How to hold your breath

The basic skill which you learn on your first Freediving course is, of course, how to hold your breath! This Freediving discipline requires a minimum of Freediving equipment!!

A lot of my students, when I ask them, how long they can do it, answering – 30-40 seconds. And then in 10 minutes, they can hold for 1.5-2 minutes! Magic? Not really 😉 Simply understanding how to do it correctly, what happens in the organism during static breath hold – helps that much!

Watch how our student does it for the first time! Interesting to try? Come to Koh Tao (Thailand) and we going to be more than happy do Freediving course with you!

Equalization for Freediving

Hey guys!

Common question: If I am planning to do Freediving course soon, do I need to somehow prepare for it?

Answer – YES

😉

And one of the thing which you can learn even before you sign up for your first Freediving course is how to equalize your ears!

It will rise chances that you will pass this course without any problem

How to learn it? Watch the tutorial on my YouTube channel (and a few videos how to sorted out equalization problem, if you have them)

 

5 Rules for snorkelers

“Rules for snorkelers? I thought there are no rules!”

AdventuresOk, snorkeling is a natural activity for us humans (especially after we invited a mask) and everyone can do it without any education.

But as usual, if you want to do something safer – you should learn how.

And let me help you with that by sharing five safety rules for snorkelers!

Below is a short version, full version, as usual on my YouTube channel – Crystal Freediving 😉

Nose clip for Freediving

20180130_202253

Hey guys!

As we all know Freediving requires less equipment than lets say scuba diving. But still need some. In the beginning of your Freediving journey simple set as Freediving mask, snorkel, and pair of fins more than enough.

But if you really want to bring it to the next level, few extra pieces of equipment will help you with that.

As an example – nose clip. Here is a short version of my review (full version, as usual on my YouTube channel – Crystal Freediving)

Freediving vlog

Ok, it was a long time ago when I decide that I want to do Freediving blog. But writing in English is difficult. And after finish my first blog I was correcting it again and again until I just deleted it 🙂 Apparently with video it much easy since you posted – IT IS DONE!

That’s why the transition from blog to vlog was logical. And here we go, I am a vlogger on a YouTube! 😉

It is not the first episode, but since now I am going to post here a short version of it here. Hope you, my reader, will enjoy it!

If you are interested and want to see full version, find my channel on YouTube – Crystal Freediving

 

Australian National Record holder Amber Bourke!

We would like to introduce our today’s guest Amber Bourke, ex-World Champion, and multi-time Australian National record holder!

amber6Amber, thank you for finding time to reply some of our questions.

1. Amber, I know that you were a professional synchronized swimmer and even represent Australia at FINA World Championship in 2007. How you ended up in Freediving?

I actually injured my hip which kind or ended my synchro days. I tried out for the 2008 Olympics but missed out on a spot on the team and after that decided that it was time to move on.

2. You achieved a lot both in swimming and now in Freediving. Can you compare training approach in both sports?

Training is actually very similar. I definitely trained much longer hours as a amber8synchronized swimmer but with freediving I believe it’s more about quality over quantity.

3. Our huge congratulations on your great performance this year in CNF. Are you concentrating mainly on this discipline in your depth training?

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for CNF. I’m not sure why because breaststroke has always been my worst stroke. I think at the moment though I’m mostly focusing on it because my equalization is terrible and I haven’t been able to equalize deep enough to do decent CWT or FIM dives.

4. In 2015 you did 48 meters, 2016 – 58, 2017 – 68 (which is the new National Record!!!). Looks like you like number “8”. So, what to expect from you in 2018? 78 meters? 

amber2I actually didn’t realize that until you pointed it out. I really have to work on being less predictable! I think a lot of us freedivers subconsciously steer towards certain numbers. I don’t think of myself as a superstitious person but maybe I am! The number 8 just sounds so much better than 7 or 9…

5. What is a typical daily training routine for you? What kind of short/long term goals do you have now?

Up until this year, I’ve been working full time around training so I usually train in the pool 3-4 times after work during the week and then try to squeeze maybe some gym or yoga in during the week too. Then it is a matter of arriving at a destination with enough time before the competition to let your body adapt to the pressure and work on equalization. This year I took a gap year from work to travel and focus on freediving so that makes things a lot easier.

