Telephone: 01342 347277
Customizing your snorkeling kit for the perfect fit
Setting up your mask is easy, you need adjust the strap so that the mask creates a good seal but make sure it's not over tight. Next you should apply some tooth paste to the inside of the lens of your snorkeling mask and rub this around, once done, wash out, this will help to stop your snorkeling mask fogging.
You will need to attach the snorkel keeper onto the mask strap, one of our quick release snorkel keepers is the most convenient way to do this because it allows you to separate the mask and snorkel easily. The snorkel should be positioned on the outside of the mask strap on the left hand side.
Putting On your Snorkeling Equipment
Your Snorkeling Mask
If you are using anti fog then spray the inside of the mask with a small
Setting up your snorkel is simple, simply slide the snorkel in its snorkel
Your Snorkeling Fins
If you have full foot fins, then simply wet the foot pocket then slide them on.
Entering The Water
1. If you are entering from a boat, slide gently over side, lowering
When snorkeling, as you descend your snorkel will fill with water, this is normal and not a problem. If you have a dry snorkel this will prevent most of the water entering the snorkel but you will find a small amount will still get into the snorkel. Most modern snorkels are fitted with drain valve which makes clearing them easier simply breath out and the water should drain out of the snorkel.
If you do not have a drain valve fitted in your snorkel then you will have to clear the water with a short powerful breath to expel the water from the top of the snorkel.
If you don't have enough puff left to clear your snorkel simply remove the snorkel from your mouth at the surface, take a breath, then clear.
Kicking Your Snorkeling Fins
Your snorkeling fins are designed to power you through the water. The best way to fin is in a relaxed manor, this will get you through the water just as quickly as if you are really pushing hard but you won't get tired out so you will have more fun.
The best fining technique is to kick from the hip with your knees slightly bent but try and avoid a cycling action. Your toes should be pointed in the opposite direction from where you want to go. Ensure you keep your face in the water and keep as streamlined as possible. If you follow these tips on how to get the best out of your fins you will soon be zooming through the water with ease.
As you dive down under the water you will notice that you feel a squeeze on your ears, this is pressure building in your ears, to release this pressure simply squeeze your nose sealing your nostrils then gently blow out through your nose, this will equalize your ears, you will feel a small pop or adjustment in pressure.
If you experience any difficulty or pain, do not keep trying, return to the surface. You should never get to the point where your ears hurt. You should equalize every few feet to avoid injury.
Sometimes after flying or if you have had a cold recently your ears could be a little "sticky", be patient and they will soon clear without any pain or discomfort.
Clearing Your Snorkeling Mask
While snorkeling, your mask may allow small amounts of water to leak in, usually due to movement in your face due to smiling, this water can become annoying if left.
Safety in the water is paramount, but following some simple rules you can avoid most potentially dangerous situations.
When snorkeling remember the aquatic world is a very fragile environment and is the home of the marine life you are watching. Respect this home. Avoid contact or touching anything, especially be aware of how your fining action can damage fragile coral. Avoid holding onto anything - things may look like rocks but they may be sensitive coral which your touch could kill or as many people will confirm, it could be coral such as fire coral, which will leave you with a nasty painful rash.
Watch that your snorkeling fins are not dipping too low - just because you cannot feel the tips of them doesn't mean they cannot destroy fragile plants and animals which they are in contact with. Many marine parks now forbid snorkelers to wear gloves as you will be less likely to touch the coral with bear hands.
There are charities and organizations that run coral reef conservation expeditions where you can learn and contribute to the science of coral reef ecology. Check out if your holiday resort has any local activities that will teach you more about coral reefs.
Most diving centres offer snorkeling training and although you can go snorkeling without any instruction, you can learn many valuable safety tips and ways to improve your snorkeling technique that will add to your enjoyment of snorkeling. Some of the things you may learn by enrolling in a snorkeling course.
