The Harsh Reality of Bonaire Beach Entries
Bottom Line: Before traveling to Bonaire (or other destinations with rugged shorelines), consider some solid footwear in order to make a safe and pain-free shore entry.
There is a lot of buzz about diving Bonaire… and for good reason. It is truly the island for DIY (do-it-yourself) Diving, where most dive operators include a rusty (but trustworthy) pick-up truck with your accommodations, along with an unlimited supply of air or nitrox tanks. Dive when you want, where you want, and how much you want at any of the 86 recognized dive sites in the Bonaire Marine Park.
What you may not have read about is the composition of nearly every beach entry point. Tenderfoots beware! Your standard-issue dive boots will not withstand the harsh reality of Bonaire’s cobbled beaches, which are littered with billions of coral chunks that will definitely imperil your soles. The stacks of heavy-duty dive rental booties at one scuba shop (pictured above) were a late clue that the locals do not mess around with their coral-strewn beaches.
After four days of unrelenting sole torture, we broke down and purchased a pair of TUSA DB-4000 heavy-duty boots, which proved very effective at neutralizing any coral-induced pain. But we can’t say we are completely in love with this boot because of its zipper design.
The Tusa boots come unzipped far too easily while in the water. Only now do we realize there is not a Velcro zipper “keeper” on the Tusa DB-4000 that can be seen on other manufacturer’s boots (see images, below).
There are many purchasing options when it comes to hard sole dive boots. Simply Google “heavy duty dive boots” or “hard sole dive boots” and you will see models from top manufacturers like Scuba Pro, Aqua Lung, Mares, Seac, and XS Scuba. Ocean Enterprises has a huge selection of hard sole boots to choose from.
While the ultimate brand of heavy-duty boot is an option, purchasing a pair for your trip to Bonaire is not. Save your soles; your feet will love you for it.