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Why carry mask backwards at surface?

Discussion in 'Hogarthian Diving' started by SpaceGeek, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. SpaceGeek

    SpaceGeek Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Fayetteville, NC (but currently in Iraq)
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    Disclaimer: I've not done any intro-tech or DIR-F course ... but am considering it.

    Locally, it seems to vary by shop. Some shops teach divers to put their mask below their chin if it's not over their eyes (at surface, out of water, etc). Others apparently teach to wear it backwards (strap on forehead, mask behind head).

    Is the difference really a tech-shop versus non-tech-shop (as it seems)? I suspect that it's because, using a Hog setup, your backup regulator is below your chin. Having the mask below your chin would make that area crowded. The local shops where students or staff wear the masks backwards are the ones which have tech programs.

    Personally, I was taught to keep it off of your forehead so it doesn't accidentally get knocked off by a wave and sink :shocked2:. The same thing could happen with a wave hitting you in the back of the head. But, I do see the logic of not cluttering the area.

    Appreciate the feedback.

    Bri
     
  2. divestoclimb

    divestoclimb Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Bethesda, MD
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    The mask on the back of the head is a much more secure location than on the forehead. Try it.

    The technique doesn't work as well if you have a snorkel mounted on the mask though. I think it originated from cave divers which is why it's mostly tech divers that you see doing it (plus the snorkel thing).
     
  3. divestoclimb

    divestoclimb Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Bethesda, MD
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    If you're in conditions with waves, just keep the mask on your face. There's no need to put it anywhere else and it keeps the salt water out of your eyes, regardless of whether or not the mask might get lost.
     
  4. SpaceGeek

    SpaceGeek Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Fayetteville, NC (but currently in Iraq)
    41
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    Makes sense. In waves, mask should be on anyways (duhh!). Sometimes the obvious isn't obvious. :shakehead:

    I'll try it tonight. Sure, my dog will look at me funny. But, she's nearly blind and probably won't notice.
     
  5. DMJulie

    DMJulie Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: California but wish I was back in Kauai
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    I always wear my mask around my neck when walking into the water. This is what I was taught on my OW and have just done it this way since.
    Once in and I have a full BCD I then but my mask on and then get my fins on. This is what we have students due when taking them out. This is so the mask does not get knocked off and then have to go after it. Under your chin is secure and easy to move up to your eyes once in the water.
    I have dove with another DM that prefers it backwards on his forehead, he is most comfortable this way, but I have witnessed him loosing it when entrying the water.

    My opinion is everyone has their own preference and comfort for mask placement. Under your neck does seem constricting, but I would rather have a minute or two of that then loosing my mask.


    Happy Diving.
     
  6. jeckyll

    jeckyll Solo Diver

    2,279
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    Wear it however it works would be my answer.

    Under the chin can be a busy place, with the secondary bungied there (though it hangs a bit lower generally).

    I generally wear it backwards, but there isn't much surf where I am. Some people find that they hit it on their isolator, but I don't generally find that to be a problem.

    ... plus all the cool kids seem to wear their mask that way, and I want to be cool one day too :wink:
     
  7. SpaceGeek

    SpaceGeek Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Fayetteville, NC (but currently in Iraq)
    41
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    I was taught to "carry" it under the chin as well. I recently bought a BP/W fir single tank diving (I am a Type A who likes clear and uncluttered gear) and am thinking of taking an intro to tech course. It seems that if you wear your backup on a necklace (under the chin), carrying the mask this way could run the risk of accidentally purging the backup reg if you look down and the mask "pinches" the reg into your chest.
     
  8. medical1

    medical1 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Tampabay FL / Lightning & Hurricane Capital of the
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    On your face or around your neck is what I teach students. The chance of loosing your mask is minimal unless you loose your head :eyebrow: Have seen diver wear masks backwards on their heads and loose them on more then one occasion. I wear a bungee necklace for my backup reg & wear my mask on my face or pulled down around my neck. Never lost a mask yet & you learn how not to purge your second with your chin fairly quickly :D
     
  9. DA Aquamaster

    DA Aquamaster Directional Toast ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: NC
    11,460
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    In my opinion, under the chin is very secure but is a PITA if worn with a bungeed secondary. The back of the head thing is just not that much more secure than being on your forehead it is just a lot slower to put on your face. But some people think it looks cool. I put it right up there with cowboys who wear big belt buckles to advertise they are cowboys.

    + 1 for just keep it on your face in waves/surf. My mask pretty much stays on until I am at the steps in a spring, on the beach on shore, or back on board the boat offshore.

    Getting in, it is on my face before I hit the exit point on a boat. Divers who wait to dink with the mask there pretty much annoy me with what amounts to poor planning and organization. It goes straight from the foot pocket where to get carried to my face in a spring and is again on my face prior to wading in to the water at the beach.

    Carrying the mask in a foot pocket is to some extent governed by my habit of putting the mask strap under my hood so carrying it on the front or back of the head means it just has to get moved when I pull the hood back to don the mask. Besides, masks don't get stepped on and broken on crowded dive boats nearly as often if you keep it in a fin pocket.
     
  10. SpaceGeek

    SpaceGeek Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Fayetteville, NC (but currently in Iraq)
    41
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    Thanks medical1. The "under the chin" has been beat into my skull enough that it truly would seem awkward to do the backward thing. Glad to hear that real estate isn't so tight under the chin when you wear it like this. Great answer to the specific question. :santa3:

    Bri
     

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