Improve Your Scuba Skills – Mask Removal

Removing and replacing a scuba mask is the skill that most new divers worry about. However with a few simple steps you can master this skill.

Mask clearing

Before you learn to remove and replace your mask completely you should practice clearing the mask until you are comfortable with this skill.

Remember – when you clear the mask start breathing out before you tilt your head up to prevent water going up your nose.

The magic snorkel

To prepare in advance for the mask removal you can practice at home with a snorkel. Fill a basin with water and place your face in the water. Breath through the snorkel to get used to having your face in water but still breathing.

Each time you do it try and stay an extra couple of breaths until you work up to thirty seconds.

Practice in your comfort zone

When you get to your next scuba diving session ask practice in the shallow end first before going into the deeper water.

When you do have to do the mask removal, try to take things slowly and focus on your breathing when you are nervous. If you panic signal the up sign and your instructor will bring you to the surface.

Mask removal and replace – step by step

  1. Fill your mask with water by breaking the seal
  2. Take a moment to breath and get used to having your face covered by water.
  3. Remove the mask strap and take the mask away from your face.
  5. Make sure your snorkel is clear and to the side of the mask.
  6. Place your thumb in the nose pocket and guide it back to your face.
  7. Place the mask strap over your head and make sure it is not twisted.
  8. Feel around the skirt of the mask to make sure nothing is caught in it, hood or hair, also to make sure it is not tucked up.
  9. Clear the mask as you have been practicing before.

Remember the point of the practice sessions are to build your confidence, if things are not going well ask to take a break and come back to the skill later. When you master a new scuba diving skill there is always a great sense of achievement. Making sure you are confident with mask clearing, practice with the magic snorkel at home and taking things slowly in the pool session will help you remove and replace your mask with ease and confidence.

Good luck!

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