6. You also doing very well in a pool disciplines, actually you are 2017 Pool National Female Champion! So, what do you like to train more, pool or depth?

If it’s a choice between being in the ocean or being in a swimming pool every day I willamber5 always choose the ocean. However, I do enjoy training in the pool and sometimes it’s just more practical. In Brisbane where I live we don’t have easy access to depth like a lot of freedivers.

7. I saw a video on the YouTube (I think it is 2014), where you do DNF with no packing. Are you changed your approach since then or you still don’t pack?

I still don’t pack. Maybe one day I will but I always wanted to see how far I could get without packing and show new freedivers that there is a lot more you can learn to improve your freediving before you start packing.

8. Last year we all saw your amazing photo session with Ben Von Wong. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

amber7The Von Wong shoot was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve had in freediving. We were in these underwater caverns with sharks and I was wearing this crazy dress that was almost impossible to swim in. On top that the water wasn’t that warm and I was relying on a scuba diver for air. It was not easy but I’ve always enjoyed a challenge. I’d really like to participate in more of these projects in the future.

9. Freediving becoming more popular nowadays. What is your opinion about freediving development in the future?

I hope it becomes as popular if not more popular than scuba diving. The more people who freedive the easier it will be to find people to freedive with! I also hope that as freediving becomes more popular people will become more aware of the risks involved with holding your breath underwater and what to do in case of a hypoxic or shallow water blackout.

10. And at the end, what advice can you give to someone who just finished their first freediving course?

Find people to train with. The main reason I’ve stayed in the sport for so long is that I amber4have a great group of people back home that I train with and that keeps me looking forward to training each week.

Freediving German National record holder Timothy Oehmigen

Hey Timothy!

Our congratulations for you to become Freediving National Record holder for Germany in CWT on VB-2107! Thank you for finding some time to answer our questions and sharing your love for Freediving!

 

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself (where you was born and grew up, at what age you started swimming, what hobby you had before start freediving)tim3

I am half German, half American. I grew up in Germany (south west part) close to Stuttgart, studied in Konstanz at Germany’s biggest and deepest lake (256m) and learned freediving there.  Swimming I started early at around 5-6 years. I always liked to be in the water, although I didn’t join any swimming club or so. During school and university, my biggest hobby was not sport related but more music related. I was fascinated by going to concerts and music festivals. I also have been working until today in the concert business as a booking manager for part time.

 

2. Do you remember when and how you tried Freediving for the first time? And why did you like it?

tim4I joined a beginner course in the lake of Konstanz. I could hold my breath 3 minutes and go to 20m and I realized fast how challenging this sport is, which I liked. I had lots of trouble with equalization though and I was not able to dive head first. As soon as I learned how to Frenzel, things got more serious. I had my first competition also in the lake and soon went for more and more competitions.

 

3. How did you come up with the idea to become a Freediving instructor? How did you manage to arrange your time between teaching and competing on such a high level?tim7

It was basically important for me to become an instructor to learn more about teaching. I found it interesting and I hoped to gain life experience from teaching and responsibility you have as an instructor in the water. At the same time, I realized that through teaching you can also learn a lot since you start reading more about freediving (due to students questions which you fail to answer) and on the other hand building your own teaching style. Of course, teaching and competing at the same time is hard, but it can be also a nice balance. After a few days of teaching, you really like to go deep again. And motivation is so important for deep diving. My best pre training + competition was actually my first national record with 91m free immersion. And exactly during that period, I had lots of courses. I used the day offs for training and each and every dive was nice, clean and a relaxed dive. 80m, 82m, 84m, 86m, 88m and then finally 91m.

