Are Full Face Snorkel Masks Safe?

Many snorkelers prefer to use the full face mask rather than just goggles, but after several deaths attributed to full face snorkel masks you are probably wondering are full face snorkel masks safe or should you go back to using just goggles.  Let’s take a closer look a full face masks and see whether you should use one on your next snorkeling trip.

The Full Face Snorkel Mask History

These type of snorkeling masks first made it to the market in 2014 and were really different from the traditional mask.  They were designed to eliminate fog or a need for a separate mouthpiece.  For the first time snorkelers could breathe either through their nose or mouth, making breathing more natural and the mask easier to use.  Because they were so easy to use they became popular really quickly.

Be Careful of the Quality

There was a lot of time and research that went into the development of the full face mask, but just like any other quality product on the market there are cheap knockoffs and that is where the problems with safety happen.  Poor quality knockoffs are being sold online at very low prices and they simply do not work and they are dangerous.  Floats are getting stuck in the tube which cuts of air to the diver, pieces don’t fit properly letting in water and the silicon is poor quality and masks aren’t giving a good seal.

A Poorly Fitting Mask is Dangerous

If your mask doesn’t fit properly or the seal isn’t just right then the lower section that covers your mouth and nose isn’t functioning as it should you have a problem.  You can end up exhaling CO2 and moisture back into your mask instead of it flowing out through the snorkel.  Too much CO2 is dangerous and you can even pass out from it.  Passing out underwater is the last thing that you want to happen.  Here is a look at how they are supposed to work.

Where to Use the Full Face Snorkel Mask

These types of masks do have limitations that you need to be aware of, for instance they are not meant to be used for free diving nor are they recommended for use below 10 feet.  They are not built for you to swim laps, you won’t be able to get in enough air.  These masks are made for snorkeling very near the surface of the water.

Can you use the full face snorkel mask safely?  Absolutely but they must be used the way that the manufacturer intended.  Don’t trade of price for quality, this won’t prove to be much of a bargain and do your research before you buy.

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