More Information on Snorkeling Equipment
Your mask is an essential piece of snorkeling and diving equipment, creating an air space in front of your eyes and allowing you to focus underwater. Your snorkeling mask also enclose the nose in a pocket, so you can equalize your ears as you descend underwater. It is imperative to have a comfortable watertight snorkeling or diving mask to enjoy your time in the water or dive. A good quality snorkeling mask with silicone seal will mould to your face shape so it will become a very personal piece of snorkeling equipment
Fitting Your Snorkeling Mask
If possible try to get your mask to seal snorkel in your mouth this will ensure you get a good seal when snorkeling. Next check that you can pinch your nose and gently blow to clear or pop your ears. This is called equalizing. If you are wearing snorkeling gloves on, check that you can still equalize with snorkeling gloves on.
If the mask you have purchased from Activeaqua.com is not the perfect fit then remember you can always exchange it as long as it not been used in water.
There are also different designs of skirt to consider on snorkeling masks.
Feathered skirt edges - On the better quality masks the silicone skirt gets thinner towards the edge of the seal, this makes the portion touching your face much more flexible for a better fit.
Double skirt - All Activeaqua snorkel masks have a second inner skirt that runs around the inside of the mask which provides a double seal making the mask less prone to leaking.
Low Volume Masks
Framed & Frameless
Single Lens Snorkeling Masks
A snorkeling mask with only one single lens feels more open and can give you a better "view". However these single lens masks are not suitable corrective lenses
Twin Lens Snorkeling Masks
Most snorkeling masks come with twin lens this for easy removal of the lenses for cleaning and fitting of corrective lenses if available.
Some snorkeling mask have additional lenses, often to the side of the mask to offer extra peripheral vision. This is purely a matter of personal taste.
Purge Valve Snorkeling Mask
Some masks have a purge valve to make clearing water from the mask easier. This is especially useful if you have moustache or smile a lot underwater as both these factors can cause leaking.
All you have to do is ensure that the valve is at the lowest point and exhale through your nose whilst holding the mask against your face to force the water out.
Snorkeling Mask Strap Wrapper
If you have long hair, then get a Mask Strap Wrapper to reduce the risk of your snorkeling mask strap getting tangled in your hair.
Snorkeling Mask with Prescription Lense
One of our best selling products are our range of snorkeling mask with prescription lenses. We hold all lenses in stock and can fit your snorkeling mask with minus, plus and bifocal lenses. If we receive the order before mid day you will normally receive your mask by the next day.
The lenses we supply for our snorkeling and diving masks are in half increments.
What To Avoid?
Generally avoid plastic skirted snorkeling masks (similar to those you can purchase in Swim shops or beach shops) These may look similar but they often cause face rashes and as the seal is made from hard plastic rather than silicone it is difficult to get them to seal to your face.
Once you are happy with your choice of mask, to help avoid fogging you should consider purchasing some anti fog solution, when the snorkeling mask is new rub normal toothpaste on the inside of the lenses and rinse off (only do this if your mask has glass lenses). This removes the protective film over the inside of the lenses that can cause fogging.
To protect your investment of purchasing a good quality mask we will supply you Free of charge with a mask box which will help protect and extend the life of your mask.
To find your perfect mask please look at our Mask Department. If you have any questions on how to fit then call or email us, we will be happy to help you make your choice.
The snorkel is simply a curved tube that lets you breath while floating face-down on the surface of the water. When diving, it can be used to conserve air in your tank while on the surface. They also offer hours of enjoyment for snorkeling in the shallow waters allowing you to keep your head underwater so you can observe the marine life below.
Purge Valve Snorkel
This is a one-way valve that allows water to be cleared from the snorkel easily it is fitted at the bottom of the snorkel and makes clearing a snorkel easy.
Years ago a ping pong ball on the top of a snorkel to stop any water entering the tube, this system is no longer available. However newer versions of this are available that have a valve system to stop water flooding in.
Snorkels with Flexi Tubes
A flexi-tube on the snorkel mouthpiece keeps the snorkel out of the way while underwater, and allows the snorkel to be moved around to the most comfortable position for you.
Fins make it possible for snorkelers and divers to move through the water with efficiency and ease.
There are two types of fins, full foot and strap fins. Full foot fins are designed to be worn with bare feet (or thin fin socks) and are ideal for warm water snorkeling and diving (especially diving from boats where footwear is often not allowed).
