Any diver or snorkeller will tell you, there is nothing worse than a leaky mask! Spending half your time on a dive clearing or adjusting a mask is a waste of a good snorkel or dive session. When choosing a snorkeling mask and snorkel, there are a few key factors to consider to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable snorkeling experience. Here are some tips to help you make the right choices.
Masks, The right fit!
The most important aspect of a snorkeling mask is the fit. Look for a mask that provides a snug and comfortable seal around your face without causing any discomfort or pressure points. It should create a watertight seal, allowing you to breathe easily through your nose and mouth. Test the fit by placing the mask on your face without using the strap and inhaling gently to see if it stays in place.
Traditional masks cover your eyes and nose, and they are compatible with a separate snorkel. Traditional masks offer a wide field of vision as part of a more traditional setup. Consider additional features that may enhance your snorkeling or diving experience:
Lens Material: Look for masks with tempered glass lenses, as they are more durable and resistant to scratching.
Anti-Fogging: Some masks have special coatings or ventilation systems to minimize fogging, providing clear vision underwater. If your mask is fogging there are a few ways to prevent it from happening.
If a mask is new wash the mask first in warm water, paying particular attention to the inside of the frame. When clean use an anti-fog spray or toothpaste to clean the glass.
If fogging occurs when on a snorkel or dive remove the mask and spit on the inside of the lens. The success of this method working will depend on the temperature of the water. Your instructor can suggest other methods to you.
Strap System: Adjustable straps and buckles allow you to customize the fit of the mask and ensure a secure and comfortable fit.
Prescription Lenses: If you wear prescription glasses, some masks offer the option to insert corrective lenses or come with pre-made prescription lenses.
A snorkel, but that's just a piece of pipe, isn't it?
A snorkel may seem like a 1 size fits all piece of equipment but consider the below when choosing. When choosing a snorkel, consider the following:
Comfortable Mouthpiece: Look for a snorkel with a soft and ergonomic mouthpiece that fits comfortably in your mouth without causing jaw fatigue.
Purge Valve: A snorkel with a purge valve at the bottom allows for easy clearing of any water that enters the snorkel.
Splash Guard or Dry Top: Sometimes referred to as a nonreturn valve, A snorkel with a splash guard or a dry top helps prevent water from entering the snorkel when on the surface, especially in choppy conditions.
Flexibility: Opt for a snorkel with a flexible tube that can be easily adjusted to fit your face shape and accommodate different swimming positions.
Try Before You Buy if possible, and try on different masks and snorkels before making a purchase. This will give you a better idea of the fit, comfort, and functionality. Remember, everyone's face shape and preferences are unique, so what works for one person may not work for another. It's essential to find a mask and snorkel that fit you well and provides a comfortable and secure seal.