Nose Clips at Roll Skool?

After my last two indoor roll classes, my sinuses have clogged up for several days. Is this a common thing? Will noseclips help prevent this? Does salt water do this also? Inquiring minds…

I advocate diving masks for

– Last Updated: Mar-21-04 7:35 AM EST –

those learning to roll. Helps to see what is going on! Then you can drop the masks and go for nose plugs!

Even the highly esteemed Walden pond denizens, like Sanjay and Sing (given the high honorific "Pond Scum" which I hope to earn one day) use plugs for rolling sessions most of the time, from what I see.

IN the end I believe in some practice rolling without noseplugs This is a skill which needs to be dependable under less than ideal conditions. When my favorite play spot is working I practice roll in 5 knot current. River kayakers do even stranger things.

Of all waters, warm sea water is the least disturbing, cold fresh water is the worst.

All of this is coming from a guy who has no offside roll and whose onside roll is in no way bombproof, but who usually finds his way back to upright except after major thrashings. So it is in no way the word of an expert. Take it for what it is worth.

I keep a good set of nose plugs in a pouch on my pfd. In hot weather when I want to cool off, I plug up the nostrils, and roll a bit. I agree that you do need to practice sometimes without them, but be ready for the dreaded brain freeze!!

I ended up with a really bad sinus infection after practicing this winter with out them. I’m a lot more comfortable even rolling in the pool using them, if I don’t use them for long pool sessions my head feels stuffed up for a long time.

For the record
I inhaled >;-), (as if there were any doubt!). This enables me to exhale gently through my nose while under water which keeps water out of the schnoz to some extent.

Another rolling related technique to practice is laying back on the back deck while inverted. (one is looking downward at the bottom of the ocean, lake pool etc) Many folks are amazingly comfortable that way, and can thus hang out for a long time waiting for a bow from a friend or getting it together for a steyr (or forward sweep) roll. This is also useful for acclimating to being inverted under water. Because the schnoz opening is at the lowest point, little water comes in, (perhaps that is why folks can hang out that way!) Deep water only, no place for that technique if the bottom is close!

The instructors in
our pool class recommended that we have them and use them. Unfortunately they did not tell us until the first class had started and I think I was still blowing pool water out of my nose 4 days later. Purchased a good set of nose plugs for the rest of the class and lfe was wonderful during rescues and rolls.

Diving masks were issued for roll practice so we could see what we were doing. After the roll was perfected, the masks were removed and then the functions had to be re-learned.

I will be carrying my nose plugs in my PFD as well.

I don’t use nose plugs
but I blow bubbles out of my nose while underwater. I do this in the pool and out on Lake Michigan. However in the pool while first learning to roll, if it makes it easier to learn put them on. If it is just a pool sinus infection put them on, but learn to roll without them.

I always carry a pair in my pfd
Any time I’m rolling on purpose I like to have them on. Once your roll is down it won’t matter if they aren’t on when you capsize, it’s just a matter of comfort. I always wear nose plugs when surfing (expecting to be upside down eventually) and when they get torn off it doesn’t affect the performance of my rolling. However, the only times I’ve gotten sinus infections is from rolling in water of questionable quality, never in the pool.

On a different note, I’ve gotten sore ears from rolling repitions in the summer. I’ve thought about ear plugs for when I want to roll over and over again. The impact of my ears on the same side repeatedly with no time in between rolls starts to get painful.

in surf
I recommend not having noseplugs with a strap that goes around your neck unless they break away easily.

I managed once to get my noseplugs caught underneath one of my kayak buniges while practcing a rescue in the pool. I was stuck there for a few seconds and realized that in surf this would not have been pleasant.


I agree with Peter:
a diving mask is the easiest way to learn, since you can see what you’re doing, but as soon as you can roll without it, switching to nose clips makes sense–you don’t want to become dependent on seeing what you’re doing. I wear nose clips 90% of the time when practicing, but also make sure to do plenty of practice without them, in order to learn what part of the roll to breathe out during in order not to get water up the nose. Rear deck rolls can be done with no water up the nose at all.

Doc’s pro plugs for you David (NM)
They wil probably help a lot!

Ear plugs
Ear plugs are good. I used them all the time (for rolling) last year and had no problems. A friend who does not use ear plugs (but does use nose clips) got a bad ear infection that lasted weeks.

Pool water, ugh

I found out in surf class that salt water up the nose does not hurt, and any clogging clears up quickly. Not so with fresh water.

Super Sonic Sinus Irrigation

– Last Updated: Mar-22-04 1:01 AM EST –

Yeah salt water is much less irritating than chlorinated broth from swimming pools ... but one of the most interesting sensations in the world is to pearl on a very big wave or to windowshade and have the wave keep you surfing inverted while cold seawater jets up your nostrils ...I always say to myself "why amd I doing this, this is awful" and two days later there I am again.

Sing suggested humming a little tune while waiting for the wave to let go so you can roll up ... this Friday morning surfing before work my tune came to me ..... Mother, mother ocean, I have heard you call, I've wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall....Very surreal, but I reccomend Jimmy Buffet while hanging upside down flying in to the beach.

Thanks Peter
Bookmarked their website and sent a request for a “sizing kit”. I certainly have no idea what size I need and didn’t expect so many size options.

The vented plugs should help a lot. Toward the end of the year rolling became less fun due to ear pain. I never got an ear infection, but they were definitely irritated from slapping the water repeatedly.

Salt Water Is Less Irritating
than fresh water. When you first learn and practice, it’s good to use whatever tools you feel necessary. Once you get it down start moving away from them. My personal belief is that nose clips can come off in the rapids/surf. If you not used to rolling without them, losing the clips can result in a moment of panic, enough that you may end up swimming.

Without clips, you have to learn to either blow slowly out of the nose, or just take it in. I do the latter, even in pool sessions now. Caveate is that if you’re prone to sinus infections, prudence kicks in. You are not going to be paddling if you have an infection everytime you go over.


I don’t know how you guys
maintain your composure. I get very unhappy down there, even though I know I’ll roll up, having continuous flashbacks to dislocating my shoulder in surf one time. I gotta get over it so I can enjoy surf more. I envy you living so near the ocean, Seadart. I’ll be in San Diego in April–can I visit and see your surfing hangout?


Sure …(I hope)

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Do you know the dates you are out here?
I'll be gone a bit for Spring Break but should be around most of April. Also let me know what part of town you are staying in. Email for details and we can work something out. Lot's if places to surf. Ranging from very mild to "now way." So you don't need to worry about injuring your shoulder.