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!

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UK Freediving National Record Holder (CNF) Dean Chaouche

1. Do you remember how and when did you find out about freediving? What made you to start freediving? What were your 1st steps in this sport?

I believe the very first time I found out about freediving was through a documentary that was hosted by Tanya Streeter. At the time I was very young and not in the position to go out and find a course at my own leisure, though I remember thinking that this must one of those very unique activities only reserved for a special few people.  dean3

I later stumbled across “Freedive Gili” while I was searching for a Yoga classes, at the time I was in New Zealand and I’d broken both my wrists, I decided to book flights to Indonesia once my wrists had healed, plus I also needed things to look forward to and this happened to be one of them. The course took place around April 2012 and originally this was meant to be a single course and afterwards I’d planned on surfing around Lombok and Sumatra, I ended up surfing a bit of Lombok but after only 2 weeks I returned back to the school and since then I haven’t looked back. I completed SSI level 2, 3 and a period of personal diving and assisting. Eventually  I completed my Instructor course there and was lucky enough to be offered a job, so there I remained for roughly a year and a half.

2. What is your favourite discipline in freediving and which one you don’t like? And could you explain why?

dean2My favorite discipline in frediving has to be CNF. It is also without a doubt the most rewarding for me as the sense of accomplishment I feel after a deep no fins dive is incomparable compared to the other disciplines. It’s down to the simple fact that we are achieving great depths by simple using our arms and legs, William Trubridge puts it best when refers to no fins “as a true measure of humans aqua potential”. I also love the feeling that if gives me when I’m moving through the water.

I wouldn’t say I had a discipline that I didn’t like as they’re all great in their own manner. I personally don’t enjoy pool disciplines not nearly as much as depth but that’s normal considering that I began freediving with depth and that predominantly that’s what I do. I can see myself in the near future participating more with pool and I’m sure that I’ll find aspects that I really enjoy once I have more experience.

3. Tell please few words about your freediving trainings approach: How many times a week do you train? And do you have a fixed schedule or you just wake up in the morning, look into mirror and depending on your mood, body condition or weather decide what to do today?

My training approach or frequency of training would completely depend on what stage of the training that I’m in. Gone are the days where freedivers believe that only depth diving will give you greater depth, this and the fact that not everyone has easy access to depth, so this leads us to adopt cross training plans and stages in our training. I would have quite a fixed plan about what I train each day and the amount, I work by micro cycle’s of 3 days on 1 day off. This may change closer to a peak or competition once I start diving max depths. I also like to maintain a certain amount of flexibility in order to slightly tailor what I’m training in tune with what I feel that I need to work on the most.dean5

4. And how often do you try something new in your freediving trainings?

At the beginning it would seem that I’d be trying something new each session, but as my training became more refined I found that less and less changes were present. Now when I begin a training stint I usually have one or two aspects which I’d like to improve on or incorporate so that I’m not drastically changing what I do but at the same time not letting my freediving become stagnant, which is very important.

5. The next question – what makes you day after day to go to train in a pool/sea? What motivates you to train hard? How do you fight humans’ laziness?

That’s quite simple, I enjoy my training. I enjoy the feeling that little by little I’m improving and conditioning my body to perform how I would like myself to perform. It gives me pleasure to see small increments of change which collect over time and result in a big improvement. I also try and focus on the session at hand, not about the sessions that are coming or the sessions that have been, only what’s happening that day. It’s harder than it sounds as we all like to dream, but what matters most is what we’re doing in the present.

6. Do you believe that some food products could influence the ability to equalize? Like gluten or lactose for example create more mucus which is not good for equalizing? Do you personally follow any diet?

dean1I think this is circumstantial to the individual. Some people can eat dairy until the cows come home and they wouldn’t see a problem with equalising, however this isn’t the case for everyone. Personally I can afford to eat a little dairy here and there but I avoid it for reasons other than equalising. I’d personally find that when I drink even a little bit of alcohol it congests me more than any kind of food. I wouldn’t say I followed a strict diet, however I would try and eat as much alkaline forming foods to counter the acidity that occurs in our body from freediving and training hard.

7. Let’s talk about money 🙂 Do you have any support from sports community of your country or may be some trade brand?

Money is definitely an issue for most freedivers and I’m certainly no exception. I try to make enough money to fund my training through instructing, although this is always a balancing act due to the fact that it’s very difficult to train and teach at the same time. So I only ever allow myself to take the minimum amount of time out of my training for instructing. I’ve recently been lucky enough to find a regular sponsor from a former student of mine Bentinho Massaro who has generously decided to offer me a regular income to supplement my training and way of life. He has just started a free spiritual academy online called trifinity academy, check it out via this link https://www.trinfinityacademy.com, it’s well worth a look.

