Scuba Diving Mask – With so many scuba diving and snorkeling masks on the market, it is not an easy choice to make, when it comes to buying either or both of these much needed pieces of scuba equipment for seeing underwater.
A scuba diving mask works underwater: as long as you have a small air pocket between your eyes and the water – like that created by a mask – then you will be able to see underwater.
A mask will make things appear larger and and closer when below the surface, this needs to be taking into account while diving or snorkeling: this is called refraction.
The Scuba Diving Mask
When choosing a mask the most important thing to take into consideration is the comfort of it. When you have a mask that fits like a glove, then that’s the one you should buy. Whether snorkeling or Scuba Diving, the moment you enter the water you should not need to worry about the mask.
It should fit, be comfortable, if for any reason it is not comfortable, then it will spoil the moment. More dives have been spoilt by a bad fitting scuba diving mask than any other piece of equipment.
A scuba diving mask can and will make or break your dive. It is hard to enjoy a dive if your mask is constantly leaking or fogging – or both.
Buying a Diving Mask
When selecting a mask you must place it over your face. First making sure that your hair is not breaking the seal between your face and the silicone edges of the mask, most decent quality masks have a silicone skirt around the edges to keep out the water.
The softer the silicone the better the mask, also it will prove to be more expensive.
- Touch mask to face – Put the mask on gently the mask should not be in contact with any hair, we are looking for a good seal. Making sure that there are no gaps anywhere.
- Check seal – allow no gaps between the seal and your face. Gently breathe in through your nose and if the mask fits snuggly and you feel no air coming inside, then you have a seal.
- Now you have a vacuum and your mask is stuck to your face check that there is no pain anywhere like around the bridge of the nose or the forehead.
- As you exhale the mask should come away from your face.
Another important piece of the mask is the strap, which is usually made of plastic or silicone. These types can easily tangle up in the hair and can actually get caught and pulls the hair and can hurt. You can buy fabric mask straps which replace or fit neatly over the existing straps. These make for a much more comfortable fit
If you wear contact lenses or use glasses you may want to get similar lenses put inside the mask. Firstly though, I would recommend that you try the mask a few times first to make sure it is perfect for you. Lenses for a mask do not come cheap of course.
Try Before You Buy
During Thailand & Myanamr Liveaboard trips on board our MV Giamani we offer “Try Before You Buy” for scuba diving masks. We have a range of popular masks in different sizes and shapes.
Diving Mask maintenance
Now you have the mask you may notice that it fogs up very quickly. This is normal and easily rectified. The mask is covered in a fine layer of protective covering by the manufacturer to protect it in transit.
This protective covering needs removing, and one of the best ways to do this is to use abrasive toothpaste. Rub the toothpaste around the lenses for a few minutes on each of the lenses. Check it by blowing inside the mask, if it still fogs then repeat the first step again until there is no more fogging.
Mask do fog anyhow even old masks do. To stop this we tend to spit inside the mask before each dive. If you are not a “spitter” than you can buy some Defog solution from any dive shop, if you are not a spender then try baby shampoo, this works the same, and does not sting the eyes.
Always rinse the mask and dry it after every use, otherwise it will slowly corrode, keep the mask in a safe place and in its original box is the best place for it.
The mask is usually the first piece of scuba diving or snorkeling equipment people there are many colours to choose and different sizes. Once you have found ne that fits your face then you can narrow down which colour and so on.
Once you have the one you are happy with, try another one, smaller than yours and you will see the difference.
Look after your mask and it will serve you for many years.
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