Snorkel equipment question

Posted By: Gaelen

Snorkel equipment question - 02/05/02 07:04 PM

We're now at 26 days and counting, and I have what may seem like a stupid question! [Linked Image]

We're planning to snorkel at least a few days at Ambergris, and I'm wondering if it makes more sense to buy some cheap masks, snorkels & fins and bring them with us, or if you can rent them somewhere.

Also, if anyone has any good suggestions about where it's best to snorkel, they would be greatly appreciated!

Concord, CA
Posted By: margarita

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/05/02 07:12 PM

A leaky mask can ruin a snorkel trip, so I prefer to bring my own. Snorkels are cheap - why risk sucking someone else's spit?
Fins are bulky to pack - and cheap to rent, so we rent those.
Snorkel: of course Hol Chan is great. Night snorkeling there is awesome.
Mexico Rocks my favorite snorkel spot.
Tres cocos is close and beautiful.
Many places to see between AC & CC.
Belize it!
Posted By: Nicki

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/05/02 07:13 PM

I can tell you from experience that you don't want to go out and buy cheap equipment. This can ruin a snorkeling trip. Your mask will leak, your fins will rub blisters on your feet, and you will have a horrible time. If you plan on snorkeling more than just in Belize, I would invest in decent snorkel gear. It can make all the difference. A good snorkel mask will form to your face (don't share your mask with others). This reduces the chance of leaking. And a good pair of fins can be quite comfortable. If you don't want to invest in quality gear, the dive shops in Belize have good equipment for rent. Many of the people on our trip opted for this and were pleased with what they got. One other little tip for snorkeling, put a little bit of baby shampoo and water in your mask before snorkeling to keep it from fogging up. This works better than the expensive no fog stuff you buy in the dive stores.

Call Alfonse while you're there and he can take you to the best snorkeling spots. He is very knowledgeable and loves his job.

Have fun!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/05/02 07:55 PM

always throwing a wrench in it, i did just fine with my mask & snorkel set from target. it wasn't the cheapest, but at $30 for the set i was perfectly happy. (try them out in the bathtub first, duh). i rented flippers, 'cause, big deal, but i agree with the spit comment. eeewww.

hubby has $$$ mask, snorkel & fins from the dive shop, and he still got blisters on his feet. so, go figure. luckily, i always travel with waterproof band-aids and neosporin!
Posted By: Chloe

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/06/02 01:01 AM

Enrigue at Aqua Dive, did a great job fitting our snorkelers, with mask snorkel and fins. They don't just throw one at you, they help you fit it, and they check before you leave. My Hubby's expensive mask, leaks, but my middle of the road mask works well. I think too much sunscreen on your face, makes the mask leak. When you think you have the strap tight enough, well make it tighter....LOL
If you are concerned about the left over spit, take your own alcohol and wash the mouth piece.
Guides don't always charge the rental fee for the equipment. I have never been charged.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/06/02 01:25 AM

Our family brings masks and snorkels. thats it. we like the fit of a mask thats set to our face.

now certainly thats not a necessity. you can for sure rent masks taht fit. its certainly better to rent than buy cheap ones. the rentals are not cheapos.

but its kind of like renting ski boots. If only your face/feet have been in them, you don't have to worry about getting the size right, you mess with them over and over and get to know their settings well.

so in a perfect world, i'd never carry fins, and would bring a mask. If its not something you are going to do a lot, just rent.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/06/02 01:27 AM

as to where to snorkle, i'd ask your guide. they will know all the spots, you can read them over here:

and snorkeling around the top of the blue hole was fabulous.

[This message has been edited by Marty (edited 02-09-2002).]
Posted By: ACfan

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/06/02 04:49 AM

Check out - they usually have decent package deals - or soon, Costco will probably have mask/snorkel sets.

Whether or not you buy fins, or rent, I'd recommend getting some lycra socks - I've used them for years and haven't gotten blisters since I started wearing them. Beats the heck out of bandaids and neosporin!

[This message has been edited by ACfan (edited 02-05-2002).]

[This message has been edited by ACfan (edited 02-05-2002).]
Posted By: trina

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/06/02 06:57 AM

We always bring our own. It's a pain to lug it around, but we like the independence of having our own. Not having to pay extra to rent. And it's already fitted to us.
Posted By: KC

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/06/02 07:07 AM

I just bought a really nice snorkel and mask (Body Glove) at Costo. It was 25.00.