8. What about your targets in freediving? What would you like to achieve and how deep would you like to get?

I try not to have a specific target in mind as I find that this is limiting in a way, if I did have a target I wouldn’t really discuss it with anyone as this also creates a sense of reward for something that I haven’t already achieved. If I had to say what I’d like to achieve it would be to continue with the progress that I’ve seen in myself while continuing to enjoy what I do with the same enthusiasm.

9. What do you do except freediving? Do you have any hobbies?

Before Freediving I was quite an avid surfer, I still like to get a surf trip in here and there but it’s become a little sparse since I’ve decided to dedicate more time to training. I also enjoy snowboarding and I’m keen to hopefully get back on the slopes again maybe next winter. I’ve been practicing yoga a little longer than freediving and I’d say that I love it just as much.dean4

10. What would you advise to people, who just discovered this sport?

To enjoy the learning process as much as possible and not to try and progress to fast, it’s easier said than done and I’m the first to admit that I was guilty of that. If I had another opportunity to begin again I’m sure I’d take it a little slower, try and learn as much as possible before making rash judgments. But most of all enjoy!

 

Follow Dean on his Facebook page and Instagram for more inspiration!

 

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Thailand National record holder in Freediving (FIM) Komtanoo Pinpimai

1. Do you remember how and when did you find out about freediving? What made you to start freediving? What were your 1st steps in this sport?

While visiting Koh Tao for the party scene I watched video on the screen of a freedive shop about a guy holding breath underwater. Later I found out it was the famous “weightless emotional freediving” clip on youtube. I kept freediving in my list for a couple of years until went snorkeling in Maui, saw magical things, and decided to take a step forward.15230716_10154126349159849_3700393935683466749_n

2. What is your favourite discipline in freediving and which one you don’t like? And could you explain why?

I haven’t really done anything besides free immersion and constant weight. I do prefer the former as it’s easy on contraction. I haven’t got a chance to work in pool, but I can’t imagine I would love them much.

3. Tell please few words about your freediving trainings approach: How many times a week do you train? And do you have a fixed schedule or you just wake up in the morning, look into mirror and depending on your mood, body condition or weather decide what to do today?

I think consistency is the key. On Koh Tao I had been diving for 5 weeks almost every day, went to Bali for two months doing the same, depth then came easy. It would take me a lot longer if I could only do it on weekends or holidays. Same thing applies to stretching exercises, like dry packing or reverse packing. I think one has to do them consistently for months to see noticeable changes. Same for breath holding, I heard it should be practiced in long sessions, quite frequent to see improvement.

4. And how often do you try something new in your freediving trainings?

12360088_10208056443627294_2946895678687399642_nNobody has figured freediving all out. We only have some ideas of how human can dive. Scientists were too busy going to Mars, trying to understand DNA, making bombs and whatnot. Not many have worked over freediving issues. So we, as freedivers, are the first frontiers volunteering to tackle the mystery by experimenting with our bodies and minds. So yes, I like to question everything I hear and test it on myself before accept or cross it out. Because more often than not, what works for one does not work for others.

5. The next question – what makes you day after day to go to train in a pool/sea? What motivates you to train hard? How do you fight humans’ laziness?

I don’t think about it as about training. In fact, I even don’t like this word. Freediving motivates me to travel, and in turn, traveling motivates me to freediving.15085733_879232632212280_5287135109469647576_n

6. Do you believe that some food products could influence the ability to equalize? Like gluten or lactose for example create more mucus which is not good for equalizing? Do you personally follow any diet?

It might had happened to some people, otherwise we would have never heard about it. If you find yourself allergic to something, it’s interesting to go through some experiments like how much it takes, how long it will last or what about keep consuming them for a couple years to see if your immunity improves. For diet, I loosely follow the guideline of hippie and yogi communities. You know, a lot of veggies and fruits. Drink a lot of water, kombucha, kefir. Avoid artificial substances, fried stuff, preservatives, gmo, pretty much everything what Americans love. But when I dive I eat a lot before and after session. As far as I mentioned, if I eat light for a max dive, or long hard session, it’s likely that I will go into LMC or feel it coming.

7. Let’s talk about money 🙂 Do you have any support from sports community of your country or may be some trade brand?

11140030_10153347413196229_7685488548639477533_nI wish. Freediving is not expensive by definition. I try to live cheap and dive cheap.

8. What about your targets in freediving? What would you like to achieve and how deep would you like to get?

I don’t have some measurable goals like that. I just hope to be able to do it as long as I could. Although it will be nice to tap into some ocean expeditions. I saw swimming with wild aquatic creatures only on the Discovery channel.

