One of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll purchase when Scuba diving is your diving mask. Your mask is your window to the beauty of the undersea world and there are so many options available in the marketplace that choosing which one is best for you can be little overwhelming.
With the multitude of new colors, styles, brands and extras on them, new divers can be tempted to select a mask that looks cool or matches their diving gear. But, if you really take the time to think about it, this single piece of equipment is equally as important as your regulator and having the wrong mask can really make or break the whole diving adventure for you. Here are a couple tips to keep in mind:
- The three most important things to keep in mind when selecting your mask – Fit, Fit & Fit! If your mask doesn’t fit properly on your face, you won’t get a proper seal and you’ll find yourself struggling with it in the water, essentially ruining your diving experience.
- Comfort – No two faces are alike, so don’t choose a mask because someone else has that particular model or brand. Do you have a wide or thin face? Do you have mustache to think about? These are all important features to consider to get the right fit and give you a comfortable feel.
- Do your research, but don’t be tempted to buy one online just because it’s cheaper or is a pretty color. Take the time to go to an authorized local scuba shop like Seas The Day Scuba and have them help you fit a proper one for you. The professional staff will help you find just the right mask that will fit your face shape, size and budget. Also, remember to bring your regulator and snorkel with you as they can change the fit and feel of the mask.
- Safety is important so be certain that your mask has a tempered glass lens. Don’t be tempted to use the cheap snorkel mask you bought for your vacation at Walmart. A certified scuba mask will have tempered glass that will resist scratches and breaking underwater. Remember that the deeper you dive, the more pressure will be exerted on you and your equipment. If you don’t have a proper seal on your mask, the pressure of the water will fill in the gaps.
- The nose pocket should feel comfortable without being too tight. You will have to pinch your nose to clear your ears during your dive so the nose pocket should be flexible.
- Take into consideration where you will be diving. The head strap can come in rubber, silicone or neoprene. Each type of strap has its benefits, and depending on the temperatures of the water you primarily dive in, you will have to adjust your mask with or without gloves on.
- Vision and Clarity – there are so many choices when it comes to masks…low and high profile, single/double/triple lens, prescription. It really comes down to diver preference. Remember that the more mask volume (air space in the mask) will give you a better feeling of openness but it also will take in more water and sometimes takes more effort to clear water out. Single lens/Low profile masks will fit closer to your face and can be easily cleared. If you wear glasses or contacts – Ask your local shop about ordering prescription lenses or optical inserts for your mask.
- After Your Purchase – Ask the professionals at Seas The Day Scuba for more tips on how to best prep your mask before you dive to prevent unwanted fogging. When you complete each dive, rinse your mask in fresh water every time. And store your mask in a plastic mask box instead of throwing it in your gear bag to protect it from accidental damage, scratches and bugs that just love to eat silicone.
The experienced staff at Seas The Day Scuba are always available to answer any questions you may have and are happy to help fit you for the right scuba equipment that will make you love diving even more. Get the perfect mask for you and see the difference it makes.