Lauri Aalto visited us from Finland via Aquaba. He had to finish the water part of the 2 star AIDA course and went on to do the water part of the 3 star course. On the first day it became apparent that there was an equalisation issue. His Frenzel was nearly correct, but the nearly was creating a problem.
There was no movement in the area of the diaphragm, therefore no hybrid of Frenzel and Valsalva. The little pits behind the nostrils were inflating correctly with each equalisation and the muscles under the chin and lower jaw were also contracting correctly, but still each equalisation was too forced and too slow.
His problem was easily noticeable when he equalised with his mouth wide open in front of the mirror. The front of his tongue was pushing forcibly against his bottom teeth. This is a common fault and is usually the result of miss-understanding or in correct teaching, the student believes that in order to raise the back of the tongue he must push the front of the tongue against the bottom teeth. This vastly complicates the issue making the equalisation too slow and bringing in a lot of tension, which means problems at depth!
After the first day Lauri did 3 hours of dry practice and arrived the next day with the problem solved. He could equalise with the mouth wide open and only the back of the tongue was active pushing against the soft palate.
Lauri came with an excellent water sense ,great determination combined with good humour and intelligence, so his progress was astonishing. A small amount of polishing on the duck dive was necessary, after that concentration could be brought to tactics – correct weighting, counting strokes for determining when to go into the glide, and correct technique for the glide.
His partner work was exemplary.
Altogether Lauri was a joy to work with we had very rough seas and 20 knot winds and on the last day one of the worst currents I have seen in recent years. In spite Lauri completed his 30 mt dive with ease. He is to be congratulated on achieving all his objectives, a very creditable performance.