9. What do you do except freediving? Do you have any hobbies?

I have participated in many activities in the past. Now I have to cut them down to freediving and whitewater/ocean wave playboating which get along really well while traveling.13512051_10153698614959849_7309470111188644712_n

10. What would you advise to people, who just discovered this sport?

Just like any other skills, be patient and a little dedicated, keep it fun.

 

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UK Freediving Champion 2016 (STA) Adam Drzazga about Freediving

1. Do you remember how and when did you find out about freediving? What made you to start freediving? What were your 1st steps in this sport?

I started my Freediving journey in 2009 as a spearo in the Caribbean Island of Jamaica, where I discovered the beauty of underwater world. 15978138_10153965606581557_1177767858_n

After a couple of years or so I decided that’s is about time to improve my abilities so I signed up to take a Freediving Course.

I remember my surprise, when I realised I didn’t know anything about the sport, I had wasted 2 years hesitating about taking the course.

I then decided to enter into the pure discipline of Freediving, and with each year I started Freediving more than Spear fishing until the point where I was just Freediving and training on a daily basis.

Freediving changed my life, it give me the right input to discover and enjoy my life in a whole new way, experiencing many amazing things and learning new and valuable techniques.

2. What is your favourite discipline in freediving and which one you don’t like? And could you explain why?

I have to say that static is my favourite discipline, despite it being one of the most difficult disciplines to master, especially  mentally. 15995786_10153965606606557_351539816_n

It has its beauty even though most of freedivers hate it,  I enjoy the challenge it brings, even after the worst static with massive, unpleasant contractions, when you take your first breath again ,that’s a moment of joy and satisfaction. Then my  motivation is renewed.

Nowadays I mainly concentrate on static to discover my true potential and with bit of help and a lot of training I may just achieve my goal.

The discipline I like the least is CNF and that is probably because I never really train for it, living in the UK makes depth training difficult as there are only a few places to train and the distance you have to travel to train makes it challenging.

3. Tell please few words about your freediving trainings approach: How many times a week do you train? And do you have a fixed schedule or you just wake up in the morning, look into mirror and depending on your mood, body condition or weather decide what to do today?

Our training is usually scheduled around work, my 9-5 job is in the construction industry as a supervisor. Being a father of my children Tiger and Jade and running our family business Blue Water Freediving School where we train and teach our students.

16009775_10153965606686557_637819740_oTraining could be difficult sometimes, at times we have to adapt it to suit the life style we are currently living. If training is forced it can become unpleasant and we are unable to train in that way in the long term, to keep it positive it is crucial to find the right balance to fit your training into your daily life.

The Static discipline is very stressful to the body and it has to be trained with the right approach, to eliminate overtraining I train between 5 to 6 days a week depending on the time of my training cycle.

All my training plans are usually set according to events I plan on competing in. I train in advance to participate.

Being a father I’ve learnt that you can adapt to train in all conditions and that could be during your lunch break at work or between cooking a dinner and relaxing with your family.

4. And how often do you try something new in your freediving trainings?

Every year I like to add something new to my training, to satisfy my curiosity and learn new techniques or just try a new approach to training.

What works for you may not work for others, that’s why it is very important to try different techniques and discover what works for you and your body. 15970094_10153965606621557_1250562218_n

This year I’m trying a couple of new exercises and I hope I will see positive results in the next few months.

5. The next question – what makes you day after day to go to train in a pool/sea? What motivates you to train hard? How do you fight humans’ laziness?

Good question, motivation is sometimes hard to find along with that positive attitude towards your training.

A positive attitude is super important otherwise you come to a point where you hate the sport and it will become a punishment instead of positive experience.

I try to gain my motivation from all the angles. Success is great and brings in good vibes but failure could be an even stronger motivational tool for the mind. The constant quest of discovering your mind and body’s potential is what keeps me going, that and of course with support of my kids ,my partner Shirley and  family make it all a complete unit.

6. Do you believe that some food products could influence the ability to equalize? Like gluten or lactose for example create more mucus which is not good for equalizing? Do you personally follow any diet?

In the last few years I have been looking into role of my diet, I became a dietician to gain more knowledge of the subject, I have to say that this is something that has changed my approach in training. In my opinion, it is super important and plays a huge role in performance, from equalisations to contractions and general body functions.

To expect the maximum from the body we need to fill it up with right fuel to gain maximum performance.

15978363_10153965606591557_1114767473_nOn my performance day or training sessions, I would eat specific foods at particular times before training and that could make the difference in when the contractions begin.

Our bodies react differently to the food we eat and yes you could make your dive harder by consuming certain products as dairy or gluten, which will produce more mucus and in turn make a equalisation more difficult and challenging.

But we have to understand that all the good food is only a part of complete circle 🙂

7. Let’s talk about money 🙂 Do you have any support from sports community of your country or may be some trade brand?

Well to simplify it, most Freedivers are self funded, even when competing for your Country. We have no sponsorship or support to help cover the costs of training.

