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Restrictions on equipment (lenses, goggles, noseclips)?

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.

Should AIDA keep or remove restrictions on equipment in depth competitions?

  • Keep the rule, maintain the 'off-the-rack equipment' policy

    Votes: 8 19.5%
  • Remove the rule, allow anything that doesn't have an engine on it!

    Votes: 33 80.5%

  • Total voters


Well-Known Member
Oct 31, 2002
Following the 'AIDA rules' thread, I'm seeking the majority opinion on wheather AIDA should keep or remove the restrictions on equipment for deep diving competitions, meaning the disallowance of in particular nose clips, fluid goggles and subaquatic contact lenses in the competition disciplines constant weight, constant weight without fins & free immersion.

This one is open for debate.

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen
I would have structured the poll differently.

Nose clips, contact lenses and fluid goggles are all 'off-the-rack' equipment, non-custom. Pipe masks and silicone plugged masks are custom.

The paradisia nose clip is owned by almost every competition diver, and yet it is not allowed, so the current rule doesn't really speak about 'off-the-rack' or not, since paradisia clips are definitely 'off-the-rack' and still not allowed. The simplest, lowest cost config with off-the-rack equipment would be a paradisia nose clip with no goggles of any kind.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
I think AIDA should stick for a while to the current rules because it emphesizes on the diving technic, instead of material technic.

I think the sport needs a broad accesebility, and if any beginner whould not stand a chance deu to the fact that he could not affort liquid gogles that would not be nice. Sure I like technological improvements but in this 'fase' we should wait a bit longer for allowing al these kinky stuff. And I also like the added experience and safety of some years of use, before everyone buys this amazing new -exemple- 'supermask'. The other thing is that to an outsider we are already "superhuman", adding al these fancy things may alienize them more, or they might think they can do it as easy as us just by buying our special equipment?

Lenses and fluid gogles are a real improvement that whould create a have and no-have crouwd, I rather stick to current rules.

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Why not allow nose clip with no mask? Even if fluid goggles and contact lenses are not allowed, why not allow a nose clip with no mask?

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
I would also like to add that $650 bifins, $650 monofins, and $300 sharkskin suits are currently allowed in AIDA competitions, and these items give an unfair advantage over divers who cannot afford them. In fact, you can use a $3000 custom monofin if you want to. So one cannot argue that $295 goggles or $400 contact lenses are too expensive.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
A nose clip in static is no problem to me.
In the depth displines using only a noseclip? Well I think it's bad for the safety.
Dynamic? No problem I think.

So in a pool using (only) noseclip = ok.
Not in depth I say.

But that's my opinion.

BTW I've tried a paradisa a few times, but I don't like them. So I stick to my cressi Minima.

Quick response mr Fattah, I'm honoured :)
*I now turn into bed, 02:58 over here*

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About these super expensive mono's and stuff, sure they add a few meters in dynamic to the pro, but not as much to the novice, A novice who would train a bit more would easily outswim the money.
But I like the fact that many are not (yet) participating in this material frenzy. I think it whould be better if there are certain boundries. These boundries can be shifted in time, but I think the proposed equipment is not settled/common enough for this year. I like diving technique to be on the upperside, instead of the budget or engineer at the drawing board, especially in competitions.

// sorry for all the editing, I'm a bit dyslectic, and English is not my native speech, as you would have quessed right now :eek:
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I like the idea of using a noseclip for depth but, maybe I'm just wishing for the old days when I didn't have to hold my nose to make a dive. Last week I had a chance to use Wal's version of a pipe mask and that could be the best of all worlds. Very low cost.
I have another problem. All masks leak on my face unless I use a small plug for the indentation on my forehead. How much water is allowed in competition? Plastic surgery is out of the question.
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Kars wrote:
> but I think the proposed equipment is not settled/common enough for this year

That is the problem!!!! If the equipment is NOT ALLOWED, then it will never become 'SETTLED/COMMON.' If fluid goggles and contact lenses were ALLOWED in competitions, there would be such high demand that they would cost $125 per pair, and everyone would see them everywhere. The reason fluid goggles cost $295 is BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED. I could sell them for $125 if they were allowed.

So, unless they are allowed, they will never become 'settled/common/cheap' enough to be allowed!

