, borrow several pairs and see what suits you best. I generally snorkel with all-rubber full-foot fins selling for less than £30 at the UK online retailer simplysnorkel.com, the kind that I used when I started snorkelling half a century ago, because they match my gentle style of snorkelling. That doesn't mean, however, that you should blindly follow my lead. Locating the best fins is always a personal odyssey that nobody can complete for you, so be wary if anybody recommends a particular type or model of fins. That recommendation is likely to suit them, but not necessarily you.

    The same goes for masks. Personally, I prefer good old-fashioned rubber-skirted oval masks, but that's neither here nor there. As you have been told by others, mask fit is paramount to avoid the irritation of a leaky mask. Be wary of sites that say a particular mask will fit "almost every" face. Experience usually says otherwise. Place the mask lightly on your face without attaching the strap, breathe in lightly through your nose and see if the mask stays in place. If it does, it's possible you've found a suitable mask. You will only know for certain, though, if you try the mask out in the water with an attached snorkel.

    As for snorkels, opinion is divided when it comes to simple J-shaped breathing tubes versus "(semi-)dry" snorkels with purges and valves. Personally, I prefer the former, but again, that's neither here nor there. Ideally, you should try both types and make up your own mind which is best for you.

    Finally, welcome to ScubaBoard's Snorkelling and Freediving Forum. It's always good to read threads started by relative beginners asking for basic help and I hope that the advice you receive meets your needs. While freediving focuses on submersion, snorkelling can be anything you want it to be, whether the view of the land and the sky from the water's surface as you "swimtrek" from island to island, or the occasional dip below the surface for a closer look at sealife, or just the tranquillity of floating around. There has been a very interesting recent thread in this forum about river snorkelling, illustrated with great pictures.

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    thanks for the feed back.im going to a snorkeling session at my local baths next week and have the use of 2different snorkels.there is a noermal j shape thing and a dry snorkel,one where the pipe closes off when you go under water.i will try both and see what happens.my g/f's sisters partner also has the cressi big eyes (not evolution) i will see how that fits for now.
    i would snorkel here in england but i live in mansfield/nottingham and its 100miles to skeg where snorkeling would be shocking.do you no anywhere where we could snorkel in england dave?think i might have a couple of weekend trips to the coast and do a bit in summer.is the river snorkeling in the thread just in the usa.i would love to do a bit over here in some of the rivers not to far from me,is this allowed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lachojski85 View Post
    thanks for the feed back.im going to a snorkeling session at my local baths next week and have the use of 2different snorkels.there is a noermal j shape thing and a dry snorkel,one where the pipe closes off when you go under water.i will try both and see what happens.my g/f's sisters partner also has the cressi big eyes (not evolution) i will see how that fits for now.
    You're very fortunate to have local baths with snorkelling sessions. I remember the city baths in Newcastle permitting the use of snorkelling gear back in the early 1960s, but even then that practice wasn't universal as I found out when I tried swimming with fins and mask in the equivalent public pool in Leeds, where I was studying, in the later 1960s, only to be stopped by a "jobsworth" attendant who wanted to introduce an "elf'n'safety" policy a few decades too early. I rarely ever swim in public pools these days because of such petty restrictions.

    Quote Originally Posted by lachojski85 View Post
    i would snorkel here in england but i live in mansfield/nottingham and its 100miles to skeg where snorkeling would be shocking.do you no anywhere where we could snorkel in england dave?think i might have a couple of weekend trips to the coast and do a bit in summer.is the river snorkeling in the thread just in the usa.i would love to do a bit over here in some of the rivers not to far from me,is this allowed?
    Indeed, the Midlands are as far as away from the sea as you can get in the UK. I consider myself very fortunate to be so close to the briny that I can look out my window early in the morning, decide whether the weather's suitable for snorkelling, get in my car and be in the water in less than half an hour.

    The river snorkelling thread focuses on North America, but there's no reason why anybody couldn't indulge in the pursuit in British rivers. I'm uncertain about the legalities, but I do know that open water swimming is perfectly legal in any Scottish river, lake or sea. The law in England, I understand, isn't quite so clear cut. I'm a member of the SwimClub forum at

    SwimClub.co.uk Forums - Powered by vBulletin

    and often read the messages on the "wildswimming" subforum there. The main contributor, "Wildswimmer", is very knowledgeable about English law and recreational open water swimming.

    Which brings me to one of my favourite books, which I reviewed a while ago in SB's book forum:



    It was first published in 1972 and is a joyful account of the freedom and pleasure of snorkelling while travelling around the British Isles. The title "free swimming" very much sums up what I think snorkelling is all about. It can be so much more than breath-hold submersion alone and has a greater kinship with the simple beauty of open-water swimming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lachojski85 View Post
    thanks for the reply.
    i think i need some gear that feels strong to make me relax abit.sounds stupid i no but,as im not too fond of water i need to feel good/safe/relaxed.i need a decent snorkel with a very flexible part as my last one wasnt and it really didnt feel good.the nearest shop is quite far from me.as im snorkeling in the near future i will be starting to learn to dive so im not really wanting to spend twice on mask and fins.i might even do a bit in march.lol
    I would suggest a wetsuit besides the mask, snorkel, and fins. A wetsuit will add some buoyancy, keep you warm, and isolate you somewhat from the water. Thickness will depend on water temps, but a good start would be a 3mm jumpsuit. If you're looking to do scuba later, the 3mm suit will be useful in the pool.

    For a mask, look for a low volume mask like the Scubapro Crystal Vue. Higher volume masks will need more air to equalize leaving less for your lungs.

    If you go with a dry snorkel, make sure you can actuate the valve with a finger. Sometimes the dry snorkels won't clear fully, or the lower valve leaks. Sticking a finger in the valve and giving a sharp blow will clear the residual water out the bottom.

    For fins, the good old black rubber jet fins are about the best inexpensive fin out there. Mine are 20+ old and still going strong.

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