Guest viewing is limited
  • Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

  • Hi Guest - just to let you know that we performed some work on the forums recently. You may use this thread report any issues you encounter.

Freediving: extreme sport (psychological profiles)

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

What is your psychological profile in freediving?

  • Extreme experiencer

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Full-blooded experiencer

    Votes: 2 5.7%
  • Achiever

    Votes: 9 25.7%
  • Latent actualizer

    Votes: 20 57.1%
  • Experience-achiever

    Votes: 4 11.4%

  • Total voters
    35

gerard

New Member
Oct 3, 2002
230
27
0
Hi, hello everyone.

I'd like to hear different opinions on this topic as it will help me to gather more info on the project I'm working on. There is some research done in the psychosociology of sports, particularly extreme sports, which basically state that extreme sports, like base jumping, rock-climbing, bungee jumping, etc. (there is no mention to freediving, but it is basically the same due to the present danger), are taken up by people who fit into the following categories:

1. Extreme experiencers. They are true adrenaline junkies, individuals who need a constant adrenaline rush to feel good. However they will be turned off by permissible things, i.e. base jumpers who like to challenge authority by jumping off buildings.

2. Full-blooded experiencers. They chase risk for its own sake but they won’t get turned off by permissible things.

3. Achievers. They seek thrill as well but care about the permissibility of something

4. Latent actualizers , are those to seek the thrill but only to challenge themselves.

5. Experience-achievers , are drawn into the sport to win others’ admiration.


IMO freedivers belong to categories 3, 4 & 5.


Which category do you fit in?


There is no right or wrong answers.


Thanks for your help.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Adrian

Walrus

Oz freediver
Oct 3, 2001
693
77
0
To the media and people that don't do it I'm sure freediving sounds like an extreme sport. The biggest difference however is that the other extreme sports the speed, fear and excitement raises the heart rate and releases adreline into the body.

Freediving is the oposite of this, you try to keep your heartrate down, your mind calm. I doubt if many freedivers experience an 'adreline rush' whilst diving, I certainly don't.

Gerard I think you are corect in a way, freedivers would fall into 3,4 & 5. I don't think that 1&2 would apply to any freedivers, well not any good ones anyway. Someone that gets a lot of excitement, raised heart rate and an adreline rush on a dive would have a prettty lousy breathold.

I think Bluewater Spearfishing would have a lot more of the excitement/ adreline element ie landing big fish, shark encounters etc.

Cheers,
Wal
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
2,334
410
173
42
I voted no.4, though as a default.
I also don't consider freediving as an extreme sport...
Not in the feeling of it anyway.
Extreme sports make my palms sweat and heart race, freediving on good days feels like dynamic meditation.
 

Kars

Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2003
3,445
569
203
43
I see it as an way of exploration, the exploration of myself.

Sure it's nice to participate in competition, and to focus an do your best. But the things I like most are talking and making friends, share experiences etc. When I visit a competition I always have fallen into the "trap" of having conversations instead of prepairing. Not that my performances are far from compeditive, as for instance I took gold in static last competition in Belgium.
The gold was a nice motivator for training, but I'm happy not being obsessed with winning.

For me freediving is about being, being there in peace and with peace in my mind.

Option 4 would be the closest, though I would not care about sensless regulations and I consider this peace of mind not being a thrill. It's more a thing that one can learn, and through freediving I've discoverd it.

Like Deepthought I do not consider freediving an "extreme sport".
Rather something natural.

// edit, some spelling/grammar and these lines:
At last I would like to add that freediving to me is not like playing with death, though to an uninitiate it may look like this.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Adrian

Paul Kotik

FreeDiving Editor
Oct 21, 2003
322
63
0
69
TOO WIDE A NET

Seems to me that we have reached a state wherein the word
'freediving' hs come to refer to such a diverse range of activities as to make it nearly impossible to treat the people who do these things as a single population.

