Freediving is a relatively advanced sport that is a mix between snorkeling and scuba diving. As you hold your breath to dive below the surface in the exploration of the underwater world, you require a mask that is able to go with you. Some snorkel masks feature too much air space in the mask which doesn’t make it ideal for diving below the surface.
If you are interested in the ever growing sport of freediving you will need the best freediving mask you can get. This will help you reach and exceed your goals. Your setup should have the best mixture of features that help you when under water. The best mask will feel like you’re not even wearing one.
We have done the research to find the best free diving goggles on the market. The features to look for range from the volume of the mask to the materials used for the skirt. Even the strapping system can affect how these masks feel when in the water.
Ready to get started? Let’s go!
How To Choose A Freediving Mask – Buying Guide
Freediving mask reviews agree that unlike snorkeling masks, freediving systems have to be finely tuned. Since every single second underwater counts, your mask should have technology built in to extend that time. Having a mask that features a low profile design and less internal volume will ensure that you can dip below the surface with ease. When looking for your ideal mask, be sure to pay attention to the following features.
Low Volume Please
When you free dive with a full face mask you need to conserve as much air as possible for the most amount of time. A low volume mask retains less air than a larger volume option. More air means more buoyancy which translates into more effort.
These masks will also have specially designed nose areas. Just like scuba diving, freedivers go to depths that require you to equalize. This means you need to be able to easily block your nose.
Fits like a glove
A low volume mask will need to fit your face perfectly. Large volume masks will keep the lens away from the contours of your face. For this reason, a silicone skirt is almost a requirement. It will bend and flex as your face moves and create a watertight bond.
Tips On How To Wear Your Freediving Mask:
- Tilt your head back and rest the mask on your face without putting the strap on. Make sure that every part of the mask is positioned properly.
- Breath in through your nose to create a seal between your face and the mask. As you breathe in tilt your head to a normal position. If it stays on your face without any leaks it is a good fit. If it falls off your face you will need another size of mask.
- If it fit properly hold the front of the mask and use your other hand to put the strap over your head.
- From here you will be able to adjust the mask to that it fits comfortably on your head.
- Once this is complete you’re ready to get in the water.
Pro Tip: Do all of this before you head to your diving vacation. It will get you in the water much quicker than having to struggle while you’re in the water.
Single or Double pane Lens
Both of these types of lenses offer great results. There is no real difference between the two. With that being said, you should always make sure to get a tempered glass lens. Nearly every single mask that includes tempered glass is also scratch and shatter resistant. This doesn’t mean you can throw your mask on the ground, but it will definitely have an increased durability. Since you will be diving to depths a tempered glass with an anti-reflective membrane. This will allow you to see under the water during all times of the day.
Some specially designed lenses also have color correcting. As you dive to deeper depths, the colors of the coral and fish around you fade away. Red is first to disappear, at around 10 feet, with yellow following close behind at 20 feet. Some masks will compensate this through their lens while others increase the brightness as well.
Color of the seal and lens
Most of the time color comes down to your personal style. This isn’t the case with freediving masks. A bright colored skirt or seal can actually lead to your vision being obstructed. This is due to the glare that it can cause when at depth. If you are using these masks for spearfishing as well, a brightly colored skirt can actually scare away your prey. If you use a clear skirt, then you also run the risk of the light getting through the skirt and obscuring your vision more. We would recommend using a plain black skirt, even though it is not flashy.
Colored lenses, on the other hand, can also have unwanted effects. Dark colors can make your eyes less visible to your dive buddy. This isn’t ideal as your eyes are an important point of connection between the two of you. Near the end of your dive, it can be a safety issue if your diving buddy cannot see your eyes. For this reason, we would always recommend clear lenses when you are diving down deep in the water.
A polarized snorkel mask, on the other hand, may be a great option. These will filter out UV rays and bright light, much like a pair of sunglasses. This is helpful when you are on dry land and in the water. If you are preparing for your dive, you are not irritated by the sun. The same is true for when you come up for a breath. The glare on the surface of the water can be dazzling. The deeper you go in the water, the less you will need the polarization so the choice will depend on the type of diving you are doing.
When it comes to the type of lens you will use, a lot is down to personal preference. Many people use tempered glass lenses, but there are a select few freedivers who use plastic lenses, but why would you want to?
