Should i buy my own mask for scuba diving? Maybe you are just starting to learn how to dive or you have been travelling around doing fun dives and are wondering if you should buy equipment or keep renting scuba gear. There is of course not just a straight answer. Scuba diving gear can by expensive and might be hard to choose, especially when you are just starting out. Our rule of thumb is that you should at least consider getting some of your own gear and here is what and why.
Should I buy my own mask for scuba diving?
Your mask is arguably the most personal piece of equipment at it sits on your face for the duration of the dive. If a mask is not fitted properly and leaks throughout your dive it can be very uncomfortable. You have paid money to go on the fun dive which is now ruined by a bad rental mask. Yes, you can just clear the leak when it becomes too much, but now you are not focusing on enjoying your dive. Ill-fitted equipment is a known cause for stress which can also cause you to feel uncomfortable on the dive and this can even lead to panic under water.
Rental masks vary greatly in quality and condition as you travel around the globe in search of the best dive spots. Often the best diving is quite remote and infrastructure and even equipment can be of lesser quality. We rent quality masks to our students and fun divers, however I have been diving in places where there is simply a box of used, deformed masks on the boat and you just pick one that has maybe only two tears in the mask skirt.
The number one reason we recommend a personal mask is due to the silicone material that higher quality mask skirts are made of. A rental mask typically is in the lower price packet with a rubber / silicone mix. These masks do not shape as easily and will therefore not mould to your individual face for an ideal seal. This is a deliberate choice as we need to replace our rental masks frequently. A high quality mask would mould to the first diver we rent it out to and then not seal as well for others. You are the only person that wears your own mask and this is why it will be the most comfortable fit after several dives.
Don’t just go and get one! Be sure to speak to an experienced dive instructor about what mask might fit you best. It is important to try a mask on and get a professional to take a look and guide you through the selection process. Considerations for a mask in highest to lowest priority are fit, comfort, colour (of course it has to look good), price and brand.
I remmeber getting help from my Open Water instructor during my course and ended up with a mask that I still use today over 5 years of teaching in diving!
Should I buy my own mask for scuba diving? I would encourage you to at least consider taking a look.