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BTV / hands free equalization at depth.

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Dec 4, 2003
Hello everybody.

I've already read all posts on BTV, but still can't find an answer to a problem I have.
I can equalize (slowly) hands free with a mix of BTV and hands free Frenzel (i.e. I use a gentle Frenzel without pinching my nose).
It's a useless tecnique for constant weight, as it's way too slow. But it's very nice while spearfishing, once you get to your chosen depth and you decide to slowly move down a few more meters and concentrate on the hunt.
Big problem, though, is that I let out air through my nose/mask while performing btv, because I still use my tongue to push air towards the tube, and some of that air escapes.
VERY dangerous when you're at depth.
Any suggestions on how to improve/change this manouver ?

try letting your mask suck a bit more against your face, that compresses the nosepocket and will close your nose almost as well as pinching it, while at the same time allowing a tiny bit of air into the mask. on slow descents i find that quite easy and i don't lose any air either.


Potential solutions:

1. use hands free valsalva. May find a greater range of controlling pressure. You may be over equalizing.

2. use cheeks for frenzel equalizing instead of tongue. Weaker muscles involved, allowing for finer pressure changes than tongue.

3. do not equalize your mask so soon, or fully. If the air in the mask is at higher pressure than the air in your middle earway, then only a blocked eustacian tube, should cause air to come out of the mask before finishing equalizing the middle ear.

4. ensure to attempt opening eustacian tubes followed immediately by compression technique. If you begin compression first, then it is likely to equalizing the mask fully and bubble out.

5. improve proficiency at fully opening eustacian tubes on demand. They may be blocking evening though you feel like you are doing opening technique.

Hope this helps.


1. Tie your mask much tighter on your face
2. Try using a pipe mask w/nose clip

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
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