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Old 06-21-2016, 12:38 PM   #1
Hpwatson
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How to equalize hands free?

I apologize if this is a topic that has already been discussed but I have been freediving for about a year and I'm sick of holding my nose to equalize! Does anyone have some tips on how to do it hands free?
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:12 PM   #2
Tyson Brown
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Re: How to equalize hands free?

The only way I know to do it is to have my butler hold my nose while I blow. I also did it successfully once while crashing into the sand in low vis.

If anyone else has good ideas in this regard, perhaps even better ones, I will direct my butler to monitor this thread.

And welcome to the board!
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:22 PM   #3
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Re: How to equalize hands free?

I thought it to be impossible but did it by accident. Here's how, tho nearly impossible to explain


While diving down slowly, you need to make your ears click or pop like you would on an airplane. When you do this while descending, the air pressure in your lungs will rush in during that incremental moment and fill your ears with air.

The airplane analogy. ..you may have heard people say to yawn or chew gum on an airplane while taking off. This is an effort to open your ear tubes to remove air (equalization). So basically you need to do the reverse while diving. Open your ear tubes manualy using muscles in and around your ear to make them open briefly, your lungs will automatically push air in
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:46 PM   #4
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Re: How to equalize hands free?

It doesn't work all that great and you waste alot of time and air getting it to work. Or else you wouldn't see Freedivers in competition with nose clips.
I mainly use it if I'm cold and lazy or don't want to move or spook a fish last second.
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Old 06-21-2016, 06:28 PM   #5
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Re: How to equalize hands free?

It is hard to explain but xris did a good job. I kinda just wiggle my jaw and push air out. Not the best explanation but I've always been able to clear my ears without even thinking about it. Once you get it down it's easy.
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:13 PM   #6
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Re: How to equalize hands free?

It is mostly a genetic thing. Some people have good voluntary control and large etubes, they will be able to eq hands free with no effort, right out of the box. This is a very small part of the population. I compare it to being able to roll your tounge--people who can do it do it without effort don't understand why some people can't.

I don't remember ever having to 'learn' how to eq handsfree, and can do it reliably to about 180' with a mask. To go deeper I have to pinch my nose and use standard deep techniques.

Op: I have friends who discovered that they could preclear at the surface using pinch and blow, then descend hands free. Others have 'found' the muscles by doing different exercises. Most guys that 'found' it learned Frenzel first. If pinch and blow is something that doesn't work well for you even in shallow water, you probably have small etubes and won't be able to ever do hands free. Anyone can learn Frenzel though.

Edit: I don't waste any air with hands free. Other guys I have dove with who have always had easy hands free don't either. Friends of mine who have learned it don't always use it because it isn't reliable for them and it seems to cost them a lot of attention.
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:05 PM   #7
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Re: How to equalize hands free?

A lot of people who can BTV while upright find it much more difficult when upside down. I can clear easily on land but can only do one ear with any kind of reliability when actually diving, so I need to Frenzel. Even for people like me though, combining BTV with Frenzel reduces the pressure needed, which takes a lot of stress off the eardrums (try it, each EQ becomes much cleaner and easier). Moderately useful for regular diving but a big help in deep freediving where excessive pressure or effort often results in 'sticking'.
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Old 09-22-2016, 06:05 PM   #8
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Re: How to equalize hands free?

Ant Judge teaches a course on it. Heck of a nice guy too. I figured it was one of those things that you either could or could not do. Apparently he has a very good success rate in teaching people how to hands free.
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:30 AM   #9
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Re: How to equalize hands free?

I've only done shore free dives but I've come to find that if I clench my teeth together as if though I'm clenching my jaw, and then I swallow, my ears tend to equalize.
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Old 10-25-2016, 09:06 AM   #10
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Re: How to equalize hands free?

Nose clip.
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:06 AM   #11
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Re: How to equalize hands free?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saltysunburns View Post
Nose clip.
Do you speak from experience?

Then how would you equalize your mask?
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:37 AM   #12
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Re: How to equalize hands free?

What mask? Are we freediving for sport or spearfishing? Unless you have no arms why wouldn't you just pinch your nose? As others have mentioned, you can equalize without manually pinching your nose but its not as efficient as the latter method. OP, have you ever eaten some really hot peppers and felt like steam was coming out of your ears? That is essentially what you are trying to accomplish. You are trying to inhale or exhale through your ears to equalize pressure in your eustachian tubes. Good luck with your exercise but don't read too much into it...pinching is still the easiest and most effective method.
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Old 10-25-2016, 02:51 PM   #13
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Re: How to equalize hands free?

^ that's the worst description I've ever heard. I can't even tell if it's wrong but it sounds like you don't know how to do it.


I mentioned that it's not worth the time. But someone more trained could be more effective.

Everyone who's been on an airplane can do this. Nobody pinches their nose while taking off and sucks in air... come on..It's a natural muscle you use to open them. Same muscle thats involved in yawning and chewing or swallowing
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:39 PM   #14
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Re: How to equalize hands free?

Commercial airplanes have pressurized air cabins, if you were climbing in altitude in a bi-plane for example or a hot air balloon the air pressure would drop and adding inner ear pressure would exacerbate the symptoms. It works both ways, thats what I meant by inhaling or exhaling. The goal is to equalize pressure on either side of the ear drum, whether you employ the valsava or frenzel method. Regarding the original poster's question of equalizing hands free, nose clips are used by virtually all world record setting free divers.
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:55 PM   #15
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Re: How to equalize hands free?

So valsalva and frenzel waste air?

I feel as if I started doing valsalva when young - and have learned to frenzel (as best I understand it) just through trial and error. I watched a youtube video on the subject and just felt as if that was what I was already doing.

Holding your nose is more efficient as far as conserving air?

How much of a difference is that going to make to most of us amateur freedivers?
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