Adjustable heel fins are worn with boots and are ideal for diving in colder waters where thermal protection is needed.
Why buy a Snorkel Set?
We have put together a range of snorkel sets. When you buy a snorkel set from
Each snorkel set is selected to give customers a wide variations of snorkel set to choose from. We have also looked to match up suitable mask and snorkels in each set to suit individual snorkel set customer needs.
We aim to help make your choice of mask and snorkel easier by creating a range of suitable snorkel set.
Do You Need Snorkeling Accessories?
We recommend that you do consider buying the following snorkeling accessories as it will make your snorkeling experience more enjoyable.
There are a number of anti fog products available, simply apply anti fog to the inside of the mask and it will stop your mask fogging.
Mask Strap Wrapper
This is a must have for women with long hair, a mask strap wrapper is simply a section of neoprene that covers the mask strap and stops the strap snagging in your hair.
Fish ID Slates
These slates contain images of fish and can be bought for specific areas (e.g. Red Sea), if you are interested in knowing what you are looking at these are well worth having.
They are made of plastic so can be taken into the water.
Free diving has been practiced for hundreds of years; it's believed it originated in Greece where it was used to allow divers to dive to around 20-30 meters in the search of sea sponges and other sea creatures. Many civilizations around the world use free diving to gather food. No small feat without a mask!
Over the years free divers push the limits that they dive to and currently the world record is over 170 meters on one breath in the discipline of No-Limits Free diving.
So what actually is Free diving? Well a simple definition is anyone who dives under the water from 2 meters onwards and holds their breath. Anyone who is happy holding their breath under water is a Free diver.
Free diving is about finding your limits and then exceeding them. However it can be a very dangerous pastime if you have not received proper instruction.
This is unlike any other fishing method such as net fishing, which are not as selective.
There are a few governing bodies for Free diving but the largest is AIDA which has members all over the world.
The British Free diving Association which is the largest Free diving association in the UK is part of AIDA.
British Free diving Association: www.britishfreediving.org
Free diving Disciplines
Constant Weight - Constant weight is essentially Free diving using weight to control your buoyancy, this can be done with or without fins. This is the most common form of Free diving.
Static Apnea - This is essentially a breath hold exercise. You lie face down in a pool and see how long you can stay there; this is a pure mind game.
Dynamic Apnea - Dynamic Apnea is a competition discipline, its how much distance you can travel horizontally in one breathe, normally in swimming pools. This can be done with or without fins.
Free Immersion - This discipline is pulling yourself up and down a line without fins. This is a great discipline for beginners as it allows them to accurately time their equalizations.
Variable Weight - This is descending with a weight or sled. This is for the more hardcore breed of Free divers and allows you to reach serious depth. This sport requires a full support crew to ensure nothing goes wrong.
No Limits - This is the most extreme form of Free diving, essentially you descend on a weighted sled and ascend using an air filled bag. This discipline is the one most people know of as it grabs headlines however isn't considered the purest form of Free diving.
Freedive Mask - There are some things to be considered when buying a mask for Free diving. A Free dive mask should be lower volume than a scuba mask making it easier to equalize. Lenses should be clear to allow your buddy to easily see your eyes and the nose section must be loose enough to easily allow you to equalize.
It is always advisable to carry an extra mask when Free diving to any depth over 10m to ensure you can swap if a mask breaks Activeaqua can supply the Midi View Mask either with plain glass or prescription lenses this is an excellent mask for Free diving
Snorkel - Snorkels for Free diving are generally of a simple tube design normally left at the surface to reduce drag.
Accessories - There are a number of accessories which can be used for Free diving but they are not necessarily required.
Knife / Line Cutter - You never know when you are going to get into trouble, especially in open water. So carrying a knife is recommended to reduce the dangers from fishing lines which are often seen.
With many airlines cutting luggage allowances and increasing the cost of taking extra baggage on holiday, taking you diving equipment with you on holiday can be extremely expensive and sometimes not even possible!. If you buy a range of Diving Accessories you can easily customise rental equipment with your own Diving Accessories.
