Dive mask selection is a very daunting thing to the newly certified Open Water diver. With a vast selection of brands, styles and colors available it is no wonder that many people will walk away from their dive center more confused about what to select than before they walked in! But with these handy tips and hints from the DJL dive shop I will try to break it down so you can select your new mask with a little more confidence!
1. Dive Mask Fit:
How your dive mask fits is THE most important part of your decision! Ultimately if the mask does not fit then you will not be happy with the end result. Many shops will tell you that you simply put the mask to your face and suck in through your nose. If the mask sticks it fits. However, any mask will appear to fit with this technique, leaving you with an expensive mistake! To correctly check a mask, sit the mask comfortably on your face while looking towards the ceiling, feel around the edges for any gaps. If there are no gaps, as a test you can gently blow out of your nose while keeping a small amount of pressure on the frame and look for any leaks. No leaks? Then that is a good fitting mask!
2. Skirting – Black or Clear?:
The color of a mask skirting is a very personal thing and also depends on what diving you are planning on doing. Clear skirting allows a lot more light to come into the mask making everything feel a lot more open and brighter. If you don’t like enclosed spaces then a clear skirting may be the choice for you. Black skirting gives you a very direct line of focus allowing you to block out any of those pesky distractions that may be swimming around you. Photographers, videographers and some instructors prefer black skirting. This is because it allows them to concentrate on what they are shooting and also their students.
3. Single Lens or Double Lens?:
With the many types of frame and lense configuration it’s easy to get confused. To make it more simple try on a double lens. If you feel a small amount of pressure on the middle part of your brow then you will be more suited to a single lens. The extra space that is created by the single lens gives more room if you do have a slightly more protruding brow.
4. How Cool do you look?:
As we all know the no. 1 rule in Scuba Diving is to breathe continuously and never hold your breath. The second most important rule (this may or may not be actual fact) is making sure you look cool! With the never ending amount of various mask frame colours and combinations, narrowing down a favorite can be difficult. Just think of your favorite colours. There will be a good chance that your selected mask will have the correct colour choice!! And don’t forget about a vest for snorkeling to match.
In my opinion the only way to find the best dive mask for you is to try on as many as you can. Find the few that fit your face perfectly and work back from there. Then comes skirting choice, colour choice and the one everyone is worried about, budget!!
I hope these few tips help the next time you come to do what we all love to do. Shop for new equipment!!