If you’re hunting for abalone in the Pacific Ocean you’ll need a crystal clear mask to spot your prey in the often murky waters.
Your dive mask is the window to the amazing sights under the water. On a clear day, the colors and wildlife in the waters of Northern California rival Hawaii. The fish aren’t as colorful, but the sea anemones, urchins and landscape are. Nothing beats cruising through the water and spotting a fellow hunter like a seal on the prowl.
Most goggles look the same, so try to get a distinct color that you can recognize immediately. It helps when you are loading and unloading all of your gear with friends, as things tend to get mixed up and messy during a trip.
MASKS MAKE EVERYTHING BIGGER
The funny thing about a goggles is that they enlarge what you’re looking at. There is just enough magnification that you can easily mistake a small abalone for a monster until you get used to the optical illusion. That’s why you need your abalone gauge close by. Abalone that have been removed from their rock have a hard time getting back on after you’ve popped them loose. So always measure BEFORE prying one off.
Your mask needs to fit around your face snugly so water doesn’t enter. But it shouldn’t crush your face. It should even be able to suck on to your face without the strap on. Just inhale through your nose to get the mask to engage.
There are a ton of anti-fog products on the market to keep your mask from steaming up. I personally spit in my mask and rub it around and I’ve never had a problem. I don’t hock a big loogie, I just use a normal amount of saliva.
Here are three of the top rated dive masks for abalone diving on Amazon:
If you’re looking to put together a gear bag for abalone diving then check out my checklist for everything you’ll need to hit the ocean.