Glass lenses are tougher than plastic lenses and will scratch less than plastic ones, but plastic lenses are less prone to break, especially if you drop your mask or hit it against something. Plastic lenses are also more flexible when you get into deeper water. The deeper you go, the more pressure there is, and this can cause glass lenses to crack or break. A plastic lens will bend with the pressure, and bend with your face. Since the plastic lenses can bend more, they generally give you a better fit on your face and a better seal.
It is up to you which lenses you go for. Both types of lenses work well, and each comes with pros and cons.
Straps and Fastening
No matter what mask you choose, it should have a strap which is comfortable to wear for long periods of time, and one which is easy to fasten and unfasten. You are going to be wearing your mask for a long tie, so if the mask does not feel very comfortable when you are out of the water, it is not going to feel very comfortable when you are in the water. The water is only going to take the mask more irritating. Make sure to find a mask which is comfortable or you are not going to enjoy your freediving experience.
Being able to adjust your mask on the go will ensure you stay calm and save your energy. The mask should be easy to get on and off, especially when it is wet, and the fasteners should be easy to adjust. You may have the mask on tight, but when you are in the water, you may need to make a quick adjustment. A good-quality mask will allow you to do this.
No matter which mask you choose, it should be as durable as possible. A high-quality mask may cost a little bit more upfront but will not have to be replaced yearly. If you want to buy a cheaper mask, then you run the risk of low-grade materials which will cost you in the long run. A freediving mask is going to be exposed to a lot of salt water, and that can wear down materials. Spending a little more initially will ensure that your mask lasts longer and you are not paying for repairs or replacements.
Look for high-quality materials such as neoprene, urethane, and silicone. Pay careful attention to the lenses too. Look for tempered glass to give strength or plastic for the deeper dives. A high-quality freediving mask will also be able to be worn during scuba diving and snorkeling.
Related Review: Snorkel Masks
Q: How To Clear Your Mask When Freediving?
This is something you shouldn’t have to do when freediving. It is so important to get a mask that fits properly so that you don’t have to worry about it leaking while you’re under the water. If you find your mask keeps filling with water you should check that there is nothing wrong with it especially if it’s a newer buy. Another issue can be the sizing. Masks that regularly leak may not actually fit your face properly. For example, if the seal doesn’t properly wrap around your eyebrow it can let water in. The same goes for facial hair. This can cause your mask to not create a seal which will lead to your mask leaking.
With that being said, if it does leak for some reason clearing it is relatively straightforward. Tip your head backward, push on the top part of the frame while breathing out through your nose. You should notice that the water in your mask will start to drain. Just keep in mind that this won’t fix what’s causing your mask to fill with water. You may need to tighten the mask more or adjust it so it’s centered on your face.
Q: How To Equalize When Full Face Mask Freediving
You should only look to purchase specially designated free diving or scuba masks. They will have a soft nose cap which will allow you to squeeze your nose to equalize the pressure. To do this you should use your fingers to pinch your nose and breath through it. Start by breathing gently through your nose. If this doesn’t work start breathing slightly stronger until you hear a pop. This will release the pressure in your ears and allow you to descend deeper.
Pro Tip: If you can’t equalize ascend a few feet and try it again. This will usually allow you to release the pressure.
One important thing to remember is that you can’t equalize too much. But if you don’t equalize properly you can do serious damage to your eardrums. You shouldn’t dive if you have a cold, especially one where you are congested. This can make equalizing nearly impossible.
Q: Is Freediving A Dangerous Activity?
Any activity is dangerous if you are not doing it correctly, and freediving is no exception, though there are more risks if you do not do it correctly. When you are freediving, you are not reliant on an oxygen tank or other apparatus, like you have in scuba diving, to help you breathe. If you do dive down too deep or something else goes wrong, then there is a risk of drowning, and you should keep this in mind before you attempt to free dive.
You may have heard stories about free divers diving down to great depths, and have wondered how that is even possible, but the truth is that they had to start somewhere. You never read about the regular dives which happen, and those extreme dives are not going to be possible for most of the population.
Then key with freediving is to start small. When you are starting out with any water sport, you start with the basics first. Your first few dives will be made to get used to the equipment you are using, and once you gain more confidence, you can go deeper and deeper. If you start slowly and have the correct gear, then you can stay out of trouble and keep yourself as safe as possible.
