Taking up spearfishing as a new hobby is a great idea. However, there is a lot of information to take in when first starting out in terms of what approach to take. One great option is to get your diving license and take up scuba diving along with spearfishing. Many people take it slow and do one thing at a time. If that is how you think too, perhaps you should consider giving snorkeling a try first.
Learning to snorkel, and by extension going spearfishing while snorkeling, is a far more straightforward endeavor than diving. It requires no special training or instructions. In fact, the only things that you need are a few pieces of equipment. In order to help you get started, we’ve got a list of recommended snorkeling equipment for you to invest in.
Mask and Snorkel
The first and most obvious equipment you’ll need to go snorkeling is a mask and a snorkel. If you’ve never purchased a mask before, the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing one is making sure that it fits you properly.
A common test many snorkeling enthusiasts use to check if a mask fits properly is: hold your breath, then place the mask gently against your face and press in slightly. If the mask remains stuck to your face when you let it go from your hands, it fits properly.
Making sure the mask fits properly comes above any and all other considerations. However, a few other things should be kept in mind when choosing your mask and snorkel. You should make sure you have an adequate peripheral vision while wearing your mask. You should also make sure that the mask is low volume and has a low fog lens in order to keep your visibility clear while snorkeling.
The next piece of equipment you’ll need to have an enjoyable snorkeling experience is fins. And much like picking out a mask and snorkel, the most important factor in choosing the fins is making sure that fit properly. You should take the time to check out several pairs at a dive shop, making sure you find fins that feel comfortable.
You might also be surprised to find out that there are several different types of fins available. There are fins made specifically for snorkeling, scuba, freediving, and even specifically for spearfishing.
Compared to other types of fins, spearfishing fins are built to be longer and narrower. The reason for this is that they will give you a power advantage over the other types, letting you swim harder and faster. This helps especially when you are diving down while chasing after fish. However, if you are just getting started with the hobby, you are probably safe just investing in a set of snorkeling fins. The choice is entirely up to you.
Wetsuit or Snorkeling Vest
Next, you should consider purchasing, to begin spearfishing, is either a wetsuit or a snorkeling vest. When deciding which option to pick, you should take into consideration factors such as the temperature of the water you will be in, your comfort level being in the water, and whether or not you have plans on moving beyond snorkeling and into diving while spearfishing.
A wetsuit is ideal if you will be spearfishing in colder waters. The water temperature on the surface is always warmer than below, so if you’re planning on descending underneath the surface for spearfishing, a wetsuit makes more sense. They also help to protect your skin from jellyfish, spinefish, and sharp, abrasive reef. A wetsuit will also help protect against sunburn. There are wetsuits designed specifically for spearfishing. These suits are generally even warmer and have a built-in pad in the front of the suit to help make loading a speargun easier for you.
On the other hand, a snorkeling vest might be ideal if you only ever plan to occasionally dabble in snorkeling and spearfishing. They are designed to have plenty of buoyancy to keep you comfortably afloat in the water.
While neither a wetsuit nor a snorkeling vest are absolutely essential to enjoy a spearfishing or snorkeling outing, both are highly recommended pieces of equipment to use, especially for first timers.
The final equipment that you will need in order to enjoy spearfishing is the speargun. As a rookie spearfisher, your best bet is to stick with the basics. You should choose a smaller, and less powerful speargun than what someone with more experience would go with. This also means you will be starting out with a more affordable speargun. A two band, 90cm wooden speargun is a fantastic option. It will last you quite a while as well, even when you move on to hunting bigger fish than what you chose in your first few outings.