5 Full Face Snorkel Mask Issues and How to Avoid Them

by Mihai Pinzariu on September 23, 2019

5 Full Face Snorkel Mask Issues and How to Avoid Them

As with anything, full face snorkel masks have their issues. Nothing is perfect in this world, we’ve all got our flaws! While we reckon our Ninja Shark masks are quite solid (only because we’ve worked so hard to perfect them!), there are other snorkel masks out there that can cause a range of issues for the user.

Here are the most common full face snorkel mask issues we’ve read about (and sought to fix with our snorkel masks). The best you can do is be aware of potential problems and try to avoid them before they occur. And if you’re experiencing a problem that hasn’t been mentioned below, feel free to message us! We’d love to help out.

1. Carbon dioxide (CO2) buildup

Buildup of CO2 in the snorkel mask is becoming more and more common as more dodgy, cheap snorkel masks are sold on the internet. It’s tempting to buy cheap, but not worth the risk.

  • Why CO2 buildup happens:

As we inhale and exhale, we produce CO2 (basic science, guys). If we’re exerting ourselves in an activity that’s a bit tiring, then our body produces more oxygen to keep the muscles going. More oxygen means faster, shallower breathing.

Suddenly, we’re exhaling lots and lots of carbon dioxide in the confined space of a full face snorkel mask. Since we’re breathing shallowly, there’s not enough force to expel the CO2 out of the mask. It’s basically like putting a plastic bag over your head. You end up unconscious. In the water, that’s a terribly dangerous idea.

  • How to avoid CO2 buildup:

It’s important to remember that snorkel masks are designed for recreational use. Floating on the surface of the water, looking at the pretty fishies. They’re not designed for tiring open water swimming, freediving, or other activities that’ll get your heart pumping.

  • A snorkel mask that prevents CO2 buildup:

When buying a full face snorkel mask, it’s essential you make sure they have separate inhaling/exhaling breathing chambers, extra valves, and a wider tube that prevents the buildup of CO2. This is a serious issue that can be caused by faulty/improperly manufactured mask, and it’s not worth taking lightly.

2. Leakage

Yuck, yuck, yuck. Water leaking into your snorkel mask is a very annoying issue that can send you straight back to the shore. Leaking masks are an extremely common issue and usually due to a number of factors.

  • Why snorkel masks leak:

There are many reasons why a full face snorkel mask might be leaking. The basic issue is that the snorkel mask is not watertight and not properly sealing around your face to prevent the entry of water. Air pockets may exist in several spots, and it’s a good idea you take a look at where that might be.

It may be within the silicon lining, or it may simply be that you’ve purchased the wrong size mask for your face. Some cheaper brands use lower-quality silicon skirts that are quite stiff and inflexible, making it susceptible to cracking and not properly sealing around your face.

  • How to avoid leaky snorkel masks:

Firstly, you want to ensure you’ve bought the right size for your face. If you haven’t got the right size then you’re out of luck! (Protip: at Ninja Shark we have a one-size-fits-all snorkel mask). Secondly, examine the silicon skirt of your brand. Is it soft and flexible? Or more dry and hard? If it’s the latter, then your snorkel mask is a low quality manufacture and the leaking situation is unlikely to get any better (sorry!)

Finally, water could be leaking into your mask for a few other reasons:

1. You have a fringe or other hairs preventing a proper seal from forming,

2. You have a beard or moustache (you may have to get rid of that),

3. You’ve smiled after putting the snorkel mask on – smiling changes the shape of the muscles around your mouth, creating new creases for the silicon to try to mould to.

3. Fogging

It happens to us all – you’re there, immersed in the beauty of coral life, and suddenly it fogs over. You spend 30 seconds thrashing around in the water taking off your mask and cleaning it, and it fogs up again 5 minutes later.

  • How to avoid foggy snorkel masks:

There are tonnes of DIY tips out there – check out our article on How to Defog Your Snorkel Mask! Everything from toothpaste to baby shampoo and spit has been tried & recommended, but honestly, the best way to do it by simply ordering a snorkel mask that’s got a good anti-fog features.

