We all love the idea of plunging into the ocean and explore the exciting world under the water surface. But since we don’t really have gills and fins, we have to make use of additional equipment in order to survive and move around underwater.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going deep sea diving, or snorkeling or just swimming – certain precautionary measures are essential to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Can you Snorkel with Swim Googles? Yes, technically you can. But most likely it won’t be a pleasant experience. You have to breathe through your mouth and having your nose in the water makes it very difficult to not end up with water in your breathing tract.
Whether it’s swimming or snorkeling, we have to wear goggles or a snorkel mask to move around comfortably underwater. In essence, they both serve a similar function: by creating an air pocket in front of you, they allow for a clearer view. They eliminate the distortion in your vision, which occurs when your eyes are in direct contact with the water.
These masks may be made up of different materials, such as acrylic or plastic or glass. Regardless of the material, the main aim is to make your view underwater less blurry. While it’s okay to use either one of these when you’re snorkeling, using a dive mask is ideal.
Visually, dive masks are much larger than swim goggles. They cover your face from your forehead till the end of your nose. Several newer models cover your whole face to make it more comfortable to breathe. The edges of the mask have a seal to prevent water from seeping in.
Swim goggles are much smaller and only cover your eyes and a small area around them. They are usually round or oval in shape. The main use of swim goggles is to protect the eyes and provide a clearer view. The nose remains uncovered.
And just in case you were wondering, there are no specially designed goggles for snorkeling or scuba diving. While you can use a dive mask to swim, you cannot use swim goggles to snorkel.
When you’re out for a regular swim, your swim goggles are enough to prevent water from getting into your eyes. If you add a snorkel to that, the goggles won’t be able to maintain their grip.
Dive masks, on the other hand, are designed to stay in place no matter the weight attached. Since they are designed for scuba divers, they must keep the water out, especially for deep sea diving.
Full-face snorkel masks have the snorkel as an integrated part of the mask. They allow to comfortably breathe while your head is in the water. They are not at all shaped to be used for swimming laps though.
If water gets inside the snorkel mask, it will fog up the lens and make it difficult for you to move around and see where you are. Water inside a full-face snorkel mask can make it impossible to breathe.
When you’re swimming, you don’t really need to hold your breath or breathe through your mouth since you’re in almost constant contact with the surface. However, when you’re snorkeling, you need to practice breathing through your mouth or make use of a nose plug.
If you use a snorkel mask, you can attach a snorkel breathing tube and not worry about this problem at all. You simply breathe through the snorkel while your head is in the water.
Water is around 800 times denser than air. So basically, this means that the air pressure under the water surface is significantly greater than that on land.
This pressure increases as you go deeper. This intense pressure can squeeze the air pockets in your dive mask or swim goggles. It causes them to tighten, leading to discomfort and eventually bruising.
The tightening caused by water pressure is known as the “squeeze”. Dive masks are sturdier and are not as strongly impacted by this as swim goggles.
This is based on the fact that when you breathe through your mask, the air accumulated inside can somewhat combat the water pressure from the outside and avoid squeezing.
It is important to note that the squeeze only has a significant impact when you’re at a significant depth under the water surface. It is not likely to be too much of a problem when you’re snorkeling since you will remain at the surface.
That’s why most often snorkel masks use polycarbonate for the lens instead of tempered glass. There’s simply no need to design them to withstand high pressures that you experience during scuba diving.
Breathing underwater is not an easy task. Even when you breathe through your mouth, it’s difficult, in fact, almost impossible to prevent water from getting up your nose.
This is where your mask helps. If you solely make use of swim goggles for snorkeling, you will require additional equipment, such as a nose plug to avoid this problem.
If you have a snorkel attached, you can keep your head under the water surface for a longer time period without having to constantly come up for fresh air. The snorkel also keeps you breathing from your mouth while you’re under the surface.
When you’re snorkeling, you need to attach a snorkel to your mask or goggles. The straps on your goggles are not strong enough to maintain their grip once a snorkel is also attached. Snorkel masks, on the other hand, are specifically designed for this job.
Swim goggles are useless if you’re scuba diving. If you’re out snorkeling and you do decide to do some free dives, you cannot go beyond a depth of 10 feet with your regular swim goggles. The water pressure is too intense and will cause your goggles to squeeze and tighten and potentially damage your eyes.
Before we end, we’d just like to point out that both swim goggles and snorkel masks cannot be worn if you’re wearing eye glasses. In such cases, you may either need to get specially designed prescription equipment or make use of contact lenses.
Overall, while you can make use of swim goggles while snorkeling, you will need to be more cautious during your water activities. For a safe and enjoyable snorkeling experience, it’s best to use a snorkel mask.
Diving is an exhilarating experience. The rush of the water, the crashing of the waves, the thrill of being in a whole new realm. But if you’re a frequent diver, you may have experienced that moment when you’re relaxing after your dive and your ear starts feeling wet and itchy.
Can you dive with Swimmer’s Ear? No, you can’t. Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) is an infection on your outer ear and you will need to let the infection go away before diving again. Your doctor will treat the condition and let you know when you can go scuba diving again.
