• Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

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
Two sides to an issue

I can see both sides to this issue.

In some sports, there are restrictions on the equipment used. It all has to fit within similar guidelines to make everything as similar as possible- I am think of things like club sail boat racing.

Other sports differentiate between disciplines based upon equipment used. I am thinking about cross-country ski racing being divided between “classical” and “Skating”. This would seem to be similar to bi-fins with masks vs. monofins with fluid goggles/contacts.

Other sports are also driven by technology- like bike racing and triathlons. The Time-trial bike that Lance road in the last Tour cost more than Ted’s car and mine combined!

Freediving, or maybe just AIDA, should decide which other sport it’s trying to imitate the most. They do this in other ways by drug testing and having a set of rules for their judges, so why not open things up for gear advancements.

As far of the cost-prohibiting factor of Fluid goggles, they are still cheaper than a new carbon fiber monofin. Moreover, you also have other things that people can buy, like high performance wetsuits. Once you get to a level of international competition things are just going to naturally get more expensive as the competition gets greater. Even if you add up all of the fanciest freediving gear that a top-level competitor could own, it still comes out to much less, than even an entry-level tech diver would spend on his, or her, gear. I just don’t buy the cost argument. IF you can afford a ticket to Cyprus, you can afford some Fluid Goggles

Eric F.,
You should do some more research into how other manufacturer’s bond lenses into their masks. Before I had LASIK surgery done, I had MANY different prescription face masks. I had full-face masks, regular diving masks, and freediving masks, plus back up’s to all of these, made for my prescription. My father-in-law even has trifocals bonded into his regular mask and his full-face mask. This is not as expensive at it sounds since these things can be made fairly economically

We even have one of the companies, who have been doing it for a few decades now, right here in Wisconsin- Dive Site. I can tell you that the masks are being produced for a FRACTION of what you are spending.

I have even seen glass lens swimming goggles in their factory, which might make it easier for bonding of lenses. Since the lenses are made of glass, you could clean the anti-fog coating off without fear of scratching the plastic lens of the swimming goggles that you are currently using. I am sure that you have researched many things in this area, but there are just too many people already doing this kind of work for dive masks, and doing it SO much cheaper than you are, that it might be worth-while to team up with one of them for the future of your product.

The fluid goggle idea is a lot tougher than it sounds. I did the "first-order" calculations by hand using the thin lens formula (1/f=(nl-nm)/r, where f is the focal length, nl is the index of refraction of the lens, nm is the refractive index of the medium and r is the radius of curvature. This makes is pretty clear that when you have water on both sides of the lens, the lens material requires a very high index of refraction and a small radius of curvature in order to get a reasonably short focal length because water has a much higher index of refraction than air (about 1.3 for water, I think vs 1 for air).

The reason that we can't see underwater is that the lens in the human eye has an index of refraction that is nearly identical to that of water, this nl-nm is 0 which sets our focus at "infinity", regardless of how hard our eyes try to focus (we focus by adjusting "r" -- futile underwater).

I'm sure that getting a working design is much harder than applying the thin lens formula, involving some higher order optical calculations and some empirical tweaking. I suspect that the fluid goggles are more than fairly priced and that Eric will never recover an equitable profit on the R&D he sunk into it (if he does, then more power to him). Although the manufacturing cost could probably be reduced, the lens manufacturing techniques that are used for scuba masks may not be a good model, because of the unique requirements of fluid goggles.

I have though of making a cheesy "fluid goggle" type thingy by using the high-power magnifying head-sets the technicians use or by carrying a high-power loupe with me (basically hold it up in front of the eye when you need to see and focus by moving the loupe). Anyone ever done something like this?
"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."...

i can't believe that people don't snap these up!?? they are such a great piece of kit. even with the AIDA rule as it is, i would still expect many people to buy fluid goggles. i was one of the (apparently?) few people who bought a pair in 2002. i paid $400 for mine, and i can tell you they are worth every penny. i believe they are now being sold for only $300!

BTW on a kind of related matter....
does anyone have any information on the Paradisia noseclips... are they still being made? are they still on sale - anywhere? i just know mine will snap one day... and i quite fancy getting a spare...
Nose clip availability

I think it is like Wal said and that paradisa nose clips are no longer available. Nose clips are however very easy to make out of scrap plastic using very basic tools. I've made 3 now including the one Wal is currently using in Hawaii and they take about 1 hr to make. The mechanism is a simple camming device (not invented by Paridisa) so I don't think you would be breaking any patents by making your own. Have a look at one next time you get a chance as anyone with basic use of tools and a little patience could easily make their own. Seems crazy to me that AIDA would not allow the use of equipment that can bring so much relief to divers who can not equalise hands free, particularly when that equipment can be made so easily out of scrap. Wals current nose clip cost me 5cents to make.
Paradisia noseclip

www.diileri.com , a finnish web-based freediving equipment shop sells the paradisia noseclip.
I don't know if they will ship overseas, though, and the website is in finnish only.

