Full-face snorkel masks are a relatively new addition to the world of snorkeling gear, that’s why some people do not know much about them or how to use them. Where did these masks come from? Why choose a full face snorkel mask? These are just some of the questions that those with a passion or curiosity for snorkeling may have.
Today, we’ll introduce the concept of full-face snorkel masks, provide a short explanation of how they differ from traditional masks, and why you might want to take a closer look at this type of mask for your next exploration adventure!
How Full-Face Snorkel Masks Came to Be
While it is not clear which company first invented the full-face snorkel mask, it is clear that the earliest designs for this type of mask came about in the mid-1990s. At this time, some snorkel and ocean gear manufacturers realized that it might be possible to take away some of the inconveniences of snorkeling.
For instance, many people give up on snorkeling because they get easily frustrated about learning how to breathe through only their mouth. Full-face masks were invented, in part, to take care of that problem because they allow you to breathe through both your mouth and your nose while underwater.
Additionally, they allow you to express your feelings and have a wider view of what you are seeing. Still, traditional masks remain to have their place in the industry while full-face masks are gaining their own traction as well. When do most people prefer to use each of these types of masks? Let’s find out.
Traditional vs. Full-Face Snorkel Masks
Traditional snorkel masks are made out of two main pieces: the lens mask and the snorkel. To breathe, you must inhale and exhale through your mouth. Using your teeth, you hold a snorkel tube to your face to keep airflow. Learning how to breathe like this takes time, but it can allow you to free dive underwater to get closer to the sights.
Full-face snorkels, on the other hand, cover your entire face with one big mask. This mask has a built-in snorkel. There are compartmentalized sections that allow the air to flow in such a way that you can breathe in and out through either your nose or your mouth.
Each type of mask has specific situations that it is better for. Traditional masks are better for active swimming, free diving, long dives, swimming long distances, and any other time that keeping up a high breathing rate is necessary.
Full-face masks are better used for leisurely snorkeling, viewing things while standing or floating on the water, and short dives for beginners who want to get a taste of the world of snorkeling.
Why Choose a Full Face Snorkel Mask?
Now that you know more about full-face snorkel masks and where they come from, you might be unsure about whether or not this type of mask will work for you. Like every piece of equipment, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using these particular types of snorkel masks.
Let’s walk through some of the pros and cons so that you can get a better understanding of how this mask could be beneficial to you or not.
- Easier to Breathe
The number one reason that someone might favor the full-face mask over a traditional mask is that you can breathe more normally. You can inhale and exhale through both your mouth and your nose, so it is a more relaxed breathing style. This is great for beginners.
- Dry-Top System
Most full-face snorkel masks have a dry-top tube. This means that even if you accidentally submerge the snorkel, you will not get water into your mouth or the breathing area. The valve on the snorkel prevents this from happening.
- Water-Tight Barrier
Since full-face mask covers a larger part of your face, it’s less likely that you will get water in when you smile or move your mouth around as you might naturally do while snorkeling.
- Less Fog
Some people find that their mask is less likely to fog up when it is a full-face mask. This is due to the type of dual vents that are in the mask.
- Wider View
When wearing a full face-mask, you have almost a panoramic view of everything around you. This view is much wider than what you might see while wearing a standard mask type.
- Less Fatigue
Using a traditional style mask can be very tiring for your jaw because you have to bite the snorkel. Fortunately, thanks to this design, this is not the case with full-face masks.
- Limited Activities
When wearing a full-face mask, you should not free dive or try to dive deeper than about six feet. Because of the mask type, it is impossible to help your ears or lungs equalize as you dive deeper. When wearing a traditional mask, you can use your nose to do this, but the full-face design makes this impossible for full-face snorkel masks.
- Bulkier Design
While some full face masks can be separated into pieces to pack, they are generally larger and bulkier than their traditional counterparts. This can make them difficult to pack and store away.
- Less Likely to Learn
One of the biggest concerns with full-face masks is that they are so easy to learn that people do not keep up with snorkeling safety. It can seem simple just to put on the mask and start seeing the underwater world, and it is!
Nevertheless, it’s important that you learn more details about snorkeling, how to clear your mask, and how to breathe properly. This knowledge will help you stay safe should any unfortunate situation occurs.
Why choose a full face snorkel mask? Because they offer an easy entry point to a wonderful world of snorkeling while providing you the chance to learn more! If this is the first time that you have heard about full-face snorkel masks, then we hope that this information can help you understand some of their benefits.
Full-face snorkel masks are not for everyone, but they do offer a unique set of advantages that some people will find aligning perfectly with their needs for their next outdoor vacation!