Full Face Snorkel Mask
Snorkeling is a popular hobby wherein we observe underwater life in a natural setting with some basic snorkeling equipment. The equipment required is a long tube known as a snorkel, fitted with a mouth piece and a pair of goggles to be used underwater.
The snorkel is used for breathing air from above the water surface through the snorkeler’s mouth when the face is submerged under water.
Some of the disadvantages of the snorkel tube are listed here:
- Snorkel tubes cause jaw pain after holding the mouthpiece for long periods of time.
- Snorkelers find it difficult to breathe under water as breathing has to be done through the mouthpiece only.
- Snorkelers can develop a condition called hypercapnia, wherein the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood increases due to the retaining of previously exhaled air in the snorkeling tube, which is inhaled again.
- Snorkelers can experience gagging when under water.
- Sharing snorkels was considered unhygienic as one end of the snorkel is held with the mouth.
Due to the above disadvantages, a new product entered the market called the ‘Full Face Snorkel Mask’. The full face snorkel mask was an innovative design that solved the problems of the traditional snorkel mask and goggle set.
Design innovations of the Full Face Snorkel Mask
1. Fits tightly
The full face mask covers the entire face and it stays in place with a strap. The strap is adjustable. There are soft silicone inserts in the mask skirting that keeps it in place.
This is a clever design as it prevents water from entering the mask when the face is submerged within the water.
2. Dual airways
Some masks have dual airways with a separate breathing chamber within the mask. The air enters in through the snorkel tube and the exhaled air exits from the sides of the chamber, thereby preventing hypercapnia.
3. Easy breathe technology
Due to the air chamber within the mask, the snorkeler can now breathe through the nose, mouth, or both. This is a big improvement from the traditional snorkel wherein the breathing was done through the mouth only. Breathing is comfortable, even under the water’s surface.
Most of the full face masks are anti-fogging due to the design. The separate breathing chamber causes the viewing lens to be separate from the breathing area. This results in little to no fogging under water.
Little to no water enters the mask due to the silicone skirting that assures a tight fit, thereby preventing water (especially salt water in the seas) from entering the mouth. There is a plugging facility in the snorkel tube that seals the snorkel opening when the snorkeler decides to do some diving under water.
6. Purge valves
Most full face masks have purge valves near the chin wherein, if water enters the mask, it can be expelled out easily using the purge valves. A simple process of forced exhalation can expel the water out of the mask. Exhalation can be done under or over the water surface.
7. Camera mounts
New full face masks have a camera mount above the mask to support recording of the snorkeling experience if desired. The mounting feature is popular and snorkelers regularly use GoPros to record the underwater scenery while snorkeling.
They come in attractive colors and sizes.
The above features have made full face snorkeling masks a very popular choice among beginner and seasoned snorkelers alike. People wanting to try snorkeling are more inclined to do so because of the ease of use, and experienced snorkelers prefer the mask for its advantages over the traditional snorkeling set.
While the full face snorkeling masks are relatively easy to maintain, we need to keep the following things in mind to ensure longevity of the mask:
- Ensure that you buy the right size, or else water might get into the mask.
- While most masks support beards, some masks might let water in if the snorkeler has a thick beard.
- Keep the mask away from sand to prevent it from entering the snorkel and jamming the valve.
- Ensure that you don’t lean too far forward while under water and submerge the snorkel. The valve plugs the snorkel and you might find it difficult to breathe.
- Do not try to free dive with the full face snorkeling mask as the pressure of the mask on the face makes it uncomfortable for the snorkeler.
The full face snorkeling mask is a revolutionary product that has slowly changed the way people snorkel. Once you try the full face snorkeling mask, it is unlikely that you will go back to the traditional methods.
It is a fantastic product if you enjoy the water and wish to try some snorkeling on your next vacation, holiday, or even a Sunday by the beach. Have Fun!