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Mask Update

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


New Member
Aug 19, 2002
It’s been a while since we had a mask thread and I thought it would be nice to hear what others are using now.

I recently purchased an Mares X-Comfort. Mares’ write up sounded wonderful. “Elegant and compact, with a skirt designed to offer you unbeatable comfort. The contact surface between mask and skin is greater than with traditional skirts, affording unparalleled comfort and making it possible to enjoy long dives without leaving an unsightly and uncomfortable indentation around the face. More demanding divers will also appreciate the "self-equalizing" effect achieved through an increase in the contact surface of the mask with increasing depth. This unique feature minimizes the need to equalize the mask during the descent. Ergonomic, quick-adjusting buckles are positioned on the skirt. The windows are symmetrical and available with corrective. Very low volume”

After getting the mask I can say it is comfortable, but the field of vision is not that good and the mask strap is too small to hold snorkels in the usual way. The lenses also sticks way out from the face when at the surface and creates more water drag. I haven’t been able to test it in deep water yet, but it appears the self-equalizing feature is from the mask being pushed closer to the face from the skirt flexing as water pressure increases.

This masks, like most diving mask, even most of the ones supposed to be designed for freediving, has my all time mask complaint – that is the lense is angled down so scuba divers can see their gauges and where they are going when they descend feet first! To me this totally stinks because freedivers move head first so it’s the upper ward view that is most important. Angling the lense downward does a real disservice by cutting the indirection view and forcing the head to come up to see ahead which substantially increasing drag. Not to mention a sore neck!


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X-Comfort looking down


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I recently modified my Cressi Super Occhio by removing the inner skirt with a pair of toenail clippers. Something I have wanted to do for a while, but been a little afraid, because although it’s an inexpensive mask, with Dive Inn’s shipping prices now, it would have been expensive to replace.

The mod did just what I hoped. It brought the lenses closer to my eyes and increased the field of view. It did this mostly by bringing the top of the mask in which leveled the lenses from the previous downward slope and made a nice increase in the upward view. It also increased the comfort of the mask and it still seals good. The only thing I would have done different is left the inner skirt on the sides, because I have a narrow face and although it still seals good, I lose air from the side skirts at a little lower pressure than I did before the mod. I’m trying to learn the art of equalizing hand free and the more I can over pressure the mask the better results I get.

What masks are you using now and why do you like them? Which ones don’t you like?


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Cressi Super Occhio


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Still using a tinted abyss for spearfishing, I only have 2 small complaints about this mask, 1 is that after diving all day I develop kinda a rash where the skirt is rubbing on my face and also get a sore nose due to small nose pocket.

2 is that the mask strap is waaaayyyyy to short for me with my snorkel setup with a new style.

Other than this it is an excellent low volume mask for spearfishing on the outer reefs with relatively clear water.

I use a black skirted Tusa liberator :hmm for general snorkelling and dirty water spearfishing it has a much larger volume than the abyss but has clear lenses which always helps in the murky water. I also use a clear skirted liberator for creek diving.

I recently found a Technisub Spehra on the bottom of the ocean and after a quick clean in hot water the skirt, frame and strap are all in top condition. Only problem is the lenses are totally stuffed so Im trying to find somewhere that I can buy just the lenses, any ideas ??

I think for deep diving this mask would be the kickass mask, I tried a shallow dive even with the lenses that I can barely see through and immediately I could feel the frame kinda flex and only had to use the smallest of air volume to equalise it. Now I just need to find somewhere to buy some new lenses.

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At the performance clinic, both Kirk Krack and Martin Stepanek both said the sphera was there favorite mask. I believe Martin used his to set the 93-meter constant world record. He said he only uses his Minima now, because his sphera is too scratched up to see through. He thought the distortion from the side bend in the lenses was not bad for spearfishing. Doesn’t seem like it would be to me either, because your not going to fire at something until your looking straight ahead, through the flat part of the lenses, anyway.

Martin was still using his, although it was really scratched up. I tried Martin’s on and my head is too narrow for it to seal.

It would be one nice mask if you could replace the lenses. I believe both the Aqualung and the Techniusub Sphera is the same mask. I would send each of them an e-mail and see what you happens. I sent a nice e-mail to the manufacture of my snorkel telling them how much I liked their product, but a certain piece needed replacing and they sent it free to me. The web pages are: http://www.technisub.com/ and www.aqualung.com.

I did not see the sphera listed in either of their web page masks, so they may have stopped making it You might also try finding something locally. If the lenses are held bent by frame then it would be simple to cut some out of lexan or other clear optical glass. There are places that specialize in cutting and bending lexan.

Let us know what happens,
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Thanks for the links guys :)

I did not know that Martin used one of these for a 93m dive that sure proves they are excellent deep diving masks. Like you said only problem is that they scratch up big time.

I use a mares target. I chose it because of it's low volume and the fact that it fits a narrow face. Even still I have a hard time getting it to seal because I have a very narrow face. It's definatley a better fit than the cressi big eyes I had before.
Are there any of you out there that have a super narrow face like me? What do you use?
I'm on my second sphera and asked for a third from Santa.;)

I have used it for both underwater hockey and spearfishing. The only problem with the mask is that the plastic scratches up very easily.

I also own a "Falco"mask, which is the exact same skirt as the Sphera, but it has glass lenses in it. It has slightly more volume in it than the Sphera, but is still one of my favorite masks.