Freediving is still a young sport and in the eyes of public is relatively small that makes it more difficult to find sponsors to fund your daily training or events.

I’m lucky enough to have contacts with the manufacturers of high quality freediving equipment,  Molchanoves and Elios who’s equipment I use to train .

8. What about your targets in freediving? What would you like to achieve and how deep would you like to get?

I have my own little goals that I would like to achieve this year, I’d like to dedicate my training purely to static to see my full potential.

Depth that is another challenge. I’m still working on mastering my equalisation and if I have a bit of spare time this year, I’d like to see if I can train further on equalisation.

9. What do you do except freediving? Do you have any hobbies?

Freediving is a big part of our Family life, both me and my partner Shirley train when we can, that’s means a whole family trip with the kids to the lake where we can do a small training session ,or we just train in our home. Some of the things we do from home is our stretching session,  body weight training and dry breath-hold training.

Freediving makes our life and our body’s healthier and happier. 15967144_10153965606861557_1397320742_o

As a family we love camping ,fossil hunting ,mushroom picking, or just casual trip to the beach when we can just let it all go and relax.

10. What would you advise to people, who just discovered this sport?

Buckle up as Freediving will give you tons of fun, friends and adventures.

Remember Never Dive Alone ,train hard but be smart ,enjoy the moment ,and most importantly have fun.

The right attitude will take you further and deeper than you think!

Dive Safe;)

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Член российской сборной фридайвинга (инструктор Федерации Фридайвинга РФ) Валентин Рогалев о фридайвинге в своей жизни

1. Как и когда вы узнали о фридайвинге? Почему решили заняться этим спортом и каковы были первые шаги? 

Фридайвингом я начал заниматься после того,как попробовал себя в  подводной  охоте, это было в 2014,тогда я любил рыбалку и узнав что можно ловить рыбу под водой с ружьем я сразу стал осваивать подводную охоту,но была проблема – я плохо плавал 🙂 я  начал ходить в бассейн и учиться плавать, тренировать задержку дыхания -так я плавно погрузился  во фридайвинг. 15877731_1886195304946982_290388768_o

Я больше года разучивал классическое плавание,меня это очень сильно захватило.Я тренировался каждый день,смотрел ролики с ютуба,потом я стал нырять и тут было совсем весело,я сразу испытал все стадии гипоксии ))) потом я узнал что это называется “Самба” и “Блэкаут”.

2. Какая самая любимая и нелюбимая дисциплина во фридайвинге? И если возможно объяснить, то почему?

Самая любимая это статика )) Она сразу мне показалась самая зрелищная (шутка),у меня есть план на эту дисциплину и она у меня лучше всего получается. Так же одна из любимых дисциплин это (DYN), она самая красивая и впечатляющая. Я не любитель брасса (DNF), хотя иногда мне нравится потренироваться и в этой дисциплине. 15909920_1886195291613650_1382696138_n

3. Не могли в нескольких словах рассказать о своем подходе к тренировками. Как часто в неделю занимаетесь тренировками?Следуете плану тренировок или импровизируете опираясь на настроение/самочувствие/внешние факторы?

Сейчас я тренируюсь 6 дней в неделю,и следую определенному плану,так же тренируюсь  в спорт зале.

4. Как часто экспериментируете в своих тренировках и пробуете что-то новое?

Я постоянно экспериментирую,и ищу оптимальный набор упражнений для своих тренировок,это не простая задача так-как информации совсем нет,только на спец курсах которые не так давно стали проводить наши именитые фридайверы.

5. Что мотивирует к тренировкам? Как справляетесь с обычной человеческой ленью/отсутствием желания идти на тренировку?

Мне не нужно себя мотивировать,у меня есть цель,я фанат фридайвинга,я люблю море и воду,мне нравится соревноваться. Не так давно я стал инструктором ФФР, и провел свой первый базовый курс,и мне очень понравилась роль инструктора. 15878463_1886195301613649_1748351762_o

6. Следуете ли какой-либо диете? Что думаете на счет исключения тех или иных продуктов для избежания проблем с продувкой?

Если это можно назвать диетой то вот – я исключил быстрые углеводы (мучные изделия,сахар,алкоголь,майонез,шоколад,соки и лимонад)

7. Вопрос о деньгах 🙂 Спонсируете ли кто-либо ваши выступления?

Что-бы иметь спонсоров надо показывать результат,но я точно знаю, что это возможно. В этом вопросе у меня был опыт,когда я собирался поехать на ЧМ в Турку Финляндия,я записался к генеральному директору АО Карельский Окатыш и изложил ему, что я еду на ЧМ и т.д.,через неделю мне позвонили и предложили помощь.

