The Seac Unica Full Face Snorkel is a great way to keep your face out of the water while snorkelling. The mask covers your whole face and lets you look down into the water while breathing normally through your nose and mouth. The wide Z-shaped seal creates an effective watertight seal all around your face and even if any water does get in then it will get trapped away from your face and pushed out the bottom when you breathe out.
The snorkel at the top is removable for storage and transport and it features both a splash guard to keep water out and a dry valve that closes the top of the snorkel when submerged. A huge bore snorkel ensures you get plenty of fresh air in the mask and all of the bad air you breathe out is pushed out a different hole in the mask.
The design of the airflow through the mask means that you don't have to prepare it or defog it like a conventional mask because the fresh air you breathe in passes over the inside of the lens defogging it before it makes it to the nose pocket. Exhaled air that usually fogs up lenses passes around the side of the mask and out the top.
?All Full-Face Masks will have a one-way purge valve at the bottom, but most will just allow the exhaust to vent in any direction. Some masks have adjustable exhalation, so you can control the exhaust to vent in one direction or increase the force required to open the valve. Close.
|Head Band Strap|
?Holding the mask to your head is a four- or six-point adjustable strap. Elastic Fabric straps are comfortable and don't pull on your hair but can lose their elasticity over time. Silicone straps are stretchy and grippy but can stick to your hair sometimes. Close.
?This section of the snorkel bends the tube to angle the mouthpiece towards the mouth for a comfortable fit. A simple snorkel will have a fixed angle piece with a smooth internal and external surface that does not offer any flexibility.
Most snorkels, however, have either a semi flexible or fully flexible silicone section that offers some or complete flexibility over the angle and position of the mouthpiece.
For snorkellers a semi flexible section can some times be more beneficial as it keeps the mouthpiece close to the mouth whereas a scuba diver would prefer a fully flexible version that moves the mouthpiece out of the way of the regulator.
Regardless of the choice it is important that the corrugation that allows the section to flex so much is only on the outside of the snorkel. Ridges on the inside of the snorkel causes the air flow to slow and spin, taking more effort to breathe and creating dead air spaces. Close.
?Most snorkells are designed to be used by a variety of people including adults, teenagers and children but not everyone finds the standard size mouthpieces comfortable because they are too large. There are snorkels fitted with smaller motuhpiece to make use much more comfortable. Close.
?A one way purge valve can be incorporated into the frame or nose section to allow for hassle free mask clearing. The diver just needs to tilt his/her head to allow the water to flow to the valve and be purged out. Close.
?The lower points of the mask strap can be fitted with quick release mechanisms, so you can quickly pull up or push a button to loosen the mask and pull it off fast if you need to. Close.
?Full Face Diving Masks can be fitted with a Surface Air Valve, so you can breathe on the surface without wasting valuable gas. While all can be fitted with a SAV some come fitted as standard. Close.
?The skirt is the seal around your face that stops the water from getting in. Cheaper masks will just have a Thermoplastic that will do the job but harden over time and discolour if left in the sun. Most are Silicone that are soft, create an effective seal and don't discolour quickly. The highest-grade silicone is Hypoallergenic that is purer with few impurities for a crystal-clear skirt that is soft and effective. Close.
?The opening of the top of a full-face snorkel may have one of three openings; Open, Deflector or Dry. Open top snorkels are just a simple tube that allows air to flow in and out freely but will allow water in if submerged. Deflector tops prevent waves from splashing water in but will let water in if submerged but Dry tops will deflect waves and close the top of the snorkel when submerged to stop water getting in only to open again when you surface. Close.
|Snorkel Top Type|
?In its simplest form a snorkel tube is just open which obviously allows air to flow in and out of the snorkel as freely as possible but also allows water to splash into and enter the snorkel.
A deflector is a cap that fits over the top of the snorkel tube opening and uses a series of guards and vanes to direct water that splashes over the top of the snorkel away from the opening. It is not 100% guaranteed to prevent water from enetering the snorkel but they are very useful in choppy seas and makea big difference to comfort and convenience when snorkelling.
A Dry Valve builds upon the principles of a deflector by incorporating a float valve that will close the snorkel opening when submerged. Early versions of these valves were simply ping pong balls trapped within a tube that floated up to block the tube. Modern valves use a float linked to a hinging flap that closes over the top of the snorkel which are very responsive and hugely more reliable. Close.
|Strap Retainer Type|
?To keep your snorkel in position you need some kind of loop to attach it to your mask strap.
Two methods of strap retention used on most snorkels are a fixed plastic clip and a quick release assembly. The fixed clip allows for rapid insertion of the mask strap and vertical movement for a customised fit to the mouthpiece. This clip method is cheaper but does not allow for as much movement flexibility and convenience of a quick release clip.
The Quick Release method uses a two piece assembly, one piece is permanently attached to the snorkel tube and the other is fitted to the mask strap. The two pieces can be joined by pushing together and released at the push of a button. Close.
|Tube Cross Section|
?The cross section of a snorkel may not seem very important but there is a reason boats and ships have efficiently streamlined bows that cut through the water, massively reducing drag.
The same principle applies to snorkels. A snorkel with a flatter profile hugs the side of the head better and offers a more streamlined leading edge that reduces drag and helps to reduce or eliminate the flapping that can be created when finning quickly through the water.
Obviously you can't create a really flat snorkel without restricting air flow so a lot of snorkels will have a thinner leading edge but be wider than a circular profile snorkel to maintain the air flow efficiency. Close.
?A basic style snorkel is usually a J shape, a straight tube coming down to a fixed angle bend at the bottom with a mouthpiece on the end. Whilst this is very efficient for air flow and also makes it cheaper to manufacture the hydro dynamics of the snorkel through the water is not that great which can cause the snorkel to flap when moving at speed or in strong currents.
Most modern snorkels hug or wrap around the side of the head, creating a more streamlined profile through the water, reducing drag and pull of the snorkel Close.
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