Un plongeur regarde à travers son masque de plongée

Clearing your mask

This essential exercise to master (unlike exercises that should no longer be taught) is often the terror of candidates. However clearing your mask is not so complicated to achieve.

Regularly, students tell me that this exercise terrifies them. However, it is essential in diving training. And especially when you’re just starting out.

I think back to Michel who had so much trouble performing it that he was under stress at the thought that Geoffrey, his son, had to go through it. Once underwater, under the gaze of his father, the young boy did not hesitate to reproduce the repeated gestures in a protective environment. With serenity.

Perhaps the most complicated point is finally to keep calm and overcome apprehensions.

Why do we have to do it?

Sometimes water seeps into your mask during your dive. This can be the case if it is not tight enough, if you smile, if it is unsuitable for your face, if you inadvertently hit it..

Clearing your mask can also be useful when fog comes to the glass (see here how to avoid fogging). You then deliberately bring some water into the mask in order to clean the glass by looking down and gently shaking the head to allow the water to travel on the glass. You will then have to evacuate this water through clearing your mask.

In the most “unpleasant” cases, you lose your mask (a fin stroke of a buddy for example) and have to put it back under water.

You should know that some dive centers (this is often the case in the Red Sea) require you to demonstrate mastery of clearing your mask before allowing you to dive independently with them. This during a check dive and this whatever your level.

Tips to avoid clearing your mask

The choice of mask is important. A good mask will prevent you from clearing your mask too often. Also, it is necessary to be attentive when selecting one. Because the choice of mask is not just a matter of look.

Some tips

  • Choose a mask that suits your face. This is especially true for children and people who have bouncy cheeks or protruding cheekbones.
  • Do not hesitate to try different models to find the mask that suits you best. The one of your buddy will not necessarily be good for you (rarely even)
  • Implement best practices to avoid fogging.
  • Avoid laughing too much underwater (or be ready for the clearing of your mask)
  • For gentlemen, being shaved helps not to let water seep in.

On this last point, I must admit that I have seen bearded and mustaches dive with ease without water in their masks. I don’t know how they do it, but if they put it in comment directly on the blog, it would be nice for those who can’t do it.

Easily clearing your mask

If during a dive, water enters your mask, do not panic. All you have to do is clearing your mask as learned during your training.

As a reminder

  • With one hand, push gently on top of your mask (at the level of the forehead).
  • Look towards the surface by tilting your head back a little.
  • Blow Air, lighter than water, it will take the highest space and chase water from below.
  • It’s over

If you are worried about having water in your nostrils, you can start by blowing a little by having your head slightly down before continuing by raising your head upwards.

What if you still dread the exercise?

The best advice is to train regularly. Ideally in a pool if clearing your mask seems complicated. You can also decide to do it where it is not too deep, before a dive from the shore.

Over time, you will see that it will become natural and that you will no longer think about it when clearing your mask


Clearing your mask is an exercise accessible to everyone. Once the apprehension of having water in the nose or on the eyes has passed, you can do it with ease. It will be useful in many situations throughout your diver journey. Also, it is better to train regularly until you do it with ease.

Does clearing your mask scare you? Do you do it without difficulty? What are your best stories about him?

Tell me that in the comment of this post.

And above all… don’t forget to be happy 🤗

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