8. Каковы ваши цели во фридайвинге? Какие краткосрочные и долгосрочные цели перед ставите перед собой?

В этом году я поставил цель, освоить ныряние в глубину. Я знаю что там у меня есть потенциал.

9. Есть ли увлечения помимо фридайвинга? Как восстанавливаетесь после тренировок?

Сплю и кушаю :)) Люблю путешествовать,пробовать разные кухни мира и потом воплощать разные блюда на своей кухне дома,занимаюсь английским языком с репетитором,а также веду небольшой семейный бизнес.

10. Чтобы посоветовали людям, которые только открыли для себя мир фридайвинга (или только собираются это сделать)?15909402_1886195308280315_2038121332_o

Верить в себя и не останавливаться на достигнутом

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100 meters deep Freediver and former World Record holder (CNF) Michal Risian

1. Do you remember how and when did you find out about freediving? What made you to start freediving? What were your 1st steps in this sport?mich1

First time I saw freediving in 1999 on TV. There was very short spot about I guess Australian guy who was trying to brake DYN record. He swam around 190 m and had black out. I thought to myself, that it must be dangerous and that freediviers are freaks and I could never do this . In 2007 I read again article about freediving in one scuba diving magazine and this led me to try a basic weekend freediving course and again I had very mixed impression about freediving, but I kept trying that and later I sold my scuba equipment and kept diving only this way. I did not plan to compete in any sport because I used to compete in swimming when I was a child and spent a lot of time in pools. But I was improving very fast so I tried 🙂 mich5

2. What is your favourite discipline in freediving and which one you don’t like? And could you explain why?

I like CNF the most, because I like outdoor depth disciplines and I find this discipline the most natural and the most pure, dependent only on freediviers body.

3. Tell please few words about your freediving trainings approach: How many times a week do you train? And do you have a fixed schedule or you just wake up in the morning, look into mirror and depending on your mood, body condition or weather decide what to do today?

I used to train more often. Last two years I am busier with my job and family so I use to train max 3 times a week and about 5-6 times a week during competition period and 2-3 months before the main competition. During the year I do not do too specific trainings, I do fitness, running and once a week pool training or outdoor snorkeling.

mich2 I have a mixed approach. I have been trying to keep the fixed schedule, but I listen to my body and lately I need to adjust my schedule to job and family and other parts of life 🙂

4. And how often do you try something new in your freediving trainings?

I try to make every training special in some way. I can do same excercises, but I try to change number of repetitions, time for breath up, and I do it as a like and as I feel that certain day.

5. The next question – what makes you day after day to go to train in a pool/sea? What motivates you to train hard? How do you fight humans’ laziness?

I like the sea. I do my hard training a limited period of the year. And when there is time for that, I like it. If I should do it every year maybe I would lose passion for that, but when it is only part of the year it is fun.

6. Do you believe that some food products could influence the ability to equalize? Like gluten or lactose for example create more mucus which is not good for equalizing? Do you personally follow any diet?

I believe it can affect equalization. But I am not so strict to my diet and I eat mostly what I like 🙂

7. Let’s talk about money 🙂 Do you have any support from sports community of your country or may be some trade brand?

Last 3 years it is better and Czech representatives have some money from the association of Czech divers, from government, we have also material support from some producers of diving equipment e.g. Salvimar and some divers get personal ways of sponsorship.mich3

8. What about your targets in freediving? What would you like to achieve and how deep would you like to get?

I have no specific numbers. I like to dive 80+ meters in CNF once more and I want to master equalization techniques so I could achieve my real limits in CNF. My PB in CWT 103m is far from my physical limits.

9. What do you do except freediving? Do you have any hobbies?

Freediving is nothing more than one of my hobbies. Other hobby is painting (look here MOJE_OBRAZY), tasting good wines and my family 🙂

10. What would you advise to people, who just discovered this sport?

I would advise to be patient when something is hard to achieve, limits are only in our heads, furthermore not to push hard without thinking and enjoy diving with emphasis on safety and with respect to nature…

Follow Michal’s Facebook page to learn more about him

Рекордсменка мира 2007 года Наталия Оводова (Бабич) о фридайвинге

1. Как и когда вы узнали о фридайвинге? Почему решили заняться этим спортом и какими были ваши первые шаги?

Я с детства в бассейне, сначала занималась классическим плаванием (имею разряд МС), затем уже практически хотела заканчивать со спортом и готовиться к поступлению в институт, на крайних сборах пересеклась с тренером по подводному спорту и он уговорил попробовать себя в ластах, в скоростном плавании. Также выполнила разряд МС, и в 2007 году на очередной тренировке пересеклась с нынешним тренером Орлом И.М., но тогда он сам был еще выступающим спортсменом по фридайвингу. Начали тренироваться и уже летом поехали на первый Чемпионат Мира в г.Бари  (Италия), где я стала чемпионкой. Случайно… тут и началась моя фридайверская жизнь img_6231-28-12-17-11-51

2. Какая самая любимая и нелюбимая дисциплина во фридайвинге? И почему?

