When you are scuba diving in your favourite spots, enjoying the marine life and perhaps taking some pictures, an essential piece of gear is the scuba mask and the last thing you want is a faulty dive mask that leaks.
While it may not be the most dangerous thing, it can lower the quality of your diving experience. Often the only other alternative is to change the dive mask for a new one.
However, before you decide to chuck your leaking dive mask, there are few tips that you can use to try and remedy the situation. Let’s take a look at a few of these tips.
1. Check for a proper fit
Often divers experience scuba mask leaks because the mask doesn’t fit their facial structure as well as it should. There is an easy way to check whether the dive mask is designed for your facial features.
When you are out of the water, take your dive mask and place it on your face. Do not attach the straps. Then inhale and see if the dive mask sticks. If it does then it is suited for you but if it falls off then you are using the wrong dive mask.
In this case you will need to change.
Also check the skirt around the dive mask. It should be in good condition. Tears can cause it not to fit well around your face and result in dive mask leaks. Everything in your scuba gear package needs to fit well including the wetsuit or dry suit.
2. Check out for hoods and hair
Very small objects caught in the skirt of the dive mask are enough to cause water to get to your face. This is true with objects as thin as a few strands of hair. Hold back your hair when wearing the dive mask to ensure nothing gets caught in the skirt.
The other thing that affects the dive mask and causes water to seep in is the hood. Make sure that you wear it correctly and that it doesn’t cause the skirt to fold in any way.
Sometimes strings can act like a wick where they absorb water and direct it into your face.
3. Loosen the dive mask
The instinctive reaction to a leaking mask is to tighten it even more. This however only makes the scuba mask leak worse.
One thing to note about dive masks is that the skirt is there to help you get the proper fit before getting into the water. It is not the straps or the skirt that holds the face mask in place when you go under but the water pressure.
In fact, when you are underwater, there is very little that the skirt of the mask does.
If you tighten the face mask, you will cause the skirt to warp and fold which will create even larger spaces for water to get in.
Loosening the mask might be all that is required to fix the problem.
4. If you have a beard, shave!
Hair on your head is not the only problem you have to worry about. Your beard could also cause dive mask leaks through the dive masks skirt.
It acts the same way as hair does creating tiny openings where water can get in. One of the areas where this is apparent is around the mouth. If you have a mustache you might want to cut it down if you intend on making diving a regular thing.
Another useful trick for people who don’t really like to cut their beard short is to apply Vaseline. It blocks out any holes caused by the beard. You will need to apply Vaseline around the skirt of the face mask.
Even if you do not have a beard, you might still have some imperfections on your skin that will create tiny spaces when you wear the mask. Vaseline applied around the skirt can help seal those spaces. Again everything needs to fit nicely and this goes for other diving gear as well such as the dive gloves.
5. Try the next day
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard you try, the mask is going to leak. You might look for facial hair and ensure that the dive hood is worn correctly but the bottom line is that there is a scuba mask leak even if you apply some Vaseline.
You don’t have to throw away your dive mask if one day you wake up and find that it is leaking. Instead let the mask rest and try again tomorrow. You might be surprised to find that the mask is working.
That’s the thing with face masks, they seem to have a life of their own. But they will get back to optimum performance when left to rest.
Other factors to consider
If you are out buying a dive mask, make sure you pick a high quality one at that. The first thing you should consider is the size. Does it fit the contours of your face neatly and is it comfortable to wear?
Secondly, check the skirt. Silicon is the best material. It is softer than rubber which means it will grab your face much better. On the silicon skirt itself, check for a ridge in the center. This allows the two sides of the silicon skirt to separate allowing for a much better grasp.
Always clean your dive mask after a dive. Proper care should ensure that your dive masks lasts decades to come. Keep your mask out of the sun as much as you can as this could cause the materials to warp.
Sometimes you might be diving deep in some of the best dive locations such as when diving Gran Canaria and water happens to get into your dive mask. You can’t obviously rush back to the top. An important skill and one which you will absolutely have to learn is how to clear the mask when underwater. This is why you should master the PADI scuba diving mask removal skill.
Take the plastic container and wash it with gentle soap after finishing your dive. This ensures that there are no sand particles or salt particles that are lefty on the mask. Take a close look after you’ve washed the mask to make sure that it is completely clean.
Check the nose pockets as well as inside the ridge of the skirt. When you are satisfied that everything is good and clean, then find a cool dry spot and store your diving mask. A dive bag is a great way to store your scuba gear package.
If you are walking on the sea bed, dive boots will keep your feet safe from sharp rocks and other objects that could cause harm.
Globo surf overview
A scuba mask leak can be annoying and will get in the way of an awesome diving experience. By observing proper care and maintenance techniques and also picking the best mask for your face, you can prevent leaks and focus on enjoying the underwater world.
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