As you prepare to select your snorkeling gear always remember that: The single most important factor is fit! With the appropriate fit comes comfort. The goal is to be able to “forget what you are wearing” so that you can fully be absorbed into the activity at hand whether you are observing the incredible sea life gliding over a reef or preparing to make a kick turn in a pool!
National Geographic Snorkeler gear selection gives you limitless possibilities to customize your personal selection. A common question we encounter is “Why does National Geographic™ Snorkeler fit so much better than other equipment available?”…it’s the fit! At National Geographic™ Snorkeler great care has been taken to consult with Industry professionals from seasoned SCUBA Instructor Trainers to Equipment Designers to assist us in creating and matching appropriately sized gear. Each Set (mask and Combo is carefully matched to give you the best comfort and fit for you. The convenience of a customized “Dive-Pro Fit” is in every Set and Combo package from National Geographic™ Snorkeler. The Pro Match – Pro Fit program is the reason for the superior fit. Each Set and Combo is packaged in a convenient “Carry Bag” or day bag that is designed to minimize waste, going to our land fills. The Carry Bag is designed to comfortably carry your Snorkeler equipment to and from your water based activities time and time again! This packaging is in keeping with National Geographic™ Snorkelers commitment to protecting the environment. Please remember take only pictures and remove only memories from our earth’s waters!
Key Point: As you read this section, look for the information that answers this question: What is the best way to make sure your mask has a proper fit and will not leak? How is as snorkel positioned and attached to a mask? Here is information that can assist you in selecting and fitting your snorkeling equipment.
Mask Fitting- To fit a mask, first fold the mask strap to the front of the mask and over the lens. Hold the mask up to your face and gently inhale through your nose while applying light pressure to the lens towards your face. The mask that has a good fit will create a vacuum against your face permitting no air to enter and will remain on your face until you exhale (through your nose). This test will insure a good “dry fit”. TIP Always make sure to not have any hair interfering with the seal of the mask for optimum fit. Next test for the ability to easily access your nose (while the mask is in place), you should be able to pinch your nose and be able to “equalize” the middle ear by gently trying to exhale and creating back pressure. Equalization is most important if you plan to leave the surface and go under water for a closer look, to take pictures or just be part of the “school”. The mask strap should be worn by spreading the strap out as much as possible and high on the back of the head. For correct positioning of the strap follow this simple exercise. Take your hand opened wide and feel the back of your head that “smart bump” that makes up the back of the head is where the strap is positioned over; one strap high and one strap low will give you the ever important 3 point hold and keep the mask securely in place. TIP Avoid the common mistake of NOT splitting the strap apart and most common of wearing the strap to low approaching the back of the neck to avoid discomfort and leaking. Visit the section on Care & Use for proper maintenance.
Snorkel Fitting- The snorkel is designed and should be worn on the left hand side of the mask. This positioned has become the industry norm because SCUBA divers also wear snorkels and the regulator or air delivery system is designed to be placed over the right shoulder. Wearing the snorkel on the left will give you the best results and function out of splash guards at the top of your snorkel as well any purge valve assembly’s at the bottom. The snorkel is attached to your mask by attaching the snorkel tab that comes on the snorkel to the mask strap. TIP Each time you place your snorkel and mask on you should take a moment to position your snorkel to make a line that follows the contour of your head from your mouth to the highest point on the back of the head or the “smart bump”, see mask fitting section for details. When inhaling from your snorkel always take a “cautious and slow” first breath to insure that the snorkel is void of water, this is best done by “slurping” in the first breath and permitting it to “pass” under your tongue. TIP To void the snorkel of any water simply exaggerate the pronunciation of the T in two by shouting TWO-TWO into the mouthpiece. Try it, it really works! Visit the section on Care & Use for proper maintenance.
Fin Fitting- Once you have selected either an adjustable open heel fin or a closed heel fin (personal preference plays a big role here) the fitting process falls in line to one and the same. While sitting down, place your foot into the fin pocket, with fin off the floor gently move your foot from left to right, then repeat the movement in an up and down process. The fin should move with your foot and there should be no “slop” or delayed reaction as you move. TIP Make sure to try on your fins as you will wear them particularly if you plan on wearing them any other way than barefoot. TIP You can prolong the usefulness of your open heel fins by simply releasing the fin strap tension from the adjustment where you wear them when storing them. Closed heel fins are best donned by folding down the back of the foot pocket on to the sole of the fin, this allows the “pull on pressure” to be transferred to the bottom of the foot of the fin or sole. TIP Using an index finger to “stretch out the foot pocket” will greatly diminish the life of the fin causing the pocket to tear. Visit the section on Care & Use for proper maintenance.