Full Face Mask Diver
Cost: $125 for 1 pool dive and 2 open water dives
The full face mask experience
The PADI distinctive specialty course starts with a classroom session looking at the equipment and configuration considerations. We use the OCEAN REEF Neptune series masks.The value of the classroom session is learning how to set up these masks perfectly for you before even getting near the water. This is particularly important when we talk about equalization. The masks come in two different sizes with three different size plugs for various nose sizes. Fitting the correct size for you and adjusting them correctly makes all the difference.
How to equalize.
There are also three sets of straps that need to be fastened in a set sequence to get the best and most comfortable fit, getting this wrong is certainly noticeable. While on dry land and not connected to an air supply, the most important feature to learn about is the Surface Air Valve that allows you to breathe normally with the mask on.
With the set up now completed we will gear up and head into the water.
Diving and skills
Breathing is a lot easier and quieter, vision is amazing and most important of all no leaks. The early part of the training is spent in a pool to allow you to complete the required skills. First step, clearing the mask. The biggest consideration is that now the mask and breathing are one complete unit – unlike normal masks where you have your separate regulator. Clearing the mask is easy and very, very quick, just press the purge button and keep your eyes tight shut.
After a few repeats you move on to the next skill, complete mask removal and replacement. Again, removing the mask means not just losing vision but also your air supply. After a few deep breaths remove the mask using the quick release tabs, change to the alternate air supply and spare mask. Easy enough, now back the other way. Using your thumbs as a guide along the mask straps, return the mask to your face, create a seal and press purge. A short blast of air and your mask is clear. Now, you can breath normally and see again. All that is left is to fine tune the strap adjustments and you are done.
Skills done, you now have two dives to a max of 60 feet to complete the course. The dives are opportunities to get used to the full face mask and really enjoy the benefits. As mentioned above, the all round vision is amazing – you can see your buddy at your side with out having to turn your head.
So what advantages are there to full face masks?
The distinct advantages are the much greater field of vision, the ease of breathing and ability to breathe through the nose. Another advantage would be for cold water diving as it provides excellent coverage and protection against cold water and no more numb teeth! The mask never fogs and you won't have jaw fatigue from having a regulator in your mouth.
Visit the dive shop today to sign up for your full face mask diver course or you can just try it for free!