Masks are one of the most important pieces of scuba diving equipment, after all wearing a mask is what allows us to see clearly when underwater. A good fitting mask is often overlooked by many divers, with them accepting their mask will leak a little or leave a red mark across the bridge of their nose. This need not be the case, especially nowadays when there are so many different masks to choose from. Having a mask that fits you correctly is like slipping on your most comfortable pair of shoes.
But how do I choose the right mask for me I bet your wondering? Below we have written a list of our top tips for choosing that perfect mask for your next scuba diving adventure!
- Always choose your mask based on fit and comfort rather than colour. Yes I know we all want to look good underwater, but trust me you are not going to look good in the fancy coloured mask when you are having to clear it every 5 seconds because it doesn’t fit you correctly.
- When trying a mask on, focus on the mask without the strap. We find the best way to test if a mask fits you well or not is to gently hold the mask against your face, and breathe in with your nose. Whilst breathing in through your nose, let go of the mask with your hands. Now you can check if the mask feels comfortable around your nose, upper lip and temples.
- Decide whether you prefer transparent or coloured silicon. This decision is personal preference. A clear silicon mask will allow for more light, perfect for divers who like a more open feeling and peripheral vision. A dark silicon mask blocks sunlight entering the sides of the mask, reducing any glare, this is why it is such a popular option with divers who photograph underwater.
- Once you have found a mask you think you like, try it on with the strap and wear it for a least a minute. This will allow you to figure out if this is indeed the perfect mask for you. The mask should feel comfortable on your face, without the strap being pulled too tight. Remember to look in all directions whilst trying the mask; up, down, left, right etc. as you don’t only look straight ahead when scuba diving. Once you take the mask off there should be no red mark on your face (if there is this isn’t the mask for you)
Top tips for once you have found your perfect mask:
- Before you first use your mask, lightly coat the interior lens with toothpaste (or another non abrasive cleaner) to prevent fogging.
- Always rinse your mask thoroughly with fresh water after each use.
- Do not leave your mask in direct sunlight when possible.
- Remember that over tightening a mask strap will cause your mask to leak.
And there you have it, our tips for finding a mask. Whether you are completely new to scuba diving or have been diving for years, there is a mask out there for you! We always recommend that a mask should be the first piece of scuba diving equipment you buy as once you have one that fits correctly you will enjoy your dives even more!