How to Clear Your Mask While Snorkeling

How to Clear Your Mask While Snorkeling
There are a number of reasons you may have for clearing your mask while snorkeling. Sometimes a sudden wave will jostle your mask, forcing water through its protective seal. A poorly fitting mask may also gradually leak water that needs to be periodically cleared. You may also intentionally flood your mask in order to clear fog. While some masks come equipped with a one-way flow valve designed to appeal to beginners, learning the proper mask-clearing technique will allow you to avoid these masks and choose one with the best fit.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Remain underwater instead of returning to the surface to clear your mask. This will ensure a tighter seal on your mask as the water pressure keeps it pressed against your face.
Step 2
Inhale through your snorkel to get a full breath of air. If your mask was jostled loose by a wave, your snorkel may have also filled with water and will require clearing. Blow firmly through your snorkel to clear it before drawing in a breath.
Step 3
Tilt your head backward slightly. Your mask does not need to clear the surface of the water. You just want your nostrils angled down to avoid accidentally sucking water into your nose.
Step 4
Press the top of your mask against your forehead with your palm or fingers. This creates a tight seal on top allowing you to evacuate the water from the bottom of your mask.
Step 5
Exhale through your nose. The additional air in your mask will force the water out.
Step 6
Readjust your mask if necessary to make sure it fits tightly and comfortably against your face.

Tips & Warnings

 
Flooding your mask is a great way to clear away fog without needing to surface. Pull the mask away from your face to allow water to come in, then clear your mask using the same technique you would if water accidentally got into your mask. If water regularly comes into your mask for no apparent reason, your mask may not be sitting snugly against your face. While on land, press your mask gently into your face and exhale through your nose. If air is able to escape, your mask may not fit or may need to be replaced.
 
Flooding your mask is a great way to clear away fog without needing to surface. Pull the mask away from your face to allow water to come in, then clear your mask using the same technique you would if water accidentally got into your mask.
 
If water regularly comes into your mask for no apparent reason, your mask may not be sitting snugly against your face. While on land, press your mask gently into your face and exhale through your nose. If air is able to escape, your mask may not fit or may need to be replaced.
 
When clearing your mask, exhale gently rather than blowing hard through your nose. Gentle breath is enough to clear you mask. A harder, sudden burst of air may result in overpressurizing your mask and cause discomfort, or it may open seals in other areas of the mask and allow more water to come in.

Article Written By Carl Brannon

Carl Brannon is a legal and political commentator whose work has appeared in law and philosophy journals and online in legal blogs and article repositories. He has been a writer since 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from University of California, San Diego and a Juris Doctor from Lewis and Clark School of Law.

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