How Does a Dry Snorkel Work?

by Mihai Pinzariu on September 23, 2019

Ah, the pains of snorkelling. From foggy goggles to getting water in the tube and in your mouth (and then choking). They’re all a part of the fun, but that doesn’t mean that we have to put up with it! Luckily there are pieces of equipment out there that solve these issues for us, and a dry snorkel is one of them.

If you’re not sure what exactly a dry snorkel is, it’s basically a snorkel that’s fitted with a mechanism which prevents water from entering the tube. Even if you’re underwater or just got splashed by a massive wave! If water does get in, a dry snorkel seeps it back out so your breathing is uninterrupted. It’s a wave of genius, it’s nothing new to the snorkelling world, but it’s still a mystery to many.

While freedivers and spearfishers may not necessarily be looking for a piece of equipment like a dry snorkel, a lot of snorkellers are looking for just that. If you’re curious as to how dry snorkels work and the advantages they provide little ol’ snorkellers like you and me, read on for a little lesson in ‘snorkelgineering’.

What is a dry snorkel?

We’ll go into it again before we explain how it all works. Perfect for beginners and those who want a seamless experience while watching marine life, dry snorkels prevent water from entering the snorkel tube so you can focus on snorkelling and not expelling water or panicking.

There’s usually a cover and a mechanism at the top of the snorkel tube that prevents water from going inside the tube. So whether you’re floating on the surface or submerged underwater, a dry snorkel will never have water in its tube.

How does a dry snorkel work?

This is where we give thanks to the genius of engineering. Get ready for some technical talk on how exactly dry snorkels work to keep water out of the tube. Most dry snorkels will have a valve or hinge at the top.

When the top of the snorkel is submerged underwater, the hinge reacts and closes on top of the tube, sealing it so water can’t get in. If there is a bit of water, you can usually just blow strongly and it’ll be easily expelled through either a purge valve at the bottom or through the top, like a whale.

At Ninja Shark, our dry top seal has a ball sitting at the top, which automatically seals the air valve when underwater. We’ve also got a purge valve at the bottom of our full face masks, so water can drain out naturally without you having to do the whale thing.

Advantages of a dry snorkel

So we’ve gone into how it all works, but what are the advantages? If you want to know if a dry snorkel really is the right option for you, then we’ll give you a quick rundown:

  • No water – It’s inevitable in snorkelling that water will get into the tube and you’ll have to expel it. Your mouth gets salty and shrivelled, it’s annoying, and it simply doesn’t happen with a dry snorkel;
  • Uninterrupted snorkelling – What happens when water inevitably gets in with a normal snorkel? You have to stop what you’re doing to get it out. With a dry snorkel you get to enjoy more seamless, uninterrupted snorkelling without having to stop and expel water all the time;
  • Good for beginners – Water scares a lot of people, and beginners are usually already a little afraid. A dry snorkel gives them that confidence to know they won’t have to worry about water in their mouth, and gives them the time to concentrate on getting a feel for snorkelling rather than focusing on expelling water.

Disadvantages of a dry snorkel

Everyone has their preferences, and while a dry snorkel sounds like heaven to some people, it may not be another’s cup of tea. As we’ve mentioned, dry snorkels aren’t the best when it comes to free diving or spearfishing, but here are some other reasons that people may opt out:

  • Possible air blockage – Sometimes the valve on a dry snorkel can accidentally close when it’s not supposed to, like all mechanical things. This can make it difficult to breathe, but the key here is to stay calm and not panic. It happens! All you have to do is to give a blow or tap the valve at the top of your snorkel back open and keep going.
  • Buoyancy – With the addition of the valve, a dry snorkel is a bit heavier than a normal snorkel and can bob around the surface of the water a lot more. Some people take issue with this, others don’t care because the whole ‘no water’ thing outweighs this issue.

There’s no doubt that a dry snorkel has a lot to offer in terms of seamless, uninterrupted snorkelling (i.e. more time looking at pretty stuff and less time fixing your snorkel), but it all still comes down to preference.

While beginners and relaxed snorkellers will cherish the lack of interruption and water, others might be looking for an experience that allows them to dive deep and be more streamlined and simple with their snorkelling. Whatever it is you love about snorkelling, there’s a piece of equipment out there for you, and that’s so great about this sport!

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.

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Based on 1494 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. 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!