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
I agree,
I think the rules are stupid and outdated. At the very least they should allow the use of noseclips in depth competition. It's much easier to get a good monofin style happening when you can use both arms overhead. Not to mention better streamlining with mono or bi-fins. If they ever want to have no-fins comp then they are a must !

If it comes down to keeping things equal as far as cost, then there are alternatives to lenses and fluid goggles. Pipe masks are easy to build and very cheap. They do take a bit of practise to use. I recently have been playing around with something similar to a pipemask, and it works well, even better vision then a normal pipemask, and almost no volume, maybe 1/10th of a normal mask ?!
Cost me less then $15 in materials, and about 1/2 hour to put together......
When I get some pics I will put it up on this site.

P.S I don't know if the paradisia nose clip is still possible to get. Howard doesn't stock them, and the contacts on the website are dead, don't know if anyone sells them anywhere ?

Originally posted by efattah
Kars wrote:
> but I think the proposed equipment is not settled/common enough for this year

That is the problem!!!! If the equipment is NOT ALLOWED, then it will never become 'SETTLED/COMMON.' If fluid goggles and contact lenses were ALLOWED in competitions, there would be such high demand that they would cost $125 per pair, and everyone would see them everywhere. The reason fluid goggles cost $295 is BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED. I could sell them for $125 if they were allowed.

So, unless they are allowed, they will never become 'settled/common/cheap' enough to be allowed!

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

I think first it should be a bit more common, these liquid goggles should be promoted more, sent exemple pairs to national teams, that should help A LOT. Because people like to try before they buy, same as a regular mask in a shop. Futermore I really hope that the price comes down, because ~$ 300 for a mask is still a lot money, even there is a lot researchmoney in them. (maybe make a complete package, including nosclip?)

Another bonus of this promotion whould be that the athletes themselves would begin to ask for a change of rules, and the local AIDA whould put this question forward to AIDA international.

I sort of understand that Eric is owner/participant of liquidvision?

And yes I agree to Walrus that a noseclip would help a lot.
Do you have a link to an exemple of a pipemask? I do not have a clue wat they look like.

Anyway I too think that liquid goggles are the future, it's just a question of time.



*to Erik, what are Luddites?, is that short for werd stuff?*
So far I have spent about $20,000+ developing the goggles, and even if you count every sale ever made, I'm still at least at $10,000 in debt. At this point I don't think I'm ever going to make a profit, so I have little or no interest in spending more money out of my own pocket to send free pairs, do promotions, etc... Obviously it was a mistake to even spend a penny. I should have just made myself a pair and then abandoned the project. I should have realized with the AIDA rules there was no point in even beginning a business to make special freediving gear. Also, as long as the rules remain the way they are, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that no one else try to start a business making specialized freediving gear. You will just lose money.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
I'm a bit sorry to hear that your still in the negatives,

But if there are about 10.000 freedivers around the world, and a quater wants to buy your -outstanding- invention, I quess that would cover the cost. I don't know how long they are on the market? I've heart of them on our local AIDA-Netherlands forum in september... Though I'm a very Fomun visiter, beware because I just discoverd this one ;)

I recon that fluit goggles are not for competitions only but also very nice to recreational dives too.
I expect that if one of the dutch get a pair, the others wil follow in time. I've just heared someone saying they were too expensive, equalising was also not a problem with his minima and he also said they were forbidden in competitions.

On the other hand as we take a look at the results of the future, there would not be much difference, as Martin Stephanic showed in cyprus with a normal mask you can still do a WR :D
So the unfairnes could turn out to be only of very little influince. Shallow divers would add some meteres, as do the pro's. It would still come down to equilizing techique.
The only thing still left would be that the safeties should stay longer at greater depths :)

So as you see ppl I've come around :D

Can I change my vote? :D

//edit: Just erased a name, and rewrite the sentice, preserving the opinion, which may be a common opinion.
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Fluid goggles came on the market in November 1998. The first customer was Rudi Castineyra/Tanya Streeter for Tanya's 57m freshwater CMAS/AIDA constant ballast record attempt at the 'forty fathom grotto' in Florida. Unfortunately there was a shipping mixup and the goggles didn't arrive in time, and there were still some problems with them.