Although we love using our own Diving Equipment, to get to some of the most beautiful snorkelling and diving destinations means cutting your luggage allowance, we have always found it a sacrifice worth making. Personally I like to take the following essentials, my own mask, snorkel and fins, plus a range of Diving Accessories, you can use this basic equipment and Diving Accessories for snorkelling and diving.
Other Diving Accessories I always take with me as they are generally not available in resort are, a small LED torch which is powerful enough to use on night dives and during the days for looking into nooks and crannies. The other essential Diving Accessory is a small knife made of either stainless steel or lightweight titanium. Most diving resorts keep a check on discarded fishing line and regularly check their favourite dive site for old fishing line, but I like to have a small knife or line cutter with me just in case.
Lastly I would recommend that whatever Diving Accessories or equipment you take on holiday with you, that you take a bag to put all you Diving Accessories and equipment in. We sell several bags for Diving Accessories and equipment, they are all lightweight and compact and are easy to pack in your luggage.
Gone are the leaky prescription goggles of years gone by. Our range of prescription goggles are made with silicone seals to provide a comfortable seal and excellent fit. Here are a few tips on getting your swimming prescription goggles to fit perfectly.
Place the prescription goggles over the eyes before fitting the strap. Pressure should then be applied to the prescription goggles, if suction is achieved then the prescription goggles will provide a leak free fit.
The strap should then be fitted. The purpose of the strap is to hold the prescription goggles in position - not to provide the seal. A firm not too tight fit that does not apply any awkward pressure to the face is the perfect fit.
Adjustment of head strap may be necessary. Always remove prescription goggles first. Then adjust the head band until you get a comfortable fit. It is also essential to adjust the nose bridge for both comfort and a water tight seal. Slide lenses closer or further apart one notch at a time until you get the perfect fit. If you are looking for high performance prescription goggles that will give you the perfect fit the look no further than our Dragon prescription goggles.
If you need prescription goggles then you will find that our Dragon optical goggles will provide excellent comfort and a great fit plus they are supplied with optical lenses to your prescription.
The unique one-piece construction of Aqua swimming goggles mean no bridge adjustment is required.
Eye Safety Warning
To remove prescription goggles safely, put thumbs under the head strap at side of head. Slide thumbs to back of head and lift strap from back to front of head.
Look After Your Gear
Last month we reviewed snorkeling equipment so that you would have the information to choose the best snorkeling equipment for you. If you haven't made your choices yet then scroll down the page for advice on how to choose your snorkeling equipment.
Once you have got your snorkeling equipment you are ready to go snorkeling! Remember to apply some mask defog to your mask to stop it fogging up. Then put on the mask, adjust the snorkel and if you have fins put them on just before you get into the water.
Now you have all you snorkeling equipment on, it's time to go snorkeling!. Once in the water float in a horizontal position and relax. Get used to the water movement, keep your arms at your sides and breathe deeply and slowly. Check that your snorkeling equipment is comfortable and make any minor adjustments. When you want to move, if are wearing fins use only your legs and kick in the water slowly from your hip. Try to keep your legs straight and avoid bending your knees, it will feel strange at first but you will soon get used to it. Try and avoid splashing your fins on the surface and remember to breathe deeply and slowly and relax. Just get used to the sensation of floating on the water and you new snorkeling equipment.
Things under the water appear 25% larger and closer than actual size. Test your ability to judge distance by moving to shallow water and try and touch the sandy bottom, you will notice it is further away than you expected. To enjoy snorkeling no matter where you are buy a submersible fish guide. This handy piece of snorkeling equipment means you can study the fish and identify them under water, every one will want to know what you saw when you return from your watery adventure.
Have you ever thought of going snorkeling at night? It's a great experience and the only additional snorkeling equipment you will need is an inexpensive underwater torch. Nocturnal creatures are on the move while diurnal ones sleep, the water is calmer and many species including squid will be attracted to your torch and come quite close to you. Some fish change colour and patterns while others don a "pajama" made from mucous to protect themselves from predators. Use your snorkeling equipment to have snorkeling adventures both night and day.
Care of the environment
Everything you see on a coral reef is alive! Even what looks like hard rock is coral made up from trillions of animals that cover themselves with a hard protective skeleton. Some corals are soft and look like plants but these are also animals.
