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Hilo, HI

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


New Member
May 24, 2002
any Hi (big island) free divers who wouldn't mind sharing some insight. I've hit a plateau with respect to equalizing, feels like there's no more air in my lungs to pressurize with (maybe because there isn't?) after 6 pressurizations. thanks, Aloha
Hi HawaiiBlueH20,

Try lower volume mask, packing, and learn new equalising techniques.

I have the same problem. When spearfishing and recreational freediving I usually don't go much deeper then 20m so no wories there.

But been training to do deep dives lately and originally couldn't equalize past 35m. Everyone is different but your'e right at a certain depth youre lungs compress so much that you have no more air left to equalise normally.

I switched to a really low volume mask (Cressi Minima) and have been packstretching for a couple of months to increase my lung volume. Now I can equalise down to about 46m.
This sort of mask has a bit limited vision so not ideal for spearing, maybe try a cressi super ochio, or sporasub samurai or something.

Not sure what type of mask you are using now. Scuba style masks are very high in volume compared to what you want for freediving.

Could improve a bit by packing more before a dive also.

But best solution is to use an alternative equalising technique such as the Fatah - Freznel as described on another post. Try a search on this.

I haven't got it working yet but if you learn this you are no longer restricting your depths to how far you can equalize.

This is a must for the few people that manage 80m+ dives using fins !


I should have said those that do 80m+ dives with fin or fins...

Can't be biased these days with the number of monofin divers out there !

Aloha from the other side
If you only want the remedy, do a search for articles by e fattah and skip my answer. He has written pages on how to solve this problem.
If you are normal, whatever that is, the residual volume in your lungs (the amount that remains after you let out all the air you can) is about 20% of your total lung capacity. That means, if you do everything perfect, you will get that out of air feeling around 130 feet with no mask on. With a good mask, a little squeeze and practice, you'll be able to get to about 125.
To go deeper you will have to learn at least one of many techniques that involve risk and/or the chance of injury. Buddy diving changes a great deal when the depth is greater than 40-50 feet, even in warm and calm Hawaiin water. If you aren't convinced that you need a good buddy, let my recommend another sport, even sky-diving gives you a second chance. Read the books and watch the videos but, nothing is as good as taking a course. A short course with a good instructor is a great start.
The easiest answer for your problem is to fill your mouth with air, just before you feel empty. You'll be able to go 30-40 feet deeper with practice. Things happen fast at 100+ so, it's best to get in some practice with less than full lungs. You'll run out of air shallower, in the pool is do-able.
Even if you're used to shooting fish at 100 feet, take one step at a time and have someone close. Some of this stuff is risky in the pool.
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Bill's very correct, HI. The depths and techniques that you'll be experimenting with are only attainable with the supervision of a buddy with at least similar skills and the strength to get you back up and to the beach. That said, yes, driving a mouthful of air into your throat or mouth will fool you into thinking life's good and all and maybe get you another 10-15 feet. But again, it's a long-ass haul back up... :naughty

There are a lot of words here and elsewhere about equalizing and other tricks of the trade, i.e, mask pumping, which incidentally I finally got good at last month, that will let you know the rudiments of the skill(s), but after all is read and done, I cannot emphasize enough learning and refining these skills under the eye of a good diver, as in someone with a lot of time and depth. If they're from a recognized freediving type agency, so much the better, but beware here too. The sport is having an influx of what I call the patch and title wearers- those more interested with saying they're Instructors and all, but with barely more game than the student. Ask for references and do the homework. Regardless of how deep and how big the fish is, getting back to the beach is the measure of how good you are.

Hey, Bill! I ordered a couple of masks from AQA and one of their snorkels which looks suspiciously like our revered Farallons! I'll let you know what happens when the Post Office opens.

mahalo (thanks)

big aloha to all replies, very helpful. with the Freznel technique I was able to Eq. much more efficiently, and was very comfortable at my (used to be) limit. Now I need to catch up my apnea ability to make the slow descent/ascent necessary for the round trips. I will be hooking up with a pro for a clinic to learn safety and other ASAP. Thanks again,
aloha from Hilo :) :D :cool:
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