Would you like to try snorkeling and head off to discover the underwater world? Just follow the guide!
This article was originally published here.
For both safety and comfort, having the right equipment when you go out to sea is essential.
Find out more about the ideal equipment for your snorkeling adventures!
1. SNORKELING MASK
An indispensable accessory for snorkeling, choosing the right mask is important since it must provide you with the widest possible field of vision so that you can admire the ocean depths. To this end, 4 mask components must be considered: the window, the skirt, the strap and the adjustment buckles that ensure the mask’s proper fit for you. First of all, for ideal vision and to make the most of the underwater marvels, your mask should provide you with a good field of vision. As such, you’ll probably want a single window mask. The window itself can either be made of polycarbonate (unbreakable, but easier to scratch) or tempered glass (more safety if the glass breaks). With regard to the mask skirt, a transparent colour is best, and the most common, since this provides you with more light. Finally, the choice of your mask’s strap, which helps to keep the mask in place, will depend on 2 criteria: To hold the mask securely in place, a silicone strap is a way to go. However, if you have long hair, we recommend that you choose a textile strap. Another possibility is to use a neoprene strap cover that fits over your silicone strap, which means that you’ll have all the benefits of both a textile strap and a silicone strap.
A MASK SUITED TO THE SHAPE OF YOUR FACE
Having decided on the type of mask that you need, it’s essential to test it before handing over your cash. In fact, in addition to the mask’s characteristics, there’s another crucial point if you want to ensure optimum comfort during your snorkeling excursions: the size. But how to know what size is best for you? The first element to consider is the mask skirt. It must fit perfectly with the contours of your face, while providing a good seal and flexibility.
To help you choose the size of your mask, here’s a little hint: put the mask on your face without using the strap, inhale deeply through your nose and hold your breath. If the mask doesn’t fall off, you’ve got the right size.
2. THE SNORKEL
Just like for masks, there are several options when selecting a snorkel. First of all, there are different sizes and lengths. Remember that the bigger and wider the snorkel, the greater the air volume will be. This varies according to each person’s lung capacity and, as a result, each person’s age, since a child will obviously not breathe in the same way as an adult.
If you want to be able to easily clear any water that may enter your snorkel, choose a snorkel fitted with a purge valve at the bottom. Also, if you like diving deeper from time to time, choose a snorkel with a splash guard at the top in order to reduce any water entry when you dive, or in case of waves. Finally, your snorkel’s mouthpiece must be suited to your morphology as well as possible, and must also be as ergonomic as possible so as to avoid any discomfort. Lastly, we also suggest that you select a snorkel in a bright colour or one that has a reflective strip that will help to indicate your presence to anyone around you, just to avoid problems.
AN ALTERNATIVE FOR THE SNORKEL? TRY THE EASYBREATH MASK!
Did you know that more than 50% of people don’t know how to breathe through a snorkel? In fact, that’s one of the main reasons preventing people from taking up snorkeling. Indeed, breathing through your mouth isn’t the normal thing, and the rubber mouthpiece is often problematic and somewhat unhygienic.
That’s why Subea, Decathlon’s diving brand, invented the Easybreath mask that allows you to breathe as easily underwater as you would on land, whether by your nose or by your mouth, thanks to the full-face nature of the mask.
Fins will enable you to swim on the surface with less effort, but also faster. This helps to fight against the current, while also preserving your strength. For snorkeling, fins should be short, flexible and easy to use. However, bear in mind that the longer your fins, the more power they’ll provide… But this will also require more intense effort from you. As such, choose your fins according to your proficiency level!
You aren’t a big fan of fins or you aren’t comfortable using this equipment? Then opt for a pair of water shoes or “aquashoes”, in order to protect your feet.
4. SOLAR AND THERMAL PROTECTION
Thermal protection is often useful for fighting off the cold if you want to stay in the water and have fun for a longer time. For this thermal protection, you can choose between a shorty, a top or a full-length wetsuit. In terms of the thickness, it all depends on the temperature of the water around you. In addition, neoprene wetsuits also provide an extra degree of buoyancy. For protection from the sun, we also suggest that you wear an anti-UV top or a shorty in order to avoid sunburn, and to protect your body from the dangers of UV rays. For optimal protection, also using waterproof sunscreen is recommended.
5. FLOTATION AID
As previously mentioned, neoprene wetsuits or shorties contribute to your buoyancy and make snorkeling easier, especially for children. However, there are also other accessories that can do the job, such as inflatable noodles, vests and even buoys.