Probably the 1st thing your personal freediving equipment starts with is a mask and a snorkel.
This step is easy to explain: rental masks might not fit you well and can constantly leak. Besides, it’s always more pleasant to be the only one who wears the mask which touches your face. Also, you don’t depend on rental shops operation hours and with your own mask, you can go snorkeling or freediving wherever and whenever you want. And the last reason – it’s super easy to travel with a little mask in a bag. Way easier, than with a pair of freediving fins.
So how to pick up the decent mask? If you are already a certified Freediver, probably you know the answer. If not, let me explain
Remember one thing – the best mask for you is the mask, which fits you independently on cost and brand.
Let me give you a couple of advice on how to pick up the perfect mask.
It is always better to try the mask first. Ideally in the water, but at least in a shop.
And there are two main things you ’d better pay attention to mask shouldn’t hurt you and you should be able to equalize in it.
If you put the mask on your face and press on the top of the nose bridge and if you feel little pain, this mask is not for you. As little pain can become a terrible headache after 1-hour freediving or snorkeling session.
Another important thing – equalization. Be sure that you can pinch your nose to equalize. Some masks have extremely huge nose pocket, like Omer Zero, and it’s a real challenge to find the nose in such a mask.
Let’s talk about the features, which mask should have to be suitable for freediving.
So, in freediving unlike to scuba diving to equalize the mask we are using our air from the lungs, which is limited and which we actually need to dive deeper. That is why for freediving mask it is extremely important to be as low in volume as possible. And single lens mask has always more volume then double lens one. In this concern, you need to look for a double lens mask. Soft silicone skirt is important as it seals better around the face. And except that it is much easier to pinch the nose for equalization. In this concern, PVC skirt masks are not a smart choice at all.
Let’s take a look at one example of the mask.
You might have seen many freedivers diving in Sphera mask by Aqualung. It’s a gorgeous not expensive and unique mask due to its bent lenses, which allows the mask to follow the shape of the face. This provides super low volume and high side vision. But to make the lenses curve manufacturer had to use plastic instead of glass. And plastic is much less resistant to the scratches. That is not a problem at all if you care your equipment well. In case, you have a habit to drop your mask anywhere but not in the box, probably you have to check for another option.
And the last thing which I would like to cover is the difference between brand and noname masks. Brands usually provide good warranty conditions and in case your mask is broken due to manufacturing failure, you can apply for warranty repair or replacement. But be sure you have saved the receipt to confirm your purchase. The best way is to take photos of all your receipts and keep the digital copies in case you lose a paper bill.
I hope all these tips will be useful for you when you come to the shop for your 1st Freediving mask.
And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in comments below.
By Svitlana Gaidai