If I were to grab two random people out of my bag of freediving
acquaintance, as an example, here's what we might find:

One lives in a temperate, landlocked region. Seldom sets eyes on an ocean, has dived in oceans a single -digit number of days in his life. Freediving, to him, is straight up and down a line in an icy, inky-black artificial pit. On a good day, he can see the line a few inches form his nose. He is very, very capable. He trains breath-hold in a chair in his house. He reaches very significant depths in this manner, and does a lot of it.

The other lives on a tropical island. He runs his errands by boat, and is in the water every day to hunt fish, repair moorings, and visit with the creatures, plants and rocks that are as much a part of his world as his bedroom. The boundary between the air and the water is physiological only - he breathes in the former, but not in the latter. Otherwise, his everyday life takes him through air and ocean as if they were one. He does not dive to astonishing depths - no particular reason to.

What do these two have in common ? They both stop breathing sometimes, yes. There is some commonality of physiological response to apnea, wetness, hydrostatic pressure. Beyond that,
it's not easy for me to discern much in the way of common motivation or experience.

If we go to the core experience, the only one all the folks we call 'freedivers' share, it is apnea.

I would frame the question around that, and ask what it is about the experience of, and response to apnea that its practicioners are motivated by.

Even there, I suspect the anwers vary wildly. Personally, I don't like it. I'd rather be able to breathe underwater ! If somebody
invented a gill implant you'd not catch me holding my breath
ever again ! For me, apnea is an adaptation, a means to an end (moving through the ocean environment) and not and end in
itself. For others, apnea seems to be the thing, the goal, the
focus.

I'd be really interested in some pointers into the literature on the psychology of extreme sports !

Paul
 

Adrian

Deeper Blue Beachcomber
Supporter
Nov 23, 2002
2,691
533
218
67
I'll align myself with Kars on this point. For me too freediving is not an extreme sport, at least as I practice it. I do it for the beauty and not knowing what you are going to find or encounter.

Adrian
 

Longfins

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2001
254
43
118
Originally posted by DeepThought
I voted no.4, though as a default.
I also don't consider freediving as an extreme sport...
Not in the feeling of it anyway.
Extreme sports make my palms sweat and heart race, freediving on good days feels like dynamic meditation.

Over a decade ago the first definition of 'extreme sports' was "If you fail, you die." So I would say freediving fits this definition, so do others like base jumping or freeclimbing where a single equipment or technique failure would lead to immediate and certain death.

These days, however, the term has been diluted to include any adrenaline-rush sport like street luging and food such as tacos at Taco Bell ;)

Peter S.
 
Last edited:

Paul Kotik

FreeDiving Editor
Oct 21, 2003
322
63
0
69
EXTREME SPORT ?

I think it depends a lot on what you mean by 'freediving'.

I would say riding a sled down to 170 meters is an extreme sport, in the same way that some of the other extreme sports
mentioned here are.

I don't know whether I'd consider catching lobsters all day in
20m - 30m of tropical ocean an extreme sport at all, although
I suppose it might tire a person out no less than the sled dive.
 

samdive

Mermaid, Musician and Marketer
Nov 12, 2002
3,221
278
173
48
I'm really interested in the psychology of this thread. Most of the freedivers I come across are the up and down a line kind but I happily fall into the along a reef and up and down a lobster kind too. I don't think the two are mutually exclusive.

I would however put myself into category 3 because for me Freediving is also about achieving. The only difference is that whereas in my younger days I was good at physics, could run a mean set of hurdles and won prizes for being able to speak German- I did not ENJOY any of these things. Freediving I am reasonably good at and actually enjoy - and the better I get at it the more I enjoy it .... so achieving is important

But then of course, you don't realise quite how much you get out of the achievements until you have a run of disappointments - six months stuck at a block of 30m and then you crash through it and that kind of thing....

Once you guys have worked out the freediving psychology - can you have a go at Tec Divers. We are surrounded by men (and women actually) at saltFree who seem to think that the more kit they can wear and the deeper they go the more the world will think of them. I have a new theory - the size of a man's **** is inversely proportional to the number of tanks slung around his body..

.. which I guess makes freedivers more attractive (and THAT statement will get me in trouble!)

Sam x
 

Jon

Dairyland diver
Supporter
Apr 7, 2001
4,080
473
188
54
I have a new theory - the size of a man's **** is inversely proportional to the number of tanks slung around his body..

