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Dry or semi-dry snorkel?

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Denver,CO
Level Contributor
37 posts
4 reviews
Dry or semi-dry snorkel?

Planning on buying some snorkel gear for our trip to Coz at the end of June. Is a "Dry" or "Semi-dry" snorkel better? Heard both sides. I'm wondering if I free dive down, will the buoyancy of the air in the snorkel tend to pull it from my mouth or is it even a problem to be concerned with?

Would anyone recommend SnorkelMart.com to purchase the gear?

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
2,190 posts
38 reviews
1. Re: Dry or semi-dry snorkel?

I, too, am wondering about snorkel gear. We are very novice snorkelers and really don't want to go to a large expense of purchasing snorkel equipement nor do we really want to travel with it. Can the gear be rented there on the island/at the resort?

Michigan
Level Contributor
943 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Dry or semi-dry snorkel?

hey girlfromtx....I would buy it... really a properly fitting mask and snorkel do not take up much room in the bag.... If you rent anything, just rent the fins.

I guess I don't like to put my mouth on used equipment and I don't like a mask that leaks, but that is just my preference. Check your local sporting goods store. Dive shops will have them also but may be more expensive yet.

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
2,190 posts
38 reviews
3. Re: Dry or semi-dry snorkel?

ok...I once read how to check if a mask fits well...but I don't remember...can you give me some pointers? what about the snorkel?

Minneapolis
Level Contributor
283 posts
43 reviews
4. Re: Dry or semi-dry snorkel?

I have to agree with "buy your own". It is not a terribly expensive purchase, when you look at the cost of your trip and you would hate it if you weren't able to enjoy snorkeling due to a leaky mask. The biggest reason to go to Cozumel is the water sports, so be sure you can enjoy them.

I did order ours online many years ago and they worked fine, but I didn't go with the cheapest mask and fins. The snorkel was inexpensive, maybe $10, and that is pushing it, but the mask and fins I spent a bit more on. I didn't spend $100 on a mask (until we started diving, I didn't want any leaks at all), I think I spent about $60 on fins/mask/snorkel.

I think fins are important because of many things. If you want to have a dive sock on you will need an open heel and the sock is great so you can easily get into the water to put on your fins without hurting your feet. Also, the better the fin, the less work you will have to exert to get to where you want to be in the water. Strong currents can make your legs tire quicker.

As for the semi-dry vs. dry...for me, it doesn't matter, but I feel that the dry is cumbersome.

Minneapolis
Level Contributor
283 posts
43 reviews
5. Re: Dry or semi-dry snorkel?

To see if a mask fits well, put it against your face, without the straps and breath in to form a suction, if the mask stays in place and you don't notice gaps, it is a good fit. But you also want to compare, some have better visual area's than others too. Some just seem to feel more comfortable, less weight.

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
2,190 posts
38 reviews
6. Re: Dry or semi-dry snorkel?

Thanks so much for the great info...

the only problem we have here is, it is a small town...only have a Wal-Mart to purchase such items. The big city is about 1 1/2 hours away and not much time on the weekend to make such a trip, especially since our vacation is coming in about 3 1/2 weeks. I will do my best...hopefully can hit an Academy before then...even then, I am not sure you can take the mask out of the package...before you buy it. I think the most important issue is the snorkel...no one really wants to put one in their mouth that has been in someone elses mouth...yuck...

I have snorkeled in the Playa de Carmen area, and used the tour operators masks, but bought my own snorkel. The mask was fine for what we were doing...but like I said..we are very novice, and could have possibly liked snorkeling even more if the equipment was better.

UGH!!! I guess I will do my best to find the right stuff...

Thanks again for the info!

Michigan
Level Contributor
943 posts
3 reviews
7. Re: Dry or semi-dry snorkel?

Maybe you can buy one while you are in Cozumel. Maybe soemone on the board can recomend a shop to go to in town to purchase one?

By the way, my husband has a semi dry and he likes it. I just have a basic snorkel with the purge at the bottom. sometimes when we were snorkeling in rougher water the waves will come over and I have sucked in water a couple times... Although this didn't happen to me in Coz becasue the water was very calm most days. I am looking ot upgrade to a dry or semi-dry myself. I can not stand swallowing saltwater. Gag. ;-)

Cozumel Island
Level Contributor
633 posts
8. Re: Dry or semi-dry snorkel?

You should buy your own mask and snorkel. You can get good quality masks, down here, for around $30USD.

Phoenix, Az
Level Contributor
279 posts
2 reviews
9. Re: Dry or semi-dry snorkel?

I and my wife, own a dry snorkel, (looks identical to the dry snorkel on Snorkelmart)and would never snorkel with any other type now. Getting sea water in your mouth tastes awful.

As far as it affecting you trying to free dive... I don't think so. The amount of float in the tube that seals the snorkel is about the size of 1/2 a pack of matches. Air will drain out the tube and you won't notice... sort of a 1 way valve.

Is it foolproof... no, but 99% of the time there isn't even a hint of water in the barrel of the snorkel. I free dove down to approximately 25-30 feet a month ago with no problems.... keep in mind that the "clip" on the side affixes to the mask strap and holds it near your mouth.

If you get a dry snorkel/ mask you will be pleased with the purchase... however there are other items which I recommend with it, not a necessity, but make it work better. Get the mask accessory the neoprene mask strap... much more comfortable and strap won't pull hair when pulling mask off. Also recommend the Sea gold mask defog. A single drop will keep your mask from fogging - it beats saliva. **note less is more with Sea gold... if you get too much in the mask and don't rinse it well (should it get into your eye it stings a LOT). ** I am just about out of my bottle from 3 years ago...

If you take care of your mask, and rinse it in fresh water after use, and keep it in a container when storing making sure it isn't bent at all, a mask should last you no less than 6 years (at least by my experience). I think most of the shops rent you gear for $10. Owning your own is a small price to pay. As far as buying on Cozumel... you can do that, but I thought the masks there were a bit more expensive than in the US. Kind of like buying sunscreen on vacation... slightly more money for same thing.

Fit is the MOST important thing in a mask... I do try to recommend trying it on for sizing. The way to fit a mask, push it to your face, breathe in slightly through your nose until it is snug... then it should hold itself there without you holding it. Don't use the strap during this process. If mask stays it's good for your face. I don't care if it is a $100 mask or a $20 one... if it fits like this, it is all you need. Mine was $50

kslamazoo, MI
Level Contributor
56 posts
10. Re: Dry or semi-dry snorkel?

My girlfriend and I both have dry types and love them, they don't seem to be too cumbersome in a free dive. I recommend the guys

@ Scuba.com. Had really good luck with them. I bought an Ocean

Master mask and had them fit prescription lenses in it for me (just

provided info from optometrist) and it is perfect. cost w/lenses was

about $100.00 USD. IF ANYTHING take your own snorkle, I don't like putting someone elses in MY mouth. I got a combo deal for

Michelle (mask, fins,snorkle) for about $90 US shipped.