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Full face snorkel masks? ISO feedback and recommendations

Travel discussion for St. John

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Full face snorkel masks? ISO feedback and recommendations

Postby chicagoans » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:44 pm

Hi all! It's been forever since I've been on the forum and I'm happy to see some familiar names. :D

It also feels like forever since I've been to STJ (2018 trip for 8 Tuff was cancelled due to Irmaria.) Anyway, I'm finally going back next month for 8 Tuff! (note to self: more training needed)

My BF is coming with me - he's a STJ and snorkeling newbie (but he'll kick my butt for 8 Tuff!) I'm considering getting him, and maybe me, one of the full face snorkel masks like the Tribord. There is a wide variety of price ranges, some concerns about safety (CO2 build up? claustrophobia?), and on some models the straps look cumbersome. (I have a traditional mask and it's fine - marginally comfortable and sometimes a bit leaky.)

Would love to hear thoughts on these! (Maybe trying renting one first?)
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Re: Full face snorkel masks? ISO feedback and recommendation

Postby gmanka » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:34 pm

Not a fan. Cannot dive down to look for bottom stuff or get a closer look at what you see. For me and my family, we are always diving down to chase that turtle, look at the coral or look under that overhang. If never intend to get more than 6 inches deep then i suppose OK but aside from being cumbersome and nerdy and looking like you just got off a cruise ship..........
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Re: Full face snorkel masks? ISO feedback and recommendation

Postby PA Girl » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:56 pm

We have two and like them.

Pros -
much larger field of vision
more comfortable
ease of use
no fogging
no lip irritation

Cons -
looks goofy (but I am old enough not to care)
Good for surface swimming only

As mentioned, a tribord is not for someone who wants to dive under the water. I don't dive under or chase turtles so I am happy to paddle around, floating on top.

My son (13 yo) switches between the tribord and traditional mask depending on his mood.

Once I got the straps adjusted, it was very comfortable. Because the tension is evenly distributed all around the gasket, it have a different feel than a traditional mask. It felt weird at first but now I love it.

Ours are several years old and have held up well.
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Re: Full face snorkel masks? ISO feedback and recommendation

Postby ArkieLovesSTJ » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:33 pm

One option if you want to see what you think about the full face mask, would be to rent one from Beach Bum. We have our own traditional gear that we bring, but had a very informative conversation with Andrew and Kara about full face masks. We decided that we would rent one from them, should we decide to try it.
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Re: Full face snorkel masks? ISO feedback and recommendation

Postby chicagoans » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:22 pm

Thank you Arkie and PA Girl and gmanka!

I've decided to invest in a new, good quality traditional mask from a local dive shop. If it works while I'm there, I'm going to try renting a full face mask to see what we think. I always stay on the Coral Bay side and don't get to Cruz Bay a whole lot, so not sure I'll make it to a rental spot during business hours.

Thanks again!
Last edited by chicagoans on Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Full face snorkel masks? ISO feedback and recommendation

Postby hoosierdaddy » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:35 pm

I have the H20Ninja brand of full face masks. I really like mine. Easy to use and great field of view. It also fits better in my carry on. I do miss the ability to dive though.

So do you have any advise about 8TM? I am registered also. This will be my first. I have been doing hill training here in Southern Indiana but I don't have any long hills to run on. The mileage is listed as 8.38. Do you use a GPS watch and if so does that distance seem very acurate?
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Re: Full face snorkel masks? ISO feedback and recommendation

Postby chicagoans » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:49 pm

Hi Hoosierdaddy! (From a Hoosier Mama!)

Well if I had any advice I haven't been taking it myself! I haven't been running much at all. It's good you're getting in some hill training; that's hard for me to do and I think that will help you. Other advice I got, from a friend who does marathons as well as 8 Tuff, is don't worry about walking now and then. Most people (even a marathoner like him) take some walk breaks.

Remember that it will be hot, so hydrate well for a few days leading up to it. I plan on bringing some powder packages of Pedialyte to mix in with my water for a few days. I did that for a recent ski trip to MT to try to avoid any issues with the altitude. Not sure it helps but it couldn't hurt!

My first 8 Tuff I wore sunscreen and that was a mistake. It just made me sweatier.

At the race start you can line up by your expected minutes per mile. I think this is nice, like any race, to self-segment so the faster runners aren't navigating around the slower runners.

The start is tough because before you know it you'll be at the switchback, and thinking how crazy steep it is. It gets better!

My overall advice is to be less concerned about your time and just relax and enjoy the experience. It's SO fun to pass all the supporters along the way, some of them playing music, some with water stations, and some just cheering you on.

I haven't used a GPS watch in the past (last 8 Tuff I did was 2014! Yikes!) This time I'll have an Apple watch so I'll see how that goes. But the miles are marked on Centerline, spray painted onto the road. They kinda sorta match the Centerline mile marker signs.

Definitely go to Skinny's after the race for a pain killer! I'll be there with some fun friends and would love to meet you there!
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Re: Full face snorkel masks? ISO feedback and recommendation

Postby hoosierdaddy » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:55 am

Thanks for the advise. I have been wanting to do 8TM for the last decade and finally the stars have aligned. So no sunscreen and hydrate properly days before, but this next advise is foreign to me.
chicagoans wrote:
My overall advice is to be less concerned about your time and just relax and enjoy the experience.


My wife has given me the same advise in the past. I definitely will enjoy the experience and can't wait to be sitting at Skinny Legs after the race but I always have a time goal.

This weekend it is suppose to snow here so I may be on the treadmill with the incline pushed up! Good luck with your training it is only 43 days away!
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