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)

 

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

 

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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Freediving team USA captain Tom Gilmore 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? gilmore2

I found out about freediving first when my friend and the pool manager, Will Spivey, at my local pool,  the Panama City Beach  Aquatic Center, told me he was taking a course.  We discussed it briefly but I did not give it so much thought after that. About a year later I was to take a business trip to Hawaii and made the commitment to advance my Scuba certifications while I was in Hawaii as quickly as possible. I finished Advanced and Rescue Diver certifications. Rescue diver certification changed my outlook on diving from inward to outward to learn to watch out for the other divers who may be less capable. Upon my return to Panama City Beach, I continued to advance my certifications with my favorite local shop Dive Locker. Within six months of leaving for Hawaii I became a PADI certified Divemaster.

Becoming a professional Divemaster was what led me to freediving. I started working the dive boat taking out charters and watching over the people. At Dive Locker and with most of the dive charters in the area we do out of water supervision. I found this boring and started to freedive to about 20 meters to watch the divers and check about their safety.  I found it a lot of fun but a friend warned me that this was dangerous.

Following some further research I decided my friend was right and I decided to get certified.  I found a course taught by Kirk Krack in Fort Lauderdale and told my daughter Meghan about it. Meghan said, “I want to do that”. So I enrolled us both and we took our first course in 2013 and both finished well.  We were hooked.  Shortly after we enrolled in Advanced and Safety Supervisor Training and I became an Instructor as well learning in Kona, Hawaii.  One of the most wonderful places to dive I have been ever and since. My last day in instructor training we saw a mother and a calf Humpback swim underneath us to tour the bay and eyeball the tourists and the Instructor class.

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

My favorite discipline is no-fins. I like it best because it is difficult and the best workout.  The other reason I enjoy it is because you can pack the least amount of dive gear. I love to train in no fins in the freshwater springs that we have in the North Florida Panhandle area.   I feel so lightweight.  I to be way underweighted and power down to neutral buoyancy. Then a couple of armpulls and you are flying back to the surface. Super fun!

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?

Currently I am training every day in the pool. I try to go in the afternoon when the sun is out and the temperature is the warmest. It works best with my schedule. This may change as I have a new job which is going to place some demands on my time. I am hopeful the noontime training time is still available to me.

I could not say enough about the beauty of the Panama City Beach Aquatic Center and the support staff. They are awesome. The water is always clear and warm and beautiful to swim in.

I grew up as a competitive swimmer and have kept it up ever since.   Without being in the pool I don’t really feel right. I love how swimming clears your head (mind and sinus).gilmore3

I love to do fin training in the pool and do a lot of underwater kicking. I also love to do drills where I mix up swimming with vertical diving to the bottom of the pool. I like to do sets with 2 dives to 3m (max depth in our pool) per 25 yards. I also enjoy no fin drills and love to invent new things to do. My plan is to share some video of some of these training sets with the freedive community internationally.

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

I usually do something new every day but its a lot of times repeat of old things or new mixtures or new orders. I always start out with 500 yards swimming or more. I also never get tired of underwater backstroke kick with fins.

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 have been swimming so long I just don’t feel good unless I get into the pool. Its basically a makeup of my psychology and physiology now. I am 57 years old and have been swimming since I was six. Pool training is my thing because I can do it alone. I work my sets alone and don’t push breathing to contractions. I always surface before contractions.

Ocean training is hard for me because we don’t have many buddies available. That is why I became an instructor. I have trained several to be buddies in the area but we are still a small group and most of my students don’t love the pool training as much as I do.

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 follow a strict diet for health reasons and learned it works for diving.  I don’t eat hardly any meat. Mostly salads and pasta or beans and rice. Occasionally I will splurge on a pizza.  I read that we all have cancer cells in us and malignancy occurs when the cells grow out of control. I leaned that cancer cells love mucous as the mucous protects cancer cells from antibodies. Mucous is produced by cheese. Mucous also makes it more difficult to equalize when it is thick and sticky,  I don’t each much cheese at all. Sometimes a little parmesan with my pasta.   I learned cancer cells love lots of protein especially from meat. This helps them develop thick cell walls to protect them against antibodies that get through the mucous.  Lastly I don’t eat any refined sugar or deserts (sometimes chocolate cookies, nobody is perfect). Sugar helps cancer cells divide and grow more rapidly.

These things I learned about cancer cells may be wrong as I am not a physician, just a little bit of an engineer.

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

In the USA support is not very much and not very well coordinated. I took it as a personal responsibility to promote Team USA as Captain for 2016 World Championships. We raised a little bit of money for the event but only about 20% of the expenses. Some of the team members did their own fundraising efforts which helped them and was perhaps more successful.  We had no corporate sponsors. My goal is to do much better for 2018. My trade brand is in its infancy and mostly for the freedive instructor business which is still very small. gilmore

In the US freediving is getting more popular as a participant sport but not as one where people are enthusiastically following the countries athletes as in other countries like Japan and maybe Russia. I only can guess about those countries as the leaders facebook feeds are full and friend requests are not possible, only to friend those athletes.

I want to give back to the sport by helping the US following grow to be more like some of the other countries.

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

I would like to be a 100 meter diver one day. IT is difficult as deep water is 25 miles offshore in the Gulf Coast of the USA. I would have to travel to Hawaii really to train for deep diving.  Perhaps Cayman Islands which has a growing community of freedivers.  My teammate Kurt Randolph I believe will soon be a 100m diver.

I would like to break the static American record to have all three pool records. But these are secondary goals to becoming a better athlete, staying in shape, staying healthy and being a good example to younger athletes as to what is possible.

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

I swim and enjoy the water with my dogs. I work a lot and read a lot. I am always trying to learn new things and improve my attitude. I am always trying to learn more in Computer Science and Cybersecurity. I have projects in real estate, and new ones in aquaculture and hydroponics in the workings. I hope to spend more time with my granddaughter. And of course mostly I love teaching a freedive class whenever I can.

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

Please get certified,  Don’t try to save money  and learn on your own without professional training. The professionals are always learning and improving their game. If you are certified consider becoming an instructor. I put up a post about US Navy divers doing breathhold training in the pool and doing it wrong. (Side by side, both divers underwater at the same time.) Two US Navy Seals died last year in a pool in Virginia that way. I always confront those noobs and tell them get certified. Learn how to be a good safety. People who don’t know what they are doing are getting pools closed off to athletes who want to train correctly in the US. The US is a very litigious society which is why hardly any pools have 3m diving boards (platform diving) in the US. gilmore4

Never dive alone. Also certified professionals get sloppy sometimes especially when fishing is involved. Someone always needs to step up and get everybody to follow protocol and discuss dive plans. Communication is the key especially when poor visibility is involved. Kelp on the surface makes it even more difficult. That’s why good communication and using a line and a float are a must in my opinion.

 

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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…

Больше информации о Натальи на ее странице в ВКонтакте, Фейсбуке, Инстограме 

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

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 🙂