If you do practice your freediving with safety in mind, then you will be able to go deeper and deeper, and someday, someone may be writing about the great depths you have gotten to.
Q: How Do You Care For Your Mask After A Dive?
Anything which is exposed to a lot of water should be cared for when it is out of the water. A great freediving mask is half the battle, but if you do not take care of it, then be prepared to buy another one. With a little care, you can ensure that your mask does not wear, break, or become damaged. Not only can you save yourself money in repairs and replacements, but you will keep your mask in tip-top condition, and keep yourself safe in the water.
It is imperative that you rinse and dry your mask when you have been in any water, but especially when you have been in salt water, and even more so when you are about to put your mask into storage.
The first thing to do is to rinse your mask off with fresh water. We would then recommend letting your mask sit in warm water to dissolve any salt crystals which might have become attached to your mask. Dry your mask with a clean towel, and ensure that you remove all of the moisture. You can also let your mask dry in the sun too.
Always store your mask in a cool and dry place, and do not let the mask sit exposed in the sun for long periods of time. Makes sure that you do not store your mask under your other equipment or you may permanently disfigure the mask.
Q: How Do You Prep The Mask?
We have already talked about how to care for your mask once you are out of the water, but you should also spend a few minutes preparing your mask before you get into the water. You do not need to do a lot to ensure that your mask is ready to dive in, but doing so will extend the life of your mask, and improve your safety in the water.
When you first get your mask, there may be a plastic film on the lens. This plastic film is for protection during transit, and you should remove this film before you go for your first dive. The next thing you need to do is prepare your lenses so that they do not fog when you get under the water. Fogging is a common problem with underwater lenses and can be really annoying, but you can get rid of the problem rather easily.
You can find some masks with anti-fog technology, but if your mask does not have that, then you can buy anti-fog spray, lens cleaner, or even toothpaste. Apply them to the inside of your lens and rub them in until the liquid is gone.
Q: What Is The Difference Between A Scuba Diving And Free Diving?
Scuba diving gives you some breathing apparatus to use under the water. With freediving, all you have is your mask, your fins, and your wetsuit. Freediving is done holding your breath. The aim is to stay under the water for as long as possible on one breath. Now, this does not mean that you have to dive as deep as you can. Many people use freediving to go spearfishing under the water or to dive for pearls.
When you are scuba diving, you have a lot of apparatus to help you breathe and regulate your time under the water. With this added equipment comes more to think about when you are in and out of the water. You have to make sure that all of the equipment is working, and you have to be aware of the equipment when you are in the water. With freediving, there is less to prepare, worry about, and take care of when you are done. Freediving is unencumbered and more simple. This also means that freediving is a lot more affordable than scuba diving.
Q: Why Does Water Leak Into The Mask?
With any underwater activity, a mask is there to protect your eyes from the water. The mask is designed to keep the water out, but there will be times when the water leaks in. So, is there anything which you can do about this problem?
If a mask lets in a lot of water, then it will become annoying and impossible to swim under the water. If you have followed our method for fitting your mask, then a lot of water will not be able to get in, but over time, small amounts may seep in.
If your hair gets in the way, it can disturb the seal and let water in, so make sure to check that your hair is out of the way. If you have a good fit, but the water still gets in, then you may want to try vaseline under the seal to fill any gaps where the water is getting in.
If you have tried everything and the water is still getting in, then the only hope is to find a new mask.Related Post: Scuba Mask Leak
Globo Surf Overview
Freediving is a lesser known sport that’s increasing in popularity. Taking your snorkeling experience one step further, diving below the water’s surface allows you to explore caves, follow fish and continue to explore coral reefs. Exploring intermediate depths of the water will allow you a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in all the life under the sea.
It not only tests your physical ability but also your mental endurance. While holding your breath below the surface is a challenge, having the mental strength to explore without air is an achievement of its own. There are many places around the world that allow people to test themselves and beat their own goals. The best freediving mask will not only help you increase your depth but also allow you to see the underwater world around you with clarity. Remember that freediving is all about having fun. The best gear will only go so far. Understanding the best forms and techniques will really help you to succeed in this sport.
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