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limiting factor

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Just visiting...
Aug 26, 2001
i've never heard of discussions or read articles on proper equalization methods. my performance underwater is pretty much limited to how well i equalize. most of the time depth is not a problem but i too often use up priceless energy and O2 trying to clear while descending.

does anyone have a personal method or know of proper techniques for this?

i'm in the water for quite a long time, but i'm always done when i can no longer equalize. i assume i'm just traumatizing my eustachian(sp?) tubes and over time they're swelling. i'm fine the next day, but it's become a cyclic occurance whenever i go diving.

i'd greatly appreciate some help on this.

ear, ear.

Hey Anderson, on this website under "Freediving past articles" is an article called "The Frenzel Technique", by Eric Fattah. It is very good, and might help you stop traumatizing your ears, if you are using the regular Valsalva now. This may not be the problem, maybe theres something going on with your particular physiology, but it's worth a read. There is also an excellent article in Freediver #12 all about the different methods of equalizing.
Good luck,
Erik Y.
equalizing patterns?

thanks for the help guys...

i'm still interested to know more about, not just technique, but execution while diving.

i do notice that by the latter part of the day i have to clear less and less as i go down. sometimes if i take my time i can clear without touching my nose. this is great and all, but i'm normally in shallower water this time of the day.

i think i'd like to find out how often people clear(i know it depends) and how much they clear at one time. i seem to overequalize to reduce the frequency of times i do it. is this bad? should i be equalizing partially before i get to the point where i have to equalize? or, is there even a proper way to be doing this?

i guess this whole subject might sound trivial, but it's the only thing that's holding me back.

thanks again,

I've had equalizing problems in the past. Learn the Freznel first and learn it well. It is far superior than 'pinch and blow' and easier on your ears.

Get your ears checked and cleaned out. If they are full of wax, don't let the doctor syringe them on the spot. Go home and pour olive oil into them for a few days (cotton balls to keep it in). This loosens the wax and also prevents it from sticking to the eardrum. If you syringe it without loosening it first, the wax can rip away at the eardrum when the water flushes it out.

On my way down, I usually equalize with the freznel with every monofin stroke (so every 3-4 seconds), avoiding any pain or discomfort. On good days I can equalize without pinching my nose down to -35m :) I just do Freznel and it works with lower pressure.

In my experience, if you avoid pushing against your ears when they feel stuck, you'll do better in the long run. Warm water in your ears is also good. I usually let some in at the beginning of the dive and let it warm up.

thanks laminar!

i'm anxious to get in the pool to try this frezzy thing. i'm going to the Fla keys next month for a week and would definitely love to have this WALL knocked down by the time i get into that 84° water. yeah, i'm spoiled... so what.

you've got some great insight here on this forum, keep it up.

Laminar said:
On my way down, I usually equalize with the freznel with every monofin stroke (so every 3-4 seconds), avoiding any pain or discomfort. On good days I can equalize without pinching my nose down to -35m I just do Freznel and it works with lower pressure.

I have been trying to equalize without pinching my nose and it rarely works but when it does it is a dream. How can you do it consistently? Do you wear a mask? Anyone?
Thanks in advance
Hands free equlization

I learned how to equalize by "flexing" muscles in my inner ear when I used to fly a lot as a kid. When I started freediving, I tried that and initially it worked to sixty feet or so.

I think one way to do it is position your mask so that the nose piece sits a little high on your face and partially blocks your nostrils. Then you can generate some pressure that way. That's not the perfect way to do it, since I can equalize hands free no matter how my mask is positioned. I don't really know how to identify which muscles I'm moving inside my head. Thrusting your jaw forward does help, I think.

Another key factor is speed of descent. If I pike down too quickly and I'm too tense (as I found out this weekend at the Canadian regionals), my ears get blocked and no amount of Fresnel or pinch and blow or ear-flexing helps. It's really crucial to start it off right and not be too greedy with time between equalizations. I usually equalize every one or two monofin strokes (every 2-4m).

My dive to -35m with "no hands' was on a recreational dive and I took my time to get down to depth.

Hope some of this helps.

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