По дисциплинам не могу ответить на вопрос про любимую и не любимую… я видимо как все женщины непостоянна… и любовь к дисциплинам у меня переменчива… я могу любить на тренировках одну…приехать на старт и испугаться… и тут же полюбить ту дисциплину, которую не готовила… к статике поначалу относилась с меньшим проявлением любви, но сейчас полежать и помучиться иногда тоже люблю…

3. Расскажите о своем подходе к тренировкам: сколько раз в неделю тренируетесь; придерживаетесь какого-то расписания или импровизируете, опираясь на настроение/самочувствие/внешние факторы?

4. Как часто экспериментируете в своих тренировках и пробуете что-то новое?

Отвечая на оба вопроса: к сожалению, профессиональный спорт, в связи с его неоплачиваемостью плавно перешел в разряд хобби, и теперь я стараюсь тренироваться пару раз в неделю на суше (в тренажерном зале), и пару раз в бассейне…но не всегда получается…и это очень обидно…перед главными стартами в году стараюсь почаще тренироваться…я могу тренироваться только с тренером… как в зале, так и на воде, поэтому полностью доверяю тренировочный процесс тренерам…я материал, они из меня лепят)))) img_6321-28-12-17-11-51

5. Что мотивирует Вас к тренировкам? Как справляетесь с обычной человеческой ленью и нежеланием идти на тренировку?

К тренировкам мотивирует страх потерять то, что ты имел на протяжении всей своей осознанной жизни – это общение, поездки на соревнования… внешний вид…ну и в тот момент, когда ты стоишь на пьедестале и в твою честь играет гимн, нигде и никогда не испытаешь этих эмоций…img_4879-28-12-17-11-51

6. Вы придерживаетесь какой-то диеты и что думаете о возможном влиянии некоторых продуктов на продувку?

Диетам нет!

7. Вопрос о деньгах 🙂 Спонсирует ли кто-либо ваши выступления?

Спонсоров нет. И это, наверное, мое желание на НГ –  найти спонсора…

8. Каковы ваши цели во фридайвинге? Какие краткосрочные и долгосрочные цели ставите перед собой?

Хочу еще пару- тройку –четверку  раз установить мировые рекорды.

9. Есть ли у вас увлечения кроме фридайвинга?

В связи с полной занятостью на работе времени катастрофически не хватает… вот был бы день не 24 часа, а 30…

10. Чтобы посоветовали людям, которые только открыли для себя мир фридайвинга (или только собираются это сделать)? fullsizerender-28-12-17-11-51

Наслаждайтесь… и в этом спорте нет соперников… вернее он один, и это ты сам… остальные друзья…

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Freediver from South Africa MJ Kuhn

Freediving “record braker” from South Africa MJ Kuhn set a new National Record in Free Immerssion and we have our TOP-10 questions for him

mjwhitecardlogo

1. Do you remember how and when did you find out about freediving? What made you to start freediving? What were your 1 st steps in this kind of sports?

I started as a spearfisherman in Cape Town, South Africa. I didn’t really know much about freediving back then. Only once I wanted to go deeper did I start looking into getting a proper freediving education. I enrolled for my beginner course and got hooked instantly in the simplicity of it. I just kept going and 6weeks later I was a AIDA Freedive Instructor20160704-oc-img_5094

2. What is your favourite discipline in freediving and which one you don’t like? And could you explain why?

That is a really difficult question; there are parts of every discipline that I like. Free Immersion is the easiest for me, It feels very natural to me. I think it’s because of all the rock climbing I did. Constant weight no-fins is probably the most satisfying as you are using both your arms and legs, you really deplete your fuel sources. I find it so satisfying when you are getting close to the surface and you can feel how empty your body is. Arms and legs numb, they almost feel dead.mjlogo

Constant weight bi-fins is probably my least favourite although I still like the empty feeling I get in my legs after a nice deep dive. Just knowing that you have pushed your body to its limit gives me some kind of satisfaction.

3. Tell please few words about your freediving trainings approach: How many times a week do you train? And do you have a fixed schedule or you just wake up in the morning, look into mirror and depending on your mood, body condition or weather decide what to do today?

I work as a freediving Instructor so often I cannot actually decide what I want to do. However teaching does make you fit. I prefer to separate my strength training from deep diving, I feel uncomfortable if I did a strength session recently and then go deep. I don’t have a set schedule at all. When I feel good I train, I believe rest is as important as the training days. I’d say I probably train 3-5 times a week depending on how I feel.

