Typically, full face diving masks are used for scientific and commercial divers, but in recent years many more recreational divers have started to wear a full face mask.
So, it’s not common to scuba dive with a full face mask recreationally, but it is possible and as it has grown in popularity more manufacturers are producing recreational full face masks.
There are lots of benefits to wearing a full face mask.
A full face mask is obviously a mask that covers your entire face, rather than just your eyes and nose with a regulator in your mouth. This type of mask requires you to hold the regulator over your mouth.
Here are some pros for wearing a full face mask:
- With a full face mask, you don’t have to do this, which allows you to talk
- A full face mask is also more secure on your face
- You’re less likely to lose your regulator because it is integrated
Here are some cons to take into consideration:
- If you were to lose it, you would also lose your regulator, which is of course very dangerous
- They’re also harder to clear (although they are also less likely to flood)
- Tricky to equalize, too
How deep can you dive with a full face mask?
When wearing a full face mask, the maximum depth you can dive is between one and two meters. This is because of the trapped air putting a lot of pressure on your face.
The fact that you cannot equalize the pressure (because most full face masks don’t allow you to squeeze your nose while you breathe out).
Plus, if water leaks into your mask, you also won’t be able to clear it without leaving the water, so being close enough to the surface so that you can clear it is another reason why you can’t dive as deep.
How do you equalize a full face scuba mask?
To equalize your mask, you have to breathe out through your nose without squeezing it. So, equalizing your mask is pretty easy to do.
You can equalize your ears while wearing a full face mask so long as the model, you are wearing, enables you to squeeze your nose. If you can’t get to your nose to squeeze it, you cannot equalize a full face mask.
Equalizing is important because failure to equalize can have nasty consequences such as perforated ear drums that can take a long time to heal, potentially keeping you out of the water until they do.
In extreme cases, people have died as a result of failure to equalize.
Plus, when a full face mask isn’t equalized, it starts to squeeze your face and if left too long it will be squeezing your face hard enough to possibly burst blood vessels.
How do you clear a full face scuba mask?
One of the main problems associated with full face masks is the fact that it’s actually very difficult to clear water from them without having to remove the mask to drain it. This is obviously impossible while you’re still underwater.
So, you would have to leave the water to clear it and then go back down.
Fortunately, it’s actually quite rare that a full face mask will fog up or leak because of their design, but it’s not impossible. So, being unable to clear it without leaving the water is a pretty big con.
Mask clearing is an important aspect of scuba diving and something you need to be able to do before taking on a dive, especially alone.