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tip for FF equalisation in cold water...

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Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2001
when i dive in cold water (<10C) i find that i often have a problem keeping a full mouthfill for equalisation because my lips get so numb. i should point out that i only get this problem when the surface is cold. i don't get the problem if the surface is warm and it's cold at depth - because i'm exposed to the cold for only a short time.
i find that when i do a mouthfill i struggle to hold it in with my lips. the result is that i have to store less air in my mouth. anyway, today i found a way around this problem. it's such a simple solution that i don't know why i didn't think of it before. when you pinch your nose with your thumb and index finger you just press your hand against your mouth. not so hard that you can't fill your mouth - but hard enough to hold the air in with a full mouthfill. i find that it works quite well, and i intend to keep practising this.
the numb lips problem is made worse for me because i do my preparation face down through a snorkel - so my lips cool during that time.
if you have the same problem as me, then try it!...
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Reactions: Jon
I've noticed the same problem when the temp is below 8 degrees... but I don't dive very often when it's that cold.

Alun; at what depth do you fill your mouth when going as deep as possible and do you set an alarm to get it right or do you do it on the feeling?

My D3 alarm is so quiet so I can't here it so sometimes I end up too deep for a full mouthfill.
we have two ropes. i dive along one rope and face another rope which is 2-3m in front of me. the other rope has marks on it at 10m, 20m, 30m, 40m. i watch those go by so i know where i am. i try to do the mouthfill around 30-35m for deep dives. i only fill enough to reach my target depth - there's no point in struggling to fill your mouth at 35 if you're doing a dive to 40. i usually do normal frenzel to about 20, then fill my mouth. from 20-35m i top up my mouth. this is a good method if you don't know your depth. just keeping adding air. your mouth should be full from 20-30. when it starts getting hard to add air, just stop and keep the glottis shut. if you try to do a complete mouthfill at 30-35, then you may find you left it too late and can't manage a complete mouthfill - which will probably ruin your dive.
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Maybe a stupid question.. But what is FF equalizing? At what depth should u use it, and how?
The full name of the equalization method is "Frenzel-Fattah". Eric Fattah has written an excellent document that explains the method step-by-step. Just have a look at http://www.ericfattah.com/equalizing.html . :)


(P.S.: BTW, I still could not figure out how to give somebody good karma. Can anybody explain that to me, please ?)
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Ahh, thank you Veronika. Have some Karma. I have the excellent technique already printed out. I just havent heard the short version FF before.:eek:
Thanks for the tip Alun

I have now tried the method of topfilling the mouth.

The 3rd time I tried it was succesful and after this I have succeded every time (3 deep dives) and I think I have found the right feeling for it. This method I think is useful for competition if you dont have a better (higher) alarm then the D3's.

My last mouthfill is at about 30-35m dept I BELIVE and I have air left to easy pop my ears and fill my mask at 55-56m which is my last depths.

The single mouthful method (Frenzel-Fattah) is VERY POWERFUL if used with skill, it is simply genial. I am not very skilled at it yet but I benefit much from it anyway.:)
Last edited:
According to my calculations & experiments, a perfect execution of the mouthfill technique would allow inverted equalization to 192m with a Sphera mask, without resorting to 'water' methods of flooding the sinuses etc...

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

at which depth do you calculate to fill the mouth at this case?

P.S.: BTW, I still could not figure out how to give somebody good karma. Can anybody explain that to me, please ?)

At the bottom of each post you should see the buttons "edit", "quote" and "karma" (at least these buttos are visible to me). I'll leave you to experiment on which of these gives the poster (positive/negative) karma ;)
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