Swimmer’s ear starts out as slight irritation in your ear, but within a few hours, generally overnight, it develops into a strange fullness in your ear and a throbbing pain. The scientific term for this problem is otitis externa and is an ear infection that may occur if you swim a lot.
Swimmer’s ear is not caused by external bacteria, such as those found in the water. It is actually triggered by the bacteria present in your external ear canal. Let’s look at the science behind this infection:
When you frequently dive or swim in the water, the cells lining your ear canal swell up from all the fluid. This causes the cells to separate just enough to allow the bacteria on your ear’s surface to sink into your skin. This environment is conducive to their growth and they start to multiply.
This eventually leads to inflammation and itching in your ear canal. If it is not taken care of, this swelling can spread towards your face to the extent that even moving your jaw might cause great discomfort. If your infection has reached this stage, you need to get a medical plan from your doctor. You absolutely cannot get back in the water till the swelling has subsided and the pain has faded.
It is interesting to note that heat and humidity act as a breeding ground for the spread and expansion of these harmful bacteria.
It’s always ideal to take preventive measures rather than treating your ear after it gets infected. A drying solution in the ears can help combat the risk of swimmer’s ear.
Just keep the drying solution in your ear canal for 5 complete minutes at the beginning and end of the day. This same step can be used to treat the infection if you already have one.
Using some mineral oil or lanolin in your ears before you dive may also be an effective way of keeping your ears clean and protected.
Note: Any chemicals that you use in your ears are likely to be very strong and have a drying effect. If you feel like your ears are drying out too much or experiencing a burning sensation, then stop using the drops and consult your doctor.
The treatment for swimmer’s ear is not one that you can obtain without a prescription. Consult a doctor, get the right medicine and follow the provided regimen.
The key is to let the medicine stay in each ear for five minutes, and then each ear should be properly drained of the chemical. This will ensure maximum effectiveness.
This procedure should ideally be followed before and after your dive to keep your ear protected. Once the infection has started spreading, the treatment will be longer and a bit more painful.
Warning! If you fear that your eardrum may have sustained some damage, do NOT use any of these chemicals and medicines. This will act as a gateway for your bacteria to wash into the middle of the ear and the damage from the infection will be really serious.
Frequent diving may cause earwax buildup, sealing off your external ear canal. If this happens, the chemical drops will no longer be effective and you will be at a greater risk of contracting swimmer’s ear.
Visit a doctor, or find someone skilled to use an otoscope. If the wax has blocked your eardrum, it needs to be cleaned out.
Don’t experiment with cotton swabs or other such methods that can be dangerous and can potentially cause long-term damage to your ear. Get a medical solution which you can use in the shower to flush out the excess buildup. If this doesn’t work, get your ears cleaned by your doctor.
Another trick you can use is to clean your ears by hand in the shower rather than spraying them directly. A direct flow may cause damage to your eardrum and affect your hearing.
You can opt to wear protective gear underwater to keep your ears safe. Here are some options:
While these are great at keeping the water out of your ears, ear plugs also present the risk of accidentally falling out at any point during your dive. The reverse can also happen where they may get jammed into your ear due to water pressure.
Try getting your hands on earplugs with ventilation to prevent them from getting affected by water pressure. Certain ear plugs are designed specially by doctors and are ideal for deep sea diving.
A scuba hood covers your head and ears entirely. You will still need to wear your plugs underneath. There is a vast variety of scuba hoods ranging from thin, soft ones, to thicker ones for colder climates. If your ears are particularly sensitive, or you deep sea dive frequently, or the water is very cold, it is ideal to have a scuba hood on during your dive.
To combat water pressure under the surface, you can make use of special scuba masks, which are designed to also protect your ears. These allow air to pass through your ear canal without letting in any water. It is much more comfortable than a hood, but provides a similar level of coverage. It also means that you don’t need to don an additional accessory when you go for your dive.
Swimmer’s ear can even be caused by something as simple as the food you eat and the way you dive.
Before you plunge in, use the age-old trick of holding your nose and blowing till you hear your ears pop. This way, you know that nothing blocked when you dive in.
When you dive in, don’t descend too fast as the instant accumulation of water pressure can damage your ears. You can make use of an anchor line to control your descent speed or use your dive computer to monitor your descent speed. This line can also assist you if the pressure is too much and you feel the need to stop for a bit.
Certain dietary habits can assist the process of buildup in your ears. These include:
You absolutely cannot dive while you have swimmer’s ear and the infection is at its peak. Once your doctor confirms that the infection has passed, it is safe to get back into the water. Diving with swimmer’s ear will not only be extremely painful, it can also cause increased inflammation and may permanently damage your hearing.
At the end of the day, it’s all about taking the right precautionary measures. By cleaning out your ears regularly and properly, and adopting protective gear when you’re underwater, you can protect yourself from the risk of getting otitis externa (swimmer’s ear). If your ears still get infected, consult a doctor, follow the prescribed treatment and stay out of the water till your doctor gives the green signal.
Some people are just more comfortable in the water than they are on land. There is something calming about going underwater and exploring life under the surface. Snorkeling is a great activity or sport, which is suitable for almost everyone. Let’s dive right into the basic requirements you need to fill before you snorkel.
