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There are a few things to know when purchasing swim gear for your snorkeling adventure. Generally, you will need a mask, a snorkel, and a pair of swim fins.
When trying on masks to see if they fit, you should hold it lightly on your face. Does the mask touch your skin all around or are there gaps? Take a deep breath in through your nose. If the mask is the right size, that will form a vaccuum and seal the mask onto your face.
There are different kinds of snorkels on the market. If you are just a beginner, then you will want to ask the store clerk for a snorkel with a "plunge valve". It will be multi-purpose and hassle-free.
Swim fins come in variations, as well. If you are going to be snorkeling in cold water with a wetsuit on, then get a lightweight swim fin with straps. Otherwise, wear a strapless, shorter swim fin (always try them on with neoprene socks underneath).