As a diver, having a properly sealed diving mask is crucial for a safe and enjoyable dive experience. Unfortunately, many divers purchase masks without properly sealing them, leaving them susceptible to leaks and safety hazards.
A leaking mask causes discomfort and can distract a diver from important safety checks and enjoying the dive. To prevent this, we’ve compiled 6 expert tips to help you ensure sealing your diving mask.
These Tips for Sealing Your Diving Mask will help you enjoy your dive to the fullest, from proper fit to proper maintenance.
6 Tips for Sealing Your Diving Mask
- Invest in Quality: The Importance of a High-Quality Diving Mask
A mask may seem like a small expense regarding diving gear. But investing a few extra dollars in a higher-quality mask can make a big difference in your diving experience. Though a diving mask may cost more than a snorkeling mask, the better materials and features are worth the investment.
However, be aware that not all pricey masks are of the same quality, make sure to do your research before purchasing.
When it comes to diving masks, there are a few key features that set them apart from snorkeling masks. For example, a tempered glass face plate is a must-have for diving. Look for this feature marked on the glass.
Another important aspect is the skirt, the flexible part that attaches to the face plate and fits around your face. Diving skirts are typically made of silicon, durable, and comfortable during a dive. This is where most of the quality and cost differences come into play.
When assessing the quality of a diving mask, pay close attention to the silicon skirt. The higher the quality of the silicon, the more flexible it will be, allowing for a better fit against your skin. Clear silicon is often used in diving masks; the clearer it is, the higher the quality. Look for medical or food-grade silicon, as anything below is unsuitable for diving.
Colored skirts on diving masks are less common and typically used for specific purposes. When inspecting the skirt, also pay attention to the edge. A well-crafted edge indicates a quality mask. Remember that quality is essential in diving equipment, and a little extra investment in a good mask will pay off in the long run.
When examining a diving mask, it’s important to pay attention to the areas where it comes into contact with your face. The mask should have a double-edge seal, where the inside of the mask close to the edge has a small “ridge” of silicon that helps provide a secure fit. The skirt should also have a nose pocket that covers the nose fully but is flexible enough to equalize as you descend.
The mask will also have a strap typically made of the same silicon as the skirt. Some divers may prefer to replace this strap with neoprene for added comfort, especially for female divers with long hair. What’s important is that the strap is comfortable and secure, keeping the mask in the right position. The key point is that the mask should provide a comfortable and secure fit.
- Don’t Be Misled: Tight Strap Doesn’t Equate to a Secure Seal
Many divers make the mistake of thinking that tightening the strap on their mask will ensure a better seal. However, this is not the case and can even cause damage to the skirt of your mask. Instead, invest in a high-quality mask made of the best materials and ensure the correct size for your face for a secure and lasting seal throughout your dive.
- Finding the Perfect Fit: How to Ensure Your Mask Suits Your Face
Choosing the right fit for your diving mask is crucial in ensuring a leak-free dive. When purchasing a mask, there are two tests you should perform to ensure the perfect fit.
First, put on the mask with the strap, gently holding it in place, check for proper centering on your face, and ensure it does not extend past your cheeks. Second, check for comfort on the nose. Any pressure on the front or bottom of the nose indicates that the shape may not be suitable for you.
When testing a mask for fit, it’s important to check for proper visibility and the ability to sense any air leaks. To do this, remove the mask and have the strap in front of it. Clear away any hair around your face and place the mask in position. Inhale through your nose, and the mask should press against your face. If you sense any air leaks, there are better fits for you.
Next, hold your breath and see if the mask stays in place. The mask is likely a good fit if it does and you sense no air leaks. However, men with facial hair may have difficulty getting a good seal and may need to apply petroleum jelly to their facial hair.
- Wearing it Right: The Importance of Proper Mask Use
Properly wearing your diving mask ensures a safe and enjoyable dive experience. So, you should place the mask on your face, ensuring it is in the right position and all of your hair is out of the way. The strap should be adjusted on your head so it sits level with the center of the mask.
It’s important to note that the strap should not be tight enough to pressure the skirt, mainly for positioning. Placing the strap in the wrong position could cause the skirt to buckle and leak.
When entering the water from a boat, make sure to check the position of your mask. You may need to remove it, dunk your head to clear away hair and replace the mask. Remember, while enjoying the dive is important, smiling can cause some leakage, so keep that in mind as well.
- Proper Storage for Precious Gear: How to Care for Your Diving Mask
Proper storage of your diving mask is essential to ensure its longevity and sealability. Never place any weight on your mask as it can cause pressure on the skirt and misshape it.
Keep the glass face up and away from surfaces that can scratch it. Most diving masks come with a plastic storage case; if yours did not, consider getting one. Whenever possible, store your mask to protect it from damage.
- Keeping it Clean: How to Maintain Your Diving Mask
Proper cleaning and maintenance of your diving mask are essential to ensure its longevity. Gentle handling and regular care can help your mask last for years, even decades. Try to avoid exposing your mask to direct sunlight as much as possible.
After each diving day, soak the mask in fresh water and, if possible, rinse it in freshwater between dives. Clean the plastic container with fresh water and baby shampoo to ensure no sand or salt remains.
Inspect the mask regularly to ensure that it is clean, paying close attention to the area under the inside seal, nose pockets, and where the skirt attaches to the faceplate to check for salt or sand.
Once you’ve finished cleaning and inspecting your mask, dry it with a microfiber cloth and store it in its container. Keep the container on your gear to avoid pressure on the mask.
Also, Read About What is a Dry Snorkel | How Does it Work?
A properly sealed and well-maintained diving mask is essential for a safe and enjoyable dive. From selecting the right fit, to properly wearing and storing your mask to maintaining it, these tips and guidelines will help you keep your mask in top condition and ensure a leak-free dive every time.
Remember, a little extra investment and care can go a long way in extending the lifespan of your diving mask and giving you the best diving experience possible.