If you go to the website, you will find "yhteydenotto" at the bottom left under "info". Click on this and you can contact them. (on the contact form, nimi means name and sähköposti means e-mail address)
I agree - the AIDA rules are antiquated and should be changed. You're talking like it's giving an unfair advantage to the people who can afford this stuff, but what about the guys at the moment who can do hands free eq? Don't they already have an advantage? And what's so expensive about knocking up a cheap plastic nose clip and not wearing any goggles?

Condolences Eric - I've had a play with a pair of fluid goggles, and they really are a great piece of kit.
Don't mix business and politics

I don't believe that AIDA should be focusing on business propositions when defining freediving's politics, they should be focusing on what's for the benefit of the sport. Even if there are gear developpers out there, like Eric, or other businesses who bust their hinds trying making a profit on supplying to a freediving market, AIDA has no business in including such consideration into their line of thinking. If they did such a thing, then they'd be breaking the principle of emotional impartiality, like some of the things Prd. Bush is accused of with the US oil industry and stuff.

BUT BESIDES THAT, I personally believe it would definitely benefit freediving to allow fluid goggles, from a perspective that 1) we can see more athletically complete achievement (something to do with 'how good CAN we be?') and 2) this invention is giving way to a much more 'internal' approach to being underwater (and not just in competitions), allowing these kind of gears would provide grounds for more people to dive this new way. Hope you know what I mean.

I agree, the AIDA regulations on this issue is outdated. Carbon fibres and smoothskin is allowed, therefore disallowing things like clips & goggles is violating using the same principle on all decision processes (which is a principle I hope all can agree on).

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen
It's interesting to note that at this time 52 people has voted, and the current result is exactly 50/50! It's like a Danish EU referendum... :confused:

This is definitely a controversal issue.
With the close 50/50 results of this poll, we also see that quite a few people have voted. So, we have many people who voted, and we also have people from many countries in this forum.

What this means is that if AIDA's system of national representatives is working, we should ALSO see a VERY close vote on this rule in January when the AIDA assembly makes the official vote.

If the official AIDA vote is NOT close, then it would show that the AIDA assembly is not the voice of the freediving community, and it would bring into question the entire concept of AIDA as a democratic organization.

We'll have to see what happens.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
50 people actually ain't that much, in the poll about the greatest freediver, 800 people has voted so far. Let's wait for a better basis to use the term 'freediving community' in this case.

If the official AIDA vote is NOT close [to the result of the pole], then it would show that the AIDA assembly is not the voice of the freediving community

Yeah well, sometimes the representation reach a different conclusion than the majority (happens all the time in UN:duh ), without them necessarily working against the interest of the majority.
I understand your concern, but for all I know AIDA is as democratic as anything else in the sport communities around (what ever the heck that means:confused: ). There is no absolute guarantee for rational impartiality, but turned around there is not the opposite either. The best you can do is either try to become a representative or to agitate your cases to the current representatives through practical channels. And if you're voted down, you're voted down, and besides how can you know for sure that you're absolutely right, if you have forgotten to include some key element in your equation? That element alone doesn't exactly give one the right to declare AIDA total fascist rule, just because they don't agree with one's every opinion or the majority's opinion. The representation choose what they believe is the right decision, and heck maybe it is.

So if AIDA votes to keep limitations on gear choice (with a large margin or not), then so be it. I'll just try to agitate the reasons why they shouldn't.

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen
Righto then - how can we each personally have our say on this? Do we have to get voted onto the committee? Or is there someone to write to? Or is AIDA run how AIDA wants it to be run?
Look up your national representative on www.aida-international.org and agitate your case to him/her. Alternatively, go to someone in the AIDA board and agitate your case there, if you deem the case big enough. Your national representative is a better channel, though, cause for what I know the board members have well enough on their hands.

Otherwise, your voice can be heard through these kind of channels here, the message boards on DB or Yahoo mailing lists such as AIDA_athletes, Chat_AIDA or apneadiver. I have seen suggestions promoted on the mailing lists being taken into political account by AIDA. (Penalty points in stead of disqualification at illegal use of rope started as a suggestion on Chat_AIDA.) Though somewhat arbitrary, this stuff does work in gathering as many opinions as possible to the representing people.

That you can conduct polls on DB is like the smartest thing ever to be put on a website, if you ask me (thanks, guys!).