 

4. Once again congratulations with NR for Germany (CWT 93 meters)! Are you looking forward to reaching magic 100 meters mark any soon? 😉 If yes, what it will mean for you?

tim2Of course, 100m is a nice number, but for me, it is also more important to be good in the other disciplines and do nice dives. If I can reach a 100m one time just by having a good run, it will not be worth it. I would like to hit a 100m and claim that I can do it again. But for this, my body and my mind need to be ready enough. At the moment it is not and that is important to know to remain on a healthy road towards success.

 

5. On VB-2017 you made an attempt of 67 CNF. What happened during this dive? Why did you decide to make an early turn? Are you looking for becoming NR in this discipline as well in the future?

I had argued with board colleagues from AIDA Germany which did not let me dive in peace. At the board, there is somebody who really tries to work against me and such battles are not a good place for a freedivers mind. But yes, I plan to dive deeper in CNF. I personally think that there I have great potentials since hypoxia is no topic for me and my technique looks okay. Actually, I just broke the NR with 67m a few days ago in a competition in Panglao, Philippines.

 

6. Coming back to training, are you splitting equally your time between different disciplines? Any pool or strength training?

I like to switch between the disciplines. All disciplines have their pros and cons. FIM is tim6relaxed and easy to equalize deep. Descend is the easiest for me. On the other hand, you need good apnea and a strong mind since you are deep and you only have the rope to get up. CWT is fast, you enjoy the speed and the power behind the monofin. On the other side, you need a good technique to not become lactic and to be able to keep the relaxation which is needed for deep equalization. CNF is physically hard and the detail is most important. On the other hand, it is not so deep and the numbers seem to be more double for the mind.

If I am in the water for training, I try to avoid work out. Nevertheless, I see work out also as an important part to remain strong. Especially when you are already getting skinny you can’t effort to lose the power you need for freediving. If I have a few days or weeks off from freediving, I like to train in the gym or at home to build up strength. Pool training is nice for technique and mental training.

 

7. I saw that you started crowd funding campaign to go to Freediving World Championship 2017. Wish you to reach this goal and hope our readers decide to support you! Can you say a couple of words why this is so important for you? (interview was taken a month ago, so Tim already manages to get enough money to go!!!)

tim5That is easy: Because it is very expensive to go there this year, especially when you are coming from Europe and also if you already attended Vertical Blue in that year. I do not have the money to go or if I would need to work and have no time for training. The announcement that the World Championship will take place in Roatan came quite late this time. So I decided to register for Vertical Blue and see if I can finance  Roatan somehow. I saw that other athlete already successfully funded themselves with crowd funding. On one hand I know it might not be so nice to ask for money, but on the other hand, I believe that those who support me really like to do that. I always feel happy to give support if I can and I want.

 

8. Did freediving become more popular in Germany since you have started practicing it?

I don’t know. I worked for a bit more than a year at the board at AIDA Germany, but the problem is that it is led mainly by bureaucrats who have no idea about freediving. Germany is, for example, the only country who still has lake records and it is also recognizing No Limit records. Media will not distinguish between a 100m No Limit and a 100m Constant Weight or a 130m DNF World Record (in the lake) or a real world record of 244m. What Germany needs is stories and a nice representation of the sport. Many people still believe that it is an extreme sport for adrenaline freaks. Some people take the advantage and sell themselves as such ones and simply misrepresent the sport. But there are also others who are invited into talk shows and give very nice examples for how nice freediving can be. I hope that especially competitive freediving can be more established.

 

9. Tell us about your personal Freediving plans and how you see freediving in the future in general?

I plan to take part in Honduras at the AIDA World Championship. I hope I can hit new tim1PBs there and I am also looking forward to this competition in general. Freediving becomes more and more popular for sure. With this, the freediving world faces a difficult task, which is making/keeping competitions safe and professional. At the last two World Championships of AIDA, there were huge and embarrassing mistakes happening, which in my personal opinion also happened due to arrogance by the judges and not listening to the athletes. I hope that those mistakes will not happen again and that the administration at AIDA will start working properly again.

 

Freediving National records’ breaker from Barbados, Alex Davis!

Hey, Alex!

