I will share two techniques that you can use on your next trip that will put more oxygen in your brain when you surface from a freedive.
When you watch the average freediver surface you will see a ton of bubbles coming out of their mask the last 33ft. Almost every student in my classes does this the first day. Typically one of the students will say, hey I was watching you and John come up and he had bubbles coming out his mask like crazy and I looked at you and you had not a single bubble coming out.. how’s that possible?
When a freediver descends, they are constantly equalizing their ears, sinuses and mask. This is in essence taking air from you lungs and shoving it in spaces where we can’t actually use that oxygen for fuel. When we surface the reverse happens. All the air in the ears, sinuses and mask, start to expand. The air in the Eustachian tubes expands and it starts to fill up the sinuses. Then the air the in sinuses expand and it start to come out your nose, then the air fills up your mask. At that point as the air continues to expand it bubbles out your mask. This certainly doesn’t happen on my mask. That’s my air! As I watch my students surface I can see it in their eyes, they think it sure would be nice to breathe right now. I’m thinking I agree because i’m breathing right now.
As I surface from about 30ft to the surface I’m taking small little inhales through my nose. The air that would bubble out to the ocean goes into my lungs where I can use it. If you ever watch how much air comes out of your buddies mask on assent this is not an insignificant amount of air. Once obvious word of caution, if you mask if half full of water this technique will clearly not work. Try it on your next dive breathing is nice.
The average freediver hits the surface exhales their air then inhales. This requires you to exhale before you can put oxygen in the system via inhaling. If you would get in the habit of exhaling the last 6ft to the surface, then the split second your airway comes to the surface you are able to put oxygen in the system. This puts oxygen in the system about 2 seconds faster.
The difference between a loss of motor control and a blackout is very slight. If a dive that resulted in a loss of motor control was then extended by 2-3 seconds it would likely result in a blackout.
So by inhaling the mask air on the way up, and exhaling the last 6ft so you can inhale immediacy on surfacing, you will absolutely put more oxygen in the system and get it there faster. My students are forced to do this on every dive so that when they leave me it becomes habit. No reason you can’t implement the same process on your next trip.
Dive safe and enjoy breathing on the way up!
If you enjoy these articles, check out my 10 Tuesday Tip 1 minute educational videos @ https://immersionfreediving.com/category/tuesdaytip/