I.In the meantime everyone has got used to wearing a mask and is convinced of its advantages that even where it is not about virus defense, mask is proudly presented. On the beach, for example. This summer there are snorkel masks under what feels like every second parasol. The cheap water pleasure is available from 15 euros. For higher quality models, for example from Khroom, customers have to calculate around 50 euros. The first of its kind, the original, is the Easybreath from Subea. It has been running Decathlon since 2016. And because of its price of 25 euros, it is the model that appears or, better, disappears most often on the beach.

The Easybreath is available in three colors and sizes, for children and adults. This is important because the mask has to fit so tightly that the soft silicone rim makes the whole face watertight and the mouth and nose area as airtight as possible. Cross-shaped, wide elastic bands tie the mask to the face. They are easy to tighten and lie comfortably on the head.

When everything is in place, it’s time to head into the sea and watch the fish. The first few seconds underwater can be strange for newcomers to snorkelling, but they get used to it quickly. The breath flows naturally through the mouth and nose. The 180-degree viewing window remains clear, does not fog up and provides an undistorted view of fish, stingrays or moraines.


The “Easybreath” model from Subea relies on two separate air currents.
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Image: Decathlon

The attached air tube sits in the middle and, thanks to its bright orange tip, also works as a warning buoy. Swimmers and boat drivers can spot the snorkelers from afar. Unless they are completely submerged for a short time. Because even if the mask is made for use on the water surface, a small dive is possible. A float in the breathing tube ensures that no water can penetrate. In the test, the mechanism also proved to be practical if a wave suddenly rolls over you.

More important than protecting yourself from the ingress of water, however, are the routes of the air you breathe. With the help of valves and channels, the mask relies on two separate air flows for inhaling and exhaling. If you exhale, the air flows back out through channels on the edge of the mask; if you inhale, fresh air flows through the center of the visor to your mouth and nose. The dangerous pendulum breathing, in which the used, CO2-containing air is inhaled again and which can lead to unconsciousness, is prevented.

The question still arises as to what people can do who, as short-sighted landlubbers, wear glass in front of their eyes. Either insert contact lenses or invest five euros in corrective glasses that can be bought with Easybreath. After all, what use is crystal clear water and a giant visor when the nemos and dories blur into blue-orange mud.

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