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bottom time

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Aug 2, 2004
Hi, I was hoping to get some advice to improve my freediving. Sitting still I can hold my breath for 4:30 minutes on land. While I am diving though I feel like I cant get calm enough, or I burn to much oxygen to stay down long. When I fish I can usually only comfortably stay at 15 feet for a little more than a minute. The deepest I have dove was 85 feet. Are these reasonable numbers for a 4:30 static. I sort of feel like I should be able to stay down longer. Thanks for any help or "tricks of the trade" that you can give me!
I think it has a lot to do with fitness - it is much easier to hold your breath while moving around if you are reasonably fit.

If you are not being closely supervised by a buddy, trying to push the limits or do something difficult is definitely NOT a good idea.


Hi fishon,

Welcome to DB.

Your underwater numbers are not unreasonable, but suggest that further time in the water will see your depth and times increase. How long have you been freediving, how many days in the water??

Have fun and dive safe.

I have been freediving for a few years, but not too seriously. I haven't done any extra training or pool work (although recently I started running and doing static tables)- and unless M&M's and hotdogs are good for freediving, I guess my diet sucks too. How long is your static breath hold and how deep can you dive? Thanks,
Welcome fishon. Your numbers are fine. Many spearos hunt for 45 to 60 seconds.
If you want to extend your bottom times, you might want to learn a relaxation technique to use during the breathe-up and while you're waiting on the bottom.
What's your entry like? Thrashing and punding all the way, or 1 leg up, graceful, slow and quiet. You shouldn't be working hard to get down. When you get to the bottom, concentrate on all the parts of your body, one by one, and feel them let go and relax. Forget about fishing for a minute (literally). Use that time to relax....the fish will start to show up after.
If you're in a searching dive, make sure you're streamlined as possible and move SLOWLY. Even moving your head to the side or changing the position of the gun should be done as if you are in molasses....and focus on finding the tight spots in your body and letting them turn to mush......your bottom times will increase if you do these things.
Bottom times of 2 to 3 minutes are not unreasonable, even in cold water, but be damn careful.
The same stuff applies to recreational freediving.
My PB in static is 6:20, my best dive was 50.4 metres. While spearing I'm usually down for 1:45 to 2:15, and weighted heavy.
Erik Y.
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Erik is right on, particularly relaxing your body one piece at a time. I start at the head and work down, then do it again, and again. With practice, it can really help your bottom times. Also, getting yourself weighted right can make a considerable difference. Apnea walking is real good dry land practice.

I do very little statics. Typical depths and times: spearfishng , 40 ft, average 1 minute, sightseeing, 40-90 ft, 1.5 minutes, line diving pb 120 ft, 1-1.5 minutes.

I borrowed a better mask that I think helped me out a little today. I think I am weighted pretty well, but when I dive off a boat or kayak I do best. I dont know if it is because I didnt do the long swim, I dont have to float with my weight so much, or maybe I am just more comfortable (probably all these things). I want to try apnea walking. Do you just walk and hold your breath, or is there some kind of trick? Thanks for all the help,
It is normal to have a big difference between static times and actual dive times. Erik and Connor have lots of good ideas!

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Apnea walking: any way you do it probably helps, but there are lots of different techniques. Use the search function and it will lead you to much detail.
Personally, I do FRC ( passive exhale) walks, because it is faster, and count paces to moniter my progress. I take a breath and walk, then exhale and breathup while still walking slowly, simulating how I dive, total distance, about .7 miles(1100 m).

Static PB - 4:00 (pushing myself very hard, maybe near BO?).

"CW" dive PB ("CW" because it is in a spring where I use ledges to pull myself down so it's sort of VW) - 1:20/50ft (duration) and 1:05/70ft (depth). There's also some horizontal movement in there too because of the spring structure. Pushing myself a bit, but as far as I know, not even close to BO.

I've always been curious about my numbers too. I'd like to push myself harder on dives, with buddies obviously. In statics I get contractions and intense discomfort, progressively building up to the point I think is near BO. The last third of a PB static is intense to unbearable discomfort. In a dive I usually surface before the contractions and discomfort even start, leading me to believe I was down only 60-70% of my potential bottom time (a good safety I hope since I'm often solo). But I know that dives are different than statics, and for all I know, I could be really close to BO and just not get discomfort in dives. Any ideas?
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