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Full Face Masks!!!

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks and Snorkels' started by Aegir, Jan 16, 2001.

  1. Aegir

    Aegir Nassau Grouper

    I am toying with the idea of buying a full face mask(FFS). Slowly but surely they seem to be getting more popular.
    I have been doing some research on FFM's and it would seem that the Interspiro line is very popular.
    For example i have watched a couple of diving programms on television lately about underwater archaeology.
    Of the 10 or so divers i saw, 10 were using interspiro divator masks.
    The ocean reef FFM looks the part but i hear less than perfect reports from people that have tried it.
    When using the ocean reef mask you can only breath from your tank.
    In order to talk to anyone while (wearing a FFM) on the surface requires that you either remove your mask or have comms gear installed.
    In contrast to this you can breath air from the atmosphere with the interspiro when at the surface.
    If you black out underwater while wearing a FFM then you dramatically reduce the risk of drowning.
    However that is useless in itself unless you dive with a buddy.
    Obviously field of vision is greatly increased on most FFM models, not to mention the fact that you can add communication devices to them.

    FFM's certainly have their disadvantages though.
    If you own an octoinflator then obviously it would be unusable with a FFM.
    With some FFM models if you have to change to an alternate air supply/octopus you are then "maskless"
    If you have to pass your gear up to a boat then your face mask goes with it, i know some ppl like to leave there mask on until the last possible moment.
    Vomiting could cause problems, especially if you suffer from sea sickness.
    Obviously snorkeling in shallow water to save air would be nearly impossible, unless you carry a spare mask and have somewhere to put your FFM.
    Well i will stop there but i am sure one could write a book about the pros and cons of FFM's. I personally believe that FFM's are the future of diving. I am sure that when my grand children see pictures of myself with a seperate regulator and mask they will chuckle at the prospect heh.

    The question is then, do the advantages of using a FFM outweigh the disadvantages?
    (No diver should attempt to use a FFM unless they have passed a FFM certification course)


    A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you're in deep water.
    Sidney Goff
  2. Mario S Caner

    Mario S Caner Member

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: San Diego, CA
    I used a full face mask for the first time 2 weeks ago, infact I have the entire experience on CD-Rom that I would be happy to burn you a copy of and see for yourself. It's clear just how much I liked it, because I said so several times. You hear me saying it clearly, because I had communication gear on the rig as well. The mask in question was the Divator 2 and the comm gear was OTS's, which can both be found at:

    Now keep in mind, that I am not on OTS's payroll, but I love to speak of it because it was such an awesome experience. The mask can be picked up with the SBV, a Surface Breathing Valve that slides out to draw air from the atmosphere, as opposed to the cylinder. This saves on air, and therefore lengthens your dive time. When you take the mask off, the regulator is still attached to your 1st stage, so there's no where to lose it. I just clipped it onto my B.C. right in front of me so that I could put it on just prior to hopping in. The reg is perhaps one of the best breathing I've ever tried. I didn't at the time, but I could easily stick a regular mask into my side B.C. pocket should I ever need to get to it.

    In short, I was very impressed with the gear, and will shortly (DEMA) go out and get some that I will own.

    Just e-mail me an address I can send it to and I'd be happy to send you the CD.
  3. Aegir

    Aegir Nassau Grouper

    Mario thankyou ever so much for the thought. I am sorry but I never divulge my address to people I dont know well. I hope I havnt hurt your feelings. Where are you from Mario.
    You liked it too, well i have heard nothing bad about these masks at all. I will have to look into the price of the inspiro divator 2. Mario have you had any experience with the ocean reef neptune 2 FFM, or do you know anyone who has used one?


    An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.
  4. Mario S Caner

    Mario S Caner Member

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: San Diego, CA
    No harm done, I understand your reservations. The offer is open if you change your mind. Perhaps I'll just post an article here with pictures and some audio to get my point across.

    About me: I'm an Instructor here in Sunny San Diego, CA.

    I have quite a few friends whom dive FFM, 2 of them have both the Ocean Reef and Interspiro Divator 2, and they both swear by the ID2.
  5. o2diver

    o2diver Nassau Grouper

    I tried the old Scuba Pro last year and found that I got a CO2 build up in it. I have since read that I should try and put a mouth piece in it to breath off of. Has anyone tried this or have other suggestions? I did find that it was nice not having cold water on the face. I think that full face masks will make a difference in the dive industry as I found that it was quite comfortable to wear.
    Just my opinion.. And need some advice to stop the CO2 build up.