What is the Minimum Age for Kids to Snorkel? There are no hard-set rules. The most common age for children to start snorkeling is around 5 to 6 years. By that age the skills required are manageable by kids to make it a safe adventure for them to go snorkeling.
For starters, whether you’re young or old, having a snorkel vest on is always a good idea.
In towns and villages located by the ocean, practically everyone snorkels, including little children. However, this doesn’t happen everywhere and not everyone grows up in the water.
For the most part, children do not always have a great sense of understanding the amount of danger that may lurk under the surface. Factors like mortality are not something they tend to think about. The sparkly water and the beautiful treasures under it may make them feel a bit too relaxed and comfortable.
It is absolutely essential for your child to be a good swimmer. They must be comfortable and maintain control in the water. This, paired with a proper understanding of water safety, are essential before you let your child snorkel. If your child isn’t a great swimmer, they can still enter the water with the help of a junior snorkel set and adult supervision.
If you’ve got a tropical vacation planned or you live close to the beach, you might be getting your snorkeling gear ready for the summer. Make sure you’ve got the right junior snorkeling equipment for your kids. Try getting them accustomed to the water before taking them on the trip.
Whether it’s just experimenting in your bathtub at home, or using an inflatable pool in your backyard, make your kids feel at home in the water. Help them maintain their stability and control their movement in the water.
Go to your local pool with all your snorkeling gear and practice, practice, practice! Help your children practice swimming underwater and swimming with their snorkeling gear on. The larger the pool, the more it will be like a simulation of the real deal.
Your kids might even be okay with the water, but they may face some issues with the fish. Whether they’re frightened or just uncomfortable with how close sea creatures are to them, if something like this arises, you need to get them out of the water immediately. If you’re out with the kids, be prepared for the fact that you won’t be engaging in any serious snorkeling yourself.
A great tip is to take your kids with you when you go snorkeling, but not necessarily in the water. Let them hang out in the boat, and from time to time, they can dip their head (mask on of course) in the water to get a feel of what it’s like.
Don’t get your children into the middle of the ocean. Even if they can stay afloat, they might still not have the ability to maintain their balance and control in the water. Snorkel near the shore, and you can venture out till the water is a few feet deep. If you feel like your child may be struggling, return to the surface, recharge and give it another go.
Even after all your preparation, chances are your first snorkeling experience with your kids might not be 100% successful. They may be scared of the movement of the waves, the current of the water, or proximity to the fish and other sea creatures.
Try to make them feel more at home. If they seem too stressed out, get out of the water and calm them down. You can practice over a few days, and if your vacation is over by then, you can always try again the next year. Getting them accustomed to the ocean may take time, but once they’re comfortable, you can have a great snorkeling experience together.
Junior snorkeling equipment is not the same as that for adults. Make sure you have the right items for your kids before you head to the beach.
This mask allows children to clearly see underwater and breathe comfortably since they don’t have to fiddle around with a breathing apparatus. In fact, some even have an action camera mount so you can have your child’s first moments underwater captured on camera. There is really no age limit for this, and other than getting used to the mask sealing onto your face, it is super simple to use.
If you feel like your kid’s mask is fogging up too much, make some room in your budget and invest in a defogger.
The snorkel mask presents the possibility of carbon dioxide buildup inside since there is no proper room for the gas to be dispelled. Make sure you invest in a proper mask and always have a snorkeling buddy. Many unfortunate incidents happen because snorkelers are alone and don’t have anyone to call out to.
Snorkeling fins for children are optional, but they’re certainly fun to use. Especially with the amount of zeal and energy kids have, fins are ideal. And if you ever feel like you don’t want to use them, you can instantly detach them.
Water temperatures can affect how comfortable you are. Especially for colder climates, a wetsuit can really help your child get accustomed to the water and move around freely. If you don’t snorkel frequently, you don’t need to buy one. Most places where you can snorkel have places where you can rent a wetsuit.
Whether your child is still learning how to swim, or you plan on covering a longer distance, a kid’s floatie or snorkel vest will definitely be useful. Not only does it add a little more safety, it also allows your kids the chance to freely experiment in the water and learn how to swim without the danger of losing their balance or getting tired midway.
There isn’t really an ideal age for kids to start snorkeling, but a generally accepted age is around 5-6 years old. This can vary. For instance, there are many children who may have become comfortable with the water at the age of 3, and there may be some who will be afraid till they’re much older.
Once your children are comfortable in the ocean, you will be able to sense it and put your mind to ease. The important thing is not to rush the process or to hinder it entirely. Just practice before you actually get in the water, have the right equipment and start off with snorkeling close to the shore.
By teaching your kids how to snorkel, you’ll be able to open a world of water sports for them and it’ll become a great way for your family to bond as well! So get practicing and start planning your next trip to explore the underwater world!
If you have a mustache then you certainly have wondered with the question on how to get a dive or snorkel mask to site tight without leaking. Which then leads to the next question of what the best scuba and snorkel mask is if you have a mustache. Is there one? What are the options?
The first option is that you shave. Simple as that… Problem solved… Just kidding. While this is a solution it’s most likely not the one you had in mind.
In short, you have a few different solutions for both snorkeling and scuba diving. We’ll highlight them in detail below but if you’re in a hurry, here’s what you can do:
If you love your mustache that much that you don’t want to mess with it, then using a full-face mask will be your best choice.
