Choosing a Freediving Mask
Low volume masks have come a long way. The years of adding silicone on the inside to decrease volume are gone. Today’s freediving masks are comfortable and built for very low volume. Most freediving masks have black silicone skirts. This is an improvement over the clear silicone due to their allowing less distracting light in through the sides. Masks are almost entirely of personal preference. Considering most freediving masks are very low volume and built well, it really just comes down to comfort and fit. To achieve this you will need to try them on. Make sure that no parts of the frame are touching your face Comfort and volume is the most important things to consider. If the mask is not comfortable, pressure points are usually the cause. The points will get worse through the day causing face pain. Pain will increase your heart rate.
When testing the mask be sure to do the leak test. Seat the mask on your face without the strap, breath in lightly through your nose and look down. The mask should stay on with no leaks.
Another thing to consider, some masks have better lateral and/or vertical visibility than others even though they are of the same volume. You can also test this by placing the mask on your face and holding your hands off to the side just in view. The mask that allow your hands to go the furthest back has the best later view and the one that allows your hands to go the furthest up and down has the best vertical view. Simple test and it works.
For people with beards, goatee’s or mustaches, help avoid leaks by using Vaseline or shave a little off the top of the mustache just bellow your nose. When you put your mask on move your upper lip down like you’re yawning and you will create a seal at the base of your nose. Both of these techniques work well but the later works best.
Below is a chart of some of the common mask dimensions that will help guide you.
|Mask||Field of Vision Height (cm)||Field of Vision Width (cm)||Volume (ml)||Weight (g)||Face Type|
|Aqualung Micromask||175||164||80||145||Smaller than Avg|
|Cressi Penta Dark||175||150||195||207||Average|
|Cressi Lince||127||140||94||167||Smaller than Avg|
|Omer Aries 39||113||131||120||174||Average|
|Seac Sub X-Low||85||132||114||155||Average|
|Seac Sub Italica||136||136||190||214||Average|
|Sporasub Instincy Star||94||135||100||148||Smaller than Avg|