To provide an unobstructed view of the underwater environment.
A proper fitting mask is essential to a good diving experience. A poorly fitting mask that leaks constantly will prove to be very distracting to the point that team safety can be compromised. The diver can become so task loaded by clearing an ill fitting/faulty mask that his situational awareness is diminished, leading to poor response to minor problems that can lead to major problems.
What to look for:
* Low Profile for wider vision and easy to clear
* Black Silicone to cut down on the reflection
* No Frame to fold up easily into pocket
* Neoprene Strap which will not break and/or entangle hair
* One or two piece lens of tempered glass
* Comfortable fit
* Prescription lenses if required
NOTE: Multi-lens masks (greater than two) should be avoided for technical diving purposes. They tend to be heavy, have much higher volume and provide more potential points of failure than their one and two-piece cousins. Contrary to manufacturers claims they do not provide greater visibility and in fact often the reverse is true.
How to fit:
move the mask strap to one side and fit the mask to your face. By inhaling very gently through your nose the mask should stay in place by itself with a minimum of leakage.
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A snorkel is not required for a DIR configuration. In fact it is not possible to conduct your safety drills or deploy a long hose in an emergency while wearing one. Therefore if you require a snorkel on your person to dive in a specific area, then there are a number of collapsible models available that fold up quite small and will fit easily in your pocket.
On the other hand, we do like to occasionally leave the tanks on the boat, grab a mask, fins, and a snorkel, and have some fun in shallow water.
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