How to Equip For Snorkeling
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE TO PURCHASE YOUR SNORKELING KITS
It’s essential to be properly equipped for snorkeling! This activity requires several specific aspects to be able to go off without a hitch. Let’s take a look at the optimum selection.
Snorkeling is done using a mask and snorkel to be able to look at the sea-bed whilst remaining on the surface of the water. This activity is increasingly attractive because it is simple and just so much fun! However, for greater comfort and safety, this activity requires minimum extra equipment such as fins, thermal and sun protection and a buoyancy aid. We are going to give you a few tips to be well equipped on your future snorkeling expeditions!
In this article, we will explain to you what you must look at when purchasing your snorkeling set:
1. Choosing Your Snorkeling Masks
2. Choosing Your Snorkels
3. Choosing Your Fins
4. The Right Snorkeling Sets
5. Buoyancy Aids
6. Sun Protection
1. Choosing Your Snorkeling Masks?
Snorkeling consists of admiring the sea flora and fauna and so it is essential to have a good field of vision in your mask. Therefore prioritise the width of the mask window so that the surface is as large as possible. A mask is made up of 4 parts: the window, the skirt, the strap and the tightening buckle. Whichever mask you choose, there are 2 essential factors to really get the most out of your excursions: your mask should fit the size and shape of your face and it should be mist-free.
The Easybreath Full Face Snorkeling Mask
Innovation designed by the Subea team, it's a surface-only mask, but with a built-in snorkel.
The Easybreath mask stands out from the rest thanks to its shape and functionalities; with this mask, you breathe through your mouth “and” nose. What’s more, the mask has a large field of vision and an anti-fogging system. And all this without ever losing your snorkel, since it’s built into the mask! These strengths are very popular with children (now, over the age of 6) and beginners put off by snorkels. Everything becomes easier when you give it a try and are able to breathe just as easily as when you’re on the surface!
There’s just one limit - you can’t dive with an Easybreath mask. Hence the benefit, after a while, of stepping up to a standard diving mask if you want to submerge!
“Classic” diving masks
Diving masks are equally suitable for snorkeling, scuba diving and recreational freediving.
Choose your snorkeling mask for comfort and a snug fit that will keep out the water. For snorkeling, Subea recommends single lens masks for a wide field of vision when snorkeling. Some have a fabric strap, so that you can put it on easily without watching in your hair, and other have a silicone strap to help keep the mask in place better.
2. Choosing Your Snorkels
A snorkel enables you to breathe when your face is just under the surface of the water. It will make it easier for you to observe sea life as you swim on the surface. With a snorkel, no need to regularly lift your head for a breath of fresh air! Depending on the type of snorkeling, each feature of your snorkel matters and there are different types of snorkels
Firstly, the range divides up by size and width, the greater the width and length, the greater the amount of air breathed in. There are therefore different snorkels depending on the type of snorkeling and, above all, the age of the snorkeler: Adult and children breath differently and require different sizes and there are "classical" snorkels, equipped with a valve at mouth level for easier water clearing after a short dive, and snorkels with a deflector (or water trap) that will keep you from getting a mouthful of water in case of small waves. Our Subea snorkels are brightly coloured in order to make you visible and easy to spot on the surface by various watercraft.
Did you know? Almost 50% of people do not know how to breath in a snorkel! This is even the main reason stopping people from snorkeling. Actually, breathing through your mouth is not natural and the snorkel mouthpiece is thought to be too intrusive, uncomfortable and unhygienic. This is why we invented the Easybreath mask, the first full snorkeling mask to breathe underwater as easily and naturally as on land, using your nose and your mouth.
3. Choosing Your Fins
Fins are a safety element in snorkeling. They give you much greater speed whilst conserving your energy, practical if you have to swim against a current. You should also be aware that length is important - making fins more powerful and requiring more intense muscular effort. However, if you are not comfortable with fins, we recommend that you use water shoes known as "aqua shoes" to protect your feet.
For snorkeling, light and flexible fins are best. Other more rigid and solid fins are stronger and more versatile, and enable you to move towards a more intensive or even diversified activity. The fin blades vary depending on the model: the longer and more rigid your fins, the more powerful they'll be, but while requiring more effort from you! Subea snorkeling fins are only full-foot and non-adjustable fins.
4. The Right Snorkeling Sets
For anyone who is starting out or only snorkels occasionally, there are complete kits. No need to look any further, you've got everything you need, and what's more, you'll get a bag to transport your kit in.
The right snorkeling set for every snorkeler!
When choosing your snorkeling set, you have several choices:
The fins-mask-snorkel set: A set including a mask, a “classical” snorkel and small flexible fins. All arranged in a mesh bag for easy transport. Ideal for a snorkeling excursion!
The mask-snorkel set: This set includes a mask with a fabric strap as well as a snorkel with deflector to limit water entry. All arranged in a mesh bag for easy transport. If you wish, you can complete your snorkeling equipment with a pair of aqua shoes.
The aqua shoes-mask-snorkel set: This set includes a mask, a “classical” snorkel and aqua shoes. All arranged in a mesh bag for easy transport.
These sets include different products according to your skill level and intended usage. To help you decide on your future snorkeling set, Subea guides you through the differences between the products.
5. Buoyancy Aids
When snorkeling, you can gain buoyancy by using different accessories: buoys, an inflatable float, jacket, etc. This can provide welcome support when snorkeling and provide comfort and safety. You should also be aware that if you are wearing a neoprene wetsuit, top or shorty, this will also give you buoyancy, just like jackets and inflatable floats. Once again, this provides extra comfort so you can snorkel for longer and thereby save your energy. Inflatable floats are particularly suitable for snorkeling with children.
To find out more about how useful a buoyancy aid might be when snorkeling, check out our range of accessories.
One additional piece of advice. While snorkeling it's important to stay protected from the sun. To be able to stay out at sea for longer, a shorty, a top or a full suit can be useful and will allow you to keep the cold away effectively. The big advantage of these “snorkeling outfits” is that they also protect you from the sun. Snorkelers are actually particularly exposed to the sun.
5. Sun Protection
Your skin generally gets a hard time from the sun. But during a snorkeling outing, the risks are greater as the sun's rays reflect on the surface of the water and attack you again, from a new angle, on your skin (under your arms, chin, etc.) and your eyes. While snorkeling you may be at risk of "the magnifying effect". It is generated by the thin layer of liquid that remains on your back whilst you snorkel and amplifies the UV intensity. This happens in the sea down to 25 cm deep. What does that mean for your skin? In the evening, your skin will feel hot and prickly around your shoulders, your back and thighs.
Even when it is cloudy it is important to protect yourself as 40 to 95% of UV penetrates the water, even through clouds. Hence to prevent painful sun burns we recommend wearing a UV Top while snorkeling as well as sunscreen.
To protect your back and your shoulders, think about a UV top, like the Neofun model by Subea. Made of neoprene, this top protects you effectively without stopping you from moving freely. It even makes life easy for you when putting it on, thanks to opening across your tummy !
Which novice snorkeler hasn't felt that painful feeling of sunburn on the back of their thighs that makes it hard to sit down after a lovely day in the water ? Put a stop to it by wearing a shorty that combines a neoprene top and shorts.
Other top picks include polyester shorts. Often intended for board sports, they are perfect for covering your thighs as you move through the water.
Fair skin ? It's best to wear a diving suit that protects your arms and legs from the sun. But also from the cold and possible scrapes on coral reefs. For an outing in a temperate environment, choose a 3 to 5 mm thick suit. If you are setting sail for tropical climes this summer, a 1 to 3 mm thick model will be enough.
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