We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Snorkel Equipemt - Rent or Buy?

Which Kailua-Kona hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Washington DC...
Level Contributor
138 posts
29 reviews
Save Topic
Snorkel Equipemt - Rent or Buy?

In the Kona area, are there places where one can rent Snorkel gear, or would it be best to buy before we come out? Costco has a set for $50 a pop, which seems reasonable... but we live in AZ and don't imagine that we'll use them again anytime soon.

Keno, OR
Level Contributor
412 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Snorkel Equipemt - Rent or Buy?

For our first snorkeling adventure, we rented gear from Snorkel Bob's (on Kauai, then took everything with us to the Big Island and turned it in at their shop there in Kona). I had taken my own, dry, not-previously-used snorkel along, and it was great, so we bought one for my husband before our next trip. My poor husband sports a lovely moustache, and had LOTS of trouble getting any snorkel mask to fit. We tried several options for him, and Snorkel Bob's staff was always friendly and helpful.

We did also buy a US Diver's set from Costco--the short, wider fins are much better than the rental ones (I especially like the open backs--less sand and gravel gets trapped there, and they have an adjustable strap so the whole fin fits better). However, we didn't care for the mask that came in the kit--some people are harder to "fit" than others, and we both had to have extensive help from the "experts" at Snorkel Bob's. The biggest problem that I see with buying your own gear is that you have to lug it along in your luggage, and it takes up considerable room. Also, you might spend quite a bit of money and still have to change masks once you get there, if the masks were as much trouble as ours were. (I ended up renting from Snorkel Bob's several times, then found a great mask, and bought it from them, for only $5 more than my rental price). Be sure, whatever you do, to get the anti-fog goop from them (it's the best we've tried, and much superior to the mask spray from US Divers--it's available from their website, or they provide it free of charge, if you rent from them).

Regardless, you are going to a super cool place to snorkel, so you are sure to have a absolutely fantastic time! Take some disposable, underwater cameras along too--last time we used 7 in 3 days!

Palm Springs...
Level Contributor
11,440 posts
103 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Snorkel Equipemt - Rent or Buy?

nothing is better than a good mask and nothing is worse than a poor one.

Think of the money you spent , flight, condo, car, food and youwant to argue about a tool that will enable you to see all the underwater jewels heere to save a few bucks...............it is penny wise and pound foolish to cheat your experience...... get the best and enjoy the best snorkeling in the entire Hawaiian islands...........dont short yourself

Spend under 75 and get somthiing qualiity......costco aint it.....go to a local diive shop...even arizona has them..... cost co is second rate gear for full rate priice...no deal

austin, texas
Level Contributor
580 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Snorkel Equipemt - Rent or Buy?

I'd definitely get your own if you are going to be in there for any appreciable length of time. It's just not worth the hassle of returning things if you can go when you want to.

Kauai, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Kapaa
Level Contributor
23,518 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Snorkel Equipemt - Rent or Buy?

Actually, HD, the costco fins and snorkel are quite good for the average snorkeler. The set is a good price even if you toss the mask, which I did. (I have a good one.) One nice thing about the USDivers fins is that they're very light, although stiff, and shorter than older fins, which makes for easy packing and toting. They also have the ankle strap, much better than full-foot, IMHO. I've found it somewhat difficult to find ankle-strap snorkel fins.