Alright so you want to take up snorkeling but you’ve never owned any gear.
Or you’ve owned gear for a while and it’s time for an upgrade.
We work hard for our money and we want to know it’s well spent.
So where should you start, do you buy online or visit your local dive shop? Well don’t let the thought slow you down as we are here to help.
Check out our list on where to grab your snorkeling gear and find which works for you best!
#1 Local Dive Shop
If you're new to snorkeling shopping at your local dive shop is a reliable start to acquiring your gear. Reason being is you are assisted by sales staff who are experienced in the field and knowledgeable about their products. When I first bought snorkel gear I was unaware of how a snorkel mask should fit my face. I was helped by a gentleman who walked me step by step in the direction to purchasing the perfect mask. He proceeded showing me different snorkel products and explained that there are three different types of snorkels and then recommend tips on how to defog my mask. I was relieved that I got so many pointers and gear that suits me best. Going into the shop truly helped me when I first started getting into snorkeling.
Even if you are an avid snorkeler, going to your local dive shop is still beneficial. It’s nice to be able to see all the brands that are on the market and physically try on what you are interested in. The sales staff can also help you understand the new and upcoming products and what features make them different from the rest. It is also nice to know that most shops will accept an exchange on your product even when used (make sure to clarify when purchasing).
Beginner snorkeler or not, it's good to be a conscience consumer and support your local businesses.
Shopping on Amazon is a convenient and quick way to get your gear. Especially if you have Amazon Prime. But if you are looking to get gear quick say for something like a vacation, be mindful that what you purchase may not fit or look as you expected. Pictures online can be tricky, so try and plan ahead of time if your thinking of buying online.
Shopping on Amazon doesn't come with a personal shopper but it comes with reviews from previous purchasers. These comments are quite helpful as some people go in depth about their physical features and how certain products fit them. Make sure to read the reviews and use your best discretion.
Amazon is also very efficient when your looking for a specific brand or model. Dive shops don't carry every vendor there is. Yet you can pretty much find anything you're looking for when typing it in on Amazon's' search engine. You can compare prices of used and brand new items too.
All of our favorite gear that can be found on Amazon can also be found on our main Fin Bin snorkel gear guide.
#3 Play it Again Sports
If you're looking for used gear at a good price then Play it Again Sports is your jam! Sometimes people buy a whole set of snorkel gear for a vacation and never use it again. So they end up selling it at Play it Again. That’s your chance for a come up on some snorkel loot! I’ve found some good snorkels, masks and fins while shopping at the second hand store.
When looking for snorkel gear at Play it Again Sports you should find a store location that is close to a beach. The beach stores demographic caters to snorkel sales better than if you were nowhere near the ocean. Don’t shop here if you are looking for a specific brand or model of gear. It’s basically like you're looking for treasure and sometimes you find some gold!
Oh good ol' Craigslist, the best place for free and cheap gear. When you're looking for gear on Craigslist the trick is to check persistently. Make sure to check multiple categories such as snorkel for sale or dive for sale. I've had my best luck on Craigslist with getting gear and I've personally never run into any to scams while looking. But be very alert and flag anything that may seem fishy to you. If you do pick up gear from anyone try and meet them at a popular meeting place like Starbucks, just to be safe.
So many people use Craigslist as a convenient way to get rid of their gear. You may even get lucky by posting your own listing explaining what it is your looking for. Sometimes people are looking to give away free gear and may come across your listing and link you to something that will get you closer to snorkel goodies!
#5 House of Scuba
House of Scuba is a dive shop with a physical and online store. It is one of the top dive retailers online due to its' massive inventory. Their products range from inexpensive quality gear to top of the line. They carry most of the popular dive brands like ScubaPro and Cressi, both make great functional and lasting gear. What's nice about this shop is they will match mostly any competitors price you give them. As long as you can show proof of the price and if that price is before shipping.
I personally used to work for this company in San Diego and they are on top of their customer service. If you email them a question about a product it will get responded to that day. Just like when something is ordered online it is shipped out that day too. I may be biased from working there, but it is a great shop with a wide inventory and knowledgeable staff.
If your going on vacation and need gear for one time use and don't have time to rent it, then you should check out Costco. They sell snorkel sets that come with a mask, snorkel and fins. It's good for a couple uses but may not be something you should purchase if your looking to turn the sport into a hobby. But these snorkel sets are great because they come with all you need for a cheap price.
So it all just depends if you’re looking for quality gear, certain brands, or something cheap when your looking to purchase snorkel products. Hopefully this list helps you gets you more familiar with your needs when it comes to looking to buy your snorkel gear.