    DEEP SEA Nassau Grouper

    :bounce: Pick me, pick me.

    I am an expert on full-face masks (FFM). I have dove just about every full face mask on the market and many that are not. Diving Systems International of Santa Barbara have several they market. The EX0-26 is the closest they manufacture for the sport diver. It is large and resembles a commercial diving full-face mask.

    The Ocean Reef FFM is kind of new on the market and has some design flaws. You have a knob that is adjustable on the 2nd stage regulator. You adjust the flow of air and ease of breathing. However, go vertical and you adjust, go horizontal and you adjust. adjust, adjust, etc. Also, field of view is OK as well as EX0-26. They both have a built in 2nd stage.

    A mask out of Italy called the TEC-1 is simple but nice. It has an oral-nasal and is easy to equalize. You use your own 2nd stage regulator. The Scuba Pro FFM is like the TEC-1 but does not have an oral nasal cavity. Both breathe about as good as your 2nd stage that you install and use.

    U.S. Divers use to manufacture a mask called the 5204. You use your own 2nd stage on that one also. It does not have an oral nasal.

    The Cressi-sub FFM is a joke and found to be only good for simple jobs and is not used unless drastic modifications are made for communications.

    The AGA or Interspiro FFM is the best FFM on the market. It was tested by the Duke University in an unmanned test to 1800 feet. The 2nd stage was tested by the USN and found to be one of the best. The mask is comfortable and easy to use. The airflow sweeps the visor always keeping it defogged. This mask is used by more Government divers and/or Search & Rescue teams then any other. Further, it is fast becoming accepted in the sport diving community.

    OK, goods/bads:

    Some have argued that you can't easily buddy breath. You can't snorkel easily. You use up too much air, etc. I have found with proper training you can workout buddy breathing. If the mask is a demand FFM and properly sealed, you will use about the same amount of air. When using underwater communications, you will use about 6% more air depending on how much you talk. Snorkeling, well that is a problem. If I am going to make a beach dive and not working from a boat I bring along a spare visor and snorkel. Switch them out for the FFM when ready.

    FFM are great for cold diving. They really keep your face warm. Also, they are a must for underwater communications.

    My vote - FFM are good and the AGA is the best hands down!

    For more information, visit http://www.oceantechnologysystems.com under full-face masks.
  7. Mario S Caner

    Mario S Caner Member

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: San Diego, CA
    Aegir, you know it never ceases to amaze me at just how much information is available through the members of this site. DeepSea, thank you for your very thourough review of FFM's. I've certainly learned a lot already. I'll be at DEMA this year and will stop by the pool and try out some more gear, I've been doing research on. So far everyone I've talked to swears by the AGA/Interspiro FFM, there must be a reason for that, I suspect that professionals have been telling me that because it is the best! 10's of 1000's of professionals trusting their lives to it, is a good indication of the quality.

    Another thing that I am very excited about is my newly found passion for underwater communication gear. I've been looking into those systems as well and keep hearing that OTS's gear is by far the king of the hill. You sound like you know your way around underwater comms as well, any words of wisdom?
  8. MrMrEZG

    MrMrEZG Captain

    the thought of having no reg when my mask floods is what keeps me away from FFMs.
  9. Mario S Caner

    Mario S Caner Member

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: San Diego, CA
    Why is it you are under the impression that you wouldn't have a reg? The one and ONLY way that a FFM can possibly flood is to run out of air. The reason I know that is because it was the first question I asked, so you're certainly not alone. I was actually asked to try to flood the mask! I cracked open a major seal and was delightfully surprised! The pressure build-up makes it impossible to flood. If for some reason you choose to take your FFM off, you can easily grab your octo and breathe from it, just the same way you were trained to. Carry a mask in your pocket and problem solved! Also, when I was trying one out a couple of weekends ago, I had a pony bottle rigged up too.

    I plan on picking a FFM up very soon, perhaps you can attend a dive show and try one out... That's what I'll be doing.
  10. carlislere

    carlislere NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Austin, Texas
    Thanks for the info folks. I am also interested in an FFM, but I need to be able to connect a Draeger Dolphin SCR reg to it. Will the ID 2 allow this? I plan on checking out FFMs at DEMA myself. Later.

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