If you are snorkeling and have a mustache then you might be in luck. The newest innovation of full-face snorkel masks can provide a tight seal even if you have a mustache.
It might not or most likely will not create a tight seal if you have a full beard. But for a mustache you should be able to get a full seal as the mask is stretched over your whole face.
The best choice that you can get for these masks is either the Seaview 180° or the Tribord Easybreath Snorkel Mask. In our Best Full-Face Snorkel Masks article we specifically highlight the Seaview 180 Degree V2 and the Tribord Easybreath as our Editor Choices.
Both of these masks cover your face completely. As such, the mustache is not in the way at all and you get a tight seal around your face.
Some people use Vaseline on their mustache to get it smooth and to tighten it up. We do not recommend that solution as the Vaseline can interact with the silicone of the skirt and reduce the lifetime of your dive mask. You can get specialized products like Mustache Sealer to help with getting the seal between your mask and your mustache to be leak free. Feedback is overall positive but it’s not a bullet-proof solution.
A possible alternative is that you shave a small area right underneath your nose. This usually provides enough clear skin to get a tight seal between the mask and your face. The shaved area typically doesn’t have to be big and is often barely visible to others but it’s something you have to try to see whether it can work for you.
For scuba diving the answer is not as simple as a full face mask. Well, it can be when you look at full face dive masks with integrated regulators like the Ocean Reef Neptune Space G. divers mask or the OTS Guardian Full Face Scuba Mask. Both masks are full face scuba masks of highest quality with a 2nd stage regulator built-in. Reviews on both of these masks are incredibly positive so if you have a mustache and you want to go diving then these masks can be your best solution!
For both scuba diving and snorkeling the best solution seems to be to switch to full-face masks if you have a mustache. All other possible solutions have some success but mostly are not bullet-proof.
Full face masks will need some getting used to but they are overall very comfortable to wear. You have to get used to a different way to equalize. The scuba diving masks have a nose block feature for equalizing. In the case of the Ocean Reef mask you push the mask upwards which then blocks your nose and you can equalize. Slightly different than with a standard dive mask but it does work.
If you have a full beard you will most likely have a hard time getting a tight seal even with a full-face mask. You will have to test it out for yourself. Feedback on both the snorkel as well as the scuba full face masks is that it does work for some that have a full beard but not for everyone. In the worst case you might consider to shave your beard a little shorter as this can help tremendously to produce a tight seal.
Most of us consider diving to be a leisurely activity. But for professional divers, this is serious business.
We may rent, borrow or use any equipment that seems remotely alright, but professionals have to have the best equipment and the equipment they are comfortable in using. This includes having a dive computer that meets your specifications to have a safe and successful scuba experience.
There may be times when your dive computer fails. In that case, don’t panic because there’s a way out and it’s not the end of the world.
Read on to find out how to get your dive computer back on track.
A dive computer is one of the most important tools for a scuba diver. It helps to measure depth under the surface which is essential for:
So, when your dive computer starts malfunctioning, it can be a real pain. You have to figure out where you are in the water and navigate your way to the surface while constantly having to think about whether you’ve crossed your Non-Decompression Limit (NDL) and whether you need to make decompression stops or not. There are ways to safely resurface.
Whether your batteries have run out or your device broke in the water, there are numerous ways that your dive computer can end up damaged and nonfunctional. Your dive computer may have had a fault before you went into the water or it can sustain damage during your dive.
It may either shut down, have a frozen screen or might not function properly. It might even work but have you locked out.
If your dive computer fails while you’re diving, it’s time for you to end your dive. This device is an essential component of your dive and if it’s not working, you will have trouble navigating and resurfacing.
Don’t start ascending to the surface instantly- this may be difficult if you’re deep diving and also dangerous if you start ascending too quickly because of a potential risk of decompression sickness.
Check your gas tank to see that there’s enough pressure in the cylinder to sustain you for a while. If you’re diving with a partner or a team, signal to them that it’s time to end the dive.
Point to your device so they know it’s out of order. Stick close to them as you resurface since they have a means of monitoring the current depth of the water and rate at which you should ascend (including any stops you may need to make along the way).
After reaching a depth of around 20 meters, take an additional safety stop- since your dive computer isn’t working, you can’t be sure if you crossed your Non-Decompression Limit (NDL) or not.
If you start your dive watch when you begin your dive, it can serve as a backup in case your dive computer fails mid-dive. This will help you track how deep you are underwater.
To stay on the safe side, it is advisable to have a dive table on hand or at least a list of depths and times that are safe during deep dives. With the help of these and your dive watch, you can safely ascend to the surface.
Note: Remember that these tools cannot be treated as substitutes for a dive computer, and if your computer fails you cannot continue your dive relying on your watch and dive tables. Once your computer crashes, your dive is over.
In addition to your dive watch, hold on to a depth and pressure gauge to help you to return to the surface in case your dive watch fails.
Depth calculations are essential to identify water pressure and the formation of gas bubbles in your system. By monitoring the gas levels entering your body, you can gauge the level at which you are in danger of extreme bubble formation and are at risk of experiencing decompression sickness. To ensure your safety during your dive, it is a good idea to have two dive computers on hand so if one malfunctions, the other one can still be used to monitor the gas levels.
