Your mask is a vital piece of snorkelling and diving equipment, creating an air space in front of your eyes and allowing you to focus underwater. They also enclose the nose in a pocket, so you can equalize your ears as you descend underwater. It is imperative to have a comfortable watertight mask to enjoy your time in the water or dive, and is a mandatory piece of personal equipment.
To learn more about masks read down, alternatively go straight to the Scuba Diving Masks department.
To check that a mask is watertight, simply place it on your face (move the strap out of the way) and inhale through your nose, the mask should stay on without the aid of the strap.
If possible, it is better if you can have either your regulator or snorkel in your mouth when doing this, to ensure that the mask is still comfortable.
Also, check that you can comfortably equalize your ears with the mask on (pinch your nose and gently blow against it, your ears should pop but do not blow too hard!)
If you are going to be wearing gloves underwater, check that your fingers still fit around the nose pocket for equalization.If you are at all unhappy with the fit of the mask that you purchase from Simply Scuba/Snorkel, remember that we can exchange it for an alternative choice as long as it has not been underwater.
Types Of Mask
Low Volume Masks - Low volume masks make clearing of water easy, the less space there is inside the mask the easier it is to clear
Single Lens Masks - Some users find that a mask with only one single lens as opposed to two (a left and a right) gives the feeling of a more open, spacious mask. Hovever these single lens masks generally cannot accept corrective lenses.
Twin Lens Masks - Most masks use a twin lens constuction as it allows for easy removal of the lenses for cleaning and fitting of corrective lenses where available.
Multi Lens Masks - You may prefer a mask that has additional lenses, often to the side of the mask to offer extra peripheral vision. This is purely a matter of personal taste.
Framed & Frameless - There are 2 styles of frame currently available, framed or frameless. A framed mask generally has a plastic frame that the lenses clip into. The frameless mask is constructed completely of silicone which is wrapped around the lens. Advantages of a frameless mask are the reduced weight and overall size of the lens.
Purge Valve - Some masks have a purge valve to make clearing water from the mask easier. This is especially useful for those with a moustache or those that smile alot underwater as these both may cause persistant leaking.
All you have to do is ensure that the valve is at the lowest point and exhale through your nose whilst holding the mask against your face to force the water out.
Special Lens Masks - Some masks that are now available have special coatings to stop fogging, or coloration on the actual lens to make colours appear more natural underwater. The coloured lens masks are popular for underwater photographers.
An excellent example of a mask with a different stlye of lens is the Atomic ARC mask. Click here to learn more about the Atomic ARC mask.
Types Of Silicone Skirt
You have a choice of a clear skirt or a black skirt. Clear skirts increase your field of vision, are less claustrophobic and are generally preferred by new divers. Black skirts can help you focus on a particular task such as photography without distraction.
There are also different designs of skirt to consider:
Feathered skirt edges - On the higher quality masks the rubber skirt thins towards the edge, this makes the portion touching your face much more flexible for a comfortable fit.
Double skirt - Almost all masks have this nowdays, a second inner skirt that runs around the inside of the mask which provides a double seal making the mask less prone to leaking.
If you normally wear glasses, we can provide masks with prescription lenses fitted. We offer minus, plus and bifocal lenses for most of the TUSA range of masks.
The lenses we supply for TUSA masks are in half diopter increments. Should your prescription fall between two lens strengths, go for the weaker of the two as the water itself offers some maginifcation.
These lenses replace the glass lens in the mask and are not just bonded to the mask, making the mask much lighter that traditional bonded solutions (and better looking as there is no glue). If you purchase a mask and lenses from us, these come pre-fitted.
Mask Strap Wrapper
Make sure that you can easily adjust the strap. If you have long hair, then it is an excellent idea to get a Mask Strap Wrapper to reduce the risk of entanglement and hair breakage.
What To Avoid?
Generally avoid plastic skirted masks (similar to those you purchase in Swim shops, which look the same as our masks but are a fraction of the price, you are not buying like for like and although it would seem like a great deal you will only end up throwing it away) they often cause face rashes, are uncomfortable and leak.
Once you are happy with your choice of mask, to help avoid fogging you should consider purchasing some Scuba Clear de fog solution and when the mask is new rub normal toothpaste on the inside of the lenses and rinse off (only do this if your mask has glass lenses). This removes the protective film over the inside of the lenses that can cause fogging.
To protect your investment of purchasing a good quality mask you should also purchase a Padded Mask Bag which you can use to store your mask in when not in use. They are inexpensive and will extend the life of your mask.
For a large range of Masks for all conditions visit our Scuba Diving Masks department in Simply Scuba.