Water Up Nose

I need to resolve my issue with how distracting I find getting water up my nose in a roll. I don’t want to rely on the hope I’d never notice in the real thing.

I’d prefer to start out of the boat so my roll and early discomfort aren’t associated. To de-stress this feeling, I was thinking that I could bend over and stick my head upside down in the water every time I am near any and hold for some count. It’d look pretty funny, but it should be easy enough to do and should put as much or more water up there than when in the setup. Any ideas from others who have had to devote some attention to this?


i typically do not wear nose plugs
when I Paddle even on white water rivers.

The trick is to blow air through your nose while you roll.

Or buy nose plugs, or just not care that you get water up your nose.

my preference is just not to care. I like the water, even up my nose!

“I was thinking that I could bend over and stick my head upside down in the water every time I am near any”

You may want to stay away from public restrooms if you are going to stick to that vow. :wink:

Whe I parcitce a new roll I

– Last Updated: Apr-07-05 7:15 PM EST –

Use a mask. Whe I practice I use nose plugs about 80 percent of the time. I practice without sometimes just for conditioning. Breath out gently throug the nose

mostly when upside down
even when blowing air out, if upside down can get water in. so like peter says, mask, nose clips, etc. Repeatedly getting really cold water especially icky lake water in sinuses and ears is less than great.

You are concerned about being able to do rolls without any of this. Try wearing everything but closing your eyes and depending on sensations. That way when time comes for cold salt water you can deal with it.

Get Your Roll Down…
than wean away from nose plugs. Rolling without nose plugs become part of combat roll training. I’ve seen folks with “reliable” rolls flip out when water gets in the nose. Your solution is to wear plugs all the time, or learn to get used to water in the nose. Salt water is not all irritating or even noticeable. Fresh water is bothersome. Nevertheless, I don’t blow air out because that just minimizes the time down under and the amount of roll attempts. There have been times where obstacles, wrong side of a hole, or something else required 2 to 3 attempts to get back up. I just wait til I get up and then blow the water out of my sinuses.


Seems to need more info
Thanks for the replies so far - it seems that a little more info from me would be helpful so I am inserting it here.

  • I have been using plugs/mask except when I forget to pull it on.
  • My (onside) roll needs practice in conditions, loaded etc. But if I go down in either direction I know I can get up. For the first time I shot for numbers last night, was around 12 before I started blowing things from being tired. So even when it ain’t pretty it is happening.

    So I get down there, water gets up my nose and it gets way in the way of my relaxing. I need to create comfort instead, and so far the water ostrich approach is the only one that seems to be something that I can just do easily and repetitively. Preferably before Maine this summer - there are other aspects of a roll I’d like to work on then.

    Thanks again.

if you are open to it
You said roll working until tired. Cogitate on that, why would it not work when tired? Are you still using muscle to get up? Are you still relying on a formula and trying to think your way up? What could you do to stop thinking and let it flow. Real world roll is bam you over, still the mind and find your way up, and usually happens when really tired, not on a full breath, etc.

I started just throwing myself over, surprising myself if you will, it broke me of the over thinking thing. If this is not accurate or helpful, feel free to put in in the circular file.

Nasal irrigation
I had a hard time when I had to use a nasal irrigator. Eventually I got more used to it. That might help you too. I agree that blowing out the nose is not the answer because you waste air you might need. Just plan on getting used to it. Cold saline nose drops might work too. You could work up to kleeping them in the fridge.

I just take the pain
When I run whitewater I only put on my noseplugs if I’m either running a particularly difficult stretch of river or playing in a hole. However, as most of the time I seem to flip without noseplugs, I have learned just to deal with the freshwater shooting into my sinuses. I have long ago made the decision that I will not blow out of my nose if I can help it as I prefer to conserve my air. Sure water dribbles out of my nose long after I have rolled up and paddled away, but you just get used to dealing with the discomfort.