Big congratulations for your outstanding performance on VB-2107! Thank you for finding some time to answer our questions!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself 

Thank you Sergey, I am originally from Cornwall in the UK and moved to Barbados inalex6 2011 with my wife. Growing up in a seaside town (Perranporth) I was always in the sea surfing, swimming, Jr life-saving club or fishing but the water is very cold and murky so I never really got into diving. When I moved to Barbados I found warm (28C) seas with visibility exceeding 30m on some days! I instantly got into spearfishing and the deep started calling me. I wanted to freedive deeper, stay longer, hunt better fish and it just went from there. In 2013 I set up ‘Spearfishing Barbados’ offering guided spearfishing tours around Barbados which have been growing every year. In 2015 I went to train with Vertical Blue (Jonathan Sunnex & Will Trubridge) where I completed my AIDA Instructor course and at the same time setting a PB of 62m with bi-fins. I opened Barbados’ first freediving school at the beginning of 2016 and run AIDA courses weekday and weekend all year round.

2. What about freediving? When and how you try it for the first time? And why did you like it?

alex5I got into spearfishing through a mutual friend who took me out and let me follow and watch. I remember diving down to 30ft and instantly turning and heading back for the surface! However, it was at this time I discovered I could equalize handsfree and spent as much time as possible freediving whenever I could. I really enjoy the peace and quiet you find when freediving and much prefer it to scuba. Being able to just walk down to the end of the road with fins and a mask and go diving for hours was an amazing experience each and every time.

3. How often do you train? What is your normal training routine?

Because of the spearfishing tours and freediving courses, I dive quite a bit already, anywhere from 3-7 days a week I am in the water freediving. In the lead up to VB, I supplemented my work schedule with pool training working on my monofin and no-fins technique as well as CO2 tolerance. Some days I would spearfish for 3 hours then go and do an hour or two at the pool in the evening working on just technique.alex2

Two great sessions I do in the pool are over/under – you swim 25m on the surface, touch the wall and then start 25m DYN, reach the other side and immediately go back to 25m on the surface. Another training session which helped was to perform a STA followed by DYN – 1-minute static then 50m DYN with short rests.

ALWAYS TRAIN WITH A BUDDY!

4. You showed very impressive results on all three depth disciplines! Do you split training time equally between them?

Thank you! In the lead up to VB I had 3 weeks at Deans Blue Hole and would dive FIM, CWT then CNF followed by a day of rest. I had spent a lot of time in the pool training for CWT and CNF so felt very strong diving to depth in those disciplines. 50m CNF was actually a PB for me, I had done 48m in training, about a week before which felt great so decided to round it off to 50m and I surfaced strong with lots of energy left for more. During training, I had progressed very well in CWT and FIM making small improvements every day. After each training session, I would go home, export the dive data from my watch and analyze my profile making sure my descent speed was correct and making notes on what felt good and what could be improved to take into the next session.

5. Why decide to compete in the first place? Are you going to do it again?

alex5After opening my freediving school I wanted to try my hand at a competition and also represent the country which I had made home for the last 6+yrs. There were no National Records for Barbados for men at this point so any white card performance would claim an NR, however I wanted to really give it my best shot and get white cards I would be proud of. Yes, I am scheduled to compete later this year at Blue Element 2017 in Dominica (October 13th – 21st) with my old Instructor Trainer Jonny Sunnex! My goals for this comp are to extend my CNF record and hopefully add a few more meters on to my CWT and FIM records.

6. It was your first competition, how you manage the stress? Or it was not stressful at all?

Yes, this was my first ever competition and I would say I was more stressed during training than I was during my official dives. During training you have to co-ordinate with other persons schedule so you will always have to compromise. When training you want to be respectful of everyone’s time so often take it in turns which means your warm ups usually take longer and by the time you do your target dive you may even be too alex4cold.