I just emailed that quote to some of my tech diving buddies and they blew a gasket- which means that you must have been right!;)

I would go with #4 on the choices, but I don't know that anything can be quantified in such limited terms, especially the very narrow choices that Paul proposes.

There's no #1 reason that I got into freediving, it just kind of happened over time. Some of it was challenging myself with something new. Some of it was a way to do the same job more efficiently, like divemastering and doing certain mooring jobs. Part of it was to get closer to fish so that I could take pictures, and even shoot some of them.:p Some of it came from not being able to scuba dive on the last day of the dive trip- although that has since been thrown out the window by the DIR crowd.

However, the biggest reason would have to be the trade-off in water time vs. effort. I find so many scuba divers in a rush to get out to the dive site, jump in for 30 minutes, get out and go off to the next one, just so they can get back to the dock and drink a beer and tell everyone what a good time they had. That leaves you with a lot of "tank jockeying" for relatively little bottom time- this goes triple for trimix diving.

Freediving, on the other hand, allows you to spend immense amounts time in the water vs. the few minutes it takes you to get ready. It allows me to cover vast areas of a lake that I could never get around to with a tank(s) on my back- even with a scooter. I can also pack my freediving gear with me on trips that would never allow the extra space that scuba gear would entail. It is, to me, in every essence "free" diving.

I may do the "line in the quarry thing" a few times a year to check myself, and see where my boundries are, but other times are still spent spearing, playing hockey, taking pictures, diving wrecks, ect.

I also have to admit that my wallet is a bit fatter after switching to freediving from scuba, but that wasn't the main reason for making the switch either.

Now, I have just listed a bunch of reasons why "I" made the jump into freediving, so now multiply that by the 2,000+ Deeper Blue members on these forums and find out even more.

Jon
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
4,006
779
218
71
Thanks to samdive and jon for my belly laugh of the day.

I never seem to fit the categories on anything, so you decide where I fit. Spearfishing is where I started, and (like body surfing, my other long term addiction) the adrenaline rush is a very big attraction. I can't resist competing to the max with myself and with the other guys (or "divers of the female gender") in the boat, but have little interest in official competions of any kind. Unlike body surfing, free diving, be it spearing or otherwise, is also a game of mind/body control and disiplined calmnesss, which is a kick, although I am not so good at that part of it. However, what really makes it for me is some fundamental emotional fullfilment that diving, especially free diving, provides. It is the completion of a early (repeated and vivid) childhood dream of flying. I can't get enough of it. This is the thrill that brings me back and back. It isn't an adrenaline rush and has nothing to do with danger , but is something much deeper that I can't quite explain and isn't related to the categories at all.

I don't think it is apnea, I'm with Paul, gills would be a great improvement as long as they weren't big and bulky.

These days, I'm doing a lot more sight seeing than spearing and starting to do some "down the line" diving. Chalange, adrenaline are part of it, but the flying part is still formost.

Thanks to all contributers for an excellent thread.

Connor
 

Baur

Spearomania Desperata
Apr 10, 2004
201
16
18
Hi guys

For me its all about the magic of the sea and mans place in nature. We are not made to work 8 hours a day 6 days a week. This is just a system to keep our overpopulated masses in a productive state. It is not life its just fuctioning. The term "extreme sports" is representative of this mentality. Anything is perceived extreme if it contradicts the socially accepted norms and entails the possibility that you will not be able to put a full 8 hours of work the next day.

When diving in apnea you subconciously accept the possibility that you might drown. You weigh things out and you accept this risk for the beauty of the dive or the beauty of competition. I dont believe that apneists have strong ego. You have to let the sea "dominate" you to develop as an apneist.

I am nowhere close to the depths some of you in this forum can attain, but everytime I surface from a prolonged dive I am thankful for my body and for the immense beauty of the world, and am grateful for existing.

When I was 8 years old I would stay up all night with my lines ready, waiting for my grandfather to wake up and take me fishing. Today im 33, married, and still cannot sleep from the anticipation of the dive. At dawn its an 8 year old driving down the highway. My heart skips a few beats when the first shimmers of blue appear on the horizon.
 

