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  1. #1
    Could start a fight in a convent. Mikael's Avatar
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    Question Neoprene mask strap, how tight should it be to prevent leaking?

    First of I have always had grief with masks, it just seems I have a face that is not very forgiving on getting the mask seal correct so most dives I am having to do a bit of partial mask clearing. The number of dives where I have not had to do any mask clearing at all I can count on the fingers of one hand.

    Recently I replaced the straps on my mask with springy neoprene ones and have tried it once in the pool and on a days diving in the open water. Both times my mask was far more prone to leaking then usual. Air sharing drills and SMB launching were a right pain as the water kept coming in. Now I set the mask strap fairly loose going on the assumption that it is water pressure that holds it in place primarily. Could it be that the stretchiness of material makes the mask easy to slightly dislodge, in which case should I tighten it a bit more?

    Any tips most welcome.
    Why is it that with everything in life I always find a more difficult way of doing it (and not intentionally)

  2. #2
    taller than the BFG and more friendly Big Matt's Avatar
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    get a mask that fits your face properly. strap tension is not the answer.
    I wish everything in life was black or white. Except for fish. Oh and the sea. Blue or green, I don't mind either. And my TV. Ah sod it, nothing in life should be black or white. Phew, that's a relief

  3. #3
    Established TDF Member bubbleless's Avatar
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    The strap simply stops the mask falling off.

    Alot of people think that if you tighten the straps it will stop leaks, this is incorrect.

    Usually if the straps are too tight this can cause the mask to leak.

  4. #4
    Could start a fight in a convent. Mikael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Matt View Post
    get a mask that fits your face properly. strap tension is not the answer.
    I have been trying. Sadly a good fit in shop has been no guarantee for effective seal under the water, as an added complication I am short sighted enough that I feel I am missing out without prescription lens. Best mask I have had to date is my Hollis M1 but even this one is a bit hit and miss so it is currently my backup. Haven't committed yet to getting it sent of to have a prescription lens bonded to it.

    I am curious why a loosely adjusted neo stretchy strap should make it worse?
    Why is it that with everything in life I always find a more difficult way of doing it (and not intentionally)

  5. #5
    Established TDF Member nigel hewitt's Avatar
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    Nooooo.
    A mask strap should never be tight. It's just there to stop the mask floating away on the tide.
    The more you tighten it the more it leaks and the more you will hate it.

    Like we tell the newbies. Find a shop (or a show) with a BIG selection, put a mouthpiece in your mouth and try them all starting at the cheapest.
    You want one that does the suck test with virtually no suck and definitely no finger pressure.

    A badly fitting mask becomes absolutely evil after an hour of stops.
    Helium, because I'm worth it.
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  6. #6
    Could start a fight in a convent. Mikael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigel hewitt View Post
    Like we tell the newbies. Find a shop (or a show) with a BIG selection, put a mouthpiece in your mouth and try them all starting at the cheapest.
    You want one that does the suck test with virtually no suck and definitely no finger pressure.
    Been and done that. Looks like the search will have to continue.
    Maybe the neo strap is tighter then I think because I have adjusted it to "loose" with the material stretched. Some more trial and error in order to keep me going for now.
    Why is it that with everything in life I always find a more difficult way of doing it (and not intentionally)

  7. #7
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    Make sure that the skirt of the mask is clean. Grease on the skirt can make it stick to your skin and changes in facial expression can make the mask leak. One of the guys in our club though I was having him on until he tried it and it solved his leak issues.

  8. #8
    TDF Member IainC's Avatar
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    2nd what others have said - strap should not be tight at all, mask should stick to your face without the strap when you fit it up and breathe in though your nose.

    This could be overly personal but do you have a beard or 'tache? it makes finding a mask that works harder.

    Also - your mask could be broken, a hairline crack in the plastic frame or tear in the skirt can be nearly invisible, will probably not fail the 'suck test', but will leak annoyingly underwater

  9. #9
    'Day 1' TDF Member doggy's doodah's Avatar
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    I concur with evrything that has been said so far! I once did a complete dive without a mask strap just to prove the point that they are not there to make the mask 'water-proof'.

    Depending on your face shape/size, have you looked at children's masks? Or other masks that you would not normally consider? What about the Cressi full face for example?

    Good luck with your search.
    Growing old is mandatory, growing wise is optional.

  10. #10
    Established TDF Member bubbleless's Avatar
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    I have done part of a dive without a strap , was a bit puzzled when I saw the strap and snorkel floating in front of me...

    The neoprene strap does not need to be stretched to hold the mask in any way, it is literally there to stop it falling off as Nigel says.

    Don't forget to "set" the strap up wearing your hood as that will make a big difference to how tight the strap is.

    Not wanting to upset and state the obvious....

    Long hair? Narrow face? very round face?mustache? mask skirt trapped in your hood? oh yes stop smiling my mask leaks when I smile and laugh.


 
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