Diveplanit reviews the Ninja Shark full face snorkelling mask – produced by a little Aussie family business – Ninja Shark.
Once in a while, something new comes along and often it’s dismissed as too radical, and besides – what we have works already. The problem is, what we have doesn’t actually work for everybody.
Not everyone is comfortable with a mask and snorkel, and there is a very simple reason for this: it’s called the mammalian dive reflex. When the face is submerged, water-sensitive receptors situated around the cheeks and other areas of the face relay information to the brain’s autonomic nervous system. The brain sends the message to ‘hold your breath’.
Most people quickly get passed this point, simply by realising that actually, with a snorkel firmly in your mouth, breathing is as easy under the water, as it is above.
When practicing mask clearing, and removing the mask completely, when that first flush of cold water hits the face, there is a marked tendency to hold your breathe. There it is again – the completely natural mammalian dive reflex.
That’s what makes the Ninja Shark Full Face Snorkelling Mask distinctly different – a large part of the face is exposed to air inside the mask, and not to the cooler water outside. This in turn makes it so much more ‘user-friendly’ particularly for first time snorkelers, and those who may have tried snorkelling, and didn’t take to it the first time.
The double band straps are more comfortable than your average mask strap, and you don’t have to worry about getting the angle of the snorkel right in the mouth – because there is no snorkel in the mouth.
The seal fitted my face very well, the visibility is great – no tunnel vision effect you can sometimes get particularly – with low volume masks and it didn’t fog up. It provides much more visibility and particularly peripheral vision.
Obviously it is not designed for freediving. It will tolerate a short immersion, and the ball in the breathing tube is designed to keep water out – which it did. (On a deliberate attempt to flood the mask, the water drained out of the bottom, as it is designed to do).
Plus, it is easily removed – simply push up and outwards from the chin and it literally falls off into your hands.
So if you’re wondering what to yet your buddy-to-be for Christmas that might entice them to at least get started on their journey of becoming a fan of the oceans – the Ninja Shark mask might just be it.
Good for beach clean-ups too – get all that rubbish out of the shallows.