Why do I love my cheap mask?

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.

The mask that I'm wearing here has been used and abused for 10 years and it still works well!

The mask that I’m wearing here has been used and abused for 10 years and it still works well!

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.

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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