  • A snorkel mask that doesn’t fog up:

You can use all the fancy anti-fog coating in the world, or you can innovate! At Ninja Shark we designed our new snorkel mask to have a unique, inner tube design that lets you breathe through your nose and mouth without fogging up the mask. Other brands use two intakes, but ours has three intakes, and twice the ventilation. Yee-haa!

4. Cheap materials/knockoffs

We mentioned it before with the silicon skirt, but knockoffs & cheap materials can make a full face snorkel mask awful in many respects. What if the tube was made from shoddy plastic? Cheaper materials = more problems.

  • The problem with knockoff snorkel masks

Cheap materials could be behind all sorts of issues, from excess fogging, CO2 buildup, leaking water, uncomfortable fit, and easy breakage. It’s always a surprise when you’re using a cheap mask! Which issue will I be dealing with today? As with anything, cheap materials can make a product look nice (from afar), but it won’t function very well.

  • How to avoid cheaply made snorkel mask knockoffs

Have a look through the information and see if the manufacturer provides information on the materials used. If they’re good, they’ll want to tell you about it. If no information is given on materials, they’re likely to be cheap. If you’re buying a $10 mask from a Chinese seller on eBay, it’s definitely a knockoff. Go for a brand that offers a long warranty and backs their products with confidence.

5. Drop shipped snorkel masks with long delivery times

… If they’re ever delivered, that is! There are so many reports online from people who have purchased full face snorkel masks online, paid for them, and watched the whole summer pass by without receiving their beloved snorkels. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment.

Why you don’t want to drop ship snorkel masks

There’s no accountability. A lot of drop shipping companies are out there to make a quick buck with no consideration for the audience they’re selling to. They purchase a bunch of products for cheap and want to offload them for cheap. Of course, not all drop shipped products are like this, but a quick look over the internet brings up lots of disappointed users who either didn’t receive their masks, or received them very very late.

Hopefully you’re feeling relieved now that you’ve realised that snorkel masks don’t have to come along with a string of issues. It’s all about who manufactured the mask, what their intentions were (making bucks VS offering value), and how well they back their product.


How many people dream of snorkelling but don't feel comfortable wearing a snorkel mask?

The Influencer @lud.around is a NINJASHARK lover!

NINJASHARK is the sound of a revolution in snorkeling. Whereas other water equipments companies are constantly adding poor quality products, we listen to your feedback and constantly improve our products to fit for all of your needs.

"I'm not leaving my room without the mask. The full face snorkeling mask from Australia is comfortable and fit me perfectly! Love how easy it is to breath out your nose and mouth when you snorkeling and even has earplugs!"

“The mask include GOPRO mounts, so you can easily film and photograph underwater scenery! I highly recommend especially to people who have a fear of snorkeling! This mask is really easy to use and is safe!” said @lud.around. “I can’t wait for my next trip with my new mask!”

The Ninja Shark full face snorkel masks makes your experiences the best they can be. They are exclusively sold on the Ninja Shark website.

The Ninja Shark full face snorkel masks comes equipped with advanced Anti-Fog technology, automatic drainage, no CO2 Buildup with improved uni-directional valves, and a revolutionary breathe flow system so you can breathe through both your nose and mouth.

“If you thought we’re just here to sell you products, think again. You’re part of the Ninja Shark family, and your feedback matters! We’re constantly working to improve our products and deliver the full face snorkel mask that exists only in our dreams!”

What customers are saying about us…

“Awesome set.

Loved the complete set. I even used the waterproof phone pouch to take photos and videos underwater. It made my Fiji experience so much better than using the free snorkel set that hurt your face after 2hours and leaving a sun/mask mark. The ninja leaves no marks and gives great vision under water in comparison. It did take some getting used to but it definitely paid off! Only frustration is that the tightening straps are quite basic; they should be much simpler to loosen and tighten both in and out of water.” – Jock

Try our line of snorkelling and swimming gear
by Ninja Shark! You’ll love it.

All Ninja Shark Products are tailor-made
with medical silicone.

