Fins - Masks - Bags
Fins, Masks, Accessories and Gear Bags
Why Black Dive Masks Are Better
Clear skirts on masks are popular because they minimize the claustrophobic feeling some people get when they wear a mask. Nevertheless, clear skirts and even colored frames actually interfere with vision. Extraneous light entering through the clear skirt makes it more difficult for the eye to focus and causes reflections that obscure vision. Demonstrate this by looking out a window from a lighted room at twilight. You will see better by cupping your hands around your eyes as you press your face to the window. Brightly colored glossy accent frames can also cause annoying color halos around the lenses. For these reasons, knowledgeable divers seeking the best possible vision prefer masks with solid black skirts and frames.
7 Fins and Masks FAQ
Yes. In January 2020, Dive Rite began shipping their fins with polyoxymethylene (aka Delrin and POM) swivel buckles for the spring heel-strap that allows the strap to swivel out of the way for easier donning. The heel-strap length can be changed by moving the buckle locking screw between 2 positions on the buckle, allowing the strap fit to be customized to your preference. The strap also has a new design heel pad with a lower profile finger hold pull tab that is more durable and less likely to become a snag point.
The Monoprene injection molded fin blade itself including the heel-strap attachment point on the blade and its excellent in-water performance is unchanged, other than the addition of the blue color option. This means the previous metal buckle spring heel-straps (which are still available), as well as the much older plastic buckle spring heel-straps (which have not been available for a long time), are both easily replaceable in the field with the new 2020 POM swivel buckle adjustable length spring heel-strap.
We are often asked for sizing advice on Fins. Unfortunately we don't have much to add beyond what is mentioned on the website in our product descriptions. The only general statement we can make is that the most common exchange we see is for the next size larger.
There is no size standardization between brands of fins (or even between different models from the same brand) and so you cannot assume that a size in one brand of fin is the same dimensions as the size in another brand; even when the designs look very similar. Taking some actual measurements of your boot while on your foot and comparing to our foot pocket dimension charts will help determine the size selection for your desired fit.
If you are not certain about your fin size then our recommendation is not to order until you can make that determination. While Dive Gear Express will accept fins for return, fins do not qualify for a free prepaid return label.
Perhaps, because most new dive masks have mold release agents in the flexible skirt that are volatile and during storage will migrate to the surface of the lens to cause fogging. This is often the case when the mask has been sealed in an air-tight box or plastic bag. These deposits can be safely removed with an extra application of a powerful non-abrasive surfactant like liquid dish soap, baby shampoo, SeaQuick or SeaDrops defog. The mask may persistently fog at first, requiring repeated cleaning, but with the passage of time the mold release agents will dissipate naturally and the issue will resolve itself. To hasten the dissipation of the mold release agents from the mask silicone, store the mask so that it is exposed to air between dive trips and use a sealed box only for transport in the dive bag.
Don't use toothpaste or any other other abrasive on modern dive masks, especially those masks that have optical quality ultra-clear glass lenses, vision correction lenses or 'optical coatings' on the lenses. You will either damage the lenses, or needlessly waste toothpaste since most modern toothpaste formulations are not at all abrasive.
"Near sighted" correction allows clear distance vision for general diving activities. We offer a predetermined selection of single vision lenses that are installed in our "Vision Correction Masks". This will require your vision prescription to select the lenses needed for this mask.
"Far sighted" correction allows clear near vision for reading numbers and text from dive computers and SPG's. We offer a predetermined selection of bifocal lenses that are installed in our "Gauge Reader Masks". The upper portion of the lens is flat with no correction and lowering your eyes to the bifocal segment provides magnification for reading. Most people who need Gauge Readers already use reading glasses and know how much magnification they prefer.More information explaining ordering is in our Tek-Tip at Vision Correcting Masks.
All our vision correction masks use lenses that have been manufactured in a predetermined range of diopters for either "near sighted" correction (minus values) or "far sighted" correction (plus values, aka "gauge readers"), but not both in the same lens. Our predetermined range of vision correction lenses are a great value, but unfortunately are not suitable for every diver needing vision correction and especially not those with significant astigmatism.
If our lenses do not work for you, then custom made prescription vision correction lenses are an alternative solution. Because that can be expensive, we suggest first test diving an ordinary new mask to be certain it is a good fit for your face. Send your selected mask along with your vision prescription directly to an optical company that specializes in custom making and installing dive mask lenses. Two such long established US companies are: Prescription Dive Masks and SeaVision USA.
All the standard vision correcting masks offered by Dive Gear Express have the correction ground into the lenses themselves. The correction is not aftermarket 'stick on', each of the lenses are ground just like you would expect on a pair of eyeglasses. Please note that the bifocal gauge reader versions are a two layer lens bonded at the factory prior to grinding.