In this article we are going to show you how to find the best freediving masks that are recommended for 2022. We are also going to show you how to fit a mask for freediving and spearfishing. This will ensure that when you enter the water there won’t be any leaks. If you need corrective lenses, we’ve got you covered as well!
All the time, I am seeing my clients and students arriving at our freediving courses and they have spent their hard earned money on the wrong mask. This has prompted me to create the ultimate guide to choosing the right mask for freediving – and making sure it fits you perfectly!
The first mistake
Getting the wrong mask was the first mistake I made when I took my first freediving course!
Many years ago I decided to take the leap and book my very first freediving course. I did the same thing that I see many people do now, and that is walk into the first dive shop that I could find and spend my hard earned cash on the biggest and best looking mask. Lol
High volume vs low volume
What is the difference?
When we are talking about volumes in masks, we are talking about the volume of air that is inside the mask when it is pressed against your face. The bigger the mask the higher the volume, and the smaller the mask the lower the volume. For freediving, you need a low volume mask. We explain why below.
Higher volume masks are usually Scuba diving masks or snorkelling masks. While these masks are great, they can become a real issue while freediving and diving deep. They can actually make it harder to equalise, as you need to add more air to the mask than you would for a low volume mask.
That extra air that you added to your high volume mask could have been used for your ears. Our sinuses will equalise automatically unless you have congestion build up.
When diving DEEP every bit of air counts!
Keep in mind that air compresses under pressure, so while you are diving deep all the air in your air spaces is decreasing. This includes your:
- Oral cavity
When the air in your mask is getting smaller, you’ll notice the mask sucking to your face. That’s why you need to put air in to avoid it.
This is why a low volume mask is far better for deep freediving. You require a lot less air to equalise your mask and ears, and in turn you will find that you can actually descend deeper and safer. You won’t feel any pain or pressure in your ears, or the feeling that your eyes are being sucked out of your head lol. This feeling is known as mask squeeze.
A real story
To give you an idea of how much a low volume mask can help you and your freediving capabilities, here is a story about a real student of Freediving Central.
She had been training for a few weeks with us and was continually having issues equalising between 20meters – 26meters deep. Every time she would dive down to these depths she would experience the feeling of not having enough air to equalise her ears and mask. She was concerned about her lungs feeling empty and her mask sticking to her face.
She tried one of our low volume freediving masks and the dive she completed was the easiest and most relaxed dive she had ever done. Not only was it relaxing, but she also managed a PB (personal best) dive to 30 meters deep! That afternoon we went to the dive shop and chose a great low volume mask that fitted her face shape perfectly.
One thing to note is that every time you get a PB you can treat yourself to some PB cake!
How often should I equalise my mask and ears?
Be sure to check out our blog on how to equalise. It will answer all of your questions on how to get those ears popping!
Freediving masks – Best masks of 2022!
Aqua Lung Sphera Mask
- Soft silicone mask
- Low volume
- Wrap around plastic lens
- Looks good
- Great for equalisation at depth
Salvimar Noah Mask
- Super comfortable soft silicone
- Low volume
- Easy to pinch nose
- Great field of view
- Excellent spearfishing mask
- Older mask but perfect for freediving
- Really well priced
- Mask skirt has a double feathered edge
- Perfect fit/seal on the face
- Very low volume
- Large nose making it easy to equalise
- Great for spearfishing
- Straps have a 3d pivoting connection to create less pressure on the face
- I personally use this mask and I freaking love it!
- Low volume
- Bends to the shape of your face
- Great field of vision
- Looks like Batman! Remember, number 1 rule in freediving is look good!
Rob Allen CUBERA
- Textured nose grip for easy equalisation
- Great field of vision
- Tinted or clear lens,
- Tinted lenses are perfect from sun/UV protection
Picaso Infima Mask with GoPro Mount
- Picasso is well known for having exceptional products
- Built to last
- Perfect low volume mask for freediving and spearfishing
- Comes with a GoPro mount ensuring you never miss a moment while diving or hunting!
Tusa – prescription lenses (corrective lenses)
Do you wear contacts or glasses? Are you worried about diving underwater and losing your contacts in the process? Tusa masks are perfect because the lenses of the masks themselves can be attuned to your prescription!
