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Diving Masks Explained…

May 19, 2016

Watersports holidays are great fun, especially when you get to go diving or snorkelling, exploring the sea bed. Something not everyone thinks about though, is making sure your diving mask is the correct shape and fit for protecting your eyes. This blog will give some tips and hints for things to consider and that you might need to know for choosing the right snorkelling mask for you!

Most masks have silicone skirts that sit between the skin and the lens. This is for maximum comfort and also means that, most of the time, the mask will adapt to suit the face shape and size of the wearer. Problems occur when divers have moustaches or beards, as the silicone can’t seal to the face. Again, there are smaller masks for children or teenagers.

Masks are made up of 3 components. The skirt, the frame and the lens. Most masks have silicone skirts, as mentioned above. Some will be made with PVC, however these are not as flexible and so do not seal to the face as well. The silicone can come in different colours, with clear silicon giving the wearer a more open view. The frame and lens shape can vary depending on the still of mask. Some masks are frameless, where the silicone attaches directly to the lens, these have a lower air volume and are easier to clear water from – normally used by professional divers. The shape of the lens can also impact the frame – some masks have a single lens, others have a frame section for the nose with extra viewing space below the eyes.

Masks will come with an adjustable strap that holds the whole mask on your face, this should be tight enough that the skirt seals against your skin and easy to pull on and off. If the silicone sits against your lip or hairline then the mask may be too big, meaning it won’t create a proper vacuum. If you have chosen a mask with a frame for the nose, then attempt to “sniff” when the mask is in place, this will remove some of the air from the mask – if you can continuously sniff, then the mask is not sealed against your skin as there is air getting in somewhere.

Standard diving masks will feature the following:

  • Tempered-glass lens for safety, or lenses made from really strong, high-quality composite materials.
  • Comfortable, feathered, double-skirt made of soft silicone rubber.
  • Enclosed nose so that you can adjust for pressure changes by exhaling.
  • Finger pockets around your nose so that you can equalize your ears.
  • Low profile for easier clearing of water and a wider vision field.
  • Adjustable strap that can be locked in place.

Taking care of your mask is important… most new masks will need a good scrub to remove any product from the glass. Before you dive, it is recommended to apply a defog to the lens so you can see clearly the whole time! Following your dive it is recommended to rinse your mask thoroughly with fresh water and keep out of direct sunlight as this may affect the silicone.

Armed with this information, you’re more than ready to take on your first dive expedition… so where would be better than trying it out on a Croatian Watersports Holiday!

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