Keep in mind that different dive computers make use of different algorithms to gauge depth and gas levels. When you’re keeping a backup, check to see if it follows the same system as your main device. Before diving, adjust the settings of both computers so that they are in sync with each other.
Dive computers gather your history of exposure to gas and incorporate that in their algorithms when calculating your depth and ascension stops. This is why it’s necessary for you to wear your backup dive computer on every dive. Don’t choose one or the other for separate dives. If your device underestimates the level of gases you’ve been exposed to, it will increase your chances of experiencing decompression sickness.
Rather than struggling mid-dive, it’s better to take some precautionary measures before getting into the water. Clean and maintain your computer before and after every dive. This includes:
You should also make sure that after every dive, you carefully clean and dry out your dive computer. This includes:
Some manufacturers also recommend that you should get your device professionally serviced once a year or once every two years. .
If your dive computer fails during your dive, even if you have a dive watch and depth and pressure gauges, it is advisable to skip anymore dives planned for that day. If you have a backup dive computer and feel comfortable enough using it, then you can resume your diving as per your schedule.
It is absolutely essential for you to be comfortable with your dive computer before you set out on your dive. Proper care and maintenance of your device can go a long way in keeping it running smoothly during your dive.
Also, keep yourself well-acquainted with your backup dive computer (if you have one) or your dive watch and gauges. This will help you safely and comfortably navigate your way to the surface in case your dive computer stops working.
If your device is damaged beyond repair, you may lose valuable information such as your body’s exposure to compressed gases which will throw off your calculations on your next dive.
In this case, you need to allow your body to get rid of any traces of these gases before your next dive. This time period can be anywhere between 12-18 hours depending on whether you’re shallow or deep diving.
With the right care and maintenance measures, you can avoid any mishaps or inconveniences due to a faulty device. So just remember before making your next dive, safety comes first.
Have you ever been awestruck at how effortlessly fish float through the water? The only real movement is the delicate fluttering of their fins.
If you’ve ever experienced the pleasure of being a part of their blue world, you know that the fins you use are what help you push around through the water as well. Your scuba fins have to fit you perfectly. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to glide through the water.
A great fitting pair of fins will make your scuba diving experience to be as effortless as the casual flitting of sea creatures around you.
It’s easy to find great fins if you’re going for a dive close to home. Yet, if you’re traveling and have another scuba adventure planned, you need a pair of fins that don’t take up 80% of the space in your suitcase.
It’s also a good idea to have fins that can be worn on their own without requiring other footwear or scuba gear.
Different sea creatures have different fins or other mechanisms best suited for their body to allow for easy movement underwater. When you make the dive, you’ll want the fins that work best for you. Here are some things that you should consider before making your purchase:
You’re used to walking easily on land without thinking about the thrust of your feet, but underwater, you need to make sure you have the right fins to deal with the pressure. When you’re selecting your scuba travel fins, you need to consider how they’ll help you glide through the water.
Fins that are stiff and flat can help you swim through with greater speed and strength. However, the stiffer the fin, the harder it will become for you to turn or change your position in the water.
The ideal fins should have a bit of flexibility to allow for free movement.
When you’re packing for a scuba trip, you want to make sure you have all the essentials. Now with most scuba gear, weight can be an issue and you have to choose the right tanks, computers and so on to make sure they don’t exceed the weight limit.
With fins, its best to focus more on the ease of movement they offer, not how much they weigh.
There may have been times in your life where you opted for a size 0 dress, even if you’re a size 12. Don’t make the same mistake with your travel fins.
Scuba fins need to be of the right size for you to prevent you from getting blisters or feeling irritated throughout your dive. When you’re buying your fins, try them on with scuba booties to make sure there’s enough room for them.
Don’t just go for fins that are the same size as your regular shoes. Different fin styles have different sizes, so make sure you try them on to find the right fit for you.
If you’re a regular scuba diver, you know already that it’s a costly sport. You may have seen fins that can be as low as USD 40, and you may have seen some that can cost a whopping USD 200.
But when you’re on the lookout for scuba fins, don’t go with the price. The type of fin (also mentioned in the next section) and the quality is important.
Choose the fins that you are most comfortable in. There’s no point buying fins that will later leave blisters on your feet or restrict your movement underwater, just because they were the cheaper option.
Good quality fins are an investment, which will last you a good few years.
When you’re on the hunt for the perfect set of fins, you don’t just consider the price and the fit – you also look at the function.
Different fins offer different features, such as speed, balance, freedom of motion. Before you make your purchase, make sure you know which type of fin you’re in search of.
Open heeled fins are generally more spacious and have more room to fit your feet. They are usually meant to be worn with booties, which not only protect your feet from getting blisters and bruises, but also keep them warm. They’re ideal for diving in colder climates and for beginners still getting accustomed to the elements.
The closed heel fin is what divers initially started out with. While they’re generally lighter on the pocket, these fins present the risk of causing blisters, or even slipping off your feet since they’re basically just slip-ons.
Paddle fins have no cuts or openings and allow for simple up and down motion. If you like a challenge and have greater body strength, then go for these.
