Flotation Vest for Snorkeling?


Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:04 PM
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Flotation Vest for Snorkeling?

I am able to swim in shallow waters reasonably but am not confident in deeper sea waters (greater than 6 feet). I have never snorkeled before, but am keen to try during my upcoming visit to Maui in April. I plan to snorkel at the following locations - Honolua Bay, Black Rock, Chang's Beach, Palauea Beach.

Would I require a flotation vest (there's one advertised for $65 on Snorkel Bob's website) or can I limit my snorkeling to the shallow end of the beach & still find interesting marine life?

I would appreciate all opinions.
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Feb 24th, 2006, 02:49 AM
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Here's one that I bought that is a little more reasonable.
Budman is offline  
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Feb 24th, 2006, 05:54 AM
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I would try ebay for one. I was absolutley shocked those would cost $65 and still wouldn't pay $35 for one.

I use them on snorkle trips so that I can just relax and float and then can dive down if I want. They do work very well. If you are just jumping in the water at these places then you will need one, but if you are going with a snorkeling company, they usually have them to loan.
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Feb 24th, 2006, 06:11 AM
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I have never snorkeled in hawaii...but did in St. john in the us virgin islands. I am not a confident swimmer, (I often say that if I had to swim from one end of a pool to the other, I would drown on the way back). So when we decided to go snorkeling I wanted a vest! We rented one. However, I ended up not needing it at all-I actually found it to be uncomfortable when trying to snorkel because it kept you from getting your face into the water properly. I didnt need the vest at all once I got my head in the water and with fins on it is so much easier to swim! So I say, dont buy one, rent one and see if you even need it.
steviegene is offline  
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Feb 24th, 2006, 08:05 AM
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I was just going to suggest renting one and seeing if you liked it; I think that you will find yourself not really needing/wanting to wear one.
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Feb 24th, 2006, 08:10 AM
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Snorkel Bob rents equipment all over Hawaii. You can even rent at shop on one island and return it to another island. You can rent each piece you need, including the vest. Check them out
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Feb 24th, 2006, 08:24 AM
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If your April trip will be your first snorkel experience, rental equipment (including a vest) should be fine.

Once you become hooked, purchasing your own snorkel equipment is a good investment. Plus, if you have access to a swimming pool, you can practice and build confidence.

Woody is offline  
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Feb 24th, 2006, 08:35 AM
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You might also try a belt - I, too, am not an overly confident swimmer in deep waters, and used the belt my first time snorkeling and didn't think twice! They are more affordable than a vest - I believe I got mine from for about $20.00. Think they're called waterski belts? My first one was provided by the boat I did a daysail on, so I'm sure they're likely to be available in where vests are on island.
seasweetie is offline  
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Feb 24th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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I've also been on snorkel boats where they use those bright colored styrofoam noodles, and just hook it under your arms. Don't know how convenient that would be to carry around tho.
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Feb 24th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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The nice part about the snorkeling vests is that they can easily be deflated if you want to dive down to invesitgate something further. If you have no intention of getting your snorkle under the water, then a belt or even one of the boat's life jackets (they will definitly have those on board!) will be just fine for you.
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Feb 24th, 2006, 01:04 PM
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the vest at overtons is 39.99 you can get one for 29.95 from and they are identified as a snorkel vest
virginia is offline  
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Feb 24th, 2006, 01:49 PM
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Do they make schwimfloogels for adults? Those are little blow-up donut-shaped devices that kids slip their arms into. They settle on their upper arms and keep them afloat. They cost less than $5 for a pair. I've also used a raft.
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Feb 24th, 2006, 03:28 PM
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I love to snorkel and am not a good swimmer, so I always wear a flotation vest. All that's needed in the vest is a couple of puffs of air; anymore than that and it will keep you too buoyant. But, having it certainly increases my comfort level in the water, especially in Hawaii where the currents are a factor to keep in mind, even in fairly shallow water.
If you don't want to spring for purchasing a vest, rent one at Snorkel Bob's, as suggested.
rjscott is offline  
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Feb 24th, 2006, 03:43 PM
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virginia: If you check, you'll see that is the price for a kid size. That site says they are out of X-Lg @ $34.95 and do have Lg in-stock at $32.95.

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Feb 24th, 2006, 04:41 PM
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We have snorkeled at all of these sites. I'm not a great swimmer, and feel more secure, with something. We rented kick board and snorkel equipment at snorkel bob's. Very cheap to rent for the week. A kick board is all that you need. Just float with it in front of you, when you are tried you can lie across it. Work's well. Have fun. We will be there in May also.
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Feb 24th, 2006, 05:02 PM
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I always bring a kick board with me when I snorkle. I can swim, but for me it is mainly a security blanket type of thing. I get a board that attaches to my wrist with a cord, so I am free to swim without constantly holding on to the board. You will love snorkeling!
wtm003 is offline  
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Feb 27th, 2006, 08:10 PM
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Thanks to all for the suggestions. I now plan to either rent a snorkel vest or purchase a small boogie board. Any ideas on what it would cost to purchase a small boogie board in Walmart/Kmart?
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