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Wearing the mask. Any style mask will have adjuster buckles on both sides of the mask strap near the front for adjusting the tightness of the mask. The mask should fit snugly around your head and not be too tight or too loose. A well-adjusted mask should slide on and off the face fairly easy and not have suction when pulling it off. The pressure of the water will keep the mask in place by itself normally as well. Wearing a mask too tight can cause major discomfort around the face and also leave pressure marks on the face as well, and is not an enjoyable experience! Google
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                Fins themselves come in two traditional blade styles: a split or paddle blade. Both styles have pros and cons to them with distinct characteristics. A split blade is a more novice blade for a snorkeler in a sense. These fins allow water to pass through the split in the blade on your upward fin stroke, causing less resistance and more propulsion. This compensates for incorrect kicking techniques which make split blade fins ideal for beginners; you won’t waste all your energy and attention on kicking and c...
The other option of snorkeling fin-wear is closed heel fins. These fins differ than open heel in that the fin silicone extends to completely surround your foot and heel, which makes the foot pocket much smaller than the open heel fins. Because of this, socks are not able to be worn with the fins which leave them a popular option typically reserved for warmer waters. Since full foot fins do not have adjustable straps, it is very important to get the proper size for your foot. The fin should not be able to wiggle around on your foot but also should not be too tight to where it may cause cramping...
Fins are an essential part of comfortable snorkeling or diving; they work with your legs muscles to push you through the water with ease and comfort while using the least amount of energy possible. As with any other piece of equipment, fit and comfort are the top priorities when choosing your fins. The sizes of today’s fin blades are typically larger to provide maximum power with minimal effort but various sizes are available to meet an individual’s size needs. The fins themselves come with varying designs of slits and vents on the blade to channel water different ways and enhance their perfor...
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There are two types of fins, open heel (pocket) fins and closed heel fins. Open heel fins are the more popular fin design of the two. These fins slide right over your foot and have an adjustable fin strap that tightly secures your foot in the pocket. With the open heel fins you will have to wear lycra or the 3mm socks which are made to fit snugly inside the foot pocket. Wearing the socks with your open heel fins is helpful in keeping your feet warm while in the water and also keeps your heels from rubbing against the heel strap, which can lead to blistering and ruin your snorkeling experience....
Mask Strap. The mask strap is the piece of elastic silicone which wraps around the head and holds the mask securely in place when being worn. The position of the mask strap is important in determining how it fits and how well it stays in place. The mask strap should be worm snugly but not too tight, around the head and rest directly on the crown of the head. Wearing the strap too far above or below where the mask rests can cause discomfort or mask leakage. Here is a helpful tip. Strap wrappers are an additional accessory to the mask strap which many people find useful. It is a small band of n...
To Purge or Not to Purge…..That is the Question. Most masks today have the option to have a purge valve installed into the bottom of their nose pocket. A purge valve is a simple one-way valve which helps in clearing your mask of water with less effort than a non-purge mask. Clearing the mask is done by holding the top of the mask lens and skirt while looking down and blowing out the nose with minimal effort, expelling all the water completely from the inside of the mask. Clearing a mask without a purge takes slightly more effort when blowing out the nose. As a snorkeler your head is in the op...
Corrective lenses. A convenient option available for individuals with certain eye issues is the installation of prescription lenses directly into your mask. There are both nearsighted and gauge reader corrective lenses easily installed into certain quality masks. All that’s needed is your correct and current eye prescription, it’s recommended to get the doctor’s official prescription. Once you have the correct prescription you can purchase prescription lenses which are installed into your mask or choose to have bonded lenses put in. Installed lenses are non-custom prescription lenses which ar...
Mask frame styles. A mask frame is the window on the mask which contains the lenses and come in two different styles, a single lens or two lenses. There are unique benefits of both lenses but choice of one over the other is mainly a personal preference. In certain two lens masks, you have the ability to swap out the lenses for any prescription optic corrective lenses; some also feel the single lens mask offers a wider field of vision than the two lens. Single lens masks tend to feel more natural in terms of seeing through the lens and the range of vision it gives you. Both lens types can come...
Skirt and Lens Materials. The two main components of a mask are its lenses and skirt. A quality mask skirt is typically made of a surgical grade silicone; however less expensive snorkeling mask skirts can be made of PVC (similar to the material found in plumbing pipes and offer less quality and comfort). PVC is a less durable material when exposed to sunlight or any chemicals in sunscreen while silicone skirts are softer, more flexible in following the outline of the face, and have been known to last longer and endure the elements (surgical grade silicone masks tend to create a much better se...
Correct fit and comfort. The most important thing above all else when choosing your snorkeling mask is making sure it fits correctly and it is going to be comfortable to wear for long periods of time. A good fitting mask will create a complete seal over your face and nose while preventing any water from leaking into the mask while being comfortable and easy to wear at the same time. Everyone’s face is unique in size and shape which can make finding the right mask seem difficult for some people; in today’s market however, there are a wide selection of masks available to make sure you find the ...
Some of the basic mask features are the skirt, mask strap, and purge valve. The mask’s skirt is the area which seals around a diver’s face and keeps water out. A mask strap and adjustment buckles allow the diver to tighten or loosen the mask until it properly fits around the head for optimal comfort as well as a secure mask. A popular feature on certain masks is the addition of a purge valve, located on the bottom of the nose section, to help in clearing the mask of water more easily. All of these popular features are added to make your next snorkeling adventure as comfortable and enjoyable as...
Unlike marine animals, human eyes are not designed for underwater vision; to compensate for this a mask is worn to provide an air pocket and allow the snorkeler to see. A snorkeling mask differs from swim goggles in that it has a fully enclosed nose which adjusts for pressure changes within the water and should never be substituted for swim goggles. Before purchasing your mask you must remember that the most important aspect of a quality snorkeling mask is the fit. Also be aware that masks today come with several different style options and features; making it easy to choose the most comfortab...
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