4. And how often do you try something new in your freediving trainings?

I’m open to new training techniques, so if I hear about something that makes sense physiologically, I would give it a go.

5. The next question – what makes you day after day to go to train in a pool/sea? What motivates you to train hard? How do you fight humans’ laziness?

Firstly I love diving, it takes me out of the craziness of life. When I go under the surface everything disappears, I don’t think about yesterday or tomorrow. I’m completely immersed in that moment between the ocean and myself. I like feeling my body and being in control of it.

Strength training gives me exactly that; after I finish my last sets I can feel every muscle burning… reminding me that they are there. Once you start making progress like feeling stronger or having more control in a certain position that motivates me even more to keep going. Training and exercise makes me feel good, if I go for a while without either I don’t feel good mentally of physically.

Of course there are times when I don’t feel like training, I see this as my body telling me I need more rest. But when I do feel like training I like going all out, going until I feel like puking. Fighting human laziness is tough. Setting goals is what keeps me motivated. Both short-term goals, which I could reach within a few months, and also long term goals, which might take years to reach. I need something to strive towards.

6. Do you believe that some food products could influence the ability to equalize? Like gluten or lactose for example create more mucus which is not good for equalizing? Do you personally follow any diet?

Definitely!!! Sugar is the biggest one for me, sodas and candy especially. It makes my EQ feel sticky. I can still equalise but if I had something with sugar I often feel like I need to swallow when I’m in free fall with a mouth fill. As soon as I swallow I have trouble managing my mouth fill. Sometimes my soft pallet locks up, or I lose some air through my glottis. Also sour things like pineapple affect my ease of equalisation.mj1logo

My diet is high in fat, medium protein and as much vegetables as I want. I avoid carbs, especially simple carbs(rice, pasta, potatoes) completely. My body does not react well to grains and bread either. I eat what makes me feel strong, for a few months I made a journal of everything I did, what I ate and what training I was doing. I rated my mental and physical comfort on dives and in training. So I am not saying it’s for everyone, but this works for me.

7. Let’s talk about money. Do you have any support from sports community of your country or may be some trade brand?

I work as a freedive instructor, which is my only income. I don’t get any support money wise for freediving. I fund competitions and travel expenses myself, it’s an expensive game to play. Getting financial support for freediving competitively would definitely make a huge difference.

There is no support from South Africa at the moment, freediving is still small over there. I have been diving with SeaGods wetsuits from the beginning. Testing prototypes etc. At the moment I get wetsuits from them when I need, which is a good deal. At Freedive Flow  on Gili Air, Indonesia I teach freediving. Working here I am able to dive almost everyday. When I don’t have students I can go train, which saves me a lot of money for travelling and diving expenses. They support my competitive nature… I am always able to take time off for diving if I need it.mj4logo

I am also part of RAW Adrenaline which is a adventure lifestyle brand. We have +-50 athletes from all over the world participating in different extreme sports. RAW gives me a huge platform to promote from. I write blogs for RAW and post video’s etc. Because of the wide variety of people involved I can reach large amounts of people through the RAW platform. Here is a link to my profile on RAW. Here is a link to the latest blog I wrote for RAW.

8. What about your targets in freediving? What would you like to achieve and how deep would you like to get?

I am very keen to put effort into my constant no-fins. My goal is to reach 75m CNF. My big goal is to reach the 100m mark when and how this will happen is still on the table. I like teaching freediving , growing as a teacher is also part of my freediving goals.

9. What do you do except freediving? Do you have any hobbies?

Spearfishing, White water kayaking, rock climbing, slacklining. I haven’t done any of these in a long while, I’ve been completely focused on freediving for the last 18months. As for hobbies, I like writing, I like chilling on the beach and I love eating good food

10. What would you advise to people, who just discovered this kind of sports?

Get a proper education from a well-known school. There is a lot of misinformation out there. Knowledge about freediving is what will keep you safe. Don’t get stuck on the numbers and depth, how you get there is far more important. If you undervalue technique it will come back to bite you in the ass. Freediving is for everyone, all you need is the will to give it a try. Potentially it will change your life forever. It’s beautiful.

Мировой рекорд во фридайвинге от Матеуш Малина

Матеуш Малина установил мировой рекорд Pure Apnea в динамике в ластах.

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На Мировом мини чемпионате по фридайвингу, который состоялся в Чехии, поляк Матеуш Малина побил последний рекорд Pure Apnea в дисциплине Динамика в ластах 226 метров, проплыв 229. На сегодняшний день также является мировым рекордсменом в таких дисциплинах, как Динамика в ластах (300м) и Динамика без ласт (224) по правилам другой организации AIDA International.

27 ноября Pure Apnea проводили соревнования по фридайвингу в Брно и Кейп Таунб представив Северное и Южное полушария.