Whatdaya Allthink of keeping head down
We are always telling ourselves and othes, keep the head down. I find that the only time I get much up the nose is when my nose and head are upside down. So I practice being careful not to look up towards the sky as I float, scull up to surface and as I begin to roll. Since then , little or no water up nose.

What do you all find?

OK - On case this helps
I basically have a C2C, though sometimes a rather unaggressive one on a lazy day compared to the huge impulse that my WW friend often throws. And am limber as heck - so when I go to get my nose on the deck and the paddle clear of the water on the side of the boat I am exactly upside down. If I threw away the setup… but at the moment I am loathe to do that because it seems to be the safest habit to make sure that in real stuff I’ll get into a tuck that’ll keep me with the boat. (This requires work from abs and I usually shoot for a big impulse, hence eventually some tiredness.)

that’s pretty accurate
The tuck forward setup position allows gravity to do it’s job and force water deep into your sinuses. When I do a backdeck roll or a reverse sweep roll without nose plugs i get much less water up the nose. But in whitewater, unless I flip in a back facing position, I tend to still tuck and roll for safety sake.

If You Ever Try A GP…
the greenland reverse sweep roll lets no water up the nose. From the set up all the way through, your facing to the bottom. The roll is completed by a strong ab cruch as the sweeping blade nears the bow. Of course, this offers you little use unless you’re going to go the GP route.

Bottom line, develop the “imperturbable” mind (or “mind like water”) where minor discomforts become none to perform what is needed. All I can say, is that (fresh) water up the nose used to bother the heck out of me. Now, it doesn’t. I never wear nose plugs, running rivers, or even practicing in the worse of all fresh waters – a chlorinated pool. Again, a matter of time and practice. Once you practice roll is good (from non-set up positions), begin to wean away from mask, noseplugs, etc.


I like the mask idea for practice
I have been planning on trying it but havent yet. I do use nose plugs in “icky” water because I don’t like the resulting sinus infections (been there). I do practice without plugs though because I want to learn to ignore the water up the nose feeling. I also practice repeated failing to roll up. It’s amazing how much time you really have to get back up again (Sea Kayaking BTW, I wouldn’t advocate this in whitewater).

i would say even in whitewater
Although it may be less than in sea kayaking due to the potential hazards (rocks, holes, strainers, etc.) that exist, there still usually is plenty of time to roll up in whitewater. Too many times I see people flip in whitewater, immediately try to roll, fail and swim. If they took a second to setup, let the kayak match speeds with the river, and then calmly roll up, they would be much more successful.

Thanks All
A couple of things are coming thru here. One is that my discomfort with water up my nose is worse than for many others. The second is that when I am ready to start purposely working new rolls (I have a count I want to hit by the end of May with what I have first) I have a good excuse to indulge my lurking fascination with Greenland paddles and techniques. I really like that part!

The nasal irrigation sounds like a neat “at home” thing, maybe it would help with my left sinus too. It also seems that I should start the up the nose acclimation in fresh water, and not try it in the pool until I’ve spent a season building tolerance in fresh and salt water.

I appreciate all the suggestions. I’d been willing to let this issue take its time, until I forgot to pull my mask down in the pool session this week and got pretty confounded (again). Now I am just plain ticked off that it distracts me - it’s time to get over it.

Thanks All!

with a greenland style layback
roll you are supposed to look up at the sky.

your torso is contorted so that you are on your back just as if you were going to scull.

Now the reverse greenland low brace roll, there’s a no water up the nose roll. One of my favorites, as is the back deck reverse screw.

ok getting a little perverse sounding
maybe its time to hit the water these posts are getting a little

funky with backwards screwing around if you get the drift, etc.

Good Thing Then…

– Last Updated: Apr-08-05 3:45 PM EST –

that you're not talking about playboating. I mean "butt bouncing","air screws", "back deck rolls", "blunts", "clean 360s" "Zero to Hero..." How much more titilating can one get with kayaking... I'm getting shortness of breath just thinking about these.