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December 27th 2013

27 Dec 2013 ="post-tag" > Written by  ="post-tag" >

Diving equipment- the mask
maskThe vast majority of human beings that come to Big Blue to learn how to dive will fall in love with diving. Fact. They know that they've learned a solid foundation of skills that will keep them safe whilst they enjoy being underwater. Those that progress to do the advanced course straight after their open water course will have been introduced to a number of techniques and procedures that will allow them to dive with even more confidence and thus become even better divers.
Now, if you did get the bug, you're going to want to buy your own equipment. Most of us can't afford to go out and buy it all in one go, so you'll get items as and when you can afford them. Where the hell do you even start? Your instructor should have already gone through the basic different types of equipment, and the Big Blue retail shop is a good place to see all the different types of fins and masks you can buy.
So let's start at the very beginning. You go underwater to see things right? So one of the most important initial considerations is to have a mask that is going to work for you. There's nothing more annoying than diving with a mask that leaks constantly when underwater. So you need to get your own mask- the sooner, the better. Masks come in all manner of different shapes, sizes and colours.
When buying your own mask there are just a few all important considerations. Does it fit your face? Is it comfortable? Does it give you the vision you want? How big an air space will it have? The seal needs to mould to your face, but not at the expense of it feeling uncomfortable. Conversely, it wouldn't be the best idea in the world if the mask is comfortable but doesn't fit properly. Over time, the seal will shape itself more and more to the contours of your face (this is now beginning to sound like a Loreal advert, but bear with me), and therefore reduce leakage- because you're worth it.... With vision, I'm not talking about 3D specs or anything, what I mean is does the mask enable you to only see what is in front of you, or are there small windows at the side that give you a little peripheral vision? Everyone is different, but you'll already have an idea of what you prefer. Finally, how much air there is inside the mask will determine how much of a mask squeeze you'll get when diving deeper, and how much air you'll need to blow in with your nose to compensate for this, or to clear the water out if you take it off underwater. High, medium, and low volume if you want the correct nomenclature.
Finally, if you know you've fallen in love with diving after your pool session or dive 1 of the open water course, buy your own mask immediately. It'll hugely improve your experience of diving straight away. If you never dive again you've got a great snorkeling mask , and can pretend your Jacque Cousteau when in the bath.
Your instructor can go through all of the above points to help you get the right mask. Yes we sell masks at Big Blue, but we're diving instructors, not hard-nosed sales people. But we do know how masks work and what will be best for you. If you want your own mask we're probably not going to sell you the most expensive one, we'll get you the one that's going to fit the best, be comfortable, and give you want you want based on the above considerations.
I suppose you want to know how to get the best BC now don't you.. Well i'm still full of Christmas food and I can't be bothered to tell you. Maybe in the new year.

Constant changes
Well, xmas is well and truly behind us now and we're heading for new years at break-neck speed. As time marches on it's so easy to think of everything staying exactly as it has always been, especially on Koh Tao. Yet looking around the place it's clear to see that it is no different to anywhere else and progress cannot be stopped.
Everywhere you look there are new hotels being built to cater for increasing numbers of travelers. Lotus bar on Sairee beach has been pulled down, to probably be replaced by a spangly new beach bar. An actual proper hospital is currently being built, the small 7-11 behind Big Blue has closed but a much larger one has just opened on the main road between Sairee and Mae Hadd. Banyan's cinema has been converted into a gym... Boo!! And, a MMA gym has opened up. Whatever next, road markings on the main road?... Oh yeah we had that last month!
Let's see what 2014 brings for the Island- A drive in cinema would be hard to beat.

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Read 1037 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 08:24

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