As the name suggests, split fins are split down the middle, which helps you move around with greater speed. Unlike the paddle fins, they offer more flexibility in terms of movements and change in direction.
Force fins resemble the fins of whales and other fast moving sea creatures to give you greater speed underwater. Flappable fins offer one main advantage where they can be flipped or folded to allow easy movement on land, but don’t let that be the only thing that guides your decision!
A quick search on the internet will show you endless lists of endless different types of fins. We’ve picked out the top 3 fins of which any one can become your favorite companion on your next scuba vacation.
This diverse fin offers everything you’re looking for in the ideal scuba travel fins. They’re slightly rigid, allowing for control and ease of movement underwater.
It’s an advantage that they are lightweight. You can easily carry them across the globe if you want, and they’re open heeled!
The Aqua Lung Hot Shot fins are a little more on the expensive side. They act as a solid investment because of the long-lasting silicon material and the diversity of use.
This fin could become your ultimate travel companion. With its super lightweight and durable material, you can stuff it into any of your bags and get going!
The ScubaPro Go Travel fins have an adjustable strap so that it can fit your foot perfectly. You have the option to wear them barefoot, or with socks.
Pricing is middle of the road and they don’t completely break bank. Their great construction and material choice can make it so they last you forever.
These fins are famous for the balance they offer. With a little effort, these fins take you a long way in the water. Again, they’re also lightweight and easy to carry.
They’re also super comfortable as they have a greater area of foot space. They are on the lower end of the price spectrum. The price point together with the travel-ready features make the Cressi Pro Light fins perfect for your next scuba vacation.
Standard scuba fins are designed to give you maximum thrust underwater so you can go with the flow. Since travel fins are lighter, the thrust they offer is not as great and you’ll need to make a greater effort to keep moving.
Scuba travel fins are generally more flexible, they don’t offer the type of rigidity regular fins have. This, to some extent, reduces the amount of control you have over your motion under the surface. The ease of transporting them means you have to compromise on some of the more technical aspects of the fins.
With your standard fins, you can choose from different features like speed, ease of changing direction, the material, the look. With travel fins, the choices are somewhat limited.
If you’ve gone scuba diving before, you already know that you can rent scuba gear. However, not only is this going to add to your already huge travel budget, you might also face problems if you don’t find fins of the right fit.
If scuba vacations are something that you enjoy, then invest in a pair of scuba travel fins and make every diving experience a memorable one. Once you have the right fins, just throw them into your bag, zip it up and head out on your next adventure!
No more standing in rental lines or getting out of the water early because your fins fell off. Take your favorite fins out for a walk on the ocean floor.
Scuba Diving provides us with the opportunity to explore what’s under the great blue surface and explore a whole new world. It’s an adventure unlike any other, one that stimulates all our senses. But this sport is certainly not light on the pocket.
Allow us to walk you through the costs associated with becoming a certified scuba diver and how you can minimize these for the ultimate scuba diving experience.
In the world of scuba, the certification required is known as the Open Water Diver (OWD) Certification. Divers are trained to reach depths of 18-60ft while being accompanied by a diving partner or instructor. This certification alone requires around 4 days at an approximate cost of USD 200-700 based on which country you’re in. Opting for locations such as Thailand and Indonesia is cheaper than getting your certification in the US.
In fact, for some countries, the entire expense, from equipment to certification can be covered in just USD 200!
If you’re serious about becoming a scuba diver, be ready to shell out a few grand. The cost of equipment will of course depend on the quality you go for, but the overall expense generally averages around USD 2,000 at least.
Your complete scuba kit will include:
Once you’ve geared yourself with the required equipment and accessories, it’s time to get in the water. The cost of diving greatly varies based on where you are on the globe, but the basic cost is the same worldwide.
A basic dive will cost you around USD 80/day, although most services providers offer a minimal discount for divers who opt for 3-day or more packages, or come in large groups (this cost generally includes the cost of a scuba guide). For those who don’t own scuba gear, add that to the mix and this cost will go upwards of an additional USD 120.
If you’re not one to stick with a crowd and would prefer to charter a private scuba adventure, a full day can break bank by costing around USD 1,000.
If you have a long weekend, or simply love scuba diving, you may consider renting a liveaboard. However, this does not come cheap. The average daily cost of a liveaboard is around USD 200 – stay onboard for a week and you’re down by nearly USD 1,500.
By this point, your brain is probably dizzy with all the numbers being thrown at you, so let’s start putting all this together.
The basic certification is costing you an average of USD 450. If scuba is a lifelong commitment for you, you’re likely to purchase your own equipment, and whether its new or secondhand, it’ll cost you anywhere between USD 760- 5,185 depending on the quality and other specifications you opted for. The diving cost is between USD 80-200/day. Each rental is an additional USD 200.
Right now, all you’re looking at is the cost of the equipment. You’re mentally breaking it down to find out how much of your income is going to be taken up just to purchase the equipment, and how many days you’ll have to survive on boiled rice. In your head, rentals seem like the better option. A 2-day scuba dive with the rental package sounds so much more economical because the cost looks significantly smaller than that of buying your own equipment – which is an investment.
But scuba diving is no ordinary activity. It’s a way of living and if you think of it this way, you need to invest now. Rentals are definitely cheaper in the short term, but if you’re in it for the long run – buy!
