Are you looking for some ultimate escapade to go deep down the sea? If yes, freediving is a perfect watersport to explore the underwater flora and fauna.
Perhaps to enjoy it to the fullest, you require a freediving mask that proffers an excellent comfortable fit with outstanding visibility.
While choosing the appropriate mask can be quite a challenge, but we have got you covered!
This detailed guide will help you grab the apt mask so that you can perfectly live this best experience.
So, let's get started!
When it comes to freediving, vision in water is quite necessary. Of course, you may opt to free dive without a mask, but is that safe enough? Probably not. Freediving masks play a crucial role in massively enabling underwater visibility. Without it, an already risky sport will become even more so.
Some specific benefits of freediving masks are listed as follows:
The significant merit of freediving with a good quality mask is that your visibility when you land in water is safe. You will be able to explore the water more and find your way back easily.
When you freedive with a mask, you do not have to keep your eyes closed. If you had to, uncertainty often steals the peace of mind. Thanks to freediving masks for full visibility, you can be more relaxed and bid the anxiety goodbye.
Without a doubt, safety concerns are better catered with a freediving mask. You may be subject to various possible emergencies like getting stuck somewhere or being approached by an animal. These can be safely handled better with a mask.
Diving without a mask will cause water to run into your nose, which can be quite uncomfortable. The discomfort can be painful, too, in the case of seawater. You may opt for a nose clip, but freediving masks will do a much better job.
The main detail that marks the difference between a scuba diving mask and a freediving mask is the interior volume. When you freedive, you only need enough breathing space to bring you to the surface of the water. So, freediving masks are designed with less volume while scuba diving masks have a larger volume.
A freediving mask is smaller in volume, so the lenses are closer to the eyes when compared to scuba diving masks. It makes the field of vision bigger and enhances the peripheral vision as a bonus for the freedivers.
Freediving masks are also sleek because of the smaller volume. Moreover, it helps the structure be more hydrodynamic. So, when you descend into the water with the great force of the dive, the mask's pull is reduced. It also facilitates coming back to the surface without much pressure of the water.
You must see that the materials used in the making of the freediving masks are sturdy and durable. They should add to the comfort as much as possible.
The lenses of the mask should be tempered glass rather than plastic because it can scratch easily. Around the lenses, the holder will be silicon. You must find hard silicone so that the seal is water-tight.
Clear silicone is much less preferred than darker colors because of the aesthetic look of the color. The silicone should be soft enough for a good seal and comfortable too. In case you have a beard, a harder silicone is advised.
The strap that will hold the freediving mask in place is either made of silicone or fabric cloth. The fabric is usually wetsuit material. Many people prefer it to the silicone strap because of its width.
Very essential when purchasing the perfect freediving mask is the fit. It should be just right so that you are comfortable wearing it while ensuring that it will not leak. How a mask will fit you will determine which among the several freediving masks is THE ONE.
The seal of the mask will determine if the mask will leak. The frame and the strap will assess the comfort level. It should really fit like a glove for the best freediving experience.
To ensure that you purchase the right fitting mask, follow the following steps for a simple test:
New freediving masks are made with good quality seals so that they fit most faces perfectly. However, in case you have a rounder face or a bear, you must look for the right fit by testing the mask first.
Apart from the leak, the right fitting mask will be comfortable. Comfort is crucial because you do not want to be stuck with a mask that is difficult to wear for a long time. After all, it pinches your face.
Freediving masks require that you equalize them underwater to breathe underwater while you find your way to the surface. It can prove to be difficult if you do not choose a comfortable mask.
Try on the mask and equalize it. If it pinches your face, it will do so in a magnified manner underwater, and you may end up hurting yourself by bursting blood vessels.
The design of the freediving mask is an important consideration when looking for a good mask. When it comes to volume, as a thumb rule – the lesser the volume, the better, and when it comes to design, the hydrodynamic model is the one to beat.
A good freediving mask has a compact design so that no unnecessary accessories or design features come in low volume. The hydrodynamic feature of the design will help improve your ascent to the surface of the water. It is beneficial so that you do not have to hold on to the bare minimum air in your lungs for long.
For freediving masks, the lowest of the volume that a mask can provide is welcome. The main reasoning behind this is the lack of any spare oxygen when you dive into the water. So, a low volume mask will not require much air to be blown for equalizing the interior to the external pressure.
Low volume freediving masks will enable you to take deeper dives without equalizing time and again. Additionally, the low air in the mask will require less effort to ascend to the water surface.
If you make the mistake of choosing a larger volume mask for whatever reason, your face's pressure will intensify when you dive. It will lead to bursting of blood vessels in your eyes.
The field of vision or FOV refers to the area of the surroundings that your eyes can view without ahead movement. The main idea behind a larger field of vision is enhanced peripheral vision.
With vision being the supreme pro of wearing a freediving mask, you must be able to view as much as possible for both exploration and safety reasons. Because freediving masks are of low volume and very close to the face, the field of vision automatically enlarges for better peripheral vision.
Apart from the periphery, downward visibility is also crucial for freedivers as they descend into the water with force. So, a broad field of vision is quite essential to deem when looking for a suitable freediving mask.
As discussed in the previous section, the field of vision plays quite a pivotal role in better visibility underwater. But it is not the only factor that comes in play for optical clarity and high underwater visibility.
