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Level Contributor
204 posts
56 reviews
68 helpful votes

When I first encountered snorkelers wearing FULL FACE MASKS I thought "How Weird" However I can see their advantage with better visibility but with a greater seal area does that not increase the chances of a leak. I would appreciate your opinion, do you think they're better or worse than the conventional masks

Taunton, United...
Level Contributor
783 posts
68 reviews
148 helpful votes
1. Re: Snorkelling

We bought the full face snorkel masks for our trip last month. I had very limited experience of a traditional snorkelling mask prior.

At first I liked the full face snorkel mask and it works well for extremely leisurely swimmingly very still water. However we had slightly breezy conditions and I ended up much preferring the traditional snorkel. This was for me because of the breathing, with the full face mask you are only supposed to breath normally, this I found very difficult when exerting myself! Also if I feel myself starting to slight panic at all, my default tends to be to breathe deep and slow (possibly because I do a lot of yoga!).

I found it much easier to be able to breathe freely and just lie back slightly when I needed to blow through my snorkel tube or just blow out forcibly whilst still snorkelling.

Also if you do a snorkel tour with a dive centre they may not let you use the full face mask. This was the case for me at Amari Havodda which forced me back to trying the traditional mask again.

Everyone is different but I can’t see me using the full face again...

Bishops Stortford...
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
2 713 posts
70 reviews
77 helpful votes
2. Re: Snorkelling

This is quite an emotive subject as there is a high level of concern that when exerting yourself you can't clear the C02 that builds up in the mask and this can lead to passing out and drowning.

Personally I wouldn't take the risk but there are many who do like these masks

Edited: 1 year ago
Wavre, Belgium
Level Contributor
309 posts
3. Re: Snorkelling

Hi David H,

If you can clean (to avoid fogging) (*) and adjust a traditional mask (low volume with 2 glasses(**) ) then the traditional mask is much better.(of course for me, I'm an apneist ;-) .

(*) likes thousand of divers and freedivers succeed!

(**) like (true 180-degree range of visibility , Anti-fog and scratch-resistant lens coatings ) => https://www.cascoantiguo.com/en/apnea/free-dive-masks/sphera-lx-mask-aqualung

I use this mask => http://www.omersub.com/en/products/freediving/masks-snorkels/up-m1/

The ‘full face mask’, is only made to snorkel gently, slowly on the surface…not to dive below 6 feet or more.

With this "full mask", you must train yourself to be able to remove it quickly, because if for some reason (a shock for example) the mask filled with water it would be guaranteed drowning ... It is reported on several forums.

New ‘Equalizer full face mask’ (***) to compensate the water pressure on the eardrum exist, but the huge internal volume cannot be compensated like with a classical mask …the squeezing effect begins at +/- 30 feet

With this ‘Equalizer full face mask’ you are limited at max 20 feet ( please see hire below the 'Q&A'

(***) the video => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYrKGKeUldo

at 2:30 for safety reason we apneist don't hold the snorkel in mouth under the water…don’t believe all they are talking about in this video

at 4:25 isn’t fog in the girl’s black mask?

If you like to dive nothing's worth a low volume mask with 2 glasses.


Q&A found below the video


Does it equalize your ears?? Cuz if I purchased this. I would probably diving 20f

Hi M4dnezz ,

Thanks for your interest.

Yes, the Equalizer allows you to touch & pinch your nose to equalise the pressure in your ears.

In regards to the depth, this is still a snorkel mask and not a scuba diving mask.

Moreover, being a full face snorkel mask, there will be an additional pressure on your face that for some might be uncomfortable.

What we recommend is to test first in shallow waters - up to 6-7ft (1-2meters) and after that gradually go deeper and test again. In this way, you will be able to get used to the additional pressure on your face.

We personally use t often up to 20ft without a problem, but that's after many many sessions with it.

Hope that answers your question...

Fornebu, Norway
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
4 884 posts
45 reviews
113 helpful votes
4. Re: Snorkelling

I would not take the risk due to CO2 buildup.

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Maldives, Disneyland Paris
Level Contributor
10 316 posts
5. Re: Snorkelling

This article might be of interest https://www.deeperblue.com/head-mares-comment-recent-snorkeling-deaths-hawaii/

I'll let people read for themselves before I make my own comments, but it is worth a read and is very interesting, especially with regard to some of the commonly held opinions around full face masks (I have no strong opinion either way on this matter).

Wavre, Belgium
Level Contributor
309 posts
6. Re: Snorkelling

I had already read this article with its comments.

From this link => https://www.deeperblue.com/head-mares-comment-recent-snorkeling-deaths-hawaii/

‘At this point, it is not clear what caused the recent drowning deaths in Hawaii.’

I’m only considering drowning.

If drowning —> water enters in the lungs --> then water had completely flooded the mask.

It’s why I insist of practice exercises to take away the 'FFM' very quickly.

To be able to breathe normally with the airways clear.

7. Re: Snorkelling

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