Scuba diving allows you to enter a realm that is magical and almost otherworldly. Once you’re hooked, you may end up going scuba diving every weekend if you’re close by, or plan your vacations so that you can indulge in this newfound love of the ocean.
At the end of a year, your scuba expenses for just rentals may go up to USD 20,000 which is around 4 times what buying your own equipment would’ve cost you. 2 years later and you’re down another USD 20,000. We can bet that the expense of USD 5,000 will not look so shabby then.
If the cost of the equipment seems to high to you, you can opt and compromise on quality. Opt for midrange equipment and within a year only, you will have still saved yourself nearly USD 15,000.
At the end of the day, if you’re someone who is interested in scuba diving, you know beforehand that it’s an expensive sport. Even if you opt for it semi-frequently, having your own equipment, best suited to your needs is likely to be friendlier on the pocket than going for many times used rentals.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of diving as a sport and a profession is the sheer amount of gear necessary to complete a dive. While some of these items are simply to enhance the experience, like proper fins, just the right wetsuit, or non-fogging goggles, others have a more serious purpose: keeping you alive.
For experienced divers and newbies, alike, it may seem overwhelming to be on the market for the tech that you need to be safe under water. After all, you don’t want to find out you made the wrong choice after spending all of that money or, worse, when you’re out there in the field.
But don’t worry. The market today offers a huge variety of quality products that have been rigorously tested and approved. And we’re here to help you make the best decisions about tech that will ease any concerns you have about safety. That way, you can focus on a great dive.
Here’s a quick overview of the scuba nitrox and oxygen analyzers we review for you below. Check them out here if you’re in a hurry!
Before we check out the details about each of these devices, let’s have a look first why you need an oxygen analyzer when you go scuba diving!
There’s nothing quite as important during a dive as the air you breathe, which is why finding the right oxygen analyzer is a must. These devices, often portable and hand-held, are able to read the gas content in the tank so that you can be sure that what you’re breathing is safe.
Without getting too technical, an oxygen analyzer, also called a nitrox analyzer, works like this: air from the tank is pulled through the device where it reacts chemically with an agent, the oxygen sensor, inside. The reaction produces an electrical current that can then be read by the sensor to tell you whether your mixture matches what the manufacturer promised.
It may seem redundant to own an oxygen analyzer when the distributor undoubtedly tests the air mixture multiple times before selling it to you. Yet, considering the gravity that a mistake on the part of the manufacturer would be, it’s pretty standard practice to check the mixture yourself before diving. After all, if the oxygen content is even one percent off of what you need for your dive, you could be facing critical issues.
While the technology inside may seem complicated, modern oxygen analyzers are incredibly easy to use. Most feature a simple interface, a couple of buttons, and, of course, the inlet which can pull gas from the BC or directly from the tank. Make sure to have a few batteries on-hand or charge your device ahead of time and you’ll be ready to get started!
1. Calibrate – This step is important. You should be calibrating the device for each use, and it generally only takes a few moments to do so. On many analyzers, you can simply hold down the calibration button and wait for it to do the work.
2. Open the valve on the tank – You want a slow steady stream of gas so that you can get a consistent reading.
3. Get your reading – Cover the open valve with the corresponding intake on the analyzer and leave it on for a few seconds. You’ll know you’re within a few tenths of your accurate reading when the analyzer begins to slow and stop changing numbers.
4. Make sure the level is where you want it – Many recreational divers make use of Nitrox, which tends to be about 21% oxygen. That said, some mixtures can range from 22% to 40%, so check with the manufacturer to figure out whether your reading matches the correct level.
And that’s it! You’re ready to dive!
There are a lot of analyzers out there, so you want to do your research before making a purchase. In general, you’re going to spend somewhere between $200 and $400. The sensor inside will need to be replaced after 36 months for around $80. So what’s popular on the market right now?
âThiï»¿s nitrox analyzeï»¿r is designed with simplicity in mind. It comes in the shape of a stick which makes it easy to transport and bring with you. The best part about it is that it’s designed for use with a single hand.
Both battery and sensor are replaceable to ensure your investment into the device is safe. The Nuvair O2 Quickstick comes with a one year warranty on the device and a two year warranty on the sensor.
This device is simple, ergonomically-designed, and built to last. Only 2 AA batteries will provide up to 5,000 hours of use, so you never have to worry about recharging when you’re out on the boat.
Highly rated, this analyzer is a favorite for many divers. The MaxO2+A Scuba comes with a two-year warranty.
Produced by Analox, this analyzer is even more aesthetic than the MaxO2 and comes in a variety of colors. It can test air from the B.C. or the tank directly, giving you more control on how you test your oxygen.
The O2EII Pro Nitrox Analyzer comes with a three year warranty.
What sets this device apart is its ability to analyze both Oxygen and Carbon Monoxide. It can be used with or without a smartphone app that can log your oxygen levels, and charges by USB.
You get the Cootwo Dual Gas Analyzer, a carrying case, and the charging cord.
Now that you have the safety of a quality oxygen analyzer, you’re ready to get in the water. With the peace of mind that a reliable piece of technology like this can bring you, you’re sure to have an excellent and safe dive!