Remember to never touch any coral or creatures you see whilst snorkeling, follow this rule and not only will you be protecting the environment but also yourself. Some corals can sting or burn and fish and other creatures may bite or sting if frightened. Just observe. Leave beautiful shells for other snorkelers to see.
It is advisable to wear a T-shirt whilst snorkeling to help prevent sunburn. Also remember to wear a water proof sun cream prevent you getting burnt in the water, remember to apply sun cream especially to the backs of the knees!!
NOTE: We are not opticians and cannot recommend lenses or a prescription for you. We can only offer information on what our customers have found to be useful. It is ALWAYS best to consult your optician.
Do you wear glasses or contact lenses? Is the world looking a bit fuzzy? If you do then an optical dive mask maybe the solution for you. Follow our 4 easy steps to finding the perfect prescription dive mask for you.
Your optical mask is a mask fitted with prescription lenses, this allows you to see clearly underwater
Step 1: Understanding your prescription
Most prescriptions you receive from your optician will be in a similar format to the example below:
Left : Will indicate if the prescription is for the left or right eye.
SPH: This is your prescription and the number you need to choose for your prescription lens in your optical dive mask. This will have either a + or – sign above or by the side of the number i.e. -4
CYL and AXIS: Both these values tell the optician where the centre of your vision is. These values are needed when making Bifocal or Vari focal lenses. These values are not required for selecting your mask lens.
ADD: If you wear Bifocal or Vari focal lenses your optician will use this value to make the reading part of your glasses. When choosing Bifocal lenses for your optical dive mask then you need to add the SPH and ADD values from your prescription together to get the correct lens power i.e.
Reading prescription is +3.5
What is a Optical Dive or Snorkeling Mask ?
If you only have a SPH value for your prescription then use this.
Step 2: Choosing Your Lenses
Negative or – Lens are usually selected by people who need to correct distance vision (shortsighted).
Bifocal Lenses have clear glass in the top portion with the corrective lens in the bottom portion, these are usually for people who wear reading glasses (longsighted) and need to be able to read gauges, diving computers and camera buttons etc underwater.
If your exact prescription is not shown don’t worry as a ¼ di opter makes very little difference to your general vision. Most people round in the direction on their "Medium Distance" prescription (or the ADD value) as it is unusual to need the full viewing distance underwater. Others choose to round up to the next available lens as their vision is generally going get worse.
Each of the masks below are listed with their complete lens choice, just check which mask covers your lens selection. All our masks are first class quality with crystal silicone seals and are suitable for scuba diving or snorkeling.
What if my prescription is not available?
We cannot supply stronger lenses than the ones listed above because the lens becomes too thick to fit into the mask frame. Some customers have found for example that +4 lens is not perfect if they need a +5 or +6 prescription but it is vast improvement on just plain glass. So if your prescription is not covered by our range of lenses you could consider trying a mask with lenses in the nearest strength to your prescription.
We offer a 28 day returns policy so it will only cost you the postage if the correction is not adequate for you.
Step 4: How to buy
Each mask has drop down list of the lenses available simply select the correct value for your left and right eye. There is also a drop down menu which shows the colors available for the mask frame. Remember that you may want to find your mask without your glasses on so a brighter more unusual color may stand out better if your vision without glasses is poor.
Back to Optical Dive Masks
Still not sure? Then ring us on 01342 300162, Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 5.30pm and one of our advisors will be more than happy to help, just remember to have a copy of you latest prescription with you.
Why Prescription Swim Googles are not suiyable for Snorkeling or Diving
Prescription goggles are an essential part of your snorkeling equipment or snorkel set. If you wear glasses or contact lenses you can benefit from prescription goggles when you go snorkeling. When you buy your snorkeling equipment or snorkel set then be sure to included prescription goggles. At www.activeaqua.com we sell a great range snorkeling equipment and snorkel sets, they are all available with prescription goggles.
It still amazes us when we talk to customers who are buying snorkel sets and snorkeling equipment from www.activeaqua.com that they can also buy prescription goggles and no longer need to struggle
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