Have you ever tried to look under the water without a mask? Surely you, unless you are profane the diving industry, and you are reading these articles simply because this wonderful world there is intriguing, in which case you do already welcome you and I know, that if you try to dive, you probably cannot do without from that moment forward. You know that dolphins, more like us than many can imagine, out of the water they see things distorted and closer than they actually are? This is because their eyes are made to work underwater, and not by air environment; same thing happens to us when we dive without a mask. The underwater light behaves differently with respect to the environment air, the eye is urged by the reflected light, converts the stresses into electrical impulses and sends them to the brain that decodes them, if the diffusion properties and refraction of light change from those it is “designed”, then it will no longer recognize some detail the stresses that will be imprinted.
The mask, which at first glance may seem like a very rudimentary and simple tool as dive lights, allows us to see because it interposes a layer of air between the eye and the water, basically I want to dare to compare his glass to a screen, where it is reproduced the “external environment 3D movies”, for this it needs devices and techniques not indifferent to be efficient and work as it should.
The air space inside can be constituted by a more or less large volume, and this is precisely one of the first factors that affect the functioning of our mask:
A mask with a reduced internal volume needs less exhaled gas to be compensated, so it will be particularly suited to a free diver, he can give it to have a wide field of view (price to pay for having a low internal volume), since it has the ability to quickly and easily turn your head to look around, not having the mouthpiece of a regulator in your mouth connected to a whip and an often cumbersome, not just equipment that slows his movements, a diver who plunges with ARA rather like to have a very wide field of view given by a mask with forms designed specifically, that allows him to look at the sides, above and below him using more eye movement to that of the head, this feature though is the ability to penalize, by the manufacturer, to work towards the reduction of the inner volume; there is, however, to say that a diver who uses the ARA has available a gas supply far superior to that of a diver, and therefore we can allow of “wasting” some centiliter for the compensation of the latter.
Another feature that usually goes unnoticed in a mask, because now we consider “normal that there is” is the shape of the nose, this part is very important, because it allows us to easily block the nostrils with your fingers when we go to compensate nasal and sinus cavities of our ear canal, with the same difficulties that we would have to do this in the face operation discovered, however we think that the first masks did not have this feature, had a front elliptical section and a large internal volume, the compensation made a really complicated maneuver and most often unsuccessful. A mask acquired by those who are immersed in very cold water has to be done in order to make it easy to maneuver the obstruction of the nostrils even when wearing gloves to be 5mm or even padded dry gloves, then the part of silicone that goes to cover the cheekbones will be less prominent as possible so as to allow a very big finger to pass between it and the nose without difficulty and without the risk, also given the poor sensitivity of the hands in the condition that we’re looking at, to cause an accidental micro-displacement or deformation of the silicone part of or the entire mask that would cause flooding annoying.
Well, now that we have examined the main features of the mask, we must use it for the first time in the water, needless to say, already in the store we did the “sniffer test”, that is, we tried to lay it on your face without going behind the head drawstring, holding my breath through the nose we have seen that this does not allow leakage of air between the silicon and our skin, so it conforms to the shape of our face and will have a good seal.
The first thing to do is to wash the glass with the toothpaste (not of the one with the abrasive grains) to remove the layer of silicone particles that will be deposited on the same during the construction, which would condense the water vapor emanating from our skin and watery eyes against the glass thus making it tarnish. Once in the water glass of the mask tends to fog anyway since the temperature outside of the same is definitely lower than the inner, this drawback is resolved by is that (a dry glass) this is rinsed with a rich surfactants of the liquid substance, as it could be a spray anti-fog or our saliva; then, just before entering the water, sprinkle with saliva inside the glass, then sciacquiamolo with water from the lake or the sea where we’ll dive and indossiamola, if for some reason after this operation were to wait to put the mask will be good not empty the water that we used for rinsing, but keep it within the mask that will support on a plane (a stone, ground, on the boat etc …) with the silicone facing upwards, so as to do as if it were a small bowl, and empty only at the time when we are about to calzarla. You may wonder where they end up the moisture produced by our exhalations made occasionally sniffed and steam produced by our sweat if you do not go to condense on the glass in the form of “mist”, well it sticks to silicone, which draws humidity more easily than glass treated with the surfactants. Another little trick, from the hot summer maybe before diving for deep, with a dry, heavy undergarments and 40°C in the shade, is to bathe the face of which will be covered by the mask before you wear it, so by lowering the temperature by a few degrees of that piece of skin; but someone does not recommend this maneuver attributing to a risk of sudden vasoconstriction of the facial area, resulting in shock, but the choice still remains “subjective” is, in our opinion, sufficient to perform the above operation without using ways too impetuous or throw liters of cold water on the face.
Last thing to consider is the tension of the strap, this should not be too tight to be annoying but not too slow to allow a handful of mate, or his move a fin to take her away, though too narrow in some cases the strap it can cause a silicone deformation such as to cause the flooding.
In short, once we considered these parameters do is choose the color and model of our mask, always for the latter on the grounds that it fits on our face, which does not have the tendency perpetual flooding, and meets requirements given by our underwater orientation, then monocular, binocular, with raked lenses or corner, with prism frame to create the windows on the sides, it really exists a myriad of types and models, are all features that improve the performance and response to our personal tastes.
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