Just bought the Super Snorkel and brought it to Montauk last weekend. Boy was it a hit! Everyone wanted to try out the snorkel. We even had people who had been snorkeling for years there. They were blown away by the performance. It is amazing to be able to go underwater WITHOUT anything in your mouth. No more jaw tightness from calming on the snorkel mouthpiece. I can't wait to use it again on our next trip, or even at the pool.
1938: First swimmers’ mask with integrated breathing tubes. In 1938, French naval officer Yves Le Prieur introduces his "Nautilus" full-face diving mask with hoses emerging from the sides and leading upwards to an air inlet device whose ball valve opens when it is above water and closes when it is submerged. In November 1940, American spearfisherman Charles H. Wilen files his "swimmer’s mask" invention, which is granted US patent 2,317,237 of 20 April 1943. The device resembles a full-face diving mask incorporating two breathing tubes topped with valves projecting above the surface for inhalation and exhalation purposes. On 11 July 1944, he obtains US design patent 138,286 for a simpler version of this mask with a flutter valve at the bottom and a single breathing tube with a ball valve at the top. Throughout their heydey of the 1950s and early 1960s, masks with integrated tubes appear in the catalogues of American, Australian, British, French, German, Greek, Italian and Spanish swimming and diving equipment manufacturers. Meanwhile, in 1957, the US monthly product-testing magazine Consumer Reports concludes that "snorkel-masks have some value for swimmers lying on the surface while watching the depths in water free of vegetation and other similar hazards, but they are not recommended for a dive 'into the blue'". According to an underwater swimming equipment review in the British national weekly newspaper The Sunday Times in December 1973, "the mask with inbuilt snorkel is doubly dangerous (...) A ban on the manufacture and import of these masks is long overdue in Britain". In a decree of 2 August 1989, the French government suspends the manufacture, importation and marketing of ball-valve snorkel-masks. By the noughties, just two swim masks with attached breathing tubes remain in production worldwide: the Majorca sub 107S single-snorkel model and the Balco 558 twin-snorkel full-face model, both manufactured in Greece. In May 2014, the French Decathlon company files its new-generation full-face snorkel-mask design, which is granted US design patent 775,722 on 3 January 2017, entering production as the "Easybreath" mask (see Figure 3) designated for surface snorkelling only.
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