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Old 12-28-2008, 12:30 AM
 
682 posts, read 2,607,077 times
Reputation: 515

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I want to do more snorkeling. But I just can't wait in that rental line at Hanauma Bay again. So as a post-holiday gift to myself, I want to buy all the gear: fins, mask, snorkel. I'm a good swimmer, but only recently started snorkeling. So I want gear I can grow into... that won't seem lame after a year of regular use.

Any advice out there? Looking for both brands that are good and places to buy it. Right now, all we can find is either online purchases (I'm hesitant... want to know the mask fits well and the fins too) and Snorkel Bob's. Thought I'd drop a quick post out there in case someone had advice. We're in Honolulu (Makiki/Punchbowl area) but have the next few days off so can get to anywhere on the island if it's worthwhile.
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Kailua, Oahu, HI and San Diego, CA
1,178 posts, read 5,520,995 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newUHprof View Post
Any advice out there? Looking for both brands that are good and places to buy it.
I don't worry about the brand - just the fit and comfort.

I would start at WalMart and Don Quijote, in the Ala Moana area.

Hank
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Kailua, Oahu, HI and San Diego, CA
1,178 posts, read 5,520,995 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HankDfrmSD View Post
I don't worry about the brand - just the fit and comfort.

I would start at WalMart and Don Quijote, in the Ala Moana area.
And please let me know what you find, and where, because I need a new pair of fins this year.

Hank
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
34 posts, read 127,848 times
Reputation: 27
I'm in the exact same boat! Just went to Snorkel Bob's yesterday since we've rented gear from them twice this year. We were looking to buy two complete sets, they don't have much selection, everything is SB brand and the girl helping us wasn't very knowledgeable. I've seen the ones at Costco and they are a good deal for $40 but I've heard they crack since they don't have silicone masks. Try snorkelmart.com and joediveramerica.com. I hear McCully Sports and Cycle has some dive equipment...it's on King St. You may also check out Sports Authority on Ward.

You want to make sure you have a silicone mask, dry/ultra dry snorkel and fins is personal preference if you like the hard or more rubbery ones.

Let me know what you find!

Aloha
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:24 PM
 
682 posts, read 2,607,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by husky422 View Post
Let me know what you find!
OK, here's what I found:

Sports Authority had a whole aisle of snorkel gear, mostly Body Glove brand. They had full sets for about $40, but you couldn't try stuff on. They also had individual pieces for sale, but again the masks were all heremetically sealed, so we couldn't try them. The few fins I tried on were OK but not great... I could tell they would be uncomfortable if I was out for a long time.

I got two rec's from a friend who's a diver: Island Divers in Hawaii Kai and Ocean Concepts near the Arizona Memorial. We were headed to Hanauma Bay, so we went to Island Divers. They were great. There were five of us buying stuff, we all had individual needs (including things like prescription lenses for the mask). They took care of all of us with great patience. Sets went for a little under $80, but seemed to be much better quality than you would find at a big-box type store... worth it if you have the money. The staff explained how to test stuff for a good fit and how to use everything. The snorkel in the set is not one of the dry type, but you can buy one of those for $30 extra if you want. If you want to mix-and-match pieces to form your own set, it's a bit more expensive, but they have a big selection of brands and styles. And of course you get to try it all on and see how it feels.

One thing: they were low-ish on sizes in the sets and in some of the mix-and-match pieces (and are even lower now after suiting us up). I think they sold a lot of stuff as Christmas gifts. So if you're not in a big hurry to get your stuff, you might wait a few weeks to see if they get more inventory in.

Have fun!
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
10,515 posts, read 20,077,799 times
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Makiki Bicycle - I think it is right across the street from the library - has good sports stuff including fins and masks, I think. It's been awhile since I've been there, I used to get fishing stuff there.
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:38 AM
 
Location: not sure, but there's a hell of a lot of water around here!
2,669 posts, read 6,759,974 times
Reputation: 3829
I'ld recommend an Oceanic dive mask, silicone face with tempered wrap around lense, so you can just turn your head a bit and see what's behind you, (comes in REALLY handy sometimes!), and Oceanic snorkel, also silicone, will last a life time, until, of course, you lose em!!!! That's when the lifegaurds can come in really handy, don't get your hopes up, they won't find your lost stuff, but, speaking from experience, they normally have LOADS of masks, fins, snorkels tucked away in the corner of the shed, bring em some sodas, maybe some sushi or snacks, ask if you can try some of the lost/recovered diving gear, doubt if they'll say no!! And the big box stores really do carry junk, made in China, as was stated, you're far better off going to a pro diving shop, especially if you intend to spend a lot of time on the water...

Hau'ole maka hiki hou!!!!
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:34 PM
 
682 posts, read 2,607,077 times
Reputation: 515
Update: One of the five of us who bought gear had trouble with her mask on the first day. It kept leaking a small trail of water by her nose. In trying to adjust it while sitting on the shore, she got some sand trapped in the purge valve of her snorkel. We went back to Island Divers this morning to explain what had happened. They replaced both without any problem, giving her a comparable mask and some advice on how to keep it from happening (not to tighten the strap too much, and how to place the snorkel).

So, anyway, Island Divers is highly recommended if you're looking for gear. (And probably also if you're looking to dive, since that's how my friend knows them.) Have fun out there!
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
34 posts, read 127,848 times
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awesome! i'll definitely be hitting them up this weekend! thanks for the recommendation

happy new year!!!
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