Posted By: Cheryl Anne

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/06/02 07:11 PM

I purchased our snorkel masks and fins at Costco a two years ago before we left for Belize. What a disappointment. The masks were fine, but I continued to get mouthfuls of sea water through the snorkel. Hubby's snorkel worked ok, but not great. Could have ruined the whole trip but we were able to borrow from the lodge we were staying at.
Posted By: Jill Kennedy

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/06/02 07:44 PM

A couple of years ago we invested in snorkels that don't allow water in the top and close when you dive below the surface. It has made a word of difference for us & worth every penny spent! Be careful though, it's contagious! Once we snorkeled we HAD to get certified to SCUBA! Have fun.
Posted By: Lorikeet

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/11/02 07:21 AM

Personally I'd buy my own mask and snorkel since you don't have to hassle with the fit. Because like was previously said nothing worse than it not fitting. I just recently bought one online from aquacolor and it fits me and it's made especially for snorkelers like me. It was a little pricey at 100 bucks but I plan on using it quite frequently. I'll be in Belize myself during the 1st week of March maybe I'll see you there. As far as where to snorkel I here Shark Ray Alley is awesome. If you don't own a lycra suit or diveskin as their also known as you may want to invest in one so you don't sunburn while snorkeling or you can just throw a t-shirt on over your bathing suit and put on a lot of sunscreen on the back of your legs and call it a day. Lycra suits run about 40 to 50 bucks. You can search around for dive shops in your area and I see you live in the bayarea like me and i know they're are plenty in the monterey area and a few in vacaville and a few in sacramento. Enjoy Belize as I will too.
Posted By: twospotdog

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/11/02 04:34 PM

You are going to love the snorkelling - visibility is sooo amazing! Watch out though, you will get addicted and want to learn to dive as I did. If this turns out to be the case, buy good equipment 'cause it makes all the difference. Being from a northern clime, I have the separate fins and booties, so there is never a problem with blisters, and you can walk around in the sea grass without worrying about stepping on something. Enjoy!
Posted By: Jill Kennedy

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/11/02 07:24 PM

Hey Lorikeet & Gaelen (bayarea gals),

I live in Santa Rosa, Ca and will be down there the same time as you :-). Feb 22- Mar 9. I got my dive skin at and have had soooo many compliments on it. It's a crazy design and lots of fun too. 11 days and counting...

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/11/02 07:31 PM

hmmm. hubby's got the booties...but blistered. i wonder if he actually wore them diving? are the lycra socks special diving ones, or just regular lycra socks?

a big YES on wearing a t-shirt while snorkeling. don't forget the sunscreen too!in '93 i sunburned my butt really good just before we left. ouch. sitting on the planes home was not fun.
Posted By: trina

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/11/02 07:35 PM

Definetely wear a t-shirt or wet suit when snorkeling. I got sunburned on the back of my calves, so dont' forget to "lather up" on the sunscreen. Remember. can get sunburned even when it's not sunny out...the UV rays still get through, even on cloudy days.
Posted By: ACfan

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/12/02 06:37 AM


The lycra socks are made for wearing inside fins - got mine at a dive shop. Before getting them, I consistently wore blisters on the top of my toes - no fun
Posted By: belizeanblue

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/12/02 11:27 AM

When fitting/buying a mask, lean forward press the mask firmly on the face, then inhale slightly to try to create a vacuum seal.DO NOT put the strap behind the head. Now stand up straight while holding your breath. If it creates a vacuum seal, it fits properly. There is no need to tighten a strap when placing it behind the head. A strap is only to keep gravity pulling the mask off. A tight strap creates wrinkles around the face, making channels for leaks. The water pressure alone when snorkeling will push the mask firmly to your face. The strap should also be placed on the natural bump at the back of the head. Any higher or lower, it will slip.

Hair will break a seal and create a leak. Hence remove all head hair from face when putting on a mask. I do that by putting on my mask when facing the wind. Those men and women with moustaches can create a seal by lathering it up with vaseline.
Posted By: woods

Re: Snorkel equipment question - 02/13/02 05:42 AM

Can you buy snorkel gear on AC? Or is it just rentals? I'd rather buy my own, but thought with all the tours, that snorkel gear would be available for purchase.
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