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Snorkeling Equipment


Good snorkeling equipment is a must if you want to enjoy everything the marine life has to offer. The better the equipment you have the more you will be able to use it. Snorkeling is an interesting activity to do especially if you know high quality bodies of waters for exploring. Some of the top spots frequently visited are the coral reefs. The reefs which are structures created by nature can be found in several parts of the ocean especially close to the shore.

The waters near Punta Cana for example have an astonishing reef that extends for more than 20 miles; creating the ideal environment to admire the marvels of nature. You can snorkel in rivers, lakes and basically any part of the ocean that capture your interest.

Snorkeling mask

Your snorkeling equipment is basically composed of the mask, the snorkel, the fins and the vest. The mask is one of the most important pieces of the overall equipment. It is the one that allows you to see with precise detail what’s happening underwater. Try to see below the water without a mask and you will immediately notice the cloudiness; no way you can truly appreciate aquatic life without one! Getting a good mask is no pushover. You have to be sure it allows a significant field of vision, that is tight enough to avoid any leaking problems and that it can be used for a long period of time.

Getting a mask with a wide vision field is essential for your snorkeling equipment. Some types have really big lenses that help you see a large area in front of you; there are others that also have small windows to the sides allowing plVariety of snorkeling equipmententy of peripheral vision.

The material of the lenses should not be underestimated. Most masks use either plastic or tempered glass lenses. People that are serious about snorkeling prefer the glass ones. Plastic lenses get fogged frequently reducing your vision dramatically; they also get scratches easily which interferes with your underwater experience. Tempered glass is the preferred material for the windows of the masks. They don’t have that constant fogging problem and won’t break or get scratched with the slightest touch.

If you have vision problems; no need to worry, masks can be custom made with optical lenses to correct any visual issues. Some of them are used for near sightedness and other for far sightedness. Those types of lenses allow you to gaze at the marine life with full detail without any need of contacts.

Another detail that shouldn’t be overlooked is the material of the snorkeling equipment. 

Sometimes mask’s skirts are made from rubber, PVC, silicone and other compounds. Many years ago most masks were made of rubber; they were quite cheap but had many disadvantages. Rubber works well in the short term but after being exposed to chemicals in the water and other elements it breaks down with ease.

PVC is an even more economical alternative than rubber and is more resistant. The main problem with it is that it tends to become harder in cooler waters reducing its elasticity which can create leak problems. Silicone is the choice of excellence for making snorkeling masks. They are very durable and can maintain the elasticity of the mask in wide range of water temperatures. The only drawback is that is pricier than any other mask.

If you are going to snorkel in Punta Cana and you are in a tight budget the PVC mask should work wonders; since the waters in the area are quite warm you won’t have any worries.

How well a mask fits is also of the utmost importance when choosing this part of your snorkeling equipment. 

It has to seal very well to prevent any kind of leaking and feel comfortable to wear it for prolonged time. The best way to ensure a mask will do well when you snorkel is to test it before going. First put the mask in your face without the straps; then inhale very slowly. As you inhale the air pressure inside the mask is supposed to keep it tight; if you have to breathe very strongly to maintain it in place the fit is not good enough.

Next you have to adjust it with the straps to see how it fits. The straps are only to prevent the mask from moving too much; it should be fairly tight but not too much they cause you a headache. Once you have no doubt it fits and adjusts well; is time to test it in a bathtub or a pool if you can. As you submerge move your head from side to side just as you would do if you were snorkeling if no problems are detected you got a good one.

Some masks have a small valve to drain the water out of them in case of unexpected leaking; they are quite useful to prevent complications in long dives.

Cheap masks can go around from $10 to $15 but the more sophisticated ones can go up close to a $100.

Snorkels

The snorkel is the most vital element of the snorkeling equipment. It is basically a breathing tube that is used by the person that is snorkeling.  The tube is normally constructed from plastic or another similar material like rubber. This tube extends from the mouth of the person all the way up to the surface. The length of the snorkel can vary from 1 foot to 16 inches.

There are also several advantages and disadvantages associated with the length. Shorter ones are great for snorkeling very close to the surface as it allows a more steady flow of air which equals better breathing. The main problem with that type is that you are stuck at a very shallow depth since you can’t go further. The long snorkels are great when you want to explore greater depths unfortunately breathing through them gets a bit harder the longer you are inside the water.

The diameter of the snorkel needs also to be taken into consideration. Typically the smaller you are the narrower the snorkel should be. The larger the diameter the more air can get in but at the same time it gets trickier to get water out it. The snorkeling equipments works better when is in the right proportion of the person using it.

One common problem faced by snorkelers is when water floods the snorkel. As the waves continuously move through the surface; plenty of water tends to get inside of it. Thankfully the waters near Punta Cana do not have strong surf so is not that big of a problem there; in any case this can be solved by breathing out strongly to get the excess water out. Some snorkels also come with a purge valve to simplify the process even more. 

Other designs may include different kinds of tips to block the entrance of water. The air can enter and exit without difficulty but water is drained out. The price of snorkels can vary greatly; you can get a cheap one for $10 easily but if you want a fairly decent one $25 to $30 should be enough.

Snorkeling Fins

Many people consider the fins a less important part of the snorkeling equipment. They are not vital but they can certainly make your experience way easier. The function of the fins is to improve your speed and ability to maneuver in the sea. That’s a huge benefit; not only because you can move faster but also allows you to save energy that can be used for further exploring.

Fins can be classified into 2 main types: the full foot and the open heel. If you want protection for your entire feet full foot is the way to go. As in everything they also have drawbacks; these fins cannot be adjusted so are not that tight. They might fall off if you are not careful. The open heel on the other hand can be adjusted quite easily so the danger of losing them is quite low but it leaves the bottom part of your feet open. This problem can be resolved by wearing wet shoes made of neoprene which are quite resistant against sharp objects and surfaces that you may find while snorkeling.

If you are a beginner the fins as part of your snorkeling equipment can feel quite heavy and bothersome so using lighter and smaller fins can definitely to the trick until you get used to them.

Snorkel Vests

These vests are devices that are used to give you some buoyancy while you are snorkeling. They are not required but they can make your underwater adventure more fun. The snorkel vests are inflatable so they won’t let you sink too much. The typical price range from the vests goes from $20 to $50 so is up to you if you really want them to be a part of your snorkeling equipment.

The main purpose of them is to allow you spend less energy on swimming while you focus more on the exploring part. If you want to go a little deeper than usual is better to not use them at all.








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