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Where Do You Keep Your Spare Mask?

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba' started by Daebado, Mar 31, 2021.

  1. hedonist222

    hedonist222 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai, AbuDhabi, United Arab Emirates
    Ok two occasions I've seen divers get their masks kicked off their faces.

    First and avoidable:
    A cluster of amateur divers cramming around some poor creature.
    One diver loses bouyancy and kicks the divers face.

    Second is sometimes unavoidable.
    Many divers doing a safety stop on a line
    Diver slightly above the starts descending (unknowingly) and kicks the mask off the diver below.
    This is one sometime unavoidable because if there's a current, you really want to be holding onto the line at the safety stop.

    I carry a compact frameless, and shallow profile spare in my right shorts pocket.

    Don't even know it's there.
  2. lexvil

    lexvil Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
    I keep mine in the car most of the time but considering how many masks are found (I have a pile of them) I can understand the feeling of safer diving with one on your person.
  3. Wibble

    Wibble Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    Minor point: my backup's exactly the same as my primary mask. Reasoning is I need one that fits and works. Used to randomly pick which one's going in the pocket, but got too lazy to remove the double-ender off the one that lives in my pocket.

    Regarding reading without a mask, it's possible to cup your hand around your eye socket with your hand - think looking through a tube - and exhale some gas into your hand. The bubble then means you can see stuff below you, such as your computer to read the stop times.
    John C. Ratliff likes this.
  4. Daebado

    Daebado Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Kansas

    And that's basically why I asked the question in the first place. Was on a dive in Coz a few years back and the dive guide was pointing out something of interest so I started making my way over to him slowly so as not to scare off what he was pointing at. Next thing I know, some newbie with a selfie stick cut me off racing over to get his shot and nearly kicked my mask off. Needless to say, I had a few words for him when we got back on the boat but it really got me thinking about the whole spare mask thing.

    Then, last year I lost my mask on the surface of a lake while floating and waiting for my wife to jump in. I just leaned my head back to relax (I had my mask on my head, turned backwards like I normally do) and it slipped off into the water. Didn't even feel it come off! I almost instantly realized that leaning my head back into the water with my mask up there was not smart and I reached up to check it and it was gone. I looked down into the water and could see it sinking to the bottom (only about 30 ft). I tried to swim down after it but couldn't see well enough once I was under water. I came up and called for my wife to grab my spare mask from my gear bag but I was too far out for her to throw it to me so I had to leave the spot where my mask had gone down and swim closer to the boat. That made me lose the spot where it had gone down. If I was carrying a spare, I could have stayed right there and put it on and probably would have been able to dive right down to my dropped mask. Instead, we had to initiate a search pattern and lost about 30 min. of dive time searching for that mask (it was a brand new Atomic Subframe - I wasn't going to leave it there for someone else to find!). We did finally find it so all worked out in the end but could have worked out so much easier.

    I know that second incident was kind of a freak thing but still, it goes to show that you just never know what might happen and suddenly being without a mask is just no fun at all!

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I think pocket shorts are worth a look for sure!
    hedonist222 likes this.
  5. BoltSnap

    BoltSnap Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    In 51 years of free and scuba diving I have NEVER lost a mask or had one that broke under or above water or on the boat or while on the shore going into or coming out of the water (same for snorkel). I never put my mask on my forehead and actually never take the mask off while in the water, the mask stays on the face in its place at all times when in the water or if any part of my body is in the water or getting in or out of the water. The mask comes off when I am on land or on the boat deck fully secure with no chance of me falling back into the water. I had one mask leak because of an issue with the mask skirt but it was minor and it was eventually replaced under warranty even when it was at least 15 years old. I teach my students to do all required skills without mask underwater and still be comfortable without any undue stress and with a smile on their faces.

    I don't dive with a spare mask on me underwater at all when recreational diving. For technical diving, it is a different story and one has to go by the rules and assume the worst will happen in this type of diving.
  6. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich Solo Diver

    I do not believe in being a Christmas tree diver. A spare mask in anything other than an overhead environment (virtual or real) is just more junk dragged into the water, another bit of kit to maintain and manage underwater. I pull my mask down around my neck if I don’t want to wear it on the surface. Generally, I limit my kit to what I am likely to need on a dive. A single small light in a pocket during the daytime. I bring the light cannon only for dives where I would need it.

    on a recent thread about lost fins, I said I kept an unpaired fin as a spare. Someone jokingly asked if it was bungeed to my tank. No, but in fairness, I have seen many more fins lost than masks. I did lose a mask on a dive a few years ago. A couple in a canoe had swamped in Long Island Sound in late October and I swam over and towed them back to shore. I put the mask over my wrist so I could talk to them and offer assistance. On the swim in the mask was forgotten and lost. A spare would have made no difference.
    pauldw, John C. Ratliff and dead dog like this.
  7. JimBlay

    JimBlay Divin' Papaw ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Florida
    How is a mask in a pocket being a Christmas tree diver? How is it "more junk dragged" through the water? You're making assumptions that don't apply to the way we carry spare masks. I too hate unnecessary junk. My spare mask is completely streamlined, stowed away, and out of the way.
    marsh9077, ontdiver and Daebado like this.
  8. KentB

    KentB Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Rather be under water
    I carry it in my drysuit leg pocket.

    my buddy ( I wasn’t there )had a strap snap and couldn’t find it so his friends lead him along the wreck to the up line and went up and did safety stop without a mask well it’s not really a big deal in the big picture after that story I always carried one as cold water in the face isn’t pleasant and it ended his day of diving

    I lost my mask once pulled out backup and all was well. Only time I ever needed it and glad I had it.
    Cdncoldwater and ontdiver like this.
  9. happy-diver

    happy-diver Skindiver Just feelin it

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Same ocean as you!
    Here's a time that may have you contemplating a spare

    "Sally was shoulder to shoulder with Gary when they started digging through the muck for the precious artifacts. While she was concentrating on digging through the now billowing silt, something big suddenly slammed into Sally Wahrmann.
    "At the time I didn't know what it was," she said. "Whatever it was, it really whacked me hard, it was all over me. It was almost like I got socked in the jaw. My regulator got knocked out of my mouth, my mask flooded, I lost my buoyancy, and I went barreling down to the bottom of the corridor coming to rest in a pile of rotting wood and debris."

    John C. Ratliff likes this.
  10. ontdiver

    ontdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Ontario
    While it was not specified, I initially understood the OP's question to be directed at divers with solo training or experience.

    I suspect that the vast majority of non solo recreational divers would never even contemplate carrying a spare mask. It was never part of their training and thus the whole issue of redundancies is a foreign concept. Those who respond that their masks are somewhere other than a pocket are simply relating their own terms of reference for the question.

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