Freedom Ceos – prescription dive mask
This is one of the most popular prescription dive masks on the market! The mask is generally slightly wider than most faces. It also comes with a double soft silicone skirt helping to prevent water from entering the mask. This makes it a nicer fit and allows you to get the full value of the the bifocal corrective lens. Please get in contact for more information and where you can buy them.
Full face masks
Full face masks are perfect for anyone that has a fear of submerging their head underwater or having water on their face. They have a full 180 degree field of vision. The only issue with these masks is that you can’t pinch your nose to equalise.
We have talked a lot about the masks for freediving, spearfishing, GoPro mounts and even masks with corrective lenses, but what if you are just wanting to snorkel? Well then in our opinion the best mask for you would be a single lense mask.
Single lens masks are made from a soft silicone, are low volume, but also provide a super wide view. This makes them perfect for spotting turtles, or even the whales! If snorkelling with whales is something that may interest you, check out our trips where we freedive and snorkel with the whales!
How to defog a mask
Have you ever bought a freediving mask and on your first dive it fogged up so much that you couldn’t see out of it?
We see this all the time on our freediving courses! When a mask comes from the factory they have a plastic film across the inside of the lens. This plastic film turns to fog as soon as any humidity or heat touches it it.
Think of it like a car windscreen on a cold morning. Warm, humid air on the inside and cold air on the outside will cause condensation. In this case the warmth is coming from your face and the cool is coming from the water.
Here are some tips that will help you get rid of the fog and get you diving right away.
Option 1 – Anti Fog gel
This can be bought from every dive shop and works until it gets washed out of the mask. Then you are back to square 1.
Option 2 – Baby shampoo
Baby shampoo is designed for babies and their soft skin, so it actually doesn’t hurt if it ends up in your eyes. Baby shampoo works exactly the same as Anti fog or even slightly better!
Option 3 – Toothpaste trick
There are many videos on youtube for this trick. There are small granules in toothpaste, so people will often add a drop of toothpaste to each lens and rub with their fingers in a circular motion for around 40 minutes. Over time this removes the plastic film. The down side to this is that for the next few dives everything will smell like toothpaste! lol
Option 4 – The Lighter Trick
This, in my opinion, is the best and most effective trick. It’s straight to the point and removes the film super quick.
Hold the mask flat and place lighter below the lens on the inside of the mask. Light the lighter and move it in a circular motion for 5 – 10 seconds, then move on to the next lens. Swap back and forth between the two.
The idea is that we want to burn away the plastic film without adding too much heat to the lenses. From the top you will instantly see the film of plastic burn and melt towards the outside of the lenses. Eventually it will turn black.
Don’t panic!. The black that you can see is just the plastic film. All you need to do is rub the inside of the lens and it will go away.
When entering the water, use spit or baby shampoo to lightly wash out the excess and then you are ready to go!
Note: Do not use the lighter trick on the Aqua Lung mask as the lenses are made from plastic. They will melt!
Things to look for when fitting a mask
Do not buy a mask online unless you have tried it before! This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. The truth is we all have different shaped heads. Some are big and some are small, some people have big noses and some have little noses. I have a big nose and for me that is definitely something I take into consideration before buying a mask!
When fitting a mask in the shop the best thing to do is fold the strap to the front side of the mask and then move the mask so it sits perfectly on your face (like you were wearing it but without the strap on).
Next, suck in air through your nose. This will pull the mask onto your face. If the mask fits perfectly there won’t be any air leaks. However, if the mask does not fit you, you will be able to feel the air leaks and the mask will want to fall off your face.
Laughing lines are the lines that are on your face when you laugh or smile. When holding the mask on to your face, smile and then suck in air to see how much of a gap it creates. The mask I currently use fits perfectly for deep diving but if I smile while wearing it it will let water in. I have to make a conscious effort not to smile while under water.
For the guys, a moustache can be a real problem for leaking air. There are two ways to tackle this issue
Shave the very top of your lip basically where it meets the nose. And then the mask skirt can fit in there and create a nice seal.
Add Vaseline to the moustache in a thick lather. The thick lather creates a seal between the mask and the moustache. It works a treat!
No matter your skill level, Freediving Central can help you improve.
To get in touch and book a lesson, visit our contact page.