How to Fit Your Scuba Mask
Have you ever had one of those fantastic dives where your rental equipment was in great shape? The abundance of sea life blew you away, BUT your scuba diving mask consistently gave you issues? The way your scuba mask fits can make or break a dive, so we spend a fair amount of time with our guests to find a suitable scuba diving mask and talk about how to wear it. Learning about your diving mask helps ensure that our dive together is not impeded by a preventable problem. So, discover in this post how to properly fit your scuba diving mask. For tips on how to defog your diving mask, you can visit a prior blog post, How to Defog Your Mask For Good!
Scuba Diving Masks Need a Good Seal
When deciding on which scuba mask to purchase or rent, the first thing you want to do is hold the scuba mask up to your face, inhale through your nose, and see if it sticks. Naturally, it will fall off once you stop inhaling through your nose, but what you are looking for is a tight seal. If you feel air coming through while inhaling, or the mask feels too wide or narrow on your face, then best to look for a different one. You should also note the way the skirt feels. I wear Scuba Pro mini spectra for smaller faces. It has softer silicone and ideally seals around my face. It is worth trying this first step with many different masks to see how they compare. Some people prefer a firmer silicone skirt from brands such as Aqualung.
Once you find a scuba mask with a good seal that rests comfortably on your face, it is time to pull the strap over the back of your head and adjust it to fit correctly. I find that having a neoprene mask strap is necessary for my comfort. It prevents the rubber from pulling on my hair! We have fantastic Banyan Tree Divers mask straps available for $10. So worth it! Contact us if you are interested in receiving an order in the mail.
Putting on Your Dive Mask
When you adjust the tightness of your scuba mask, lightly pull on the tabs on each side. You don’t have to yank the straps as it risks breaking them. Your scuba diving mask should “rest” on your face. The water pressure will seal it shut. Divers often make the mistake of tightening their mask too much to the point that it pushes on the bridge of their nose or causes the dreaded scuba mask tattoo.
The mask strap should fit around the back of your head, positioned slightly below the crown of your head. If you wear the mask strap too low, it pulls your ears down and tends to leak from the bottom. Wear it too high, and your mask uncomfortably pulls up on your nose, which causes leakage. This could be the number one reason for mask leakage! With that said the skirt of your scuba mask fits correctly when it rests just above your upper lip.
The exception to this rule would be for mustaches. If you have facial hair, it is best to let your dive mask sit above your beard as much as possible and re-adjust the tightness. You remove ALL your hair from the mask skirt so your scuba or snorkeling mask does not leak!
Securing Your Mask
Try not to wear your mask on top of your head before you descend. Not only does the heat from your head cancel out the defog you prepared, but it also doesn’t look cool. When you are in the ocean your scuba diving mask should be on your face. Wear it around your neck until you are ready to put it on because only panicked divers push their scuba masks to their forehead. Also, your snorkel should be lightweight so it doesn’t pull your mask away from your face! Modern snorkels detach, fold up, and store in your BCD until needed during any scuba dive.
If you start any dive and something about your scuba mask doesn’t feel right, remember to communicate with your Divemaster or expert instructor. Professional instructors worldwide can immediately recognize what help you need and fix it! Taking time to make sure your dive mask fits comfortably before starting every dive lessens the likelihood of needing assistance. In the case that you need to surface and adjust it, that’s ok, just make sure that you first communicate with your buddy and dive leader, and don’t surface alone.
While Banyan Tree Divers includes a high-quality Tusa mask in your gear rental, it’s always a good idea to consider purchasing your scuba mask. A good diving mask costs just $100. This small piece of equipment travels easily and provides you the peace of mind that an ill-fitting mask cannot ruin your dive. Scuba and snorkeling stores in Maui have endless options like ScubaPro, Mares, and Aqualung. For more information about preparing a new mask so that it doesn’t fog, be sure to visit our other blog post about defogging your scuba mask for good.