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rental snorkel gear

Seattle, Washington
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1 post
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rental snorkel gear

Ok! I worry about such things as micro bugs. Question is: how is this rental gear cleaned between users??

San Jose, California
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1,676 posts
77 reviews
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1. Re: rental snorkel gear

I worked for a resort on the island of Saipan for six months after college.

I can tell you that after guests coming out of the water with their snorkel gears, they were instructed to dump them into a fresh water bucket. When the bucket got full, we sort of rise them a bit, and hung them up on the rack to dry.

Then the next guests take them out, them rise the gears in the sea water and put it on their faces and into their mouths.

I always imagined the sea water kill germs. I have used many rental gears myself.

If this bother you, then when you arrive at the airport, stop by K-mart or Wal-mart, and buy yourself a new set of snorkel gears.

You can get a decent set for around $20. Costco had nicer sets for around $50. You use it for the duration of your trip, and leave it in the condo or hotel for the next guests. (or take home with you).

Edited: 16 January 2013, 06:06
pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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23,240 posts
57 reviews
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2. Re: rental snorkel gear

It's conceivable to me that disinfection standards and methods are stricter and more thorough in the US than in Saipan.

Snorkel Bob's, one of the major rental outfits, has a toll-free number. Call them and ask what they do. http://www.snorkelbob.com/

I do not recommend buying cheap gear, especially if you can't try on the mask. Few things ruin a snorkel experience faster than a poorly-fitted and leaky mask. If you rent, they will make sure to fit you properly.

San Jose, California
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1,676 posts
77 reviews
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3. Re: rental snorkel gear

Well, Saipan and Guam are both US territory, and I did work for a 5 star US based resort. 60-70% of our guests were Japanese, since Saipan is only a 3 hour flight from Japan. Definitely not a cheapo resort without standards.

There are CHEAP gears you can buy for $7.99. I think a $20 set is very decent.

I have rented and bought many sets of snorkels, you can just as easily have poorly-fitted and leaky masks when you rent. You just don't know until you take it into the water for a tour. Luckily, more often than not, the snorkels (new or used) worked fine.

I am not telling people not to rent, I have rented from Snorkel Bob's many times myself. But if someone is very concerned about other people's germs, then the easy solution is to buy a set.

I could be wrong, but I don't think US has any disinfection standards for the snorkel rental industry.

Camarillo...
Destination Expert
for Maui
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4,692 posts
9 reviews
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4. Re: rental snorkel gear

All of the major rental stores in Maui say they disinfect the gear between uses. If you are unsure of the claim, take the gear back to your room or condo and disinfect it yourself before you use it. Or better yet buy your own mask and snorkel (which pack easily) and rent fins.

But sorry HT - I have to disagree about buying a cheap set. A good panoramic silicone mask that is fitted for you by the shop, and a dry snorkel tube that prevents seawater from backwashing down your throat is going to go a long way to ensuring a pleasant experience. And you can't buy that for $20 at Kmart. You can rent a decent set of gear for $20 to $30 for a weeklong stay. If you wear glasses, for a few dollars more you can get optical lenses.

If you want to explore Maui's underwater world, do yourself the favor of not cutting corners on the gear. Nothing will ruin the experience faster than a leaky mask and a tube that allows water to flow into your mouth.

S.F. Bay Area
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3,007 posts
8 reviews
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5. Re: rental snorkel gear

I bought the US Divers set from Costco (I have my own high quality scuba/snorkel gear) for my travel companion for ~$40, & though the set was fair quality with a silicone mask & appeared to be decently made ... the purge valve leaked & the mask fit BOTH of us improperly.

I'm sorry, but there is NO WAY whatsoever one can buy even a (new) 'fair' quality snorkel set (inc: mask, tube & fins) for $20. Even spending twice that much at Costco -- the same set was nearly $100 at mega-retailer the Sports Authority -- resulted in a leaky mask and defective purge valve. ABC stores sell a set for about 30bucks that isn't even fit for pool use.

The ABC set, or the cheapest rubber mask gear rented at Snorkel Bobs or Boss Frogs for ~$10/week will leak like a roof shingled with Swiss cheese. If you get the upgraded (~$25/wk) silicone set, which is properly fitted in the shop, your snorkeling experience will be 100-fold improved.

The Snorkel Shop in Lahaina is the new kid on the block & purportedly has awesome rates & great customer service. Several individuals I know told me the store allowed them to return the gear up to an extra week with no extra charge. They also rent a mask with a built in underwater digital camera that you plug a memory card into that's pretty cool..

Alo)(a, NKO

Sask
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700 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: rental snorkel gear

I have the set from Costco. The fins are awkward to use and the mask leaks, but the snorkel part is alright - we leave the fins at home. We were fortunate that our condo included an assortment of good quality fins. I agree, you won't snorkel for very long (or enjoy it as much) if you are limited by your equipment. I will rent a corrective mask for my next trip or buy one before leaving home.

Boston, MA
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4,330 posts
6 reviews
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7. Re: rental snorkel gear

Personally, I am not a fan of the "dry" snorkels. I find a little water in my snorkel to be easier to deal with than pulling for a breath and getting nothing, because the end of the tube is under water. My preference is the "semi-dry" style, which channel most of the water away, but do not have the cut-off valves that the "dry" snorkels do. It's all personal preference.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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43,540 posts
3 reviews
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8. Re: rental snorkel gear

I've personally witnessed the staff at Snorkel Bob's disinfect their snorkels with bleach. That stuff will kill practically anything. I too am of the opinion that when buying cheap snorkel gear you get what you pay for. Chances are much higher that the mask will leak as opposed to renting a set at Snorkel Bob's that will actually be fitted to YOUR face.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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23,240 posts
57 reviews
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9. Re: rental snorkel gear

I bought a Costco set some years ago figuring I could use the snorkel and fins. Hated the snorkel; the purge valve never worked properly. I still use the fins. When I travel, I carry my properly-fitted mask and good snorkel. Having had some really bad experiences as a beginner with poorly-fitted masks and lousy snorkels I never recommend buying a prepackaged set which precludes try-ons.

San Jose, California
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1,676 posts
77 reviews
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10. Re: rental snorkel gear

Yes, I can appreciate everybody had bad experiences with snorkels.

By reading most of these posts, you would think that the only way to properly enjoy snorkeling is by having one of these hundred dollar panoramic silicone mask snorkel sets.

But most people on the beaches have those average looking inexpensive sets, and they come out of water shouting excitely about this and that fish or turtles they saw.

And also the local islanders don't use the panoramic silicone mask either. I have often seen them using those cheapo looking oval shaped one-piece lens masks. Just for fun, I rented one of those once from Snorkel Bobs, only $1.5 for the day, and they worked great.

Sure, if you got the money, go for the best.