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swimming goggles?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Nov 1, 2000
Hi! Is there any reason I can't use my normal swimming goggles for freediving to depths of 20-30'? They're extremely low-profile/low-volume, inexpensive, comfortable and provide wonderful peripheral vision since they're clear on all sides. I've looked at the photos of the "official" freediving masks but I can't see any advantage to them, only disadvantages. Is there any physiological or other reason that I'm not aware of that I should consider?

NOTE: I use the Hind Compi style basic swim goggle with a black rubber seal that fits outside each eye socket with a connecting nose strap. There is no covered nose piece. Would that present any problem?

Look forward to any responses and to participating in this forum. Thanks!

Harald Johnson
The challange in using your goggles is that you have no way of equalizing the air space that they occupy over your eyes as you descend. Physics dictates that as you go deeper under water, the water pressure around you increases - you run the risk of damaging your eyes as they are sucked into your goggles. If you want to have the same style as your goggles, then go for either the Dacor Bandit or Omer Abyss Millenium masks.

Hope this helps,


[This message has been edited by Cliff Etzel (edited 12 November 2000).]
Thanks for the reply.

I've checked out the masks you mentioned, but I guess I'm missing something. I know about ear equalization, but what is "equalizing the air space"? I apologize for the apparent stupidity of my question, but I took my SCUBA certification a long time ago and haven't been active with it.

How do the masks you mention help accomplish this air equalization in a way that my (even lower internal volume) goggles don't?

Thanks for your help!

Harald Johnson
The airspace in any mask or goggle will compress at depth (to half of surface volume at 33 feet). This means that your eyeballs get sucked into your mask/goggle as the airspace shrinks, resulting in the 'satanic' red-eye effect caused by broken blood vessels. Including the nose in the airspace allows a diver to add air to the mask as the volume decreases, thereby preventing any eyeball-sucking. Try diving down to about 15 feet in a pool with the goggles and you can feel the effect for yourself...
Thanks, Mako! Makes sense. Any tips on the best way to do this? A little all the way down? One blow at the bottom?

First let me be clear I mostly use swimming goggles as I have a large beard and moustache and have never found a mask that doesn't leak. I have a skin condition in which shaving causes the follicles to become infected so shaving is not an option. Also I am a minimalist and strive to reduce the equipement load and effect. The problem is with compression. Recently I have been experimenting with a type of swimming goggle that is very similar to a face mask but that does not have a nose cover. I have built it up with silicone to limit the amount of compression and it seems to work ok but not great. At 60 to 80 feet it starts to deform and distorts the view. Fortunately they seal very well and seldom leak. I have not been deeper than 100 feet them and have no plans to go any deeper because of the extreme amount of deformation at that depth. Much beyond 100 feet will most likely cause them leak severly or rupture. Another issue with goggles is the absence of a nose cover or plug. I am very experience swimmer and have no problem breathing through a snorkel without having my nose plugged. For some this is not possible and is certainly not advisable for someone who is not experienced. To know if you can get by without some type of nose plug get in a pool and attempt to swim at least the length underwater on your back without plugging your nose. If you cannot do this do not dive with some type of secure nose plug; perferrably one that has an independent strap. Hopefully, some one will come up with a nocompressionable system that is very light and that helps minimize obstructions to human/water interface. At this time I am trying to get information on scleral (or haptic) contact lenses. Do you know anything about them? I know that Mayol started using them in 1970 but have no other information on their performance, health risks, cost, availability, etc. It would be wonderful to have dolphin eyes. Warmly, Angus
go for the mask

hi herald
about the equalization of mask I would say it is the same as with ears. Every peace you go down equalize a little bit. After while you won´t have to even think about it. And most of all as Mako mentioned you will not have a devil look aka red eyes.

good luck and great vision
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