We had been talking to the kids for months about snorkelling in Hawaii, how snorkelling works and what we might see. We bought them a kids mask and snorkel set for Christmas and they had a little play but I could tell it was going to be hard work, not only getting them used to swimming in the ocean, but also swim whilst trying to breathe with a snorkel in their mouths.
I started researching other options and came across the Australian Company Ninja Shark. Ninja Shark is run by husband and wife team Andrew and Alizee.
I reached out to Andrew and spoke about what we were planning and picked his brain on whether the masks would be suitable for kids of Ned’s and, in particular, Olive’s age.
Andrew reckons that “when it comes down to it, full face snorkel masks have been designed to improve upon traditional snorkel masks, and it’s their new features that set them apart. These features – like the breathing mechanism, the anti-leak seal, and the anti-fog coating – all create a more comfortable and relaxing experience when snorkelling, making full face snorkel masks an ideal for choice for children.
A particularly good choice for those who may experience anxiety in the water or dislike the unnatural breathing mechanism of traditional snorkels, full face snorkel masks offer a new chance to try your hand at snorkelling and enjoy the beautiful scenery that’s hiding underwater”.
Ned and Olive received a blue and pink full face snorkel mask and were so excited!
We didn’t get a chance to try these before we left for Hawaii so our first use was in the swimming pool on the first day. Olive was off like a little fish. I was so impressed.
I think for most kids (and most adults) the hardest part of learning to snorkel is actually dealing with something in your mouth and not being able to get in enough air. With these new masks there is nothing in your mouth, really! You are able to breathe through your mouth and your nose which is definitely more comfortable.
As there is nothing in your mouth you also don’t have the ache of a sore jaw, but it means you can still talk, which is great (but I thought being under the water would mean we could have a rest from Olive’s voice ha!).
The full face snorkels are made to be anti leak, preventing water from entering the mask. No more sea water in your mouth or to try and blow back up the snorkel!
We did notice though that they did actually fog a little bit. They have been designed with an anti-fog coating which is meant to prevent fogging, but I think the kids were pretty nervous and were breathing heavily which is probably why they did fog a little. With some calming breathing techniques I don’t think this would be an issue. Ninja Shark also recommends any of the follow ideas to help with fogging (ideas for a traditional mask also) –
- Clean your mask with toothpaste. Say what? If anything it would make them smell nice ha! Make sure you use a toothpaste without any abrasive elements (the simpler the better). Rub the toothpaste onto the inside of your mask and then wash off.
- An oldie but a goodie is to spit on the inside on your mask. Rub it around a little and then rinse.
- There are a couple of other weird ideas on the Ninja Shark website. Check it out and let me know if you’d be game to try a couple of the other methods?
In Hawaii we snorkelled with turtles, night time with Manta Rays and with loads of fish. I believe that using the Ninja Sharks is what got the kids in the water to experience these things. I don’t think they would have been comfortable learning to breathe and be comfortable enough to look around and enjoy the experience with a traditional mask and snorkel.
Check out the Ninja Shark website for more information.
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