On competition days I would arrive at the Blue Hole at least 1hr before OT to check in and almost every day my resting heart rate was 100BPM! Haha! Once I got my suit on and clipped my lanyard to the warm up line however I was totally relaxed and actually my warm up dives where better/more relaxed than the ones during training. On the comp line during my countdown I breathed with my snorkel until 1min before OT which helped to tune out noises and other distractions with my eyes closed. I would then finish my breathe up vertically on the line, keeping my eyes closed and just listening to the announcer. On my very first dive of the comp (76m FIM) I was completely relaxed all the way to the bottom plate but once I had that tag in my hand all of the nerves finally caught up with me and my contractions started the moment I turned. The first dive was always going to be my hardest and after this one things got easier and more relaxed with each dive.

7. What do you think about VB? Anything what you think can be improved?

VB, as we all know, is one of [if not THE] top competition each year and the organization is absolutely spot on as well as the safety team being very professional and courteous. During the closing ceremony, Will even mentioned that throughout the entire competition there was not a single delay in the schedule which is a testament to the professionalism and organization of this event. Having not yet experienced any other competition I cannot really say if I think there is anything that can be improved but I think everyone at VB is on point.

8. Tell us about your future plans and how do you see freediving in the future?

alex3My plans moving forward are to continue growing my freediving school here in Barbados and attract more people to the island wanting to learn, both from around the Caribbean and all over the globe. I have already had students come over from nearby islands to train as well as going myself to Grenada earlier this year to teach a group of avid divers and spearos so the sport of Freediving is definitely on the up! I think more people are going to move from scuba to freediving as time goes on as well as people who just really enjoy snorkeling wanting to learn more about freediving and improve their ability and enjoyment underwater. We also actively promote the hunting of Lion fish and regularly give talks in Barbados informing people about this invasive species and why we need more freedivers out there removing them – and eating them!

Follow Alex on his Instagram and Facebook and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to get more stories from Freedivers about Freediving 😉

Победительница Чемпоната РФ по фридайвингу 2017 года Вероника Кравцова

Рады представить Российскую звезду фридайвинга Веронику Кравцову. Прежде всего – поздравляем с успешным выступлением на Чемпионате РФ по фридайвингу 2017!veronika

Вероника, спасибо, что нашли время ответить на наши вопросы.

1. Традиционный вопрос – как вы пришли во фридайвинг? Что понравилось больше всего, а что было не идеально?

Здравствуйте и спасибо за поздравления. Фридайвинг для меня начался с Красного моря лет 8-9 назад. Тогда я еще не очень представляла, что это такое, но прозрачный подводный мир меня зацепил и увлек. Помню даже альбом фотографий с той поездки назвала “Другой мир”, так это меня впечатлило. Ну и пошло, поехало. На море постоянно не поездишь, поэтому стала искать альтернативу в бассейне и нашла. Рыбок и кораллов, конечно, нет, зато есть ты и вода, а больше, по сути, ничего и не надо.

veronika3Стала регулярно тренироваться в бассейне. Я, как человек увлекающийся, быстро втянулась, постепенно набирала форму. Чего тогда не было, так это теоретической подготовки, тактики и расслабления.

2. Окей, вы попробовали фридайвинг и вам понравилось… А как пришло понимание, что это не просто увлечение, а серьезная часть вашей жизни? Почему решили стать инструктором?

Фридайвинг и остается для меня увлечением, хоть и серьезным. Проанализировав все виды физической активности, которых к тому моменту набралось немало (горные и беговые лыжи, велосипед, триатлон, ориентирование и т.д.), я остановила выбор на нырянии по многим причинам. Во-первых, вода, будь то бассейн или открытая, всегда доступна, во-вторых, открывает практически безграничные возможности для индивидуальной физической самореализации как в бассейне, так и в море; в-третьих, это прекрасный досуг для отпуска. И это совсем не то, что окунаться под воду с баллонами, как-то в Египте я сравнила, чтобы убедиться. Ну и самое, пожалуй, основное (хотя понимание пришло со временем), это возможность абсолютно отстранится от суеты, повседневных забот и проблем, и вынырнуть совершенно другим перезагрузившимся человеком.veronika4

В своих тренировках цели стать инструктором у меня не было. Инструктором мне предложила стать Наталья Вадимовна Молчанова. К тому моменту у меня уже был весомый опыт участия в национальных и международных стартах, в том числе несколько чемпионатов России, 2 чемпионата мира, а также выезды на глубину. Поскольку к своим тренировкам я относилась серьезно, решила, что мой опыт и новые знания, и навыки, полученные у легендарной спортсменки помогут мне научить и увлечь новичков фридайвинга.

