What about the Full-Face Mask for Snorkeling?
Full-Face Mask Report: Snorkeling is one of the top 10 most popular holiday activities. The reasons are obvious. Only equipped with diving goggles and snorkel, I can dive into the underwater world. Both do not take up much space in your luggage and do not weigh much. If necessary, you can borrow it in most hotels.
The equipment has hardly changed since time immemorial. Nowadays the manufacturers use new materials and develop new shapes again and again. However, there is something completely new on the market since a few years. A full-face mask, where the snorkel is integrated into the mask. It is no longer necessary to take a mouthpiece into your mouth to breathe.
I saw the mask for the first time with one of our customers on board. I was her snorkel guide and naturally wanted to learn more about this mask. So, I asked her what the advantages of this mask were. She told me the following story: “I love the sea and the underwater world. Although I am full of enthusiasm for snorkeling, I could never go snorkeling relaxed. On the one hand, I have trouble concentrating on breathing through my mouth. I prefer to breathe through my nose. Even if I manage to get used to it again after a while, a completely different problem arises. The mouthpiece of the snorkel creates a choking stimulus and so I do not take it and I always must take the head to breathe out of the water. But thanks to the full-face mask I can now breathe through my nose and have no mouthpiece left in my mouth. This allows me to snorkel in a relaxed way.”
I know of some people with very similar problems. While breathing through the mouth can be controlled with a little practice, gag reflexes are hard to control. This encounter was a few years ago. At that time, I was quite enthusiastic about this mask.
In recent years, unfortunately, there have been reports of drowning deaths related to these full-face masks. We can distinguish between two potential problems. First, the CO2 content of the exhaled air in the mask can increase. This will happen if breathing is fast and shallow or if the exhaust valves in the mask cannot work properly. If the CO2 content exceeds a critical limit, this will lead to fainting. The snorkeler can drown without anyone noticing. I therefore recommend that you look at the valves before use and lift the mask slightly off your face every 5-10 minutes. The inside of the mask will be filled with fresh air again.
The second potential problem occurs when water enters the mask and the mask cannot be removed from the head. In contrast to the conventional mask, which is held with a flexible strap, the full-face mask is held on the head with two crossed straps. In addition, the whole face is in the full-face mask. An untrained person, who may also be an untrained swimmer, can easily panic in this situation. Once in panic, the person only reacts instinctively. If he sinks again and again, the mask can continue to fill with water. The situation can be remedied with a simple movement of the hand. Grasp the bottom of the mask with your hand and push it vigorously upwards to remove it from your face. I recommend practicing the technique sufficiently.
You like it?
When purchasing the full-face mask, you should also consider that the surface to be sealed increases in size compared to the diving mask and so water can penetrate more places.
We recommend using conventional diving masks and snorkels. In our opinion this is safer, and you can’t dive down with it, which is not recommended with a full-face mask.
You need it?
However, if you have the above breathing or gagging problems, use the full-face mask. Please be aware of the potential risks and practice using the mask before going into the water. Try it first! On our snorkeling tour you can try the full-face mask first and if you like, buy it.
+ NO choking stimulus
+ Can breath with nose
– can’t dive down