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Full Face Masks

Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:46 pm
by Nwcid
I know I have not posted in a while, life has been busy. I still lurk from time to time and we are getting to a point again where we will be doing more SCUBA.

The wife and I just finished up our PSD course a short while back which included FFM. So instead of just doing the "class and getting the card" with ~30 min of using them we decided to do a few dives with them.

We borrowed a pair of Guardians from one of our instructors for our west side trip this weekend. We did 3 dives at Alki on Saturday with the FFM on. Normally I wear a Weezle under my drysuit but with the temp I decided just to do my 100G thinsulate undergarment. Water temp was 52* and we pulled 3 dives lasting 50 - 60 min each with roughly 45-60 min surface between. I did not feel cold at any point, maybe just a little cool, but overall a very nice day.

This morning we dove Alki again but using our standard mask and regs. Dressed the same, same time of day, same water temperature, same profile, ect. At 18 min I was feeling quite chilled. At 30 min I was thinking I wished I had put my Weezle on, and at just over 35 min I was ready to call the dive. My buddy was having some gear issues so we called the dive anyhow. Most of where I felt cold was in my chest and upper body.

I know FFM are "warmer", but I can not believe they are that much warmer. Any thoughts or ideas on our experience?

Re: Full Face Masks

Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:19 am
by Tangfish
Wow, if that was the difference then that's really surprising and impressive. I know it made a huge difference when I went from a standard hood to a really thick one, but from what I can tell a FFM doesn't cover that much more surface area.

How did you like diving the FFMs other than the possible thermal advantage? Reason I ask is that I just won one in a drawing and I was sorta leaning toward selling it rather than using it (I'm really happy with the fit of my existing mask and just imagine the FFM getting in the way of the camera).

Re: Full Face Masks

Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:07 am
by fmerkel
IMO, if you aren't using it for UW communication, it just gets in the way (Aquarium volunteer using one for almost a decade now).

Re: Full Face Masks

Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:13 am
by Tangfish
That's what I've been told. I already have enough camera stuff in the way lol

Re: Full Face Masks

Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:28 pm
by Nwcid
We did a total of 3 full dives with them. I WILL be using it for all of my PSD diving, hands down, even though no coms. I do see myself diving it when we hit cold water, it is not uncommon for us to be in low 40's to 30's. Some of it is for fun dives and some for PSD training. With that said I will be diving it on a semi regular basis to keep my skills up with it.

Our SAC did change also. I often hear 25%. I normally dive with a SAC of about .55, and my wife a little under .5. For direct comparison all 3 of my mask dives came out at .76 and my non-FFM was .62. My wife was .53, .57 and .58 with her non-FFM at .44.

With a FFM and the hoods we are currently using there is really no exposed skin since the hood overlaps the mask.

If you do choose to dive the FFM train with someone that knows what they are doing. I have a fair amount of diving in, I have used a lot of SCBA firefighting, used gas masks, I use a half mask with normal cartridges when I use the grass trimmer or brush hog due to my allergies. Doing the mask clearing for FFM was one of the hardest skills I have done, it feels like you are going to drown.

I just happened to come across a deal on a Guardian and bought it.