Full Face Snorkel Mask Harmful or Helpful?

After doing our research, spending every day in the water and hosting thousands of snorkel trips, we do not recommend snorkeling or diving with full-face mask as there are some safety concerns we have discovered! 

Consider these safety concerns before deciding to dive or not to dive with a full-faced mask.

1. Our number one concern is carbon dioxide poisoning. Many of the full-faced mask do not have a direct breathing tube where the carbon dioxide we breath out is purged and fresh air brought in, instead the air we breath out is trapped in the mask face cavity for longer periods of time before being release through the snorkel.
Two piece snorkel and mask allow for used air to be directly purged and fresh air directly inhaled. 

Full Face Snorkel Mask

We provide 2 piece mask and snorkel sets for all guests on our Kaanapali Snorkeling Tours. We will not be permitting full-face mask to be used on our snorkel tours due to our concerns with their safety. 

2. Our second concern is the inability to equalize. Have you ever been swimming in the pool or diving in the ocean and your ears have pressure? The correct way to dive includes equalizing which is a technique that relieves the pressure on your ears by pinching your nose and lightly breathing out (before attempting talk with a dive instructor). The inability to equalize can lead to ruptured eardrums. 
Two piece snorkel and mask allow the diver to pinch their nose and properly equalize. 

3. Full Face Mask leaking impairs both sight and breathing. An average 2 piece mask and snorkel set can leak in the face cavity but the diver can continue to breath through the snorkel, and if water leaks into the snorkel, they can purge the water by breathing out sharply and expulsing the water through the tube.
The full-face mask makes this impossible and any leak has to be addressed by removing the mask and refitting.
Full Face Snorkel Mask
We hope this information encourages us all to do our research on any ocean equipment before we decide to use it and always snorkel with a buddy in the case of failed equipment or changes in ocean conditions, someone has our back!