We care about making our products safe and healthy for you—and our planet.
That’s why the Ninja Shark Full Face Snorkelling Masks are made from a non-toxic and environmentally friendly anti-allergic medical grade silicone, that’s not only safer for your kids but safer for you too.


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Based on 1490 reviews
Package : Air Adults (Mask + Fins + Bag)
JEANNIE O. (Piara Waters, AU)
Bloody love this!

Never snorkelled in my life. Petrified of putting my head under water. But now my neck is bad - if I don't alter the way I swim - then no more swimming for me. This has opened 'a whole new world' - (haha -that songs stuck in your head now) - to me. I'm just using my ninja gear in my gym outdoor pool atm. My legs are getting so strong - and my lungs too - as I'm doing some great breathing. I have huge surgery coming up soon - and i believe this is allowing me to get to a great level of fitness - in preparation. Honestly - i can't go on enough about this product enough. My friend bought a cheaper version. She's given it away already... say no more 🤿🤿🤿

Electra - Full Face Snorkel Mask
Bolang C. (Perth, AU)
Great design

This is the best snorkel mask I’ve ever had. Very comfortable on face, easy to breathe. I am not a good swimmer, it makes me feel safe and enjoy snorkelling without distraction. Thank you ninjiashark.

Best snorkel ever!!

Got one of these for me and my 7 year old daughter for Xmas. We’ve used them twice already and love them!! So much easier to breathe, can see so much and just makes the whole snorkelling experience better! Would highly recommend!

Clear as day

Clear to see and easy to breathe,
Whole family loves the NinjaShark Snorkel mask.

Lifetime Warranty
Robyn H. (Adelaide, AU)

The best snorkel and mask combination. No going back now! I could snorkel for over an hour easily. So glad I made this purchase

(DRAFT) Package: Dry Snorkel (Set + Fins + Bag)
Mermaid M. (Townsville, AU)

While travelling in Timor leste l met a fellow snorkeller. We snorkelled for 10 days together the food was shit but the water was stunning. The friend was using Ninja Shark fins and mask mine were steaming up, letting in water and heavy. On arriving back in Australia l ordered straight away.
I was a little bit anxious on receiving my order as the mask was quite different to my old one and the fins were short and adjustable ( l wanted them to be my size ! ) well to my luck the weather was beautiful ( yes mid winter in Mackay ) and perfect for boating so off we scooted to Cockermouth ( don't laugh it's a real place ) jumping in and WOW I'm now a mermaid 🧜‍♀️ the mask and fins felt like part of me. I actually cried as not only was the equipment allowing me to explore as l wanted but the reef was STUNNING. So lm indepted to Ninja Shark for making me the mermaid l always aspired to be 🧜‍♀️

Took it to Tahiti

I wasn’t quite sure about getting a full face mask but bought mine (Electra package) before a trip to Tahiti which we got home from yesterday - absolutely LOVED it!!! I’ll be getting one for my wife before our next trip to a similar destination. BTW I make LOTS of crazy videos with lots of toys.

Judge.me YouTube video placeholder
Life changing

I do love my full face snorkel.. the freedom of nose breathing under the water.. the meditative and relaxative effect of this snorkeling is unexpected and great. Fits so well.. comfy to wear for long time.. highly recommend

(DRAFT) Diving Dry Snorkel Set with GoPro mount
jomm11 (Brisbane, AU)
Super quality & fit

So happy we got Ninja shark, perfect for Great barrier reef snorkel day.
Flippers, mask, dry wallet, carry bag (good quality bag), anti fog spray, happy days.

Ninja Shark Kids Mask

We recently brought the Ninja Shark Kids 3-11 Mask + Fins + Bag package for our 7 year old who absolutely loves it! Will be buying three more for the rest of the family. 😊

Even better than expected!

I saw the kids full face snorkel masks online, and thought they looked pretty cool. I ordered two for Christmas, for my 3 and 6 year olds. Wow, did they have a great time with them!

I wasn't sure how the 3 year old would go with it, but he was comfortable in it almost immediately, and spent hours swimming around and seeing a whole new world of underwater scenery.

