6 Things to Know About Scuba Masks
Scuba mask is probably the most important part of your diving gear. After all, you dive to see things, and you see those things through the mask. Another words, it is your window to the underwater world. A lot depends on the mask – the quality of your view, the clarity, the colors, and finally the comfort of your dive. Your mask should be equalized, defogged, and have a perfect fit.
There are a lot of things to keep in mind when buying or renting a mask. Let us enlighten you with a few tips:
1. What is the mask?
Scuba masks are very high quality and play a major role during dives. They are made of tempered glass or silicone and have to withstand high pressure underwater environment for extended periods of time.
Scuba masks are very different from snorkeling or swim masks. Snorkeling does not require long and deep underwater dives, so the materials used are light, lenses are made of plastic and fog or scratch easily. These kinds of materials can easily break during scuba dives. You can use scuba mask for diving, but snorkeling or other surface masks should never be used for deep dives.
2. Seeing underwater
Scuba masks keep the water out of diver’s nose and lungs, but their main purpose is to provide clear vision. Seeing and focusing the eyes is crucial under water not only for observing fish and drowned ships, but for communication and reading of pressure gauges. Divers can see and breathe under water for short periods of time, they are taught this during certification classes. This ability only goes so far though, and real dives require real masks.
3. Swim googles are not advised
Swim mask should cover diver’s nose, and googles don’t do that. Covered nose increases diver’s comfort because it prevents water from going up the nose. But the main reason behind covering the nose is that hermetic mask will allow diver to equalize the air pressure during a deep descent. If the mask doesn’t cover the nose just right, diver might experience an uncomfortable face suctioning. In rare extreme cases the eye balls might get sucked out.
4. All masks are different
All scuba masks are different and include many optional features - some masks have valves, optional lenses, side windows, and some don’t. Some of those features are useful for a diver, while others are annoying and bothersome. It is important that a new diver tries a few masks before deciding what really works for him or her.
5. Custom fit mask
Many new divers don’t realize that a mask has to fit their face perfectly. People have different facial features and different head shapes, and no universal mask will fit them all. Doesn’t matter how good a deal you’ve found or how good the mask looks on you – don’t buy it if it doesn’t fit you perfectly. An ill-fitting mask will leak, fog up or press on your face, causing major inconveniences.
6. Preventing fogging
All scuba masks can fog up, but there are some ways to prevent it from happening and ruining the dive. If it fogs up, it defeats the main purpose – an ability to see. And even more important, it can prevent seeing the communication signs and orienting in the water. Knowing a few tricks will prevent your lens from fogging. It can even save your life.
All new masks ten to fog because of left over residue, so make sure you clean it very well, using flame or toothpaste. Treat your mask with defogging agent before each dive. You can also use baby shampoo or glycerin soaps to reduce the chance of fog inside your mask.