Ask divers and they will tell that it’s love at first dive. While water covers 70% of Earth, this part of the world remained unexplored until the invention of the first underwater breathing apparatus in the 16th century. When you dive, you enter another world. Of all your senses, it is your eyes that will help you enjoy this adventure. It is why you should choose your mask carefully. The wrong one could ruin your journey. Here are some tips that can help you when you are looking for the right mask for you:
Get a mask with an impressive field of view
Choose a mask where your field of view is optimized. You want a mask that lets you have a good horizontal, vertical and downward view. It can get irritating if you have to constantly move your head just to see the view. Most divers forget the downward view but you need to be able to see your D-rings, gauges and BC pockets easily too.
Choose a low volume mask over a high volume one
A low volume mask is one where the lens is close to the face. The water is easier to clear and there is less drag when swimming underwater. At the same time, it does not get dragged or ripped off from your face in case you encounter a strong current.
Look at the straps and the skirts
You will appreciate strap adjustments once you have several dives under your belt. Down there, it’s important to have a mask that’s fitted to your face. Are the buckles easy to use or do you need to extraordinary strength to pull it out? Get one that you can easily adjust.
As for the skirt, make sure that it molds to your face without being too tight. You don’t want it to press too tightly in your skin. Skirts are either clear or black. If you dive mostly in green or shadowed water, buy a mask with clear skirt. But if you dive mostly in tropical waters with white sandy bottom, the black skirt will stream the light well. Choose one that suits the environment where you are diving.
If you can’t get your mask to seal, then buy a mask with a purge valve. It should easily drain water to keep them from building inside.
Choosing the right mask will spell the difference between a bad and good dive. You don’t want to be down there constantly struggling with it. Take the time to choose the one that fits you for an enjoyable dive every time.