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I need a mask that won't leak!

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks and Snorkels' started by pogiebait, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. pogiebait

    pogiebait Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: indiana
    Been doing my certification for OW. Tried about 3 masks so far, and they all leak. My instructor just about gave up on trying to fix it--too tight, too loose, too high on my face, etc. No one else in the class seems to have this problem. Water seems to come in under my nose. And it just keep leaking until I have to clear my mask. Out of water, I can lay the mask on my face and suck it tight. But still leaks underwater.

    Is there a mask out there for me? Or is this the nature of the beast? I have a wide melon, and Asian features. I am hoping for some help as my other alternative is to keep buying masks until one works. Thanks.
  2. walke121

    walke121 Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Jersey/Alabama
    Just try every mask you can find until you find one that fits you. You will find one just be patient. Good luck.
  3. paddler3d

    paddler3d Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Baltimore, MD
    I've found that the masks that fit me the best and don't leak, yes they do exist, are not the ones that I can hold to my face by inhaling, but will actually get sucked to my face.

    If they seem to fit fine in the shop, but leak in the pool, it could be that the regulator is changing how my face is causing the mask to leak, you could be tightening up the mask causing it to deform more and leak, the list goes on and on.

    The point being, try on a lot of masks, regardless of costs and one will work for you.

    I went through 5 masks before I found one that didn't leak.

    Good luck.
  4. fisheater

    fisheater Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sebastopol, CA
    When you're mask shopping, don't "suck it tight". Rather, a small sniff is all that's needed IF IT FITS. A big suck will make almost any mask appear to fit.

    Also, be sure you're not breaking the seal by exhaling through your nose during your dives and be sure that no hair is interfering with the mask seal.
  5. snowflake4727

    snowflake4727 Instructor, Scuba

    The suck test is not the best way to fit a mask.

    1. ignore the strap. It is not intended to "make" a mask fit. It is intended to hold a mask on.
    If the mask you are trying on has a strap, flip it to the front and do not use it for fit.
    2. GENTLY set the mask on your face while looking in a mirror. DO NOT SUCK IN!!
    3. Look at the inner seal. That is the flappy thing inside. Make sure it is contacting skin all the way around.
    4. Make sure it is not running through eyebrows and inside eye sockets. Running through eyebrows, and accross eye sockets is not contacting skin.
    5. Look at the nose pocket and make sure your nose has enough room and that the bridge does not hit you between the eyes. Even a little contact there will give you a screaming headache on a dive. Make sure that the silicone under your nose sits flat.
    6. Compare 2 masks at a time. Choose the best one, put the other back on the shelf and leave it. Pick up another mask and start over. Compare those two, then choose the best one, put the other back. By limiting your choices to 2 at a time the decision process is easier.
    7. Choose the mask that best fits the curves of your face naturally, without force applied to it. This force can be either sucking or come from the strap.

    Every make and model has a different size and shape skirt. Everyone has a different size and shape face.

    There are some generalities I have observed.

    The Tusa Visualator fits alot of asian faces well.
    The Deep Sea Clarity fits ALOT of people very well.
    While manufacturers will tell you that clear and black silicone are the same, I have noticed that black feels more supple. It seems to seal a little bit better. Plus it gives you that cool stealth ninja assasssin look.

    Fit is key. All other considerations come after.
  6. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

    As fisheater said, this is the key. You can create enough suction to make any mask stick to your face. A better way to assess fit is to place the mask on your face, without a strap, and gently push inward with your fingertips. When you remove your hand, the mask should remain in place. (Important to hold your breath while doing this, because some people exhale through their noses without knowing it, and the mask will ALWAYS come off if you do that!)

    I went through three masks before I found one that really didn't leak, and it's worth the effort to do it, because a leaky mask is an irritant and a stressor in the water.
  7. Walter

    Walter Instructor, Scuba

    You are probably not fitting your mask correctly. Tilt your head back and look at the ceiling. Place the mask on your face and have a buddy walk around and look at the fit. Are there any gaps between your face and the mask? If there are none, gently sniff in and look forward. A properly fitting mask will stay in place and be comfortable. Never hold a mask to your face to determine fit.
  8. vixtor

    vixtor Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Bucharest, Romania
    Maybe as you are just at your first dives, you strain your mouth around your regulator too much. If you do this (instead of holding the mouthpiece relaxed), you might deform your face and the mask would leak, even if without a reg in your mouth it looks fine.
  9. Noboundaries

    Noboundaries Manta Ray

    My mask fits my face nicely and I wear the strap so it is barely snug, just enough to keep the mask in place. That said, if the strap is not positioned correctly on my head the mask leaks. Moving the strap 1/2" can make the difference between a leaky mask and a completely leak free dive. If my mask is leaking at all on the descent my first correction is to repostion the strap up or down a little bit on the back of my head. In my case I generally tend to position the strap too low on the back of my head so I move it up a little and the leak stops. Neoprene aftermarket straps make repositioning easier than the silicone straps.
  10. ToPpS

    ToPpS Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Durban, South Africa. Can be found in London, UK.
    If you have a moustache (leaking under the nose) try rubbing some Vaseline/KY jelly over the stache before pulling on your mask. Picked the trick up from my instructor when some guys had the problem when doing our AOW course.

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