Gear Review: TUSA Freedom Elite & TUSA Platina II Hyperdry Snorkel

Gear Review TUSA Freedom Elite Mask and Platina II Hyperdry Snorkel

Written by Lara, Instructor/Shop Coordinator at ODG (pictured on the right)

The golden slipper of all masks!

There are so many different types and styles of scuba/snorkelling masks out there that it can be overwhelming for new divers to purchase the right one. A mask is normally the first piece of equipment divers buy and I recommend every diver should own their own mask. There are clear skirts, black skirts, low profile, single lenses, twin lenses etc. I’ve been through my fair share of masks and my best advice is to choose the one that fits the best and is most comfortable because comfort is ultimately what can determine whether you will have a good dive or an average one.

Like each of our faces, each mask is has its own unique design. I believe that your mask is one of the most important things to purchase when scuba/snorkelling and here is why:

A poorly fitted mask can ultimately end in a disappointing dive. Having a leaking mask means you will spend more time clearing it and less time actually enjoying the dive. There is nothing more frustrating than when your buddy says after the dive “Did you see that cute little seahorse that was just hanging by the jetty?” No actually I couldn’t, I couldn’t see anything because I was too busy trying to clear my mask and trying not to get lost because I couldn’t see!

2016 TUSA Catalogue Cover Mask Freedom Elite
Freedom Elite featured on the 2016 TUSA Catalogue

The second biggest mistake will be that people tighten their mask strap thinking it’s too loose and it becomes painful to wear. This is a BIG NO and what I like to call ‘The post diving scuba face’. It’s basically when you have worn a mask far too tight for an hour underwater and you end up with massive red rings around your eyes which you have to walk around with for the rest of the day (we have all been there before and trust me there is nothing sexy about it). In actual fact you do not need to wear your strap very tight at all, the pressure of the water is enough to keep your mask firmly on your face.

I have experienced the above scenarios many times. Yes I have had masks that where ‘okay’ fit but I have never had a mask before like my newest one, the TUSA Freedom Elite, which blows all of the other masks I’ve owned out of the water. It’s ridiculously comfortable as its soft silicone sits like a pillow on my face and the rotational strap means I don’t have to mess around with adjusting the strap. No more red rings on my face! It is also extremely easy to clear if I do ever get a bit of water in my mask (from laughing at my buddy usually). Its large single lens gives me a great field of vision underwater as well so now I never miss out on seeing anything. It comes in various colours (Pink, Blue, Black & Yellow) - I mean it is important to look good underwater as well ;).
TUSA Freedom Elite Mask Colour Options
As with most TUSA masks, there are plenty of colour variations available

Lastly, I can’t forget to mention my new snorkel, the TUSA Platina II Hyperdry. As a new diver I used to dread having to wear a snorkel. For scuba divers, we don’t normally use a snorkel except for the occasional surface swim. Being a female the biggest issue for me using a snorkel when diving was they always used to get caught in my hair. So I decided to purchase the TUSA snorkel as it matched my pink TUSA mask and SUCCESS! It’s the first snorkel I have ever used that doesn’t get caught in my hair or knock me in the head when I am diving. Because it’s so streamlined I do not even notice it while I’m diving. It’s also great for snorkelers who like to do a bit of freediving, as it won’t move around as much and make the vibrating sound (making it easier to clear). Another bonus is that it is a flexi snorkel, which means that if I go on a more extreme dive where I don’t want to have it attached I can easily take it off and roll it up in my wetsuit or BCD pocket (making it a great travel snorkel as well).

Overall I am just so happy that I went with these pieces of equipment. This mask has changed my life…my scuba diving life anyway :D