Both of these masks are for a wider face. My Dive buddy, Ted, can't wear them becasue his face is too narrow. He has had really good luck with the Cressi-sub masks. I, of course, have a tough time with the Cressi's since they are too narrow for my round melon.:blackeye

Here's a shot of my Falco from today.

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Wow thanks all! What a great thread. I've been deliberating over masks recently, because I still don't have a proper freediving mask. With Diveinn's prices I may just get two sphera's.... ;)

Has anyone tried the Minima and the Sphera? If so, how do they compare in volume and visibility? I understand that the curved plastic lense in the sphera creates some distortion. I think these are the masks I'm deciding between right now. I suppose the falco looks good too, thanks for the comparison to the sphera Jon.

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Ted and I both have Minima's as well.

It is a bit too narrow to fit my face, but I can make it work. It has a very narrow field of view and much prefer my Flaco to the Minnima.

Ted found the visibiltiy too restricted with his Minima and went to the Cressi-sub Super occhio- which he loves so much that he bought a back-up in case he ever lost the first one.

There is some distortion with the Sphera, but I don't mind it while freediving. I used it once for scubadiving and didn't like it. It distorts my vison the same way the faceplate on an AGA, full face, mask does. Something about looking through plastic underwater instead of glass that seems a little different to me.

Just my $0.02

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Originally posted by Jon
It distorts my vison the same way the faceplate on an AGA, full face, mask does.

I might agree if I'd ever done a dive with the AGA where I could see anything!
I love both my Minima's. I'd like to try a FALCO sometime too. maybe I'll make it down to Wisconsin next summer and you can give me a go.
Erik Y.
Hi all,
This is the mask I have used for the last year. It's an OMER Aries 45. Before that I had used Technisub Look and Beuchat Mundial. The aries is really a great mask. The field of vision is good. I have a realtively big nose and this nose pocket is very comfortable for me. The skirt is very nice too. The strap is wide and thus distributing the pressure on greater area of my head. I have used it during the summer for 5-6 hour sessions. No red traces on my face.

Just my $0.02



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If we are lucky Eric F will enter and give us all the answers. I think he actually measured the volume of every mask AND their compressability.

Sebastian/ Sweden
Originally posted by flyboy748
Has anyone tried the Minima and the Sphera? If so, how do they compare in volume and visibility?
The Sphera has MUCH better visibility! I initially has a minima and was quite happy with it since it was comfortable, sealed well and had low volume, but after playing UW-rugby with it I quickly realised how limited visibility is! With the minima I had problems following the game and I had to keep looking around to see where the ball went.

I then got a Sphera thinking that any dissiness or disorientation caused by the lenses would be worth it for the added visibility, and it definitely was! I got used to the lenses very quickly, and now I use sphera for all diving, not just rugby. The sideways visibility is ofcorse the biggest difference, but there is a clear difference in the up/down visibility too!

I don't think scratched lenses is a great problem either as long as you take care transporting the mask. Newer spheras are delivered in plastic boxes that are excelent for protecting them during transportation! I have used my rugby mask for almost a year, and it is nowhere near worn out from scratches, and that mask does see some "action"!

Great thread, Don.

I'd add to Jon's comments by saying that Cressi masks are the only masks I've gotten to seal well to my mis-shapen head. I have a narrow face and a small upper lip (or possibly a long nose :eek:). Cressi masks have one of the softest skirts I've felt, and the area under the nose pocket is just a tad smaller than other masks I've tried. The difference is so miniscule that you really can't tell by looking at a photo.....but it's there. If you look at the photo Peter ('sea-wolf') posted of his Aries, you can see that a lot of his lip is exposed. I tried that same mask (yellow, mirrored lenses) and absolutely loved it. I was all set to buy it after trying it on at the shop. Nice fit...comfortable skirt....excellent field of view and viz. But when I got it in the water....leak :waterwork. I was sooo bummed.

On the topic of fogging..... I don't know if I have unique spit chemistry, or if Cressi has a trick, but their masks only need one hock and they are good for the whole dive. With many other masks (including my Oceanic, Samurai Elite, and Tusa 'something-or-other), I'm spitting every 20 minutes. I've used the Horizon, Focus, and of course my sweatie occhio and none fog up. They didn't even need to be scrubbed when they were new. To be fair, other masks have also been fog-free for me as well. All of Jon's masks (I think he owns one for every week of the year ;) ) seem to stay clear (maybe because they are always full of water when I'm using them :D ).

As for the minima....If Cressi can find a way to improve the downward field of view, and throw on a more manly strap, I'd be game to give it another run.

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You should try cutting the inter skirt out of your oldest Super Occhio. For me it made a good mask even better. Wider angle, lower volume, and more comfort. It was already a low volume and comfortable mask, but a mask can never be too low in volume or too comfortable!:)

Since you say you have a narrow face I would suggest leaving the inter skirt on the sides. You can always cut it out later, but leaving it won’t effect how much the lense comes in because the side skirts bend out over the face instead of resting on it like it does on the top and bottom. The bottom doesn’t have an inter skirt anyway so its just the top and the corner at each side of the top you would need to take out.

Just a suggestion.:eek:
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Hi, Ted,
Sorry for the previous message. I hit the Enter against my will.
So back to the point.
It's about the leak of your mask. As this mask is relatively new on the market, I know personally only one man except me who owns one of these. He's a friend of my father - 50 years of age. He told me the same thing as you. It will be good if someone else had tried this mask and put his thoughts. I wonder if I am a special case or you and the above-mentioned man are. I have dived for hours without any leak.