Advice for Masks, Snorkel, Fins & Wetsuit

To ensure you get the most enjoyment out of your time in the water the fit of your equipment is most important. Although we hold a limited range of masks, snorkels and fins on board which are fine for short periods of leisurely snorkeling we recommend that you bring your own mask, snorkel and fins to ensure your comfort and enjoyment if you are wanting to spend longer periods of time in the water doing these activities.

Find the right mask for scuba diving in the Caribbean

A watertight and comfortable fit is a must. First, refer to manufacturer’s specifications on mask size and match the specs to your face size. Once you get your masks, try these tests:

1. Dry fit test with your regulator in your mouth, look up while putting the mask on, but without securing the strap
2. The mask should touch all parts of your face evenly, especially your temples and the smile lines between your nose and corners of your mouth
3. Suction test.
4. Now do the same thing while trying to inhale gently. You will notice how tightly it seals.
5. Nose test.
6. Put your gloves on and the regulator in your mouth and pinch your nostrils.
7. Check to make sure you can reach around the second stage and reach your nostrils.
8. The mask should not touch your nose.

Finding the right snorkel for diving in the Caribbean

1. Snorkels with smooth, continuous lines rather than unwieldy turns in the path of airflow will enhance breathing.
2. Larger diameter snorkels also make breathing easier but the downside is it’s tougher to clear them of water.
3. Longer or curved snorkels let in less water from splashing but create more dead air space.
4. Snorkels with flexible tubing at the turn of the snorkel tube fit better and allow you to switch more easily from your regulator to your snorkel.
5. Bigger snorkels often have more features, keep out water better, and may increase comfort and fit.
6. Dry airways are a modern, sophisticated version of the ping-pong ball, which provides a seal until air is expelled, to keep water out until you blow. However, these do add bulk.
7. Some manufacturers compromise by using splash guards or water deflectors, which are simpler and therefore less bulky and expensive.
8. The drawback of these is that it is more difficult to clear the snorkel when it fills with water.
9. Some models offer these as an add-on, which gives you the option to use them for your different types of diving.
10. Some models of snorkels come with reservoirs to trap the water you could not clear or minimal splash.
11. These add to the bulk and work best when combined with purge valves, and one-way, non-return drains built-in to some snorkels.
12. Purge valves are especially useful for surface swimming since they can drain any water above the waterline, making it far easier to clear any remaining water.

Choosing the right fins for scuba diving

Males should use their usual shoe size when choosing scuba fins while females will need to subtract one and a half to two sizes from their usual shoe size. Next, choose a model suitable for your body type: divers with strong legs and hips should go for stiffer fins, while the smaller, flexible fins are ideal for smaller divers. Both open heel and full foot fins are available.

1. Open heel scuba fins: Open heel scuba fins are worn over neoprene booties.
2. Full foot scuba fins: Full foot scuba fins are worn over bare feet or thin Lycra or neoprene socks.

Finding the right wetsuit for scuba diving

1. A well-fit wetsuit increases insulation and comfort.

2. They should fit snuggly buy should not restrict your movement or breathing.

3. If a suit is too loose, you allow water to enter, defeating its purpose.

4. A wet suit should be sized similar to your regular clothes.