I think I’ve seen only ScubaPro in Taiwan. But I haven’t really been looking.
I went to Nangang Sports Center yesterday after work for a swim. There’s a freediving shop on the first floor now. And of course at least two dive shops outside. It seems Nangang is a popular destination for freediving practice (or lessons?) now.
Go to a scuba shop. Try on all masks they sell. It should be able to suction onto your face without straps and without pain. By what fits best and is most comfortable with good vision.
I looked around at a couple of scuba diving shops last week. They all have freediving equipment now. I noticed the freediving masks are smaller, sit closer to the face, and are cheaper than scuba diving masks (around 2,000 nt versus 4,000 nt for the good ones).
Should I go for a freediving mask if what I want to do is probably a 50-50 mix of snorkeling and freediving? Well at first I won’t be doing any real freediving at all since I’m so new to all this.
For snorkeling you could use a three pane mask, with glass on 3 sides. Buy two, one free dive and one snorkeling.
as for a snorkel, just get a simple J tube. no need for those stupid valves, or top splash guard. etc.: they all tend to leak in my experience.
this is my set-up:
Mares Star is a great low volume scuba mask… wide lenses close to the face so you can see well, even to the sides, but low enough volume for easy equalising in free dive.
Mares Pro-Flex snorkel.
Not save, and it’s discouraged to use them anyways. Just remember to blow the water out at intervals, or when you went underwater and come up.
My son has one of those snorkels. I was quite impressed since they weren’t around when I was a kid. But I’ll take your word for it. Also, for freediving, from the videos I watched, I get the impression that you use the snorkel just prior to the initial dive down and then push it aside for the actual dive once you get under water. So you don’t really need anything fancy.