Ideally the first pieces of kit to buy would be your own mask and snorkel.
Masks have to be twin lens type and not single lens. Apart from that almost any mask will do as long as it fits. To check this, put the mask to the face without the strap on, and breathe in through the nose, the vacuum created in the mask will hold it to the face. If it doesn't, try a different one.
We have found that the Cressi Superocchio mask fits most people and will last the test of time with Equalpucks Equalizer mask also a good buy, both masks are around £25.
The best price we found for the above masks was with Bentfish Design.
These masks are both available locally including the Dive Centre in Teignmouth which also stocks a good selection of masks and snorkels.
Masks are also available at BOA (British Octopush Association) shop where members receive a 10% discount, Swimshop, Amazon and many other online retailers. A list of stockists with their telephone numbers and websites can be found at the bottom of this page.
We recommend snorkels with a purge valve in the bottom as this makes it easier to clear and therefore players quickly become confident using it. We usually remove the orange wave deflectors to aid faster air flow and sometimes cut them off a little shorter to reduce drag. Availability as above.
Prices can vary enormously as can design however we recommend a snorkel with a soft mouth piece and no hard plastic around the mouth area to prevent any injuries.
A good example of this is the Canal II. This is also available from Bentfish Design at £15.
Many other outlets stock snorkels but remember the basic principles!
Pushers / sticks
These can be wooden or plastic and come as a pair, one black and one white.
Take care as they are handed for left and right handed players!
Until recently many people made their own wooden pushers but now there are some excellent international standard pushers being made at a reasonable price by a local company, 'Bentfish Design'.
For most young people we recommend the Wand and come in both left and right hand with both priced at £15 from Bentfish Design.
Visit Bentfish website for a full selection.
We normally bring a small stock of these pushers to our Saturday session.
These must be worn on the hand holding the pusher by all players to provide protection from scrapes from the pool bottom and knocks from other player's pushers.
Bentfish Design have a wide selection, especially for smaller hands, priced from £10-£35 depending on size and quality with the BOA shop stocking a number of gloves including Bentfish Design's "Froggy" at £10.
Visit Bentfish website for a full selection
Water polo hats are worn to provide protection to the ears from fins and pushers and again must be worn by all players.
Hats normally come as a pair (one white and one blue or black) and are available from the BOA shop with prices starting at £14 a pair for the smaller Mini Cap "mini-polo", ideal for the small juniors and £19 for the standard size (Win/Kiefer International Hats).
Fins must be the full foot type and not with heel Straps as these can cause injury to other players.
A good starter fin is the Kiefer Marlin available from swimshop prices starting at £8.75.
A good mid priced fin is the Mares Avanti, either the 'tre' 'hp' 'superchannel' and others typically priced at around £22-£40, widely available from all suppliers listed and online stores.
Mouth Guard / Gum shields
These must be worn during tournaments and we would encourage wearing one during training.
Traditional gum shields are available at good sports shops also often at senior schools priced at approximately £7.00
Mouth guards that fit the end of snorkels are also available at the BOA shop and via bentfish Design priced from £3.50
We normally have a small stock of mouth guards available on a Saturday session.
A three way rubber band that fits around the ankle and under the fin that helps keep the fin on. These are ideal if the fins are too loose or are slippery inside.
A pair of socks can also help keep fins on and reduce chafing.
Available from Swimshop at £3.99 or BOA £6.50 per pair.
Please, please, please, name your child's equipment especially hats and pushers which are changed regularly on the poolside and often in a hurry during a match. These are easily mislaid and accidentally picked up by mistake by other players.
Use a permanent marker to quickly and easily mark items with the players full name (much better than just initials).
For pushers use a soldering iron or engraving tool to mark their name on the handle and then highlight with a permanent marker (white pusher) or Tipp-Ex (black pusher).
You could even include your phone number on some items such as the inside the ear piece of hats. All helpful tips to get the lost item back to you. In short, make the name conspicuous and it is much less likely to get lost.
Supplier Contact Details
Teign Dive Centre Quay Rd Teignmouth 01626 773965 http://www.teigndivingcentre.co.uk
Watersports Warehouse 01736 751066 http://www.watersportswarehouse.co.uk
BOA Shop (10% discount for members) http://www.gbuwhshop.co.uk
Swimshop 01582 562111 http://www.swimshop.co.uk
ProSwimwear 0845 2600612 http://www.proswimwear.co.uk
Dawlish Leisure Centre 01626 215637
Bentfish Design http://www.bentfishdesign.com
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