Maui Snorkeling Safety - Wear Those Fins!
Fins may not be the first thing you think of when considering snorkeling equipment, but they're an extremely important part of your gear. At times we'll see people snorkeling in Maui without them, but we don't recommend it. Wearing fins make snorkeling easier and safer than going without. If your snorkeling plans include more than a quick underwater peek, fins are most definitely the way to go. Their efficiency to propel you forward lets you enjoy the wonders of the ocean instead exerting yourself getting from point A to point B. Fins also offer a great safety advantage if ocean conditions or circumstances change unexpectedly. Fins enable you to propel yourself through a strong current or return quickly to shore—a significant benefit when you need it. Not to mention, fins are just fun! The more you snorkel and learn how your fins can help you maneuver, the sooner you'll understand how turtles and fish can be incredibly fast and amazingly gracefully all at the same time.
We recommend adjustable strap fins. They’re simple, straightforward, and get the job done. Some people use scuba fins that fit over reef shoes or booties, but they can be heavy and cumbersome. While we've used high-end diving fins, we prefer low-priced kit fins when it comes to snorkeling. They give plenty of thrust per kick and don’t weigh a ton on a hike to the beach. The additional length of scuba fins can also make them harder to maneuver—particularly in shallow areas, where you don't want to bump or kick the coral with your fins.
Putting on your Fins:
Occasionally we'll see inexperienced snorkelers don their fins while still on the beach. Attempting to walk in fins while you're on land is highly awkward. To compensate, many try walking backwards. But shuffling backwards toward the ocean is a risk. With your back toward the water, there's a much greater chance of being pummeled by a wave, tripping over rocks, or stepping on a sea creature. We highly encourage putting on your fins while in the water. Just hang on to them in one hand till you're out past the breakers and slip them onto your feet. It's easy to do and a bit more elegant than duck waddling backwards! If the thought of putting on your fins in the water makes you nervous, consider using a flotation device. Here's why: Snorkeling - Using a Flotation Device
For more snorkeling safety tips or questions about Maui, pick up a copy of Mask, Fins & Snorkel: The Adventure Guide to Maui's Best Snorkeling. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+. We'd love to hear from you!