They were easy to fit, zero issues with them staying on. No leaks or fog.

They can't wait to get back to the water!

Highly recommend this product :)

Electra - Full Face Snorkel Mask
Nick J. (Brisbane, AU)
mask swimming

The mask did exactly what was stated. I was very happy and will get another mask for my daughter.

Electra - Full Face Snorkel Mask
Sheara R. (Perth, AU)
Great way to swim

I have NEVER been able to snorkel but love swimming. These full face snorkels are an absolute game changer in my life. Now I try to swim around 5 kms a week in the local pool. The Ninja mask makes it easy to do laps. I’ve been using the Ninja Shark for a quite few years and find the new Electra the best full face mask ever. No leaks, no fog and really easy to use and great quality. I’ve noticed my regular chats with other swimmers at the pool have encouraged many of them to purchase one of their own. I’ve given my older models to my grandkids and they love them too.


I got one for the 3 year old and one for the 5 year old, I thought maybe the 3 year old would get the hang of it eventually but they both loved it and mastered it pretty quickly. We’ve only used in the swimming pool, excited to go snorkeling in the ocean soon. Great product.

Lifetime Warranty
Sarah B. (Surfers Paradise, AU)
Love it!

Amazing product ! Have the electra package, kids love it. So easy to use. Highly recommend

(DRAFT) Diving Dry Snorkel Set with GoPro mount
Jennifer M. (Brisbane, AU)
Love it

Bought these for myself and my husband after getting the full face masks for the kids, and they were so good we’re getting them for the rest of the extended family for Xmas. The fact u can dive down and not get water down ur snorkel is a brilliant bonus! Makes our family holidays much easier and better without snorkel dramas!

This made our holiday

The product itself was amazing, but the service we received allowed us to get our 2 sets of masks for our cruise. We took them with us and used them multiple times for snorkelling on our cruise to Nouméa and New Caledonia. It was amazing snorkelling and being able to breathe easily, and the fins were the most comfortable I've ever used. I've got size 13 feet, and not only were they completely adjustable, but they were THE most comfortable fins ever invented. A massive shoutout to Colleen Zamora from your support staff who helped me out and made it possible to take our gear on holidays! Thanks Colleen!
The photo is us snorkelling off Amadee Island looking for turtles!

My kids love them

I’ve got three of these masks for my younger kids, however the oldest wants one too as the young ones rave about how good the are.

Summer Family Fun

Our Ninja masks have made snorkelling as a whole family very easy and enjoyable. The kids (and parents) find them super easy to use and have allowed us as a family of five to snorkel for longer than we ever could using traditional snorkel gear. I would highly recommend these masks.

Lifetime Warranty
Geri D. (Sydney, AU)
Lifetime warranty

Glad I have but haven’t needed to use .. yet

Great Mask

Love this mask. Kids find it so much easier snorkelling with the Ninja Shark. The snorkel mask is super clear and doesn’t fog up. The adjustable straps are great and easy to loosen and tighten. Very happy that we made the decision to get these for the kids.

A must for snorkelers!

Recently purchased the Equaliser Pro Mask, Finns and bag. 🤿 🐠🐡🐟🦈 Had an amazing time snorkeling off Fitzroy Island, the Pro mask allowed me to explore for over 7 hours. Higly recommend! Planning must next snorkeling trip! 🤿💦🌴☀️


we used our new masks over the weekend. they were amazing, my daughter barely had her head out of the water all day.

Lifetime Warranty
Lina J. (Gold Coast, AU)
life warranty

This is great! More stores should do it!

Lifetime Warranty
Olivia (Perth, AU)
Fantastic snorkel!

Our 5 year old has never snorkelled. Put it on and was snorkelling no problem straight away! Easy for him to put on and off by himself. We bought the full package with flippers (also amazing and he can put them on by himself) and the two wet bags. The foldable snorkel is so handy for storing while we are travelling. And the lifetime warranty gives us great comfort that we can use it for future trips! We are so impressed with this product I’m going to get mum and dad one too!