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen
We have no representative - that's something that I'm trying to rectify at the moment... does a commission becoming part of AIDA mean they have a say at board meetings?
Well no, the national board don't have a say as such at the AIDA board meetings (board meetings work through mail too, by the way), but each member nation gets two people attached to the AIDA Assembly, which has the most influence in AIDA. The national organisation chooses who gets to represent them in the Assembly, which is the parliament that decides on key political issues (which is a lot of work sometimes), this being new rules, choosing judges for world champs, these kind of things. One national representative has the right to vote, the other has means of observation. The Assembly too work through a closed mailing list.

For a nation to become a member of AIDA, they need to form an organisation with the aim to gather the freedivers in their country and describe this in an official set of bylaws. These bylaws must be sent to AIDA (to the president, pt. Sébastien Nagel of Switzerland), who then lets the Assembly study these bylaws and vote on the possible inclusion of a new national member.
Also, in order to be allowed to vote on the Assembly, each nation has to pay a fee of (I think) 100 USD a year to AIDA, this covering most of their expenses (web, etc.).

This kind of political process is copied from most sporting bodies, I believe, IOC, what have ya.

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen
Excellent information - thanks very much, I appreciate it :)

Who decides on these issues? The AIDA board or the AIDA Assembly?
The problem I have seen with the current method of voting in AIDA is that only a select few individuals seem to decide what actually needs to be voted upon.

For example, when I was still part of the AIDA assembly, I never once saw any vote on whether the definition of a samba should be changed. So, back then, it would not be correct to say that the 'majority' of AIDA members thought that a samba was such-and-such, because there was never any vote on it, and who decided that it should not be voted upon?

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
So it is the board that decides what the assembly votes about. Is that any different from any other sport federation around? (Or any democratic nation, for that matter.)

That's how the system works, nothing is foolproof. If the changing boards haven't seen a reason to vote on the issue of samba or not to samba, then they probably saw a good reason not to. Maybe that's because 1) several web polls (I don't know if we've had one on DB, it couldn't hurt taking another one) has already shown that people are generally not interested in allowing samba, and 2) of the principle that the representatives must do what they feel is right, and not necessarily what is popular per se.

I know what you're hinting at, Eric, but all I can tell you is that AIDA is not run by the French anymore (or though they still have their voice in the process, like they should have). From this 'ridicule' period in the 90's, all I see is that AIDA has grown up. Don't flock this horse forever.

If one wants a reactivation of some of these controversial issues (gear restriction, samba, what have ya), then do what we do now: Agitate through the means available in the community. But again don't just expect that everybody agrees with you, cause each and every one of us could be wrong without realizing it. That's the point, and that's the only way it can work.

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen

"Agitate, agitate, agitate." - Frederick Douglass (1817-95)
  • Like
Reactions: Shadowkiller
Incidentally, to whomever sent me a negative karma with the word 'dickhead' attached, I have only one thing to say:

"Your Mama"
  • Like
Reactions: ash
Time for a new thread methinks...

So if a member from the AIDA Aseembly would like an issue raised to be voted on by the other members of the Assembly, they submit it to the board, and then the board decides whether or not the Assembly should vote? How many members are on the board?
Here's an overview of the board members http://www.aida-international.org/executive_board_staff.htm

Président - Sébastien NAGEL
Vice-Président - Frédéric BUYLE
Technical Commissionner - Claude CHAPUIS
Responsible For Education & Training - Kirk KRACK
Responsible For Records - Dieter BAUMANN
Responsible For International Relations - Karoline Mariechen MEYER
Secretary - Annick CHAPUIS
Treasurer - Marcello DE MATTEIS

As I'm president of AIDA Netherlands I hold the vote for the Netherlands. Last year AIDA Netherlands voted for "no restrictions". Our own Dutch rules (for national championships)also have no restrictions about material. The problem with a lot of the votes that are done in my opinion is that they're taken from an individual point of view. Person X is thinking more like "I don't like this rule" instead of "Do the Dutch Freedivers have a problem with the fact that other people use lenses or fluidgoggles?".

It's same with the voting above. 29 people are saying keep the rule. Did they really think about the fact that some other people would like to use other equipment then standard and do they really have a problem with that?

I also agree completly that the cost effect should not be taken into consideration! Monofins and wetsuits are way more expensive then a special mask. And also the depth factor shouldn't be an issue anymore. Diving with a mask to 94 meters... And without to 95 (in constant). With those kind of depths taking place in a competition it doesn't really matter anymore.

And I completly agree with Eric; Safety is better with lenses/fluidgoggles! When I walked around in Cyprus I saw too many people with a mask squeeze's or busted eardrums.
DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing


ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2024 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Ocean Advocacy and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.