3. Вероника, на Чемпионате вы заняли первое место в общем зачете трех дисциплин. На первом месте – плавание в ластах . Отражает ли это ваше ориентирование на тренировках?

veronika2Да, я много времени уделяю работе в ластах. На все 3 дисциплины просто не хватает времени.

4. Еще раз поздравляем с призовыми местами на Чемпонате России по Фридайвингу 2017. Первое место – более чем впечатляющий результат. Рассчитывали ли вы на это? Как считаете, что помогло вам выиграть (настрой, опыт, тренировки)?

В апреле 2016 года на соревнованиях в Севастополе вы показали замечательный результат 160 метров, а всего через год улучшили свой результат до 200 метров! Поделитесь секретом такого впечатляющего прогресса! 🙂

Конкуренция в этот раз на чемпионате России была не слишком сильная, поэтому, да, я рассчитывала на первое место в динамике в ластах. Конечно, все было не совсем гладко, ситуация осложнилась простудой, поэтому 2 другие дисциплины решила не давить, а сосредоточиться на ласте. Но мне повезло, поэтому выиграла еще и общий зачет. Конечно, когда выступаешь на соревнованиях с количеством участников под 100 человек, все имеет значение, и опыт, и тренировки, и, конечно, психологическая подготовка.

veronika5В Севастополе ситуация была непростая. Во-первых, это был мой первый старт после декрета; во-вторых, расписание стартов было такое, что в первый день спортсмены делали статику, а во второй было сразу 2 динамические дисциплины: сначала брасс, потом в ластах. Поэтому в ласте был такой скромный результат. Мой лучший результат в нырянии в ласте на тот момент был 180 м.

5. Некоторые критикуют нас за то, что в наших вопросах много “спорта”. На ваш взгляд какое место во фридайвинге занимает именно спортивный аспект? Кроме спортивных достижений, что еще дает вам фридайвинг?

Фридайвинг – это и есть спорт, просто в нем присутствует и рекреационная часть, и соревновательная. Если говорить о спортивных состязаниях и подготовках к ней, то, конечно, они занимают весомую часть всей фридайверской деятельности. И связано это с тем, что только через массовые мероприятия, которыми и являются спортивные соревнования, происходит развитие фридайвинга в мире.

Спортивные достижения сами по себе дают немало. Это и физическая форма, реализация спортивных амбиций, мотивация. Кроме этого, только фридайвинг через практику самоанализа мне позволяет привезти нервную систему в порядок и снять психическое напряжение.

6. Помимо того что вы действующий спортсмен, вы еще и инструктор по фридайвингу. Не мешает ли одно другому? Какими качествами на ваш взгляд должен обладать инструктор по фридайвингу?veronika6

Напротив, совмещение собственных тренировок и инструкторской деятельности только на пользу и тому, и другому. Имея значительный опыт занятий фридайвингом, как удачный, так и не очень, легче сориентировать занимающегося в правильном направлении, исправлять и не допускать ошибки.

Считаю, что для инструктора самыми важными качествами являются серьезный подход к делу, понимание, что от своих действий зависит безопасность обучаемого, опыт и отличные аналитические качества.

7. Фридайвинг становится более и более популярным. Появляется больше школ фридайвинга, больше студентов… Каким вы видите развитие фридайвинга в будущем?

