Any snorkelling experts in?

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  • Any snorkelling experts in?
  • Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    Posh holiday coming up and we need to get kitted up for snorkelling. All the cheap stuff that we had is either broken or too small for the kids. Looking (I think) for masks, snorkels and fins.

    Anyone have experience of the full face masks? They look a lot simpler! If not, then recommendations of places to buy mid range stuff from? Cheshire based if any shops are handy?

    Ta

    pondo
    Member

    Decathlon’s face-goggle things are brilliant – way more comfy than a grasp-in-your-teeth snorkel, good visibility, and clever design so it doesn’t fill up if you dive down or your head bobs under.

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Subscriber

    Well Bugger me. Never seen snorkels like that before.

    We live in the future I tell you.👍

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Out in Sicily at the minute and using 3 Decathlon face masks. Our 9 yr old loves the masks.

    We have had 2 masks for about 5 years now and faultless bought a 3rd for this holiday. Only £20 too!

    stevemuzzy
    Member

    I used a full face mask in Majorca last year, I loved it.

    However a mate who proper dives said to be very careful of them, they make diving seem very safe and there have been several deaths attributed to them

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hawaii-full-face-snorkel-mask-related-deaths/

    I however never drowned so not sure how much this is sensationalism or what.

    gobuchul
    Member

    Could be sensationalism but the 1st time I saw those full face things I thought they had CO2 hit written all over them.

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    Didn’t fit Mrs zip. So try before you take them on holiday.

    duffle
    Member

    So try before you take them on holiday

    Nowt worst than finding a mask that doesn’t fit and constantly leaking.

    Seen the full face masks….not sure! I wear contacts so I prefer separate mask and snorkel then I can wear the mask in the pool, the full face thingy would be a bit overkill!!

    Premier Icon db
    Subscriber

    If you want normal masks Lomo are good value;
    https://www.lomo.co.uk/acatalog/Diving-Masks.html

    db

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    To check fit, put the strap on the front of the mask, offer it up to your face (getting any hair out of the way first) and take a small breath in through your nose then hold it. If the mask stays put then it’s OK, if air squeezes in look for something else.

    I don’t like the full face jobs (co2 same as above) – you could always try supporting your LDS  😉

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    I wouldn’t like a full face mask – didn’t know about the co2 issues, but that puts me off even more.

    I think decathlon do a fairly good range – the test from thepurist above is how to check it fits.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    I’d be more worried about getting the full face mask off quickly if it fills up. I don’t think CO2 is a major worry for adult. Anyway Decathlon in Stockport is a good starting point. Just bought ours new masks and snorkel as they’re learning to dive in Turkey in a couple of weeks.

    madeupname
    Member

    re the LOMO advice above – bought kids snorkels from them last year for kids on holiday.

    Kids didn’t get on with them, leaked water through purge valve, clip to mask band broke. Kids ended up with my old TUSA with no issues and when I tried the Lomo snorkel it leaked too…

    Masks seemed ok, but I’d rather try on in a shop.

    If it’s for longterm use, buy a decent set from dive shop.
    If not, try decathlon but try them on before you buy.

    natrix
    Member

    Aldi have the full face masks on special offer today 🙂

    As above, really. Full face can be good, but very fit dependent. Decathlon excellent mask/snorkel kits and fins, good value for money.

    Can’t see how the full faskk mask would be any different to a pipe snorkel as far as CO2 build up is concerned – surely the CO2 would build up in the pipe unless you use the purge valve regularly?
    EDIT – had a look on Simply Scuba and it looks like there’s a separate exhaust port so, unlike pipe snorkels, you will be bringing in fresh air with each breath. As far as i an see, that would reduce the CO2 inhalation, making them safer. Obviously, not talking about £5 jobs of Ebay though. Think I’ll try one myself

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    Thanks all, really didn’t need to read about CO2 issues! Wouldn’t have even considered it tbh. We’ll try the Decathlon options.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    Can’t see how the full faskk mask would be any different to a pipe snorkel as far as CO2 build up is concerned – surely the CO2 would build up in the pipe unless you use the purge valve regularly?

    I think the idea is that a traditional snorkel encourages a more deliberate breathing action which is less susceptible to CO2 buildup. Certainly if you get a mouthful you need to purposefully purge it – not sure that’s possible with the full face mask.

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    Co2 is all about the dead space, ie the bit  that you exhale that doesn’t go all the way out so you inhale it again. In a trad snorkel that’s just the tube, in the full face variants there’s a bigger volume. So in an extreme example it’s like breathing in and out of a plastic bag, you increase the co2 and decrease the oxygen. Fine if you’re a tory mp on a night out, but not so good if you’re exerting yourself. I’ve had a full on co2 hit at depth and it was horrible, unlikely to be so bad on the surface but what’s so hard about breathing through a tube?

    ots – but no matter how deliberate you’re breathing, the last thing you breath out is the first thing you breath in – CO2 – whether that’s full face or pipe. The separate exhaust on the Seac Sub snorkels on Simply Scuba would prevent that build up as used air goes out a different route to fresh air coming in. There’s no mention of exhaust valves on the Decathlon ones although they do have purge valves. They’re also half the price of the SS ones

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    the last thing you breath out is the first thing you breath in – CO2 – whether that’s full face or pipe

    If you breath slowly, the exhaled breath will exit via the purge valve (at least on my Tusa snorkel I’ve had for years).

