Hi! We'll be in Ambergris Caye for 3 days over New Years, and I was wondering whether we should pick up some quality snorkeling gear before we go?
Also, if the answer is yes, where can I look for good quality stuff without breaking the bank? And for the experts out there, what features are essential? (Snorkeled once before, but would like to make it more frequent!)
Thanks so much! Marci
PS thanks also for previous help on finding a room. We were able to find something at Exotic Caye!
#93407 - 11/08/0411:18 AMRe: Do I need to buy snorkeling gear before trip?
Yes because the experience will be much better using quality equipment that fits and is comfortable. That is the essentials, good fit, good comfort, in mask, fins and snorkel. Don't buy over the internet because you can't check the fit. A good local dive shop will fit you properly.
That being said, all the tour operators rent gear for about $4 or so per trip. The quality of what I saw was very good, but you can't be assured of a good fit. If snorkeling is a once in a lifetime thing, then maybe just rent it. If you ever intendend to use it again, I'd buy some decent stuff. Expect to pay about $100 per person.
#93408 - 11/08/0411:35 AMRe: Do I need to buy snorkeling gear before trip?
I paid about $60 at Academy for the best they had. Included a good flexible silicone mask and tube and mouthpiece that had not been in another persons mouth! Also inclubed suitable fins if you don't care about hauling them around with you. You can probably get a few bucks back if you want to sell them before you leave too.
#93409 - 11/13/0406:35 PMRe: Do I need to buy snorkeling gear before trip?
Check out Sam's Club if you have one available. We bought a full set including a nice little backpack to put all the gear in for $50. Also, you might want to but some neoprene water socks for those long snorkel trips. They'll save your feet from blisters. ouch!
#93410 - 11/14/0406:35 AMRe: Do I need to buy snorkeling gear before trip?
Flipper's a porpoise. Them things down there on your feet are fins. If you rinse them off--and there are rinse tanks or hoses or something at every resort I've seen--they won't have any sand on them. And they dry. Well, unless you buy the Nerf fins, but I find them slow and kind of mushy in the water.
Good advice to buy your own gear if you use it even occasionally. You can pay $60 for a set or you can pay, easily, over $250, depending on what you choose.
Whatever you do, rinse the sand (and salt) off once you're finished. They'll last a long, long time if you do.
* I Go Pogo *
#93413 - 11/15/0402:27 PMRe: Do I need to buy snorkeling gear before trip?
I see this as a personal preference issue. If you don't mind using a snorkel that has been properly sanitized after another's use, then rent them. Properly sanitized is the key. A rented mask may not seal as well as one properly fitted to your face. I prefer to own mine & just rent the fins.
I suggest going to a reputable dive shop and trying on a few masks under the supervision of an expert. They will give tips for the best fit. Get a feel for it & then, maybe, look at the lower priced items offered elsewhere.
Another question? Do you require corrective lenses? If so, I recommend you purchase one.
CrackerLarry is right...good equipment makes it more fun. Nothing worse than a leaking mask that has to be cleared all the time.
Good equipment, properly taken care of, has a very long life expectancy...10+ years.
Good luck with your search and have a great time!
#93414 - 11/15/0402:32 PMRe: Do I need to buy snorkeling gear before trip?
Originally posted by egcntrk: I suggest going to a reputable dive shop and trying on a few masks under the supervision of an expert. They will give tips for the best fit. Get a feel for it & then, maybe, look at the lower priced items offered elsewhere.
Ouch. Does it get any tackier than that? Use someone's expertise and inventory, then go spend your money elsewhere.
* I Go Pogo *
#93415 - 11/16/0405:02 PMRe: Do I need to buy snorkeling gear before trip?
Wow, Catatonic, thanks for the eye opener! I've spent many a long year laboring under the false assumption that getting good information on a product from many sources, looking at different brands in various stores and then purchasing the one that works best for me was called shopping. The world is running rampant with it!!