Buy or rent snorkeling equipment ???

Nov 2nd, 2007, 08:40 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
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Buy or rent snorkeling equipment ???

Hi. Wondering if it is necessary to purchase our own snorkeling equipment for our trip to the Keys.
We plan to go on a couple outings. Is there good snorkeling around the Keys itself?
jayne414 is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 09:21 AM
  #2  
 
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We had to go on a snorkeling tour offshore to get any good snorkeling. They did provide gear, but we always just bring our own since we have it. My husband freaked me out when we came up to the surface, and he said ominously, "Did you see it?" There was a pretty big nurse shark right under me that I hadn't noticed; the guide said they won't attack you unless provoked, so I just stayed clear, but it was cool to see it. The water was really beautiful. I would think that any company that takes you out would provide gear for you.
volcanogirl is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 09:25 AM
  #3  
syd
 
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I'd rent gear, but I do bring my own universal mouthpiece insert.
syd is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 10:40 AM
  #4  
 
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I always rent gear, because I don't want to deal with the hassels of carrying it aboard the airplane. Most places have decent equipment - of course, for reasonable prices.

I wouldn't go out to buy new gear just for a one time vacation trip.

I like the idea of a universal mouthpeace!

nanabee is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 11:26 AM
  #5  
 
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Renting has always been the easiest and cheapest way for me to go. You don't have to lug a bunch of extra luggage or worry about it getting lost or stolen. My favorite location is Key Biscayne, and it has lots of rental shacks for snorkeling gear.
hectornunez44 is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 11:36 AM
  #6  
 
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As a former scuba instructor, I suggest you purchase your own mask & snorkel, and rent fins.

Masks must fit well and a good low-volume silicone mask will dramatically improve your experience.

Rental masks often leak and are high-vulume, low quality.

A good snorkel with a purge valve is worth the money -- like a mask, it doesn't take up much space in your luggage.

Fins? They're big & cumbersome and "rentable." Just make sure you get a pair that suits your style -- firm or soft, for example. I hate fins that are to flexible so when I rent I'm very careful.

Enjoy!
Gekko is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 03:08 PM
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I agree; we always leave the fins at home because they're too bulky, but the mask and snorkel don't take up much room. We do a lot of island trips, so having our own gear is worth it. Maybe it depends upon if you think you'll use it again very often in the future.
volcanogirl is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 03:34 PM
  #8  
 
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Click on your name to see your posts. You don't have to repost.
shoefly is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 03:58 PM
  #9  
 
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I agree with Gekko.

A quality mask that actually fits your face will do a lot to improve your experience. Hassling with a leaky mask is a pain. A decent snorkel will also prevent the sea from filling your mouth. My wife and I went to a scuba shop, got fitted for the right mask and got decent snorkels and haven't regretted it one bit. Did the same for our 17 year old daughter several years ago.

Stay away from purchasing those packs of snorkel-mask combos that are prepackaged and sold at your nearest sporting goods store. Go to a scuba shop and actually get fitted.
furledleader is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 07:06 PM
  #10  
 
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furled, how much did it cost you to get fitted and purchase your gear?
volcanogirl is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 07:14 PM
  #11  
TahitiTams
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Totally agree with Gekko and the others.. buy your mask/snorkel and rent fins.
I take my mask and snorkel everywhere there is a great beach..
Have fun in the Keys.
 
Nov 4th, 2007, 12:04 PM
  #12  
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Thanks everyone!
jayne414 is offline  
Nov 4th, 2007, 12:57 PM
  #13  
 
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I like to bring my own gear for scuba and snorkeling (except tanks).

The fins can easily fit laid between clothes in a suitcase. I prefer my own due to knee issues. I also like to go fairly fast thru the water and some fins will slow you down.
I also find that b/c I'm smallish, I usually end up with cheap and abused kids gear when renting.

As said, a mask needs to fit properly, otherwise you'll end up constantly emptying the thing or getting fogged etc. - real PIA.

B/c the mask and snorkel are the most important and don't take up much room, I carry those with me.

Although not entirely nec., I have a purge very tall snorkel with a bend to prevent water from getting in. A good dive shop will set you up.
Where off the keys will you be snorkeling?
cybor is offline  
Nov 4th, 2007, 03:42 PM
  #14  
 
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I bought mine at a dive superstore in the Keys and have taken it along for every tropical vacation since. My snorkel bag IS my carryon bag
starrsville is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 01:04 PM
  #15  
mrt
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Do you want to put a snorkel in your mouth that has been in about 1,000 others?
mrt is offline  
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