In our previous blog we discussed Purge and Non-Purge rubber and silicon masks and masks with one or two lenses. Now let us look at fitting a mask for Scuba or snorkel diving.
Generally price indicates the quality of the mask. Most silicon masks are more expensive than rubber. Similarly more expensive silicon masks fit better that cheaper silicon masks. Don’t make the mistake of buying an ill fitting mask as the leaking will ruin your dive.
When trying a mask, place it on your face without the strap over your head. Look in a mirror to check that the interior mask skirt is outside the eye creases (character lines). Sniff in gently to check whether the frame presses on the nose or on the forehead between the eyes. That pressure will cause extreme discomfort. If that all goes well, do the leak test. Sniff in really hard as you pull the mask off the face. If you hear a loud suction sound – the mask is a good fit. If the air hisses into the mask as you sniff in – it is not a good fit.
During manufacture chemicals tend to leach out of the silicone and onto the mask lens. If you don’t remove this the mask will quickly fog up during your dive. Once you have selected your mask, remove these invisible chemicals from the inside by rubbing the inside of the glass vigorously with ‘Mask Scrub’. Failing that, use toothpaste. Prior to every dive you need to use ‘Mask Defog’/’Mask Anti-fog’ on the inside of the glass or fogging will occur.
When travelling, keep your mask in a mask box to prevent it being damaged. Attach your snorkel to the left side of your mask, particularly if it is an ergonomically shaped snorkel mouthpiece.
Remember that time spent selecting the right mask for you will result in full enjoyment of your dive. Price should not be a factor. For further information or assistance call in to talk to NZ Sea Adventures staff, 9 Marina View, Mana.