Image by Jakob Owens via Unsplash.

You ever wonder what it would be like to breathe underwater? To swim with fish and whales freely without worrying about surfacing for air? That’s likely a pipe dream for the majority of us out there. We aren’t going to scuba dive in dangerous oceans with expensive equipment like oxygen tanks; it’s just not realistic for the average person.

Snorkeling is the closest activity that allows anyone to swim safely underwater. With swimfins, goggles, and a short snorkel tube, you can try to emulate this experience, but it’s incredibly shallow – literally! To breathe, the snorkel tube has to be at the surface of the water, meaning diving isn’t actually possible.

More accurately, it wasn’t possible. But the future of snorkeling has recently changed forever.

Full-Face Masks

Image by H2O Ninja Mask via YouTube.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could snorkel comfortably underwater without the need for expensive equipment? Since the concept was first introduced in 2013, development on full-face masks spread like wildfire. Now there are tons of masks out there that promise to allow you to breathe underwater.

If you are going to risk your life snorkeling underwater, though, you’re definitely going to want a quality product. While cheap knock-offs are certainly tempting, you probably don’t want to risk drowning to save $50 or so.

Enter the H2O Ninja X. As the latest edition of the mask, the Ninja X features a snorkel at the top of the mask so that you can breathe from either your nose or mouth comfortably. Many full-face masks have this feature.

What the Ninja X does differently, however, is in its innovative design with the snorkel: it has an anti-leak seal that prevents water from entering the mask through the air valve. If any water does get in, it’s automatically filtered out.

The most intriguing feature is how you can breathe underwater in depths up to 10 feet, though it’s recommended to stay closer to the surface. The mask isn’t designed to handle the pressure for deep dives, and staying underwater for longer than 30 minutes with it on might be dangerous.

The material of the lens is durable and safe to use, allowing a good view of your surroundings. The mask is also a lot more comfortable than other models by different brands. One version also comes with a GoPro attachment so that you don’t have to hold a camera to film while snorkeling.

There are two downsides to the Ninja X. The first is the price, which can reach up to $200 CAD online. The second downside is the lack of testing outside of Hawaii (where it was designed). As a very recent technology, be weary of false claims from any full-face mask; it could save your life.

Dangers of Snorkeling

If you’re intrigued with the idea of breathing underwater – even if it is in depths under 10 feet – you should be aware of the dangers of snorkeling before you go and purchase a full-face mask of any sort.

Image by Kon Karampelas via Unsplash.

Ocean currents can be unpredictable, which can result in disaster if you can’t swim very well. Practice in pools is vital. There are also numerous hazards including nets, coral, floating debris, and sharp rocks. Health ailments such as heatstroke, cramps, and hypothermia are all possible, so it’s advisable to swim with others if possible. Wetsuits can help contain heat, so they may make a worthwhile investment if you decide that snorkeling is something you’d like to pursue frequently.

Newfoundland can be a scary place to snorkel, but don’t let that stop you from trying. Just make sure to bring along someone who knows what they’re doing. If you do wind up buying a face mask, let us know how it’s treating you!

. . .

At techKNOWtutors, we realize that adapting to technology isn’t easy. Although most services have closed, we remain open – digitally – to answer your internet-related questions. If you need help with improving your digital literacy, send us an email at techknowtutors@cscnl.ca or join our Facebook group and send us a message.

Better yet, sign up for one of our online classes that we offer for FREE every week! Until then, stay in the techKNOW.

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