Это сложный вопрос. Лучше всего на него ответят руководители национальных федераций и международных организаций, так как именно руководство дает посыл для развития фридайвинга. Что касается ситуации в регионах, могу ответить по поводу Санкт-Петербурга. Как инструктор и спортсмен, я представляю клуб Freediving.spb. Его основал мой супруг Александр Виноградов. Уже в течение 3-х лет мы активно занимаемся развитием фридайвинга в Санкт-Петербурге, сертифицировано около 100 человек, накоплен значительный тренерский опыт. В ноябре прошлого года Александру удалось собрать отличную команду и организовать первые в истории соревнования в Санкт-Петербурге по фридайвингу по правилам AIDA. Надо отметить, что прошли они весьма успешно как для организаторов, так и для спортсменов. Были и прямая трансляция, и серьезные призы, и 2 национальных рекорда у иностранных атлетов. Нашу замечательную команду, включающую не только спортсменов, но и судей, и страхующих, вы могли видеть на прошлом чемпионате России в Москве.

8. И в завершение, какой совет вы могли бы дать тем читателя, которые только начали заниматься фридайвингом?

Не упустите возможность взять от фридайвинга именно то, что вы хотите. Потому что он может дать все: и отдых, и работу, и развлечение, и самопознание.

Подписывайтесь на наш блог и читайте интересные интервью с российскими и зарубежными фридайверами!!

PADI AmbassaDiver Adam Stern, the deepest man in Australia.

 

We would like to introduce our today’s guest Adam Stern. Multiple Australian national record holder, rising star in Freediving with recent achievements of 100 meters (CWT)!

Adam, thank you for finding time to reply some of our questions.

1. I know that you started your Freediving (at least officially) during your time on Koh Tao, Thailand. What was the most difficult part of the first course? And why you signed up for the next level?

adam5I was just backpacking around Asia and I was on Koh Tao, Thailand at that time, doing my PADI Advanced Open Water course.  And once I saw a  freediving center – Apnea Total and thought that it was cool and took a course and kept training with them.

I remember I did my first dive to 20 meters and it was easy and I did another one and it was a little bit more challenging and I did another one and I was cold and tired and I remember on the last dive I had a lot of contractions but in the Apnea Total course we weren’t taught what contractions were so I was very surprised at the horrible feeling.

 

2. Do you remember the moment when you realized that freediving is not only a hobby for a few weeks but something more important?

It happened when I was training in Roatan and one day reached 70 meters deep. I was just training for fun and it was all going well. When I reached that depth I was thinking wow I’m getting better in this, might be I should see what happen if I take it more seriously. After that, I came home and started training more seriously in a pool and then went to Dahab and started depth training there.adam7

3. You are well known for your competition performance (Vertical Blue 2016 and Blue Element 2016 is just to name a few of them). But do you remember your first competition? Now, when you get more experience with it, is it easier to manage stress during competition? If it is not a big secret, what are your future plans as a competitive Freediver?

It was a mini comp in Dahab in 2013. I announced a dive 15 meters shallower than my PB just to have a nice competition experience. In my first few competitions I was quite nervous but now it doesn’t stress me at all and I’m definitely enjoying competing more and more the more I do it.

adam3My future plan is always just to get deeper and deeper! 🙂 My target in freediving is always to progress, always to hit PB depths. I will do that for as long as I am enjoying training and competing in freediving. I could say things like Oh, I would like a world record! And I would love nothing more than a world record. But I find that large and far away goals are not that effective as having many small, short-term goals. So the goal for me is always simply a PB. Every single time I train or I do training cycle I want to PB.

 

4. To be able to compete on the highest level you obviously need to be in a great shape. How do you manage to combine teaching and training?

I am the competitive diver and my focus was and always will be on my own training and competitions. So, I have to structure my business around that. Basically what I do is dedicate a period of time to teaching and a period of time where I’m not teaching at all, just training.

My training schedule is quite complex and depends on which phase of training I am in. I break my training at base training and depth training.adam8

My base training is training in the gym 5 days a week. I train CrossFit which is high-intensity interval training. I also train three days a week in a pool mostly doing dynamic tables. I mostly do hypoxic tables which are actually CO2 tables to the point of hypoxia. This base training period makes up about 2 thirds of my training cycle.