I revised the goggles and by October 1999 they had vastly improved, and again Rudi was a customer but this time it was Yasemin Dalkilic who was going for the record, a 68m constant weight record. She used the goggles and they worked very well. That was the first world record set with the goggles. At the time I was selling the goggles for US$350, even though each pair cost $1000 to make, not including $6000 in failed prototypes.

Then, in August 2000, I went to the AIDA world cup in Switzerland, and I brought seven pairs of goggles, each of which cost US$1000 to make. Many freedivers tried them, including Pradon, Nitsch, Baumann, Chapuis, Buyle, etc... and there was lots of attention. I sold pairs to J.M.Pradon and Andy LeSauce. They complained that $350 was too much, and they didn't understand that at the time each pair was $1000 for me to make!

I took the goggles again to the next AIDA world cup in Nice, France, in October 2000. I distributed flyers advertising the goggles, in 5 languages.

J.M. Pradon was there again, and told me he loved the goggles he bought in Switzerland. Andy LeSauce was also there, and liked his goggles.

At that competition I sold one pair to Nicholas Kouvaras of Greece, and I gave a free pair to Bernard Chabannes, the inventor of the paradisia nose clip. He had many business contacts and I thought it would be good exposure. These goggles were still costing me $1000 each.

I also gave a free pair to Karoline Dal Toe and Frederic Buyle, who were going to test the goggles for a review in Freediver Magazine (with the cooperation of Howard Jones). The review appeared a few months later, and both Karoline and Fred like the goggles and wrote a nice review. The asking price was still $350.

The review did not generate any interest, and I was losing more and more money, after giving away so many $1000 goggles.

The year 2001 came. I created a very simple website for the goggles. I tried to create a very simple, very cheap goggle which did not work well. I sold two of them but neither person liked them. I realized that making 'crappy goggles' wasn't going to work, so I concentrated on the expensive ones.

In the next few months, I sold the last two pairs I had, each for $350, though each cost $1000.

I was now training for the constant weight record, but I had no goggles to use! I tried to make a batch and spent about $2500, but I was trying a new version of the goggle and it was a disaster, and I only ended up with one good goggle, and one bad one (I needed both a vacuum chamber and a 100PSI pressure chamber with a heater in order to make this version). I used the one good pair to set the 82m record in August 2001. This was the first time the AIDA constant ballast record had been set with fluid goggles, so I hoped it would generate some interest. It didn't.

By then, David Lee and Yasemin Dalkilic had set several unassisted (no-fins) records with the goggles, but still it generated little interest.

However, the goggle I had sold to David Lee was a prototype of a new version which worked just as well but cost me less to make. David and Yasemin both liked that version of the goggle better than the original.

The end of 2001 came, and AIDA voted on the goggles/equipment rule. I think the vote was 12-4 against them.

In the first half of 2002, I spent time saving up money to make more of the new version. Since all the money was coming from my job, it took half a year to save up enough (while trying to pay off the debt I already had).

By June 2002, I saved up enough money to make 25 pairs of the new version of the goggle. I ordered the parts for about $3500 and spent weeks building them late at night after work. Finally, they were ready. Except that there was a big problem. The new type of epoxy glue I used didn't bond properly to polycarbonate, and as a result, the 20 first pairs of the goggles were 'defective', and would not be very strong. I corrected the mistake on the last 5 pairs. So, I now had 20 defective goggles and 5 good ones. I sold the defective ones at a huge loss, only $95 each, and many people on the forum bought some. By now I had a new, 'flashy' website (with online ordering), and I had paid DeeperBlue US$350 for one month of advertising the goggles on the front page, but I only sold 2 goggles. The last 3 pairs I gave to Kirk Krack to try to sell in Kona, Hawaii, at the Pacific Cup. In order to try to promote the goggles, I sold them at a loss, for only $150, and Kirk kept $60 per pair. Kirk sold all three of the goggles at that low price. Do the math: $3500 in parts, 100 hours in labor @ $20/hour = $5500. Total sales from this batch, $95 x 20 + $150x3 - 3x$60 = $2170. Net profit: +2170 - 5500 = LOST $3330.

The adverstising on DeeperBlue did not produce enough sales to offset the cost of the advertising, so I cancelled it. Another year had passed and I had lost thousands again, mainly due to the error with the wrong type of glue.

The end of 2002 came, and AIDA voted on the goggles/equipment rule again. I hoped so badly that the goggles would be allowed, so I could pay off my debt. No. They voted against them again.

