View Full Version : Bought snorkeling equip., did I do okay?

02-20-2004, 01:21 PM
We just got back from Costco and bought to snorkel sets for the kids. My DS is only 11, but he wears a men's size 10 1/2. I thought DH and my DS could share a set. I'll go out with both kids (I'll just rent mine). DH doesn't really swim so he won't use it much. We got one junior for DD and one adult for DS. The junior was $25.99 and the adult was $37.99. They are both very excited and wanted to try them out in the bath tonight They were made by US Diver. Hopefully, I did okay. It looks like a good set. They were in the seasonal section in the middle of the store. Snorkelers out there, any tips. I think someone said you are supposed to suck nose in the get a good seal. Is that correct? Also, does anyone know if you can snorkel at Cable Beach in Nassau?

02-20-2004, 01:32 PM
You should go to a pool and practice before your vacation.

Also, i think you did alright. If you use your equipment at least twice, then you come out ahead money wise for what it would cost you to rent.

I have read on past threads from other folks that they had good luck with those sets that you are taking about.

Have fun and enjoy!

02-20-2004, 02:09 PM
Now I'm gettin a litle nervous. I just went to Target and bought the kids set made by speedo (without the fins) for my 11 year old. I only paid 10.00 for the mask and snorkel tube thing. (Can you tell I'm a novice!) I read that we can rent the fins for 9.00. They don't use fins at our indoor pool and I thought they would take up a lot of room in the luggage, so I didn't buy them.

He has used the set at the indoor swimming pool. It seems to work well. I hope the quality of it is up to par so he can snorkel at CC. I didn't really know what to buy. I just plan to rent for myself and DH.

Any advice or tips would be appreciated by me, too!

By the way, Hayesktrm, I understand we are on the same cruise!

02-20-2004, 03:23 PM
Usually those sets you buy are a good deal IF they fit your face properly and you get a good seal. To see if you have a good seal take the mask and put it on your face without the strap on. Suck in through your nose and dont hold on to the mask. If it stays on without you holding onto it and you cant hear air escaping from it it is a good fit. If it slips or you hear air you will get water in your mask though it depends on how big the gap is whether you get a big leak or a small leak. I would most definitely take your kids to a swimming pool if possible and have them try it out. There is NOTHING worse than taking kids out to snorkel in the salty ocean water and having their mask leak and sting their eyes. Been there done that and it was terrible. Also hopefully the snorkel tube at least has a "purge" valve where below the mouthpiece is a little plastic round slotted hole thing. That way if they do happen to get some water in their snorkel tube (and it usually always happens in the ocean while snorkeling) instead of them getting a mouthful of the water it will just drain out the bottom. Another thing is to make sure you clean the mask really good with a mild abrasive. The best one is toothpaste. Get the inside of the mask wet and then put a little dab of toothpaste on the inside of the mask. Rub it completely around the inside of the mask. That will take the coating off and keep it clear when your snorkel. Make sure you rinse it well. Another thing to keep in mind is if your mask fogs up you can either buy a mask defogger at any local dive shop for about 5-15 dollars OR you can do it the old fashioned way and spit into the inside of the mask and rub it around and then rinse.

If the mask fits well it really doesnt matter how much money you spent unless you plan on doing it alot. If you only do it on a cruise a cheaper mask is fine unless it leaks. We bought our kids the speedo set like you did Castle4us and they all did fine with them. Also fins are nice but not necessarily a must have. They help you kick around a little bit better but in our opinion unless you plan to dive under the water they arent that necessary.


02-20-2004, 04:55 PM
Just a word of caution----don't depend on a "dry snorkel" to keep the water out! That's what my dad was using when he almost drowned!!! He had his own gear that fit him (not a cheap set, either, and he had used it on several other snorkeling trips! ). We're not sure how the water got in, but think the clamp on the snorkel somehow slid up, causing the tube to bend down and into the water. When he tried to blow the water out, he ended up with a lungfull of water.

Sue L

02-20-2004, 05:19 PM
What company manufactured your Dad's dry snorkel? I've heard that Ocean Master makes the only true dry snorkel and they even have a no water guarantee.

02-20-2004, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by hydster
Suck in through your nose and dont hold on to the mask. If it stays on without you holding onto it and you cant hear air escaping from it it is a good fit. Heidi

Just a note, you should not even have to "suck " the mask onto your face to get a good seal. Just tip your head back. The soft silica should mold to your skin. If you get a "face hickey" the mask is too tight. Don't depend on the strap to keep it tight. A good mask should fit all around the seal without a single gap. And a caution about sharing. A mask will tend to mold itself to the face it "wears" most often. If DH and DW have vastly different face sizes and shapes and upper lip length, the mask won't fit you both.

