I still remember the very first time that I wore my full face mask for snorkeling for the first time. I can almost relive the thrill that flowed down my spine. I knew that my snorkeling experience and adventures would never be the same again. I was sure I had made the right decision by buying the full face snorkel mask.
Just as its name suggests, you wear this mask over your entire face. It has a strap for fastening it behind the back of your head. In the part that fits around the face, it is designed with a silicone skirt that keeps the water out of your face.
This means that your face is housed in a vacuum and as a result, you do not need to bite on an air pipe to breathe, as you would have to do with a traditional snorkeling mask. Once you test one of these snorkeling masks and you see just how effective it is, you will see just why it is so popular with snorkeling enthusiasts.
Here are the main benefits of using a full face snorkel mask:
Keeps water out of your face
One of the nasty experiences that we have all experienced in water at one time or another was swallowing salty water. Now, with a fitting full face snorkeling mask, that need not be a problem at all. The silicone skirt of the mask is good for sealing around the entire face. It keeps the water out of your face. Silicone is also good for people with sensitive skins.
Some masks may leak. However, you will find that the amount of water that they let in is so little as compared to what you would get with a traditional mask. Please note that the mask is not supposed to leak, so you can always return it for a replacement if it is still under warranty.
It is easy to secure on your face
The full face mask is secured to the back of your head by use of straps at the back. They are adjustable, so you can find your fit easily. In any case, dive and snorkel masks come in different sizes, so you can always choose the best one for you. With the mask secure on your face, you will have your hands free to swim around.
This is the biggest benefit. You get to breathe just as you would if you were on dry land. Without fogging or condensation forming, you can see clearly in the water.
Some downsides of a full face snorkel mask
It is bulky and large – That is something that you can guess from the size of the mask. Before you get used to it, you may experience some fatigue. Compared to the traditional snorkel masks, the weight is higher.
Carbon dioxide build-up – The full face mask has a vacuum. When you breathe carbon dioxide out, it stays in the mask and you rebreathe it again. This could make you feel dizzy especially when you are snorkeling vigorously.
May not be good for freediving – The reason for this is that pressure builds in your ears as you descend. You have to gulp or yawn to lower the pressure, which is impossible when you are wearing a full face mask. With this mask, you may not experience the joys of the deep waters.