As a professional SCUBA instructor, I’m often asked if it’s best to buy a dive mask, and how to fit a snorkel mask. Masks, snorkels and fins as rental gear are often universal sizes and don’t fit well. Having your own properly fitting mask makes a real difference to your enjoyment of the dive or snorkel experience. After all, seeing the marine life around you is the whole point of the adventure. Going to your local dive shop and asking for a professional to help with fitting is well worth the time and investment. And if you go with a basic knowledge of what to look for, you will be in great shape to walk out the door with a mask that is going to bring you years of enjoyment on and under the water.


The goal is to find a mask that fits your face so well you forget you have it on!

Everyone has a uniquely shaped face so there is not one model that fits everyone.

The better the mask seals to your face the less likely there will be any leak or fogging when in the water.  A well fitting mask will feel very comfortable because you won’t have to over tighten it. Most of the seal should come from the skirt, the rubber like portion of the mask that makes contact with your face, and not the strap.


If you can’t go to an equipment store or didn’t have space in your luggage to bring your own mask, and you find yourself struggling with a fogging mask, here are a few tips and tricks that can help:

  • Defog liquids – A few key substances can be applied to the inside of the mask lens to prevent condensation. Special defog solution can be found at your local dive shop or online, but dish soap or saliva both work great. The same technique applies to any of these liquids. Place a couple drops of soap on the inside of the lens. Just before getting in the water, rub it with your fingers to coat the lens, then give it quick rinse. You should rinse just enough to make sure you wont get any soap in your eyes, but leave a light layer.
  • Avoid taking your mask on and off too frequently – Every time you pull your mask away from your face, new moist air enters your mask and condenses against the cold of the lens surface. For the same reasons, try to keep nasal exhalation to a minimum.
  • No hair in the way  Make sure your hair is attached and that none of it is stuck in your mask. Same for facial hair, even a minor mustache or short beard can slightly break the seal of your mask.

“Taking our family, including two children, on a yacht for the week was daunting, as we all had very limited experience on large boats. But every detail and every comfort was taken care of by Captain Ted. We were able to learn a tremendous amount, and the way in which Ted worked with our kids was as gentle as it was effective. His demeanor imparted a sense of confidence that allowed our kids to comfortably take on tasks they might not otherwise have tried, from taking the helm to learning to flambé shrimp for dinner. We all came away appreciative that our week had been as relaxing as educational. The unbelievable beauty of the Caribbean was perhaps the least impressive part of our trip, and that is saying a ton about Ted and the trip. Can’t wait to head South again.”

Keith, Krista, Walker and Grey Davis