Top Six Reasons You Should Dive with a Full Face Mask

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“Full face mask, are you kidding, aren’t those are for the military and other diving professionals?” you might be asking.

Several years ago you would be correct, but now full face masks are becoming more popular with sport and recreational divers for a number of reasons.

As with almost any new gadget or technology, cost decreases and ease of use increases once something has been on the market for a while — and full face masks are no exception.

So What Exactly is a Full Face Diving Mask?

A full face mask covers the whole face, including the mouth and nose. It eliminates the need for an external regulator and mouthpiece, allowing you to breathe normally as you would on land. Some have the second stage regulator built-in, whereas other models allow you to connect your existing second stage to it.

What Are the Benefits of Diving with a Full Face Mask?

  • Full face mask OceanReefSpaceG.DiverFullFacemaskWithCommunicationUnitEase of Breathing: You can breathe through your nose instead of your mouth just as easily as you can on land. No more sore jaw or mouth from clenching a mouthpiece.
  • Greater visibility: Your visual field is larger, so it’s easier to see beside and below you than a traditional mask.
  • Protection: Your whole face is covered, protecting you from cold water, pollution, stinging critters and anything else a normal face mask can’t protect you from.
  • Safer and More Secure: FFMs are more secure since they include multiple straps, making them much harder to dislodge. If you become unconscious due to heart attack or other medical emergency, you don’t have to worry about your regulator falling out of your mouth — your FFM will continue to provide you with air.
  • Communication: You can talk to other divers! You’ll need to buy an FFM with communications integrated (right) or add as an accessory, but no more pantomiming frantically with your hands that you just saw the most amazing <insert amazing thing>! Or, in an emergency, you can communicate with others.
  • Great Platform for Accessories: You can attach lights, communication, and cameras to your FFM, freeing up your hands.

Anything Else I Need to Know about a Full Face Mask?

You should receive some training before you just pull one over your face and head overboard. Whether it’s a formal class or your local dive shop experts, make sure you learn how to properly use it.

You should learn how to:

  • Manually equalize your ears
  • Clear in case of a flood (very rare)
  • Remove and replace underwater
  • Out of air / sharing air with another diver

A Few More Tips:

Some FFMs come equipped with equalization blocks that can be moved up against the nostrils for clearing yours ears. If equalizing is a challenge for you, look for one that has this feature.

Fogging seems to be less of a problem for FFMs that have integrated regulators compared to ones that attach to an external regulator.

What about Cost?

Full face masks are more expensive than a standard half mask. However, if you purchase one with an integrated second stage regulator, your cost is going to comparable to a high-quality traditional mask and regulator. If taken care of properly, they will last a long time and usually have good warranty.

Convinced? Great! Check out our supply of full face masks at ScubaToys.com! Call us at 972-820-7667 or wing by our shop in Carrollton, Texas, and we’ll get set up. 

Do you dive with a full face mask? If so, let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Image attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lsmazdarx/

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Top Six Reasons You Should Dive with a Full Face Mask
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Once only used by professional divers, full face masks offer a lot of benefits to sport and recreational divers - here are six reasons why you should consider one.
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6 responses to “Top Six Reasons You Should Dive with a Full Face Mask”

  1. P. Chang says:

    I had no idea normal divers were using full face masks. My reg is pretty old, so instead of replacing it, I’m going to look for one of these.

  2. Dan Macias says:

    I dive in CA and the water can get pretty cold. I switched to a FFM a few years ago to keep my face warmer and I’m glad I did – my teeth no longer hurt! I thought I wouldn’t use it in warm water but just got back from Hawaii and it was great there too. Well worth the investment.

  3. Maria Burma says:

    My husband got me one of these for Christmas last year that has communication (and himself one too) and it’s been great! It’s made our dives so much better just being able to talk to each other. Half the time I could never figure out what he was trying to say w/hand signals. Now he just can say, look, there’s an octopus under that rock or whatever

  4. Tim McGhee says:

    I haven’t used a full face mask but am going to get one before my next dive trip because I’m getting to that really crappy age where I have to start thinking about these things. I was on dive trip in Grand Cayman last year and another diver lost consciousness, I think it was a stroke, but he survived because he didn’t lose his regulator. He’d of died without the full mask since nobody knew he was in trouble for a while.

  5. Phil says:

    I feel safer with a full face mask. They definitely have their advantages and I feel mine was a worthwhile investment.

  6. Steve Nulph says:

    I’ve always used a full face mask. One of my mates is a dive instructor and he talked me into it from the beginning. I couldn’t imagine not using one now.

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