Snorkeling is a fun activity enjoyed by many, and while it may take a little practice, it's still easy to learn. It opens a world of potential and allows you to explore areas you wouldn't be able to otherwise. From swimming in the outdoor pool to your next tropical vacation, there's nothing like being able to see underwater fully. The full face snorkel mask is better designed to help you see underwater than swimming goggles, which are designed for performance and lap swimming. The snorkel mask provides a wider breadth of visibility while the snorkel breathing tube allows you to breathe while underwater.
The snorkel mask takes some time to get used to. You don't need to constantly remain at the surface of the water to use it. The tube will fill with water, but with practice, you can clear the tub with a single exhale. This way, you can swim down in the water, take a closer look, then move back to the surface, clear the snorkel and continue on swimming, all without ever bobbing up above the surface. If you plan on spending any kind of time in the water investing in a snorkel and snorkel mask is highly recommended.
Once you get your full face snorkel mask, it's time to get some simple tips and tricks to be a pro. In no time, you'll be ready to get in the water.
What Is Snorkeling?
Snorkeling is swimming with a mask and breathing tube. This should not be confused with scuba diving. Scuba diving uses an air tank. Snorkeling does use similar equipment at times. You may decide to purchase flippers, which makes it easier to kick underwater. The flippers allow you to move faster with less energy. As you're under added pressure underwater, it is beneficial to take advantage of flippers. Many times when you purchase a snorkel and snorkel mask, it will come with flippers. If not, it is worth investing in a pair.
The snorkel and mask go together. The mask has a built-in connector, which helps keep the snorkel attached. This way, even if you take your mouth off of the snorkel while underwater you won't have a problem putting it back in place. The mask itself provides a large viewing area. It runs from just under your hairline down to under your eyes. This way your eyes can move about without tilting your head.
The snorkel is a breathing tube that fits into your mouth. It allows you to breathe while underwater. While swimming, the snorkel should be positioned, so it fits in your mouth and is slightly lower than a 90-degree angle. This way, when you clear the tube of water while underwater, it doesn't just fill back in. It will take some practice to learn how to clear your tube. If you don't push hard enough, you'll end up breathing water back in. You can practice this in your bathtub or when you first get to where you intend to snorkel. Once you get the hang of this, you'll be able to swim just about anywhere.
Full Face Snorkel Mask vs. Regular Mask
The difference between a full face snorkel mask and a regular mask is that a full face snorkel mask covers both your nose and mouth, allowing you to breathe more naturally. Most people breath through their nose. Due to this, switching to breathe through the mouth does take a bit of getting used to. However, when the mask does not cover the nose, it opens up the potential for accidentally breathing in water through the nose. With a full mask, you do not have to worry about this.
When first starting off, you'll want to breathe in through your nose, but the full face mask prevents this. The regular mask leaves your nose exposed. When breathing in through the snorkel, you may accidentally try to take in some air through your nose, which not only may force you up to the surface, but it will also burn your nose at the same time. The full face mask also eliminates or at least drastically reduces fogging, which is one of the major complaints with a regular snorkel mask.
The full face snorkel mask is separated into two chambers: the top chamber is the viewing section, allowing you to see underwater and then lower chamber that covers the nose and mouth so you can breathe. When shopping around for snorkels and masks some less expensive products are the regular mask and snorkel. These products are fine when you don't want to spend much money. However, the full face mask makes it easier to breathe, reduces the chance of fogging, and increases your level of enjoyment. So, if you have the extra money, it is recommended you look into purchasing one of the larger full face masks.
Some top brands we recommend for a full face snorkel mask are:
Simple Tips & Tricks
To prevent a bad first snorkeling experience, it's important to follow a few first steps before you go. Read onward to learn more.
Buy proper gear. We suggest a full face snorkel mask. We will discuss the benefits of the mask below. Also, wear fins and a vest when you go out snorkeling. If you're able to, make sure to test out the fit. Not all snorkels are for everyone. There will be some masks that fit you better than others, so if you're going to the sporting goods store to shop for snorkels, see if you can put the mask on. The last thing you want is a mask that pinches your nose or is uncomfortable.
Practice before you go on your first snorkeling trip and know your limits. Don't do anything you're not comfortable doing. Test the fit of your mask well in advance. Adjust the fit straps, so it securely fits around your face. If it is not comfortable or if it pinches in certain areas, you may want to exchange it for another snorkel mask. The fit is a very important factor. You need the mask to be airtight, so there will be pressure, but if part of your face hurts while you're wearing it, you may want to try out a different mask.
Choose your snorkeling location carefully and know of the ocean conditions. Naturally, you already have your destination picked out, and now you're buying the snorkel to go along with it. However, always look into the water conditions ahead of time. Some locations have undercurrents and riptides to know of, which are incredibly dangerous. Know exactly where you're swimming to stay safe. You also need to educate yourself on what to do if you are ever caught in an undercurrent or riptide (don't swim against it, swim to the side to get out of it).
Protect yourself with sunscreen and potentially a rash guard and wetsuit, depending on ocean conditions. This is, again, an instance in which knowing the location and what the water is like will help.
Know how to avoid fogging. First, by purchasing a full face mask, you will reduce the chance of fogging. Beyond this, you can purchase an application spray you apply to the mask. This is a fog proof applicant that helps keep it clear (which can occur for several reasons ranging from temperature change between your body and the water outside and expelling air into the mask while underwater). In a pinch, you can spit on your hand and rub it on the mask. This is a short-term fix, but it works if you have no other options available to you).
Have fun! Snorkeling will take you on adventures in many exotic locales. Enjoy yourself!
Other Helpful Tips
Prepare a swimmer's ear to prevent water from entering. The Sunbeast AF90 Full Face Snorkel Mask includes a swimmer's ear. If you have tubes in your ears or any other medical condition, it is a good idea to invest in protective coverings for your ears. This way, you'll reduce the chance of water entering your ears. You can't hear much underwater so you won't be missing out by using such a protective device.
Snorkeling is a great way to get out into the water and to explore a whole new world. If you're visiting a tropical destination, sometimes the most beautiful scenery is found underwater. An easy way to get close to this is with a full face snorkel mask. By investing in a properly fitting snorkel mask and knowing a few tricks of the trade, you'll increase your ability to enjoy yourself and to get up close and personal with all the amazing underwater life. Just make sure to keep in mind these different steps and suggestions while you do so. Having the right equipment and knowing where and how to snorkel will lead you to experiences that will be absolutely breathtaking.