When I started diving more than a decade ago, I never had my own equipment. I only used what was available in my dad’s inventory until I became a PADI Divemaster. That’s the only time that he gave me a new-ish set of equipment.
Back then, I wasn’t exposed to other means of defogging your mask aside from putting either toothpaste or saliva on the lenses.
There were dives that I couldn’t see things clearly underwater because my spit had washed out or because I was wearing a different mask and so on. I never really appreciated having my own mask until a friend of mine gave me a GULL MANTIS mask in 2008 (which by the way I still have and use every once in a while). This was when I was a brand new PADI OWSI and since it was MY mask, I researched and applied different techniques on how to prevent my mask from fogging. I enjoyed using that mask.
Then, when I started teaching, I had a behavior of lending my current participant my mask because the rental mask would almost always either fog up easily or didn’t have a good fit on their face. This was until the mask strap broke and I realized that I shouldn’t be lending anyone MY mask.
Years passed, I started working in a dive store and got to try on different types of framed masks and never really got the feel of any of them until I got to try on a frame-less mask. It was a bit above my budget at the time (I never spend more that US$20 for dive masks) but the comfort on my face and the amount of light that entered the translucent skirt was well worth it. I used it for a couple of months and voila! It sprung a leak from the skirt!
Disheartened, I bought a new one. A cheaper one. It was about $19 in 2013, well within my budget. I said “Meh. If it breaks AGAIN, I’ll just have to buy a new one. Anyway, it’s cheap..” It had the same comfortable fit as the more expensive counterpart and I’ve been using the same design since then.
Ivan is currently a PADI Master Instructor.
He became a PADI Divemaster in 2005 and earned his instructor rating in 2008.
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