The first aspect of the mask that is to be considered for visibility is the quality of the lens. Instead of plastic-lenses that cloud and scratch easily, glass lenses are a wiser choice. An addition to this would be the glare-free attribute of the lenses.
Latest freediving masks have come up with multicoated lenses for excellent visibility underwater even in different light conditions so that underwater visibility is never compromised.
Considering the function of freediving masks, the lenses and their quality are of importance. When the question of single or double-paned lenses arises, there is no significant difference between the two. It is commonly a matter of one’s own choice.
When it comes to new and upcoming features that are changing the underwater visibility game, only then double-paned lenses are deemed better because they are accommodative of these features. Whether it is the visual correction or lower mask volume, double lenses are more accommodative.
Next, we come to the material of the lens that works best underwater. It is widely known that glass lenses are better than plastic lenses. Apart from being relatively pricey, they are scratch-proof. Lenses that offer shatter-resistance are even higher in quality because of their increased durability.
Glare-free lenses also improve optical clarity underwater. Glasses with anti-reflective membranes will also facilitate better vision underwater, irrespective of the times of the day. Anti-fog must also be used so that your vision remains clear as day and is not compromised by clouding.
Mirrored lenses have come into the market, but are they the best choice of lenses for freediving? Since they reflect, it is not wise to choose such lenses, especially when freediving with friends. Allow them to see your eyes as it is safer for situations of crisis when you need to calm them or need to be soothed by them.
Specially designed lenses have come up with the feature of color correction. It is because when you go deeper, the colors of the surroundings begin to fade. This feature brings the vivid underwater experience back to life.
The color of the lens and the lens holder must also be considered beyond the face value of style. Specific colors can obstruct clear visibility. Furthermore, bright lens holder membranes can also cause glare, while dark-colored lenses can make your eyes less visible to your freediving buddy. So, ensure that you choose appropriate colored lenses and their holders.
Although several points were made in favor of glass lenses, still some freedivers prefer plastic lenses. This is because the deeper you go, the more the pressure is, and glass is more likely to crack in this pressure than plastic. The flexibility of plastic also allows a better fit and often better leakproof seal.
The sealing of freediving masks is critical because they ascertain fit, comfort as well as the degree to which the mask is leakproof. Most sealing is made of silicone as it can comfortably grip and cup the face.
For a mask to be called well-sealed, it cups the face so that water does not gush in, and the interior of the lens remains fog-free. So, to make a worthwhile purchase of a freediving mask, you need to ensure that it has a good quality sealing that perfectly fits you. A test for this was demonstrated in the 'comfort' section.
The straps of the freediving masks determine if you are comfortable wearing the mask for long. They should not be hassles when it comes to fastening and unfastening. When you test the mask outside of water, and the strap does not seem comfortable enough, it will be worse with increasing time underwater.
It is easy to put on the mask and take it off depending on the type of strap it has and how it is fastened. You should be able to work with the strap on the go. Too much strap-related botheration is an energy waster, so you must ensure that you choose a mask with an easily workable strap.
Sometimes, even during the diving, the need to readjust the strap may arise in the water. The mask you choose must ensure that this is facilitated. Otherwise, it can cause water to gush in, or the mask may pinch your face.
Freediving masks are an investment, and so they are expected to perform well and for long. Irrespective of preferences, whichever mask you choose should be durable. It means that the material used should be robust and sturdy, resistant to damage, wear, and tear.
Cheaper masks use low-quality materials that may break easily. So, spending a little more initially on suitable quality materials will pay for itself in the long run. Better quality glass lenses, sturdy frame, and durable strap contribute to the longevity of a mask.
When you plan on buying something, the money to be spent is an important and valid concern. You need to ensure that you purchase something cost-effective. Buying something expensive only to find out it does not work up to your expectations feels like you may have burnt your money.
When choosing among freediving masks, you don't need to choose the most expensive one, but merely saving on money will land you with a low-performance mask. So you have to be smart about how you spend.
Diving straight ahead without examining if you have put on the mask correctly is trouble. You must ensure that you prep your mask before jumping in so that no surprises like gushing water into the mask or extremely tight strap await you underwater.
By following simple steps, you can increase the life of the mask and ensure your safety too.
Freediving masks require proper maintenance for longevity. You need to ensure that you prep it before the freediving and clean it and store it safely afterward. If you do not invest time in caring for this freediving gear, you will have to invest more money on new masks soon.
The leading cause of water leakage in the mask is not wearing a comfortable mask that helps you see the underwater without any hassle. If you follow the proper fitting steps, as mentioned above, you will be able to keep the water out and enjoy the dive.
The longevity of a mask depends upon two factors, namely:
Like every adventure sport, freediving comes with its fatal risks. The good news is that all the risks are controllable and thus, all you need to do is follow the given measures to stay safe:
No, we do not recommend using a full-mask for freediving under any condition. Remember, full masks are perfect for surface snorkeling but not freediving. It is because a full mask is not a low volume mask and somewhat restricts you from breathing comfortably over the surface.
An excellent freediving mask aids in multiplying your fun, and you are blessed with countless picturesque underwater scenery. So, what are you still waiting for?
Now that you have all your facts straight, it is time to begin your search for the right mask. This guide will prove to be a great tool to make you understand the importance of picking up the best freediving mask.
Don't forget to read the handy tips and techniques that will help you keep yourself safe while you are about to go diving!
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