Full Face Snorkel
Do you love snorkeling but hate the saltwater taste in your mouth? Well I do too.
So I ordered in a bunch of these full face snorkels. I took one out in the ocean and had waves breaking over my head and no water in the mouth. (Also no gross mouth piece that somebody else has been chewing on) They have a little valve that closes when water touches it. Perfect.
Available in two different models, the original style with the flat viewing lens or the new curved lens. Each style comes in 3 different sizes, please refer to the sizing chart. Child (under 11 cm from chin to the bridge of the nose, Adult Small/Medium (11 to 13.5 cm from the chin to the bridge of the nose) and Adult Large (over 13.5 cm from the chin to the bridge of the nose)
The best way to learn to snorkel
The first time I snorkeled, I hated it. I was in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, off the coast of a Carribean Island, swimming in a tropical part of the Ocean—but all I could think of was how uncomfortable I was. An awkward mask was suction cupped to my eyes, blocking out the view in my peripheral vision, making me feel claustrophobic, as if I was swimming in a narrow tunnel. The snorkel in my mouth would shoot cold saltwater down my throat unless I clamped down on the mouthpiece just right. Because of this, my jaw was aching and inflamed by the end of my snorkel session.
The best way to learn to snorkel
Snorkeling is one of the most fun and rewarding activities you could ever try. Not many things combine the freeing feeling of moving gracefully through the water while opening you up to a beautiful world that is normally invisible to us surface dwellers. With snorkeling, you’re able to see things you normally would never be able to see.
Unfortunately, snorkeling has a steep learning curve, as evidenced by my first unfortunate trip out in the water. Snorkeling takes a long time to reveal its nuances to people. It took several sessions for me to become comfortable with a mask restricting my field of vision, to find out how to carefully breathe through a mouthpiece, and to just generally become comfortable with saltwater in my face.
Little did I know that there was an easier way to learn snorkeling techniques and to become comfortable with being underwater. The easiest way for anyone to become proficient with snorkeling—to dip your fin into the water, so to speak—is to use a special type of snorkel mask called a full face snorkel. If I had used a full face snorkel mask the first time I had ever gone out in the water, I would have avoided an unpleasant day of saltwater getting down my throat and may have actually enjoyed myself.
I’d like to introduce to you exactly what a full face snorkel is, as well as point out its benefits and drawbacks when compared to a traditional snorkel setup.
What is a full face mask snorkel?
With a traditional snorkel set up, the face mask and the snorkel itself are separate. The mask basically protects your eyes and nose from the water by creating an airtight seal around the edges of the mask. The snorkel’s mouthpiece fits into your mouth, upon which you clamp your teeth down to create a seal around the edges of the mouthpiece, repelling any water, which ensure only air can enter and exit your windpipe.
The key difference between that and a full face mask is that the full face mask combines the snorkel and mask into one unit. The traditional setup requires a seal around your eyes with the mask, and around the mouth with the snorkel. With the full face mask, there is only one seal around the edges of your face. There is not a mouthpiece with this type of mask; instead, the snorkeler just has to breathe out and in, whether from the mouth or nose, just like on dry land.
Why choose a full face mask snorkel?
The design of a full face mask snorkel offers many benefits to the snorkeler:
The mask ensures that no water gets onto your face. This is nice, since the feeling of water on your face can unsettle the novice snorkeler. The feeling of water surrounding your mouth can arouse panic, as it tricks your brain into thinking you might be inhaling some water with your next breath! With the full face mask, your entire face is protected from this.
You don’t have to have to clamp down on a mouth piece. Many people, myself included, suffer from a fatigued and achy jaw at the end of a snorkeling session. There’re no achy jaws with a full face mask, which is really nice. You can breathe like normal.
You can breath through your nose, which is a nice way to remain in a calm, relaxed mood throughout a swim.
It offers a wider field of view than a traditional face mask. This is perhaps the thing I like most about full face masks. A normal mask restricts your field of view, especially in your peripherals, since the lenses are so small. The full face mask is much bigger, which expands the amount of area you’re able to see at one time. Not only does that make it for a less stressful snorkel (after all, we evolved to fear predators who attack at the edges of our field of vision) but it also offers up a more aesthetically pleasing experience.
What are the downsides to a full face mask snorkel?
Why choose a full face mask snorkel? You might be thinking at this point, full face masks sound great! Everyone should get rid of their traditional snorkel setups and go all in on the full face mask.
Not so fast. While there are a lot of things to recommend about the full face mask, it does have a few downsides:
They’re not good for diving below the surface of the water. This is the biggest drawback. Because face masks are pressurized In traditional snorkeling, you need to equalize the pressure in your ears with the pressure in the mask. The only way you can do this is by pinching your nose and sort of expelling air out your ears. Well, the full face mask covers up your nose, making it impossible to equalize pressure—a big bummer. Most full face mask manufacturers don’t recommend using these masks to dive below the surface. So if you buy one, you’ll be confined to the surface of the water.
They’re generally bulkier than traditional masks. They just won’t fit into your bag as well the smaller traditional snorkels.
The lenses used in the full face mask tend to scratch easier than traditional lenses, for whatever reason. Maybe the manufacturers use a different material to construct these lenses. Whatever it is, you need to plan on being a little more careful when transporting your lense, otherwise you could end up looking at the underwater world through a patchwork of scratches!
If none of these downsides are dealbreakers for you, read on and find out what to look for when shopping for a full face mask snorkel.
Buying a Full Face Snorkel Mask in 2018
Don’t go snorkeling until you read about our full-face snorkeling gear.
Full-face snorkeling masks are relatively new additions to the market. And they have their pros and cons. But it cannot be denied that these masks have made it more fun to snorkel. And they help beginners who don’t have experience and pros who are tired of sore jaws, to enjoy their time in the water.
Let’s review the pros and cons of a full-face mask and what to look for in buying one in 2018.
Why Should you get a Full-Face Snorkel Mask?
A full-face mask comes as one unit with the mask and the snorkel attached. With a traditional snorkel they are separate pieces, you have to put the mask and snorkel together, and then the seal to keep out water is not as comprehensive as the full-face mask.
The Mouthpiece Issue
A full-face mask reduces the learning curve for first-time snorkelers. Unlike regular masks where you have to get used to the mouthpiece and breathing only through your mouth, a full-face mask doesn’t have these limitations.
Full-face masks don’t have the annoying mouthpiece that comes with regular masks and snorkel combinations. This prevents the mouth pain and fatigue that is often associated with traditional snorkel masks. So, you have an easier time – ‘breathing under water’ which is essential for a good snorkel experience.
These masks are more visible when you are in the water and therefore more protective of you as you snorkel.
Recording the Experience
Full face masks are designed to accommodate GoPro and other underwater video cameras. You can easily mount a camera and get to recording your awesome snorkeling experience.
Dry Snorkel Prevents Water Inlet
This comes in handy for general snorkeling, not deep-water diving. With a dry snorkel, if a wave covers you or the snorkel while you are snorkeling, the water will not get in. With a traditional snorkel a wave will leave you with a mouth full of salt water. Gross.
The cons of a full-face snorkel
It’s not all fun and games with a full-face snorkel mask. It does have its limitations. A few of them are as follows:
What to Look for in a Full-Face Snorkel Mask
There are many options out there for full-face snorkeling gear in Canada. And truth be told, some of those options are really low-quality masks. But, you can find high-quality full-face masks if you know where to look, and what to look for.
If it’s your first time snorkeling, or you are an experienced snorkeler, these full face snorkeling masks will be perfect for you. Take them out for a swim, enjoy your trip, and tell us about the experience.