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Freediving is a sport that needs little equipment but having a good freediving mask is essential. There are several manufacturers on the market offering a wide variety of low volume models, so if you want to buy your first mask it might be difficult to decide which one to choose. But we are here to help you. In our guide you can learn what features you should consider when buying a freedive mask!
Freediving mask vs scuba mask – What is the difference?
If you already own some dive equipment, you might think that out of practical reasons, you will use your old scuba/snorkel mask for freediving too. Of course, in an early stage of your freedive adventures – when you don’t dive deep – you can do it because you won’t really feel a big difference.
But as you progress, a freediving mask will support your dives the best. Freedive masks comparing to scuba masks are lighter, made of softer materials and feature lower internal volume that is important in terms of easy equalization.
How to choose a freediving mask?
In order to find a freedive mask that will fit your needs the most, these are the most important features you need to consider:
Freedive masks are designed to have low internal volume to reduce the need of equalization as you descend. Lowest volume freediving masks almost doesn’t need equalization like OMER ZERO CUBED mask. As you descend, you will need to equalize your mask too to avoid sucking on your face. The lower volume your mask has, the less air you need to exhale into it to equalize.
Normal scuba masks have large volume that require more air for equalization, which means you will waste your air for equalization and not using it for diving. Therefore, a good freediving mask has always low internal volume. (For easy hands-free equalization it is recommended to use freedive nose clip.) An other advantage is, that the low profile mask design places the lenses closer to your eyes providing a wider field of view.
The softer the silicone your freediving mask made of the more comfortable you feel. A soft silicone skirt won’t push against your face too hard while descending and pressure changes.
Shape and design
Your mask has to make a perfect seal. We all have different faces and masks have different shapes too. Some models have really cool streamlined design, but are not recommended for all faces. For the perfect fit, you need to find the mask that suits you the most and let fashion expectations go. Read below our tips on how to choose the right fitting freedive mask!
Although there are some clear freedive masks on the market but it is recommended to have a dark silicone mask. Why? A clear skirt lets in too much light that can create reflection on your lenses, disturb your vision and/or concentration. A dark skirt keeps light out and therefore provides you with a clear view.
Most freedive masks have tempered glass lenses that are durable and don’t scratch. However, some special curved lens models like the AQUASPHERE SPHERA come with plastic lenses. The plastic lens provides you with some advantages like wider field of view but can scratch easily.
Also, you find masks with tinted lenses available (yellow, blue, mirror) that look cool for sure, but for freediving, it is essential to use a mask with clear lenses out of safety reasons. Your dive buddy always needs to see your eyes in order to identify even the smallest signs of dizziness that can happen when ascending, therefore always use a clear lens freediving mask.
Once you find a good fitting freedive maks, you want to use it as long as possible, right? Silicone is a long lasting material so if you take care of your mask, you can use it for a long time. Buy from trusted manufacturers that made their products from high quality materials. To use your freediving mask for the longest time possible, rinse it with fresh water after each use and store in a plastic case to avoid damages.
How to find the best fitting freedive mask?
If you have a chance to try different models prior your purchase, do it as the following: place the mask on your face by leaving the strap off and inhale. The suction should keep the mask in place without holding on. If you find it comfortable and it makes a complete seal, that mask fits you.
Not only the seal is important, but it is crucial that the freedive mask has to fit on your nose too. Check if the nose pocket provides you with a comfortable space, it is not to small or big. If the noose area is too big: you cannot pinch your nose which will cause problems until you don’t learn how to equalize hands-free. If it is too small, your nose will start hurting after a while. This will make you feel uncomfortable, and you cannot concentrate on your diving.
It is also important that shave yourself before diving! Even a good fitting mask will leak if you leave your facial hair too long since the silicone skirt cannot seal properly.
Your mask strap should be adjusted in a comfortable position. It should be tight enough to make a good seal but loose at the same time not leaving indentation on your face.
Buying a freediving mask online
Is there no freedive shop close-by or found a good deal online? In this case, read the recommendations. Sometimes even manufacturers give size and shape guide whether the mask fits for wide or narrow faces, or if it comes with a wide nose design. Reviews from freedivers who already own the freedive mask model you intend to are also helpful. However there is no mask that fits everybody but based on feedback, freedivers like these masks the most:
How to avoid mask fogging?
It is a common problem that newly bought freediving masks are fogging. This happens because masks come from the factory with a layer on the inner side of the lenses. To avoid fogging, you need to get rid of this film somehow. You can try many different technics but the most effectives are:
- Rub it with toothpaste
Put a small amount of toothpaste on the inside of the lenses, rub it, leave it dry for a few hours then wash it off. Use normal toothpaste without micro beads! These are tiny plastic parts can scratch the lenses and are harmful for the environment too when get into our waters. If the layer on the lenses is thick, you might need to repeat this toothpaste process a few times
- Burn it off with a lighter
Simple use a lighter to burn the film off. Focus the flame on the lenses and you will see the layer disappearing
More freediving gear buying guides:
- What type of snorkel to buy for freediving
- Why use rubber weight belt for freediving
- Freediving computer buying tips
- How to choose wetsuit for freediving
- Freediving fins guide
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