In 2003, I spent the first part of the year saving up again, and tried to pay off the old debt. I saved up enough to make 25 pairs again. This time I knew the correct type of glue, and all the goggles worked. One of the secrets was to use goggles which did not have anti-fog coatings on the inside. With some difficulty I was able to buy the 'smoke' goggles from China, without the anti-fog coating (custom order). However the 'clear' goggles were only available with the anti-fog. I had tried almost every goggle on the market and there was no alternative. So I had to scrub the 'clear' goggles with hydrogen peroxide for HOURS to get the coating off, and about half of the goggles were scratched and useless.

Eventually I made about 18 pairs of smoke and 7 pairs of clear goggles. I gave Kirk a bunch of goggles to sell in Cyprus. He only managed to sell two pairs, one to Guillaume Nery, and one to Carlos Coste, for the discounted price of $220, and Kirk kept $70 per pair.

Guillaume didn't have enough money with him, so Kirk gave him the goggle anyway, but it was many weeks until Guillaume managed to pay.

Since then, of the batch of 25, I think I sold maybe three or four pairs, so I still have about 18-19 goggles in stock, but they don't sell because of the AIDA rule.

As we near the end of 2003, the AIDA vote is coming again... what will it be this time? Will I be able to pay off my debt....?

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
It's very sad to hear that you lose so much money, because some kind of fluid google will eventually take over the market. Freediving will not stop it's development..

I believe that I represent the most freedivers when I say I can't afford goggles/mask for more than $50 right now. Only scubadivers in general spend $$$ on their equipment.

I promise however that I'll buy a pair when I'm finished with my education(in 3 years).
Good News I've heart that Glenn from the Netherlands has bought a pair, and I may try them out! Glenn will write a review, and he is practising now for a few days, the only thing he has left to master is to fill them completely. I'm his safety during his NR static attemt sat 6 nov, I honoured, and in return I may try his fluid goggles. I'm really looking forward to it!

Do you have any idea why they voted against your invention?
Could you handle making 50 a month? once they are accepted?
Kirk did make a nice margine out of that.
Could it be posible to put the curve into them in a factury; ie adjust the mall that would be much easier? But offcause you've probably asked them already. It may meen just hollowing the mall the same size the inlaylens is? A bonus may be even an improved FOV. That's why I like those sphera's:) I just try to think with you, you know. Maybe add a oneway valve for easy filling?

Like the guy above I'm in the depressing situation of having little money, and my first thing I need is a new apneasuit. The one I now have (2nd hand) is worn out, and it's wintertime over here and 3 mm does not cut it. Havy shaking after 10 min is not funny...
Oh Glenn stated that he wanted to try them out in Egypt, het thinks that the 5°c water isn't nice in combination with the fluit goggle.

Anyway I'll ask Jean-paul what he thinks about the fluit goggles, maybe he can be convinced or give us some insight why they voted no last year. I'm hoping for the Best Eric!

Oh and I should return ON-topic now I quess...

What about gloves with finlike extensions and rubber between the fingers?
Or coneshaped cap for added streamlining?
I know a guy who makes waterwings, to be carried in 2 hands streching forward. It improves speed, and adds manouverbility. Check Jan Ploeg's Homepage: http://www.janploeg.nl/ (not a commersial site, he's a freediving sculpturer)

Ok bedtime, again too late; that must be the deeperblue effect...
The current rule makes no sense. Technological innovation and sport should go hand in hand. There should be no equipment restrictions on someone brave enough to attempt a world record. How can you say that the goggles or nose clip cost too much when the cost of setting the record itself is astronomical?
I think that in regards to the equipment rule, we have to ask why someone would be against it.

Personally I could come up with two reasons. Please note, this is not my opinion, they are just two reasons that I could invent why I could vote against allowing that kind of equipment.

Reason 1
Safety. With enhanced equipment, free divers could dive deeper with more ease making competitions on depth more difficult to organize. Also, people with less experience could ‘buy’ themselves into depth with, in theory, a larger chance on accidents you want to avoid (o.a. lungsqueeze).

Reason 2
Access for all free divers, independent of their financial background. Expensive and high-tech equipment could turn championships into championships about the team with the most sponsors instead of the most talented free divers.