Really good dry snorkels, the kind required to augment a scuba set, can cost upwards of $60. They will even have a purge valve, not just a one-way lower drain. After an encounter with an idiot dive master (long story), I know from personal experience you can upchuck in a good one and still breath. It also bugs me that so many of the cheap snorkels do not have a wild-colored top taping in high visibility orange. This is important for boats in the area to see you. It also makes it a lot easier to find each other in the waves. And remember, waving your arms in the air and shoving your mask up on your head is a universal divers distress signal.


02-20-2004, 05:54 PM
hydster - thanks for the great information. You know, I wondered about fins. It almost seemed like they might make swimming harder for my 7 and 11 year old. I think we might just skip that rental and save 9.00!

Ours do have the purge valve.

Another question: the first time we use the masks, they very seldom got water in the mask. After that, it seemed as though they got more water in the mask part. I wondered if it got stretched out and we needed to tighten it. In the pool, it didn't matter, they just took the mask off and emptied it. In the ocean with saltwater, I suppose it would make a difference. I never thought of that. Do you think the plastic gets stretched out due to taking it on and off?

slabeaume - I don't know what dry snorkel is. Can you explain?

02-20-2004, 06:14 PM
Definitely do the mask test. Place it on your face and breathe in through the nose. If it sticks there, you should be good. That's the standard test. I agree about the face hickey! A mask that's too tight can be uncomfortable as well.

Here's one major problem for leakage. If your mask seems to fit properly and you still get leaks, check for hair in the mask. Even a strand or two will bring water into the mask. A leaky mask can really really ruin an experience, (as can a foggy mask).
So, just make sure all hair is back and out of the face when the mask is sealed onto the face.
I find it so much easier to swim/snorkel with fins on. Especially if you are trying to get somewhere. If the water is a bit choppy, it can take forever to get just 20 feet or so. Fins should at least be tried. It really makes swimming easier, especially for youngsters. I usually rent because I don't want to have to pack them, but we always take our own good fitting mask and snorkel.

On the fin thing, make sure you have kids walk backwards in them on dry land or while walking from the beach into the water. I find it easier just to go out into about a foot of water, sit your butt down, put them on and snorkel away!


02-20-2004, 06:46 PM
Michelle - a "dry snorkel" has a valve at the tip that allows it to be closed off (no water entry) when you submerse yourself. Allows you to dive underwater for a closer look.
And yes, it possible that the masks may me stretching a bit, but if they're new, I doubt they'd stretch out that quickly. Check what MrsFuzzmo suggested about hair being in the way and check also that the mask isn't to far up (on the nose) or down (resting on the lip).

02-20-2004, 07:14 PM
Don't forget to get the film off the inside of the mask before using. Toothpaste works fine. And if they fog up---spit works just as good as the drops. Although trying to get my 8 year old to spit in her mask is quite comical. She hates doing it and when she does try it ends up down her chin. LOL!! Bath tubs make great practice for the kids. You may also want to invest in a spare mask strap just in case.

It is true about the hair. Even mustaches can cause problems. Make sure you get all of it out.


02-20-2004, 07:25 PM
Thanks for all the great info. We are visiting my parents in Palm Springs in a week or two, so the kids will try it in the pool there. I did get one dry snorkel vave thing, thanks for alerting us about your Dad, Carasoyn. We will make sure we watch for it. Castle4us, your kids, boys, girls, one of each? Mine are 6, DD, and 11, DS. We've been waiting so long , I can't believe it only a little over a month away!

02-21-2004, 09:11 AM
Hayesktrm 2 DS's, ages 11 and 7. I'll PM you.

02-21-2004, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by castle4us
Now I'm gettin a litle nervous. I just went to Target and bought the kids set made by speedo (without the fins) for my 11 year old. I only paid 10.00 for the mask and snorkel tube thing. (Can you tell I'm a novice!) I read that we can rent the fins for 9.00. They don't use fins at our indoor pool and I thought they would take up a lot of room in the luggage, so I didn't buy them.

I bought a Speedo set for my kids at Target also. It was $16.99 for the whole set (w/ the fins).

02-21-2004, 11:40 AM
I read somewhere here that there is also a little snorkeling session in one of the pools at the beginning of the cruise. Anyone participate or see it going on? Thanks,:wave2:

02-21-2004, 03:03 PM
I would rent the fins, they are a major cramp to pack and then to lug around!!! I have traveled back and forth to St. Maarten with 3 full sets of snorkeling equipment, the stupid fins are huge!! DH has a size 11, myself and DD have sinze 9's. this year we are just bringing the mask and snorkels. We got them at a dive shop, but for DD we got the US divers at Costco, as nice if not better then the dive shop, and a lot let money!

02-21-2004, 11:41 PM
What I really like about the sets we got was that it came with a backpack that everything fits into.

02-21-2004, 11:50 PM
<font color=periwinkle> We bought these sets last summer to use on our cruise this year. We tested them out in the pool and they seem to work great! My DS (7) had no trouble with his mask or snorkle. </font>

<font color=darkorchid> I hope the backpack feature helps with lugging the fins to the beaches. I'll report back how they work out in the ocean when we get back. </font>:boat: