Heading on a snorkelling trip and want a good idea of what kind of snorkel equipment you should get? Or maybe you’re an interested snorkeller who’d like to take this hobby a little more seriously. Either way, we get a lot of questions from keen snorkellers who would like to build the ultimate snorkelling gear pack, but aren’t sure what exactly they’ll need.
The truth is that there’s no set ‘must-have snorkelling gear’. It all depends on where you’re going to be snorkelling, whether you plan on diving below the surface, what the water temperature is like, and more! That said, here’s a list of snorkelling gear that most people should have in their arsenal, as well as advice on whether it’s an essential item or not.
Snorkel mask: the obvious
If you’re only going to be relaxing along the water’s surface, enjoying the view underwater, then you won’t need much more than just your snorkel mask! Those who enjoy slowly gliding along the surface at an easy pace and don’t plan on heading out too far from shore, you’re safe! Grab your snorkel mask and hit the water. No need for a snorkelling arsenal here.
Fins: for long distances and diving underwater
If you’ll be hitting snorkel spots that are a little away from shore and require swimming longer distances, then definitely go for a pair of fins. These will help propel you as you move through the water, helping you swim much faster and cover longer distances easier. If you’re prone to getting sore legs while swimming, fins will save your life.
Fins are also super handy for snorkellers who’d like to dive down underwater as they help you go deep below the surface (but not too deep!)
Wetsuit: for cooler waters and winter snorkels
If you’re not going to be snorkelling in tropical waters, then you’ll definitely want a wetsuit to keep you warm in the chilly seas. A wetsuit is also handy for those who’d like to keep enjoying snorkelling throughout the winter months as well. Remember, water might seem warm for the first ten minutes, but a wetsuit will make sure you stay warm for hours and hours. Who wants to interrupt their clownfish gazing just because they’re cold? Nobody!
Rash guard: for UV protection (and jellyfish stings!)
If you’re the type to get sunburnt from long days out in the sun, then a rash guard is definitely worth throwing into your snorkelling gearbox. Rash guards not only prevent sunburn but also help protect against UV radiation, which is important for people of all skin types (even those who tan and don’t burn!) Anyone who’ll be spending long days out in the sun should consider a rash guard.
Rash guards also come in handy as they can protect you from jellyfish stings as well as other dangerous creepy crawlies underwater. If you don’t like the idea of brushing past something that you’re unfamiliar with, a rash guard will keep you feeling nice and protected.
Knife: for diving and detangling
If you are planning to dive below the surface of the water, you should always be prepared. Anything can happen in the deep, dark depths of the water, a knife will ensure you’ve always got some form of safety defence as a backup. Ankle got tangled in some seaweed? Rip it up with a knife. These kinds of issues are more common than you think, and having a knife handy while snorkelling could be a life-saving move. Why wait to find out?!
Buoys: for safety and visibility while diving
It’s always recommended that you carry a buoy with you while snorkelling underwater so that anyone above the surface can easily spot you from a distance. This is especially important if the area you are snorkelling in sees a lot of boat traffic or is popular with other snorkellers and divers. It’s just a way of saying, ‘Hey, I’m here!’, and having that added safety factor while snorkelling in busy areas.
Floating vests/noodles: for relaxing vibes
Foam noodles and floating vests are an absolute dream come true for snorkellers who like to just glide along the surface of the water and enjoy the scenery, without having to be all active about it. With these pieces of snorkelling equipment you can just take it easy and float along the surface of the water at a leisurely pace while the marine life goes past below you. These are also great for those snorkellers who do enjoy being more active, but need to take a break every now and then to restore energy.
Water shoes: for those pebbles
If you’ll be hitting up snorkelling beaches that aren’t soft and sandy, it’s definitely a good idea to invest in a good pair of water shoes. These will help you get in and out of the water easily, without having to tiptoe and worry about cutting your feet. It’s not only painful to walk over small pebbles, but can be dangerous if you do end up cutting yourself. Water shoes make things easy, breezy, and comfortable so you can walk without a worry.
GoPro: for memory making & showing off
Okay, it’s not really a piece of snorkelling equipment, but after snorkelling for awhile you’ll start to see why everyone keeps harping on about GoPros. There is just so much incredible life underwater that sometimes you just need to share those experiences and sights with other people.
A GoPro means that when you spot that school of amazing barracuda, or that beautiful coral you’ve never seen before, you can snap a pic and show it to someone later. You can look up marine life and creatures you’ve never seen before, you can show loved ones your happy moments, and you can create memories that last a lifetime. Of course, if you do go for a GoPro then you’re going to need a GoPro mount too (our snorkel masks all come with one!).