In order to snorkel you need three main pieces of snorkel gear, a mask, fins, and a snorkel.
It is important to find a mask that fits you well and we highly recommend a silicone skirted mask. It will provide better suction than a plastic skirt helping with comfort and also preventing it from leaking. Once you have a mask it is important to care for it properly to avoid fogging, nothing is worse than a foggy mask when you are trying to snorkel. A dirty mask will fog up so keep your mask clean and use a de-fog solution every time you snorkel this can either be baby shampoo and water or a solution made specifically for preventing foggy masks.
There are a broad range of fins available based on your skill level and strength, but for the average snorkeler you mostly just want a pair that fits you well and is comfortable. If you are thinking, “Do I really need fins?” The answer is YES! I learned this from firsthand experience, we were on a snorkel charter and at one of the stops I was so anxious to get in the water I jumped in completely forgetting to put on my fins. Let me tell you, trying to get back to the boat in the ocean current (which did not even appear to be that strong) was the best leg workout I have ever had and I honestly questioned my ability to make it back. Fins will give you tons of added efficiency and speed and really make swimming and treading water so much easier!
Simple as they may seem there are many different types, sizes, and varieties of snorkels. As a somewhat experienced snorkeler I would recommend either a dry or semi-dry with splash guard top snorkel. This is great especially if you have a desire to free dive at all to get a closer look at something under the water, but even if you plan on staying on top of the water a dry or semi-dry snorkel will help keep you from getting a nice drink of salt water should you accidentally stick your snorkel in the water or get a wave over you.
Other things to consider on a snorkel are a comfortable mouth piece and whether or not you want a flexible tube or a purge. A flexible tube snorkel has a flexible tub below the point where the snorkel attaches to your mask strap; some people find this to be more comfortable as they are trying to move around. A purge is a fairly common feature on many snorkels, it is an area lower than your mouth where water that might get into the snorkel can collect and then be blown out to clear the water. It just takes a lot less effort than trying to blow water back out the top should you end up with water in your snorkel.
With the right snorkel gear you will have a wonderful time exploring a whole new world under the sea!