Whether you are taking up scuba diving for the first time or are already proficient in the sport, the time will eventually come when you need to buy a brand new scuba mask. This may not be as easy as it seems as there are now many different types of scuba mask on the market and you can see this post for the best scuba masks . From the single to the double window, and from the mask with a purge valve to the technologically advanced data diving mask, there is a wealth of options to choose from and so even an experienced diver may be left wondering how to choose best scuba mask to meet their needs.
Whatever type of mask you choose, you should always go for one that features a 100% surgical grade silicone seal. As some masks do not mention this on their packaging, you should always ask a shop assistant if you are unsure as purchasing a mask from an inferior quality rubber alternative is false economy. A rubber seal will degrade and deteriorate over time, cracking and warping meaning that the seal will leak as the fit worsens. 100% surgical grade silicon seals on the other hand remain a perfect fit and are very hygienic.
As advised by OutdoorSwim.com, It is paramount that you try any potential new scuba mask for fit as achieving the perfect fit is essential to your comfort and diving experience. Different masks suit different shaped faces, so you may need to experiment before you find the right one for you. First put the mask over your head and press it to your face while breathing in through your nose. You should find that your perfect mask has a complete seal. When you have found a mask with a good seal, fasten the strap tightly and adjust it for comfort before moving your head in all directions to ensure that the mask is comfortable for your face shape and that you have good vision. Check for blind spots in all directions. You should also not forget to test out the accessibility of the nose pocket as you will need to use this during diving and if you cannot easily locate it while underwater, the mask is not ideal.
Once you have found a mask that fits well and has good comfort and vision, you can choose from a range of colors. You can usually choose between a clear silicone or a black skirt. In this case, you may want to opt for a clear skirt as it increases visibility, although a black skirt will not discolor over time and is a good choice for underwater photography as it aids focus on underwater objects.
If you usually wear glasses, you may want to opt for a mask which can be used with the pre-cut prescriptive lenses which can be purchased in dive shops. If you have a particularly complex vision problem, your optician will be able to supply custom-made mask lenses which can be bonded onto the mask for you.