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Aqua Sphera for Narrow Face

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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donmoore

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Aug 19, 2002
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Many freedivers rave about how good the Aqua Sphera mask is. Lowest volume of any mask, great visibility, compresses to face at depth so even less air volume is required, etc.. Martin Stepanek recently used one to set the World Record in Free Immersion at 102 meters. Recently I went to a second PFD clinic and like in the first, both Martin and Kirk highly recommended this mask.

The problem is its too wide for us narrow face divers. Recently I acquired the Aqua Sphere Seal mask which has the same frame and lenses, but with no nosepiece so I could use it for statics and dynamics with a nose clip. It sealed fined so I thought maybe Aqua Sphere narrowed the Sphera mask recently so I purchased one. No luck, the Sphera skirt is about ¾” wider than the Seal and the only way I could get it to seal was to really tighten the strap. My dive buddy said I looked like I was in major pain (maximum face squeeze!):( .

I decided to try and narrow the mask by bending the frame. It was a lot of trial an error, so I decided to pass on what I learned to make it easier for who ever wants to do it. These instructions will also work for replacing the lenses. I believe you can get the Seal mask with colored lenses, which you could put into the Sphera mask if you wanted it that way.

The first thing to do is pop out the lenses, which is very easy. You can just pull the frame apart a little and push then from the inside out. The hard part is putting them back in.

With the lenses out, the skirt pulls out from the frame so you now have the frame by itself. Since the lenses are not very flexible, to narrow the mask you have to bend the frame at the bridge only, otherwise the lenses would bend it back it you were able to get them installed back in. I put mine in a wide vise so it would have some bending tension. I set the vise so it bent the frame narrower about 1”. Then I took a Butane Solder Iron without the tip (any condensed flame would work or a heat gun) and heated the bridge and the upper frame at the bridge and let it cool in the vise. When finished the frame was ¾” narrower (at least one step worked right the first time!).

The next is putting it back together. The silicone skirt has a small grove the lenses fit it. This makes a very small lip sticking out between the frame and the lense. The frame is cut so that it will spread open and allow you to put the lenses and skirt in from behind. To open it you take the strap and then the buckles off. You can wedge a small flat blade screwdriver between the buckle and the frame toward the bottom side of the buckle. Push the frame part down and pull the buckle away from the frame. It takes some playing, but you will eventually get it. The buckle snaps to keep it in place on the bottom part of the frame, which is why you need to push the bottom part of the frame in with screwdriver to get it off.

You can now put one lense in the skirt and position it in the frame while spreading the frame, and then close the frame to hold it in place. It takes a little bit to figure out how to get the roller pin in position before you push the buckle back on. I suggest you look at its position before removing the buckle, or only remove one buckle and replace that lense before the other one so you have a reference.

Bellow are some pictures. It seals great with little strap pressure now!:D
don
 

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donmoore

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Buckle attachment

#
 

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donmoore

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Finished Product

I hadn't cleaned my finger prints off the lenses yet.:D
 

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groats

pelogic thinker
May 1, 2003
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Sounds good what you're doing there, don.

I have quite a narrow face but the sphera fits perfectly off-the-factory...

Cheers, joe
 

Frank O'Donnell

Apneic shutterbug
Apr 23, 2003
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Interesting project, Don. I tried Kirk's Sphera last year when I took his clinic, and my main impression was that there was a hard piece of plastic that was uncomfortably hitting the bridge of my nose. Since I don't think I have a particularly big nose, I suspect this is another way that narrow-face syndrome must manifest. I suppose I might try the mod too at some point, but first I have to get my newly acquired secondhand Seasprint scooter running ... and chain myself to my easychair to do static tables ... ;-)
 

donmoore

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Aug 19, 2002
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Frank, The nose bridge was where I got the pain too. To get the outsides to seal the strap had to be tight enough to bend the mask. The nose bridge was the pressure point it was using to bend it. Good luck with those pulse/oximeter statics!

Joe you lucky guy! There was a few times in the project where I just about chunked the whole mask in frustration. It would be easy the second time, but the first tried my patience pretty good.
don
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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All the time I thought that the 'Sphera' was 'Technisub Sphera', not 'Aqua Sphera'. Is there also a technisub mask named that way? or have I invented it?

What company manufactures the 'Aqua-sphera'?
 

Adrian

Deeper Blue Beachcomber
Supporter
Nov 23, 2002
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Thanks a whole lot Don for describing this. I was looking at a Sphera here but I definitley felt pressure on my nose which is quite large. Now I'll take a second look into getting that mask.

Adrian
 

donmoore

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Aug 19, 2002
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Michael, I don’t know for sure, but I think Aqua Sphere is the manufacturer of the Sphera mask and it was sold under at least one other dive company name for a while. Could have been Technisub.

Aqua Sphere is a swimming manufacturer and makes goggles and masks for that. Their thing is the bent, low drag lenses. Some people (most all the scuba divers) don’t like them because the bent lenses add distortion, but most people who put up with the distortion for a while get used it and have no problem spearfishing etc.. After all most of the distortion is in the bent side part and by the time your ready to pull the trigger your directly facing your target and looking through the front of the mask anyway.

I think the dive companies that were selling it quit because the scuba divers didn’t like the distortion and they have no need for a really low volume mask. Aqua Sphere advertises it as triathlon/open water mask that won’t get water in your nose.;)
don
 

ivan

looking for deeper water
Jan 26, 2002
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hi

Nice work Don I sure wouldn't have the patience to go through with all that if the Sphera didnt fit.

Michael I have a old Technisub Sphera which i found so I guess the other company making them is Technisub

cheers
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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Thanks Don and Andy (Andrew?).

I'm on a market for a new mask, and I was sure I was in the right direction till I realized the mask I thought of is a different mask.
I found the technisub importer here and they said (over the phone) they have them. I would'nt have known where to look for an aqua-sphera...
 

Fondueset

Carp Whisperer
Jul 27, 2004
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Try also Sporasub Mystic - which has a softer skirt even than the Sphera. Also - technisub micro mask.
Technisub or Aqualung - same thing.
Spheras are nice, but it is good to remember they have plastic lenses - which scratch - and also they have a tendency to leak after awhile. These are NOT durable masks. (I dive almost exclusively with Spheras)
 
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