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oval mask question

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by Scotttyd, May 28, 2010.

  1. ZKY

    ZKY Minimalist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, California
    I have a pretty good size schnauz and the Ocean Pacific works about as good as any oval mask would work. It's OK for just fun shallow vintage dives but I'd never take it on a demanding dive that's deep and requires full visual ability and comfort.
  2. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
    I've got a bit different view of the oval mask. To me, it is comfortable. It will go as deep as I want to go on scuba, but for snorkeling it requires a bit more air to equalize as I would go deep. Saying that, I regularly use a Dacor tri-window mask in 17 feet of water. So that's not a big issue either. I do enjoy the larger field of view of the tri-window, but do not like masks with a transparent or translucent skirt--they let light in from above and reflect off the front of the mask, and in darker waters that is really distracting. Fit is the most important thing though, and here for some an oval mask is not the greatest. Here's an example in the photo I took at the U.S. Naval School for Underwater Swimmers in Key West, Florida in 1967. This is US Air Force Pararescue Trainee Harry Krause, who is ascending and has had his mask float up and impinge on his sight a bit. Harry went on to graduate and serve as a PJ until 1970.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

    Personally, I wouldn't wear anything other than a classic oval mask when I'm snorkelling. I have several of modern manufacture, made in France, Mexico and Ukraine. My two Mexican ovals, manufactured by Escualo Sports in Mexico City, have blue skirts:


    so black isn't the only colour when it comes to modern oval masks. Both these masks fit my facial dimensions very well.

    When it comes to choosing underwater swimming gear, I firmly believe in the principle of "chacun à son goût", each to his/her own. It's perfectly acceptable for any individual to defend their right to use a particular item of equipment for their own purposes. What is totally unacceptable is for any individual, or group, to criticise others for the equipment choices they have made. That smacks of the "scuba police" we often ridicule within this forum, people who are so self-important, or self-absorbed, that they believe they not only possess the monopoly of wisdom but also the duty to impose that "wisdom" on everybody else.

    A while ago I suggested an oval mask as a possible option for a poster's boyfriend who wanted a mask with a rubber, not a silicone, skirt. When I posted a picture of a modern oval mask, she pronounced the design to be "horrible". She was perfectly within her rights to think so, just as I am equally within my rights to compare the appearance of modern low-volume clear silicone skirted masks to the image of the eyes of a fly magnified many times. Like my French hero Voltaire, I will defend to the death the lady's right to be horrified by traditional oval masks. By the same token, however, and in keeping with Voltaire's qualifying remarks, I will continue to disagree profoundly with her opinion about oval masks. Ugliness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
  4. DaleC

    DaleC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Leftcoast of Canada
    Well said David. As far as I know, nobody owns the experience of diving (yet) and we are free to make whatever out of it we want. I, for one, think some people are just unsure of their own abilities so they try to hide behind status quo equiment. They want whatever everybody else is wearing so they won't stand out".
    For an activity that is supposed to be "adventurous" there are a lot of people who do tend to shrink from anything different.
  5. adriano210

    adriano210 Angel Fish

    thats nice one mate :D

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