rolling without noseplugs

I notice that when I roll away from the pool, without noseplugs, that I tend to rush and not set up well. A poor but acceptable roll is the result. However, in rougher conditions, this roll has failed when otherwise it would not.

I’ve tried blowing out my nostrils underwater, but this leaves me with less breath holding time, and I still end up rushing.

Any advice, suggestions, or help?

And is it true that seawater doesn’t pain the nasal mucosa the way that freshwater does?


I were them
When conditions get rough were a roll might happen I put my nose plugs on.I have them always attached to my PFD. I agree without the plugs on I will rush my roll but wont fail, just not as smooth.

fresh water HURTS!
Sea water is fine, no problem. Don’t even notice it.

definitely true
No burning sensation. No follow up sinus infections. Huge difference between sea water and fresh, and especially pool fresh water.

What They Said
All I can add is that I wear my nose plugs a little loose and routinely blow out some air slowly as I roll with them on. That keeps me prepared to blow air out slowly if I get taken my surprise. If I’m in conditions that look “iffy” I put on my nose plugs.

Worst sinus infection of my life was rolling in the local fresh water.

only problem rolling without
is bending over to tie your shoes up to a day later and learning your sinuses can hold a lot of water – embarrassing :wink:

btw, you only need to blow out very slowly to help. Though in rough water I’m too focused on getting up to think much about my nose. I only paddle salt water so I can’t compare.

“” NM

try humming
Instead of blowing out your nose (which sounds like a quick thing) try humming throughout your roll. That will keep air slowly bubbling out of your nose throughout the roll.

it is mental
Yes, saltwater doesn’t burn at all. You have to watch for the post immersion flow - when bending over I sometimes get quite a bit of fluid going out, it feels good. Fresh water lacks salts, creates osmotic stress for mucous membranes, they swell a bit, all passages get smaller, folks get stuffy nose. If the water can’t drain due to smaller passages it might create a really nice medium for bacterial growth.

Blowing nose - controlled blowing is the key. If you tense muscles near the nose, you can control it even better. It is quite effective, you usually get no water up the nose.

Perhaps you should practice a bit before trying to roll? - dip your head in the pool, blow slowly. Once you get comfortable, turn over on your back, repeat the exercise.

I do the "scrunchy face"
and it seems to work just fine. I actually don’t like to blow out any air while I’m upside down. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but it works for me.

Salt water much easier
I still don’t love it, but yeah salt is easier. I am one who is very bothered by fresh water up my nose. I have a sharp headache by the time I am upright, and it is not uncommon to need analgesic to head off an all day headache that can start within half an hour. That can be from just a single roll in fresh water. Hence nose plugs before each set of rapids in the white stuff…

Salt water is still not fun, but it is tolerable thru temps down to the lower 50’s. I suspect that even salt water would be a lot nastier if you caught any of it in the 40’s.

a few tips

– Last Updated: Sep-13-13 3:36 PM EST –

1. Blow through your nose very slowly as jcbikeski said. I hardly ever use a nose plug and this usually works for me. If you scrunch up your nose it limits what can get in while you're blowing out.

2. Learn relaxation techniques (first on dry land :) ). If you remain calm when you're under water, you can keep your heartbeat and oxygen demand low.

One thought…
There is one skill I want to try to develop: Why can’t I just pinch my nose when I’m flipping over and then put on my noseplug underwater? I should be able to do that, and then I wouldn’t have to wear the noseplug before I flip.

Back Deck / Rodeo Roll
This is actually the easiest roll except for perhaps an extended paddle roll to do on a wave ski. One added benefit is you get a lot less water up the Snoz. Whitewater kayakers warn you not to do this because the face is not protected, but in a white water boat the paddle is actually lower than your face protecting you, some guys roll without getting their hair wet.

So you want to put on the noseplug…
after your sinuses have filled with water? And it means only one hand on the paddle, a rather important tool. Two hands is more secure.

Even though it may be a literal pain, you should practice rolling in fresh water without protection so you know you can keep your wits about you. If you happen to have the headache problem, stow a few analgesics in a ziplock baggie on your person.

same goes for your PFD
Ahh, just leave it off, you can put it on when you’re upside-down.

If using a noseplug is such a PITA, then just learn to go without.

Well, win WW even nose plugs don’t help
On occasion, I get a rather good sinus flush even with nose plugs on - of I get the misfortune to flip over in a hole on a fast current. I don!t think blowing air through my nose would be enough, but it works pretty well in controlled environments. Hopefully, will get a chance to see if that holds true in small ocean surf too tomorrow :slight_smile:

I generally put the nose plugs on before approaching rapids where I might flip or when I am play boating and flipping is pretty much guaranteed to happen many times over one session.

I guess I was supposed to be embarassed
about wearing noseplugs for ww runs. That was in the 80s. Now, many ww paddlers wear them. I choose noseplugs that I can put on or take off with one hand, so that I don’t have to wear them except where I’m likely to have to roll.

I keep nose plugs attached to my helmet with a single string. A helmet for sea kayaking would be kinda dumb. And a hat wouldn’t stay on reliably during a roll. So I don’t know what I would do during a long sea kayaking run.

Sunglasses or PFD
I prefer the longer cord PFD option, husband prefers on the sunglasses.

I keep mine
in the pocket of my PFD