/ Diving mask and snorkel for kids
Off on holiday in a couple of months and considering getting a proper diving mask and snorkel for the kids, rather than just goggles - the younger one seems to swim better under the water than on it, at the moment!
Obviously it needs to be a kids size, as they don't have the lung capacity/mouth size for an adult snorkel, but what's the youngest age you can safely use them from?
And any recommendations for a "good" set from a decent brand, rather than the cheap plastic rubbish you can get from any resort tat shop? I've seen a nice looking one from Cressi that says from 5 years.
And please don't suggest those full-face things...
I really like the Decathlon whole face thing, not having to grip the mouthpiece tightly all the time. There is a kids size although I don't know what the minimum recommended age is.
I'd have a read of this before buying a full-face mask.
Exactly why I said "And please don't suggest those full-face things..." in my original post!
Fit would be my number one concern, well above brand or model recommendations.
A leaky mask is a crap mask and how well it fits comes down to the shape of your face. As with so many things, get yourself to a shop where you can try in person and the mask will give years of happy use.
As for age I think full diving training with PADI starts from 10. No idea for snorkeling.
Absolutely - took me ages to find one that fitted me! - but it's trying to find somewhere that's actually got them in stock to try on...
Usual toss-up between getting it sorted before we go versus risk of better choice in a Med resort.
To check if a mask fits, put it against the face and breathe in through nose, then hold your breath and it should create a seal and stick to the face without needing a strap. Other things I would look for are peripheral vision, but for occasional holiday use that isn't really a problem.
Most snorkels have a valve so they are easy to clear, I would go for cheap and cheerful.
One other thing I would recommend if they have long hair is a neoprene 'slap strap', mine really does help to avoid/reduce tangling.
Do you have a decathlon locally? For kids snorkeling probably fine to buy in resort, just check the mask fits OK first.
> Exactly why I said "And please don't suggest those full-face things..." in my original post!
Sorry I did miss your last sentence
"If you breathe in used air full of CO2 leads to headache, dizziness, and unconsciousness. CO2 can build up in wrong-designed normal snorkel tubes too…"
Fortunately, our lungs are very sensitive to CO2. In fact, that's what makes us want to breathe in; it's not lack of oxygen, it's the partial pressure of CO2.
So if you were rebreathing CO2, you would soon get very uncomfortable, and want to breathe in 'properly', long before it posed a risk of passing out.
Regarding the Decathlon full-face masks, that page seems very complimentary:
"Most reliable full face snorkel masks
Decathlon was the pioneer on the full face mask market inventing their patented design with engineers and watersport experts. They invested a lot of money and time to develop their products and they still do. They come up with product upgrades, providing warranty, replacement parts, and great customer service."
But, after the CO2 comment (which I fear they have confused with CO, which we don't detect, and leads to the symptoms described), I'm inclined to ignore anything else on that page...
Check out and support your local Dive shop (there's definitely one in your area). If you take your children there they will be able to try them on, a good fit is the most important factor a good dive shop won't usually stock the really naff stuff....
The full face masks cannot be used safely for diving - they are Ok for staying on the surface. Young children though might find it difficult to force the air out of them and breath effectively - they need a good set of lungs!
Thanks, I just like to potter about at the surface admiring fish.
I think Cressi or Speedo will be a good choice (based on some of my colleagues who bought them and give them to their children). However, I agree with Sl@te Head. You might want to ask your children to nearest shop to try some of them.
There were a few dive shops around here, couple of them have gone and only 2 seem to actually have gear for sale and neither of them list anything suitable on their websites.
I'll pop in and see, but will probably have to order something in anyway.
My first proper mask was Cressi youth one - still got it after 30-odd years and it's still usable! These days, I use a Tusa one.
Seems Cressi do one called a Piumetta for ages 3-6/7, which looks just the job.
I wouldn't order a mask online unless I had already tried it on for size / fit. A poorly fitting mask will put your children off snorkelling for life. Trust me I'm / was a PADI Divemaster & AI with many years experience of running school diving and snorkelling trips worldwide.
Quite agree that those full-face masks are a dreadful idea.
For occasional holiday snorkelling use, especially for growing kids, why not the Decathlon conventional masks if they fit? They do smaller sizes of masks for children and a slightly shorter, lower volume snorkel.
Decent snorkelling brands - Cressi-sub, Technisub, Beauchat (if they do them, they're a spearo brand). globetrotter.de list Cressi-sub kids masks and snorkels so that's a fairly good guide to their decency.
Go ask on the deeperblue.com forums, they'll have all the answers you could ever want.
My own general experience with mask fit - I have a big nose and many masks can't accomodate it without significant pain on the bridge of the nose after a while.
I ordered a couple of Cressi kids sets for our holiday no complaints from the kids
Is the peripheral vision bit so that you can see sharks sneaking up on you?
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