    I also exhale through my nose occasionally (just because I’ve had a mask squeeze before and it’s not in any way fun).

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    Don’t the full face masks tend to fog up?

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    This CO2 build up, are we talking after hours of use or possibly minutes? Warning I guess is sudden and not being able to breath?

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    This CO2 build up, are we talking after hours of use or possibly minutes?

    Well, it depends on concentrations but I don’t think less than 10 minutes is feasible in this scenario.

    CO2 toxicity symptoms are nausea and dizziness, which is obviously not ideal when diving. Should be straight forward to correct when snorkelling (i.e. stop).

    Don’t the full face masks tend to fog up?

    What I’ve read (and this is only after reading this thread) is that exhaled air goes out through an exhaust valve and fresh air comes in the tube, washing over the glass and defogging it. This may only appeal to those masks which have separate intake\exhaust routes – so not the Amazon/Ebay knock offs.

    dc1988
    Member

    No the full face masks don’t fog up but I find they are harder to breathe with than a traditional mask.

    gobuchul
    Member

    The CO2 build up possibility is due to the “dead space” inside the mask. A normal snorkel doesn’t have “dead space”.

    The problem with breathing increased CO2 in this instance is it leads to a very “panicky” breathing sensation. CO2 is what triggers your urge to breath. You have extra CO2 in your lungs which is telling your body you need to breath and even though you are getting plenty of oxygen when you do breath, it doesn’t feel like it. It doesn’t need a large quantity to cause issues. An awful sensation. Happened to me many years ago, when working in a hat with a faulty venturi control. It was absolutely awful.

    pondo
    Member

    Don’t the full face masks tend to fog up?

    My Decathlon facegoggle doesn’t – I also quite like that, if there is any water ingress, just lift your head out of the water and it drains out of the chin, you don’t have to remove the mask.

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    Assume the full face ones allow you to go under water? Valve in the snorkel keeps water out? All snorkels may do this these days? The ones we had as kids just let water down the pipe!

    pondo
    Member

    Correct – I’ve never gone down very far but yep, there’s a ball trap thing that stops water coming down the pipe.

    Premier Icon brant
    Subscriber

    My Decathlon facegoggle doesn’t – I also quite like that, if there is any water ingress, just lift your head out of the water and it drains out of the chin, you don’t have to remove the mask.

    I’ve found I can blow water out of mine with a big breath.

    milko9000
    Member

    are the full-face ones harder to submerge properly (i.e. dive down for a closer look at something)? I’d read so but never tried one.

    gobuchul
    Member

    are the full-face ones harder to submerge properly

    They will be. Much larger volume. Archimedes and all that.

    Premier Icon Scapegoat
    Subscriber

    Looking at the masks on Decathlon’s site two things are obvious. Firstly they look great for teaching kids to breathe with their face in the water. Easier to do and so their confidence is gained quicker. However…… there’s no way to reach your nose to equalise the pressure in your ears if you intend to dive below the surface. Dive down more than a meter or so and it will be very very painful.

    Call me a traditionalist, but they look like a bit of a gimmick, or certainly nothing more than a way to get kids simply floating and looking down.

    If you want to snorkel properly then a separate mask and snorkel are the way to go. As for deadspace and purge valves, I’ve snorkeled for decades with a simple pipe snorkel…… no valves, stoppers, purgers, ping-pong balls or anything else. Learn to surface face-up, head back and learn to purge the snorkel by blowing out. I haven’t drowned yet.

    giant_scum
    Member

    The Decathlon full face mask has a silicone bit inside it that goes over your mouth and nose!
    So your not having to purge the whole mask area each time.

    Premier Icon brant
    Subscriber

    I’ve snorkeled for decades with a simple pipe snorkel…… no valves, stoppers, purgers, ping-pong balls or anything else. Learn to surface face-up, head back and learn to purge the snorkel by blowing out. I haven’t drowned yet.

    Hope you are also keeping it real with a rigid 90s singlespeed and cantilever brakes.

    🤘🏻

    gobuchul
    Member

    Hope you are also keeping it real with a rigid 90s singlespeed and cantilever brakes.

    Missing the point.

    A simple snorkel is easy to use and there is absolutely no need for valves and stuff.

    Where as suspension, gears and disk brakes make a huge difference to a mountain bike.

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    Missing the point.

    Erm, not really. It’s exactly the same.

    Valves make snorkels a lot easier to use and allow you to do more for longer, just like suspension & disks.

    pondo
    Member

    I find grasping a snorkel in my gob uncomfortable – absolutely not an issue with a facegoggle.

    gobuchul
    Member

    Valves make snorkels a lot easier to use and allow you to do more for longer,

    Easier to use? I would suggest if you can’t breathe hard enough to clear a snorkel you shouldn’t be swimming in open water.

    Do more for longer? How exactly? More of what?

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