Первые места мини чемпионата Северного полушария:

  • Мартин Валента(Чехия) установил национальный рекорд STA (09:05)
  • Наталья Оводова (Россия) установила мировой рекорд Pure Apnea (166м) в Динамике в ластах
  • Иванска Барбора(Чехия) установила национальный рекорд (137м) в дисциплине Динамика без ласт.

Первые места Pure Apnea Южного полушария в Кейп Тауне:

  • Аннэлиз Мюллер– рекорд Южной Африки (133м) в динамике в ластах
  • Стефан Кирстен – рекорды Намибии в динамике без ласт и динамике в ластах
  • Стив Троллоуп– результат в статике 6:27

Поздравления спортсменам!

Freediving. It is all about safety

Freediving course
Freediving course

Recently I found an article on the Internet describing  free diving as a super extreme and deadly activity. It said that people dying often during free diving . Is it true? Is it really that extreme and chances of an accident really high?

First, let’s divide freedivers into two types; competitive and recreational. The first group usually serious sportsmen with high determination to push their limits as much as possible. They free dive to win and to be champions at least on a National scene. High chances are that these guys know everything about safety. And even more – despite the fact that hundreds of people compete every year, serious accidents happen quiet rarely (one fatal accident during international competition). The main reason is that these guys KNOW what they are doing and the safety is well organised by professionals.

Recreational free divers. Who are they? Simple. Every one who makes a deep breath, holds it and submerged his face into the water for whatever reason IS a free diver. So, they SHOULD follow safety rules:

  • never free dive alone
  • never do hyperventilation
  • never push your limit to hard
  • never push your limits without an experienced buddy
  • never do free diving after scuba diving
  • never be over-weight
  • use “one up – one down” system
  • don’t hesitate to postpone your dive/training if you are not feeling well

A little bit more about main the principles…

1. Never free dive alone. If you ask your grandma to keep an eye on you while you do static apnea training – IT DOESN’T count. Only those who have proper training and knowledge can do safety for you. So encourage your training buddy to take a free diving course as well. Make sure that both of you know how to do it. Practice safety scenarios on a regular basis.

2. Never hyperventilate. You have already learned about disadvantages of hyperventilation in your free diving courses. Let me remind you about the main point – it will reduce level of CO2 which put you in a greater risk of LMC/BO/SWO!! Please, don’t do it.

3. Never push your limits to hard/without experience buddy. First of all, why do you want to progress so fast? To impress someone? To become World Champion? Because of your EGO? Give your buddy time to adopt and you will be rewarded with constant progress! For example. You have max 3 min. On your next try are you going to try 3.05-3.10 or 4 minutes? The first choice is conservative, but it is also safer approach. Let’s have a look what can possible happen when you do freediving training ?

  • LMC (“Samba”) or loss motor control. This happens when you push your limits too much in a confined or open water training/maximum attempt. Partial pressure of O2 in your blood drops (less than 0.16) and your brain couldn’t control your movement any more. In a worse case scenario you can fall into the water which can create the possibility of drowning. If it happens with your buddy, grab him and make sure that his head is above the water. After proper recovery breathing, symptoms should disappear within several seconds. But keep an eye on your partner at least 20-30 seconds. Finish training session! How to avoid. Avoid hyperventilation. Be conservative with you progress. Slow progress is better than quick and unsafe!
  • BO. Black out. Partial pressure even low than in LMC (less than 0.1) and your brain will simply switch off your body. This can happen after LMC if you are not able to do recovery breathing. Keep air ways open (head above the water). Tap the check area, blow air across the face, instruct free diver to breath by command “breath”. If after several seconds he is still unconscious, do rescue breathes and bring diver out of water. Provide O2. Finish training session. Be conservative with your progress and never hyperventilating. 
  • SWO. Shallow water black out. This only happens during open water session when free diver ascending from the depth. There is partial pressure drop during ascent where divers can suddenly loose conscious without any symptoms on the last meters before the surface. Bring him to the surface. Keep air ways open (head above the water). Tap the check area, blow air across the face, instruct free diver to breath by command “breath”. If after several seconds he is still unconscious, do rescue breathes and bring diver out of water. Provide O2  Finish training session. Avoid this by never hyperventilating, never being over-weight, and being conservative with depth progress. Have enough time to recover after your last dive.

At the end. As far as you can see all problems can be avoided and solved, if you free dive with experienced buddy and follow simple rules. Or they can become dead serious if you are free diving/training on your own and rushing for meters/minutes. It is up to you. But even if you like this kind of unnecessary risk, keep in mind that you compromise the whole free diving community. So, please, be safe! If you have any question about safety in freediving, don’t hesitate to ask your free diving instructor. Or ask here 🙂