No more mask leaks: how to choose a mask that suits you!
Hi everyone and welcome back to our blog about scuba diving techniques & tips. We hope you enjoyed the recommendations of our recent edit about clearing the mask. As promised, we are going to talk now about one of the most important pieces of equipment a diver needs under water (and even at the surface!): a mask.
A mask is an essential piece of equipment. It is part of the core gear every scuba diver should own: mask, snorkel, fins and dive computer. These four elements are the foundation safety (and comfort) for every underwater enthusiast. Like for a lot of things in life, finding the right fit is important and it can sometimes become a quest. There are as many different masks out there as they are divers. A mask needs to be comfortable right away. Any pressure point on your forehead or on the nose will NOT get better with time, unless you have corrective surgery.
Regarding the material, our best bet would be to go for silicone. If you are allergic, you can easily find valuable alternatives nowadays. There are different qualities and you should aim for a soft and flexible material. Please be careful if going for rubber masks… they have a protective coating to extend the lifetime of this natural material that rubber is; but it is not a friend of seawater, pool water, sun and is very sensitive to temperature changes.
There is a very easy two-step process to check if the mask is the right fit for you. The first step is to put it on your face without the strap, position it properly so that it fits you well, and try to create a vacuum by inhaling through the nose. If the mask is fitting correctly, it should hold on your face by suction. To confirm, tilt your head down and the mask should stay there. If it doesn’t or if air is still passing through, then this mask is not the right fit. The second step would be to put the mask strap on. It should be adjusted without being tight. When doing this, position it on the rounded part of your head, just a few mm above your ears. The point here is to feel comfortable, with no pressure points anywhere. The function of the mask strap is to keep the mask from losing it. Unless you want to look like a superhero for many hours after the dive or if diving in strong currents, do not overtight it. The water pressure will do the job. A micro adjustment possibility for the mask strap is definitely an advantage here. You’re almost there. Now, you need to test if it is vacuumed sealed on your face when you have a mouthpiece in. You can do this without getting wet by putting a regulator (a snorkel can possibly do the job as well) in.
Same story here, if you still feel air passing through when inhaling, the mask is not fitted for you. We hope these tips were helpful. If you have others, please let us know in the comments below. Our next blog is going to talk more about the different mask types and their advantages!