As you’ve probably already guessed, the cost of scuba diving and your certification varies depending on many factors. The price will depend on where you plan to dive, and whether it is off-season or in-season.
We’re not going to leave you without an answer though. Here are some estimates on what you should expect to spend.
Remember, scuba diving is not the cheapest hobby, but the price seems unimportant once you slide underwater and see all of the beauty surrounding you.
Getting certified to scuba dive is becoming more popular every year. We get asked for prices constantly. As we mentioned before, there is no exact answer. It will depend on what type of training you want, where, and when. Following is a list of estimated costs for scuba certification to give you an idea.
The first part of your diving certification program is done in the classroom. You learn the basics of diving and get a good understanding of what to expect. You can do the academic portion of your training online instead of in a classroom. The online course costs $185. If you want to get the textbook and a DVD, you will pay $146.
You need to start in a safe place to learn how your equipment works, which is done in a swimming pool. The pool dive section of your training costs $190 for adult divers and $205 for children. The children’s class is usually smaller, resulting in a higher price. If you choose to do this section of your training at another training facility, or pool, you will need to check their pricing.
Practicing in open water if the final phase of your scuba diving certification training. It requires four dives to complete the section of training. Prices for scuba diving vary greatly depending on location. You should expect your costs to be around $200 to $250.
If we combine the costs of your classroom/online training, pool dives, and open water dives, your total cost for your scuba diving certification will cost between $350 to $450. Some trainers offer a complete package at a single price, but you should still estimate your total price will be between those numbers.
Are you planning to buy your own scuba gear after you finish your certification, or to continue renting? Renting equipment is cheaper up front, but if you dive frequently, the cost of buying may be cheaper. The prices of diving gear vary greatly depending on the equipment you choose, and whether you buy new or used equipment when you rent.
You should plan on buying your own mask, fins, and a snorkel. Many instructors require you to buy this equipment before starting. You may want to buy your own dive computer, too. It is easier to learn how to use one dive computer and use it continually, than learning to use a different brand at each dive location.
To just get the basics, without the computer, you should expect to pay around $150 to $200. If you want to get fully outfitted, which would include the mask, fins, snorkel, BCD, dive computer, and a scuba regulator, you could spend over $1000.
If you are trying to save money, do not try to save it on the regulator. Your regulator can be the difference between life and death. Ask your dive instructor and dive shop for recommendations for a high-quality regulator. This same advice applies to all of your gear, quality is critical.
Just getting your basic gear is not the end of your shopping. You may want to invest in a wetsuit, dive watch, a dive bag, and other diving accessories. If you are like most divers, you collect these things over time as your budget allows. The basics will get you started and you can add accessories along the way.
Once you have that certification in hand, you are going to be itching to go diving. You can already picture that first tropical dive. The most popular dives are a 2 tank boat dives. Your costs will vary depending on location, time of the year, and the operator.
For a Caribbean outing, you should estimate paying around $75 to $!30 for a 2 tank boat dive, with most operators charging closer to $75. You can find cheaper dives at international destinations, with dive prices dipping to around $50.
Renting your equipment will add a little more to the diving expenses. You should expect a full set of rental gear to cost about $25 to $50 for the day. A few operators include the price in their fees, but that is not common. If you are doing an entire week of diving, ask about weekly rental discounts, offered by most dive shops.
Scuba diving is not the cheapest hobby, but it is one of the most rewarding. There is not other hobby that will give you the level of adventure and memories that scuba diving provides.
We’ve had the British culture swap over to the US on several occasions. Is it time now for the next big thing? It’s something called a ‘sport’ but honestly all it looks seems to be a ton of fun. Well, if you like to be in a bog that is…
Bog snorkelling is one of those activities where you have to be a little crazy, probably a little drunk and just looking to have a good time. What is it you might ask?
It’s exactly what it says. You have to snorkel through a swamp (bog). And the ‘sport’ is around for over 30 years by now and there’s even a World Bog Snorkelling Championship. Maybe if you practice a lot and train hard you might become the Tom Brady of Bog Snorkelling. Up for the challenge?
Image by Ethreon, on Flickr
All you need is a snorkel mask and, you guessed it, a snorkel. Oh yes, you also should not mind getting muddy. Other qualification? None really. Probably you should be a little whacky.
The next World Championship is ;scheduled for this year in August in Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales, UK. This year they will be on Sunday, August 25, 2019. It’ll be the 34th World Bok Snorkeling Championships! Find a swamp and start to practice. There’re still a few months to get ready to compete. If you want to register then have a look here to find out all the details!
Over the last few years participants from a number of different countries started to participate, making this a true World Championship. Contenders came from the UK, Germany, Sweden, Eire, Czech Republic, and Australia. Maybe this year there’ll be some folks from the US and Canada to compete for the title?
Oh, and if you look for a swamp then don’t think of practicing in the Everglades. The Gators’ are faster than you can snorkel… No matter how much you practice. Pick a cooler, muddier spot.
Image by Emma, on Flickr
One other thing. You might get an advantage by using a full-face snorkelling mask. Makes breathing so much easier! Would that make a difference? Bog-snorkelers, can you share your experiences with us and leave a comment whether it’s better to use full face snorkeling masks or traditional snorkel goggles and a snorkel?