This week, while waiting to dive, I tested the full face mask or facial snorkeling mask.
Ok, it is not diving but I still wanted to know the sensations that one could have with this very special full face mask.
First impression when I take the full mask in hand: it is really more imposing than my mask for scuba diving and nothing is planned to pinch the nose. On the other hand the full mask is provided with a nice wide window to ensure a maximum of visibility.
Two elastic straps are crossed at the back of the head to easily hold the mask on the head. No need for adjustment since it adapts to the morphology thanks to the silicone rod that bypasses the full mask and is placed against the contour of the face. Very different from my usual diving equipment.
And it’s gone for a little snorkelling tour in the waters of Isla Grande in Panama.
Wonderful, no mist on the glass and more surprising, I can breathe through the nose and the mouth in an undifferentiated way.
After a few seconds of surface swim, my natural behaviour comes back and I try to go to the bottom to enter the fish school just below me.
Surprise, it’s impossible !
Indeed, in addition to breathing which is no longer possible thanks to a non-return valve, the mask sticks very strongly on my face. Needless to resist, I have to come back on the surface (well I admit, I was just a few tens of centimeters).
I try again a second time but blowing a little of my air in the mask … it works a fraction of a second because the air escapes as fast as I blow it.
Well to enjoy the sea under my fins, I decide to stay on the surface and enjoy the spectacle of all life crawling beneath me.
If I make a topo of the experience I would say:
– The mask is easy to put and exists in several sizes
– The price is democratic (a few tens of euros)
– It is possible to attach a Gopro style camera
– The vision is indeed very wide
– No fogging problem as the air escapes through the integrated tuba
– It is possible to breathe through the nose or the mouth, it is new for the diver I am 😉
– The clutter of the mask; To travel it takes up space in the luggage
– The impossibility of going down even a few centimeters as the pressure is strong and no way to go see closer
– It is not diving equipment ☺️
So this mask is perfect for those who want to do snorkeling while remaining really just at the surface … if the somewhat “extraterrestrial” look of this mask does not put them off. Because, if as during my test several people are busy snorkelling with a full mask at the same time on a beach, it’s like being on another planet populated by strange creatures 😊
Finally, I am a diver and so will I stay and use my diving mask even though this experience allowed me to observe an abundant fauna on a bottom of maximum 2 meters.
If the opportunity lends itself on a beach here or elsewhere, do not hesitate to test this full mask or facial mask.
… What a great day 😃