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I have two Tusa snorkels and am a great fan of the Tusa brand. The hyperdry comes in various colours from black to pink, yellow to blue and everything inbetween. You can match up your gear ie fins mask and snorkel or go for a funky colourful outfit. The snorkel has a clear mouthpiece which is one size fits all and is very comfortable in the mouth, it sits smoothly without causing any strain on the mouth or jaw. Under the mouthpiece is found a one way valve that allows water out but not in meaning should you get water in from waves or going underwater 95% of it automatically drains out of the valve making clearing the snorkle much easier as you only have very little that stays in the tube. They shaft of the snorkel is a good length I find, long enough that it clears the waves well but is short enough that the dead space is not too much, for those that do nto know of dead space this is the actually space of the snorkel which if not cleared with fresh air builds up with co2, long steady breaths stop this becoming a problem. The snorkel has the tapered splash protection top that doesnt stop watering entering but does reduce it. I have both the hyperdry and the hyperdry 2 and I prefer this original for the simple reason that the 2 has a dry valve which is designed to shut off when underwater however I find it shuts off if you move your head to the wrong angle meaning it restricts breathing. This original hyperdry does not have this problem so I think is better. The snorkels also come with an easy to fit mask attactment that slots on and off easily for use and storage and the snorkel is a good size for staying out of the way when using scuba underwater. I use this both snorkelling and scuba diving and find it a comfortable smooth snorkel that is easy to use in all circumstances. And is a fair price at around £25, this varies slightly depending on retailer.
Tusa have a great reputation for producing quality dive and snorkel equipment, and this snorkel is no exception, (well, apart from one thing - more on that later!). ** Price and availability ** The Tusa Platina II Hyperdry is one of the slightly more expensive snorkels available these days. It's been around for four years but doesn't seem to be coming down in price much - which in my opinion is a sign of a product that is able to compete well with newer technology. I purchased mine from mikes Dive Store, but they are also available from Simply Scuba and the majority of other online dive or snorkel shops. I've seen them on the shelf of my tiny local dive shop so I'd say with confidence they'll be available in-store somewhere nearby too. The snorkel retails for £25 -£30, but hunting around online I've seen it for as low as £20 (Mikes Dive Store), which is the price I paid 3 years ago. ** The look ** The Tusa Platina II Hyperdry comes in 10 different colour combinations. And ladies... some of them are 'sparkly'(!). How lovely. I chose the all black one as I was going for something of a James Bond-esque look back in those days (this was before I realised that actually having highly visible snorkel and scuba gear would do me many more favours!). I was somewhat disappointed to find that it came with a non-removable bright orange top, as oppose to the transparent one shown in the store picture. Apparently this is an EU regulation and all of these snorkels sold in the UK have to be fitted with the high visibility orange version. Something to bear in mind if you're a little picky about colour matching like me. ** Effectiveness ** The top end of this snorkel is curved at just the right angle so that it pokes straight up out of the water, when you are face down. I know this may sound like a pretty obvious design choice, but unfortunately having tried many other snorkels over the years I've found that it's not always the case. Even in large waves I've found that this snorkel doesn't let in water, and I think this must be down to the curved design. That horrible orange top and the slanted end to the tube also help avoid splashes finding their way into the snorkel. The only time I've found myself needing to purge this snorkel is when in my absentmindedness I dip my head too far forward. On these occasions I've found the purge is impossible to use whilst underwater. This snorkel is designed to be able to purge underwater, as Tusa state 'the air bubbles will pass to the side of your face'. However no amount of huffing and puffing seems to clear this thing of water once it's in there. The only way of doing so is lifting my head out of the water - thereby pointing the snorkel horizontally (and subsequently losing sight of the fish I've been painstakingly following with my slate and stopwatch - very annoying!). Perhaps I have particularly feeble lungs, I can't be certain because I don't know of anyone else's experiences with this snorkel. If it wasn't for the fact that this snorkel only floods very occasionally, I think I would have upgraded to one with a better purge valve already. ** Comfort ** The snorkel has a crystal silicone flexible neck, which is positioned very closely to the mask attachment. This means that it moulds completely to the side of my face. This is great for reducing drag whilst snorkelling. There is no annoying tugging from the ocean with this snorkel. This also helps when you're wearing this diving. I don't even notice that it's there when it's attached to my mask but not in use. Furthermore the mask is attached with an easily adjustable (and removable) clip. This has two settings depending on the size of your head (or to be more specific the distance from your mouth to where the mask strap attachment lies). This is a great feature that means you're guaranteed to find a fit that suits you. The clip is in two parts - one that attaches to the mask and the other to the snorkel. This means you can simply unclick the snorkel in one easy motion when necessary, rather than faff around undoing the straps on your mask. Additionally the mouthpiece is very soft and a decent size. No water ever comes in through the mouthpiece seals on this. I have to say I'm always left with a terrible headache after using this snorkelling. That's entirely my fault though - as I tend to grip the mouthpiece too hard, resulting in jaw fatigue. I know this is no fault of Tusa, as when I remind myself to relax I find the snorkel mouthpiece still seals fine and doesn't let in water. Overall I find this snorkel very comfortable to use. ** Durability ** As with most of my other dive equipment I've used this snorkel on over 100 dives and many more snorkels. I don't rinse it and it is left in the sun to dry. However, it's still as black as ever and the plastic is showing no signs of wear and tear. The mouthpiece is all intact, which considering how much I unintentionally gnaw on it, is pretty good going. ** Recommendations ** This snorkel comes with a good four star recommendation from me. I've knocked one star off for the weak purge valve. It would have been more was it not for the fact that this snorkel has lived up to its 'Hyperdry' promise and doesn't let in water even in choppy seas, so a purge valve is fairly extraneous anyway. This snorkel is lightweight and fully foldable so I'd specifically recommend it to anyone who dives and wants a snorkel to store in their pocket. This review also appears on Ciao under my username sbeach000