it's just important!
What is the most important piece of SCUBA equipment that you purchase? Some might say the regulator, or some might say the BCD. In my experience, selecting the right SCUBA mask is one of the most important steps.
Why? Well, a poorly fit mask can easily ruin the comfort level of a diver.
So how do we choose the perfect mask
As we all learned in our Open Water Scuba course, we apply the mask to our face, slightly inhale with our nose, and it should stay “sucked up” to our face.
However, just because a mask skirt will create a nice seal against your face doesn’t mean its the perfect mask for you. As a diver that has used MANY masks over the years, I can get most masks to seal to my face – that does not mean I want to dive with all of them.
Why all masks are not the same:
A conversation starter: Clear skirt or black skirts?
Clear skirts allow more light in, which can be a good or bad thing. Some divers don’t feel as claustrophobic with clear skirts. However, with more light inside, it makes it harder to see what you’re actually looking at.
Black skirts tend to be softer because of the additional carbon added to the material. This can create a better seal. (and it doesn’t yellow). Unlike clear skirts, it doesn’t allow as much light inside the airspace, so it allows darker objects to appear more visible!
Smaller masks, like the Scubapro Steel Comp (pictured below), have a smaller internal airspace volume. This is beneficial for the people that have trouble clearing their mask! Less volume = less water to clear.
Just like everything, there is a downside. Usually with smaller volume masks, you lose field of view. This is the area in which your peripheral vision is “cut” down. With a mask like the Scubapro Trinidad 3 (2nd picture), your FOV is increased with the trade-off of more volume.
For most scuba equipment manufacturers, this is starting to become a thing of the past. However, we’ll still discuss it.
A purge is a valve that sits on the bottom side of the nose piece in a mask (pictured below). It allows a diver to easily blow the water out of their mask without tilting their head much. With current training standards, these are starting to disappear as the Crystal Vu is the only mask remaining in which Scubapro offers a purge. Some divers might even say it’s one more piece to fail.
However, for some divers, this might just be a great solution!
About 64 % of the population wears glasses. This could be the perfect choice for a diver struggling to read those computers! Masks such as the Scubapro D-Mask, Solara and Zoom are some of the most popular choices for individuals needing corrective lenses. (Diving lenses take in account for the magnification in the water.)
Just simply bring in your prescription, and we’ll install the lenses!
Some manufacturers make “mirrored-like” lenses. These act as an anti-glare but just look how sweet they look!
The holy grail of straps - the scubapro comfort strap
This might be the most revolutionary and best accessory added to diving! The Scubapro comfort strap is a ski-mask like strap that can be added to most Scubapro masks. There is a slightly grippy material added to the inside of the strap. However it’s nothing like the awful rubber straps that pulls hair!
Other than it just being comfortable, it allows the mask strap to pivot and creating a better seal on the mask. It can also be disconnected in an instant making field replacements a breeze!
Not only are the comfort strap the best for adjustability and comfort, but they come in colors! Customization is one of the most exciting pieces of dive gear. Most masks come in multiple colors as well as a variety of colors for comfort straps!
So which masks do I personally use? I currently use the Scubapro D-Mask and the Scubapro Zoom. Both of these masks are available in a black or clear skirt, as well as different colors. The D-Mask has Scubapro’s tru-fit technology which seals to my face the best!
Of course, all my masks are turquoise!
Overall, it’s quite important to try on a few different styles of masks before purchasing. Come see me anytime and we’ll select that perfect mask for you!