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Tips for learning to breathe without a mask without water up your nose?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Kepherax, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Kepherax

    Kepherax Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Upland, CA
    I was just certified for 40ft as long as there is a dive master present for the dive, and it's due to my having trouble with the mask flooding and removal/etc. skill in the open water. I've gotten everything else down, but if I flood my mask entirely or remove it and don't hold my nose, I am coughing and swallowing sea water and struggle to clear. I am able to eventually and I don't bolt for the surface, but my instructor wasn't comfortable giving me full certification due to this issue. I've tried breathing in through my mouth and out my nose, but I still get a throat full of sea water and a nose full of salty mucus to clear (gross, sorry). Any tips for improving here? Is this something that can be learned? My SO and I are going to Hawaii over Thanksgiving and I'll have the opportunity to finish my skills and get full certification over there, so I'd like to be prepared and learn this skill without feeling like I'm going to choke.

  2. drk5036

    drk5036 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Sapporo, Japan
    One way you can practice is to breath in a pool or bathtub with a snorkel without a mask. It’s just getting used to breathing underwater; it isn’t natural for anyone, but it’s something that will improve with time.

    One thing that helped me initially was to tilt my head to the side. The bubbles hitting my nose was uncomfortable, and letting the bubbles go up the side of my face was a big improvement.
    Subcooled likes this.
  3. Jcp2

    Jcp2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    Snorkel in the pool with swim goggles, not dive mask, and try inhaling with mouth by snorkel and exhaling through nose into water.
  4. RyanT

    RyanT Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
  5. BoundForElsewhere

    BoundForElsewhere ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New York, New York
    pinch your nose closed with your fingers?
    nippurmagnum likes this.
  6. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
  7. James79

    James79 Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Lower Alabama
    With military dunker training, it's all without mask. One thing I learned was that my sinuses will fill and it will suck.... But that doesn't have to stop you. Some of it truly can be will power. Practice as others described up thread, and you may find dealing with any water that gets past your nose into your throat a little easier.
    I've also seen recommend standing in the shallow end of the pool or even in the shower and fill your mask with water while breathing free air. Idea being to get accustomed to breathing with water in your eyes and nose.
    My advice, as always, is worth what you paid for it!
  8. pepperbelly

    pepperbelly Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Fort Worth, Texas
    It seems that some of the problem is from bubbles from the reg. Looking down might help. Every so often I just snorkel for a while without a mask to practice, but I am one of the lucky ones who don’t have s problem with it.
  9. Subcooled

    Subcooled Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Finland
    Two basic tips:

    1) Don't look up if there is water in the mask or if you do not wear a mask. Water flows down. It will not flow up your nose but as soon as you look at the surface, and the nose is pointing up, water will flow in. It's not a problem of any kind (some people choose to wash their noses that way) but water in the nose can feel awkward if you are not used to it. Especially fresh water.

    2) You should swim more in a swimming pool and do short freedives without a mask. Say 30 feet. WITH OPEN EYES OF COURSE. You will then get used to wet eyes and blurred vision and it will feel perfectly ok. It's quite enjoyable actually. After some practice you should be able to relax and do 60 feet. If you can do this then a flooded mask becomes a non-issue. Just like the water up your nose.
  10. hsinhai

    hsinhai Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Taipei, Taiwan
    What helped me was visualizing the breathing and practice on land, even in bath/sink.

    Visualize breathing in like sipping a very hot drink or hot soup, and breathing out like blowing out candles.

    In both cases you naturally close your soft pallet and don't have air pass through your nostrils

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