Then I go to a location to start diving deep. The frequency of my dives depends on how deep I’m diving. When I am above 80 meters it’s three days and one day off, between 80 and 95 – two days and one day off. And then any deeper than that it’s one day and one day off. My training in structured and I almost never cancel dives or leave it up to how I feel in the morning. I like to just get up and get it done.

Obviously, if I am tired and I need a rest, then I rest. But besides this, I don’t give my mood any power over me. If my body feels good and it’s time to go to dive or time to go to the gym or to the pool – I go. There was countless time where I’ve had no desire to train but I make myself train.

 

adam45. And why did you decide to start teaching freediving at the first place? Why PADI? What is your favorite PADI Freediving course to teach?

In the beginning, I was not really interested in becoming an instructor. I just wanted to make some cash while leaving in Dahab at the time. And then I realized that I really enjoy teaching, I fell in love with it and still love teaching. When PADI launched their freediving program I knew they had the biggest market potential and the largest reach. They had the largest potential to actually expand the freediving industry more than any other company that have ever been involved in freediving. So, I stepped in to be involved in this expansion, to be in a front line, and to help growing freediving as a sport and as an adventure activity.

My favorite course to teach is the instructor course. It is the most intensive and interesting course to teach. And I can work very closely with divers who are diving at a high level.

 

6. In your opinion – what are the main qualities which freediving instructor should have?adam6

Someone who has expert knowledge in Freediving, who has expert skills in freediving, and very high-level teaching skills. Every instructor is different and teaches in their own way. Every instructor’s style may work or may not work with different students so there is no such thing as the perfect instructor.

 

7. What do you think, who can apply for PADI Freediver course (level of fitness or age)? Is it a course for everyone or you should be somehow prepared for it?

adam2Anyone can apply and join PADI freediving course! Obviously, you need a reasonable level of fitness, let’s say you should be able to swim continually 200 meters or snorkeling 300 meters. If you can, you then you’re absolutely ready for the course. I believe everyone can do it. Obviously, if you have issues with your heart etc you should get checked my a doctor before you sign on for a course but apart from medical limitations, everyone can do it.

 

8. Now freediving slowly comes to be “in trend”, probably same like it was with yoga 10 years ago. More freediving centers, more students…What are the pros and cons of it?

The increase of freedivers and the growth of the freediving industry is fantastic. I love freediving soo much that I love to see more and more people doing it. The only issue with the freediving explosion is that there are some parts of the world where people are choosing not to take freediving courses which are so dangerous and in the end will only reflect badly on us all.

 

9. What is your opinion about freediving development in the future? What is the best way for it?

I would love to see it as big as a scuba diving. I think right now what is popular worldwide is all kinds of adventure sports, adventure activities, adventure travel. Freediving is all about adventure! People like to have a challenge. I see freediving constantly growing but what I want to see is the amateur sport of freediving became professional. A professional sport with paid athletes. It’s happening slowly. Now we have more divers than ever who can dive over 100m and the gap between the world’s elite professional divers and those aspiring to be is closing.adam1

 

10. What could be your contribution, as a PADI Ambassador, in this process?

My goal as a PADI ambassador promotes freediving as much as possible, especially safe diving practices and promote PADI courses which I personally believe is the best and safest way to learn freediving.

 

11. And at the end, what advice can you give to someone who just finished their first freediving course?

Go and have some fun! Go deep snorkeling, go freediving in beautiful locations, explore the Ocean. You can just literally go anywhere and just check out what is beneath the surface! You don’t need any preparation, just go!

And when you’re ready to go for an advanced course! You’ll dive deeper, hold your breath longer, improve your knowledge of freediving safety and learn so so much more about your body, which is the most important.adam9

The advice I would give to people getting into freediving as a sport. I would tell them, don’t take it too seriously! Have fun! If you are not having fun there is no point doing it anyway. Enjoy freediving. Enjoy the sensation of being in the water and have a wonderful, wonderful time. Never push yourself.

 

 

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