Will

Freediver
Jun 20, 2003
556
151
133
40
I agree with Baur - Freediving is only an extreme sport if you view the sea as an extreme, hostile environment. I'm sure most freedivers can relate with the idea of the sea as a friend, with which to collaborate rather than compete against. If this is your mindset then the only extreme bit is trying to get into your wetsuit!
 

Paul Kotik

FreeDiving Editor
Oct 21, 2003
322
63
0
69
I like Sam's take, which I am a party to except I've not spent much time on the correlational analyses of equipment configuration and ...equipment configuration in the male of the tek diver species.

I can say I have observed, especially in recent years, that there is a subspecies of diver for whom the death-defying thing is a key feature of it.

For others, it is a peripheral feature of it, not central. Yes, one could drown diving, or get eaten, or whatever, but what of it ? A similar fate threatens every automobile driver who does not systematically follow a set of rules and take certain precautions, yet few consider their morning commute a death-defying extreme sport. Note: traffic deaths in the USA were about 43,000 last year.


Death-defying extreme sport or life-affirming avocation ? I think
I see a Great Divide along that line in our little community.

Comments ?

Paul
 

samdive

Mermaid, Musician and Marketer
Nov 12, 2002
3,221
278
173
48
of course the death defying image does have an upside...

I am afraid of:

any height taller than myself - in fact the man in my life is a little scary at 6'4

theme park rides - but I can just about stand the ghost train

people - other than myself - who drive like lunatics

chickens - my mum has some and they peck me

babies - for all the obvious reasons

loud noises - all clearly the beginning of world war three

eggs - see chickens, there might be a wee one inside

scuba diving - after a couple of unfortunate bends last year

YET I freedive and therefore people think I am one hell of a gutsy lady... and I'm not gonna argue with them!!

so, yes of course it is death defying...

Sam x
 
  • Like
Reactions: DeepThought

samdive

Mermaid, Musician and Marketer
Nov 12, 2002
3,221
278
173
48
of course the death defying image does have an upside...

I am afraid of:

any height taller than myself - in fact the man in my life is a little scary at 6'4

theme park rides - but I can just about stand the ghost train

people - other than myself - who drive like lunatics

chickens - my mum has some and they peck me

babies - for all the obvious reasons

loud noises - all clearly the beginning of world war three

eggs - see chickens, there might be a wee one inside

scuba diving - after a couple of unfortunate bends last year

YET I freedive and therefore people think I am one hell of a gutsy lady... and I'm not gonna argue with them!!

so, yes of course it is death defying...

Sam x
 

JimGlynn

New Member
Jan 16, 2002
278
19
0
57
I have to say that CB PB's are definitely of the thrill seeking variety. Sinking deeper than you ever have before, willing yourself to just keep going, relax and equalize even though the water is pitch black and all you can see is the rope illluminated from flashlights. Then the turnaround and the reality of the depth hits you smack in the face. Now you have to make it back to the surface! I find the descent and the ascent almost two different mindsets. Watching the rope to stay calm, the water gets brighter, nagging doubts saying this time you are not going to make it, the water rushing faster over your mask and then bam you are back on the surface. You cannot tell me that is not a pure, life-confiming first breath! PB attempts are only once or twice a season and they must be treated with the seriousness and safety they demand. I went with choice three because I love the feeling of being on the precipice of survival and then returning safely, forever changed. I am definitely a controlled thrill seeker and proud of it!
Jim
 
Last edited:

gerard

New Member
Oct 3, 2002
230
27
0
Originally posted by Paul Kotik
I can say I have observed, especially in recent years, that there is a subspecies of diver for whom the death-defying thing is a key feature of it

First I'd like to express many thanks to all the contributors to this thread :)

Paul, I agree and that what's I am after in my research. There is a correlation between seeking thrill through extreme sports and the lack of the enzime 'monoamine oxidase', which facilitates neuron transmission between receptors,; hence that will deactivate monoamine neurotransmitters. Thrill seekers are deficient in this enzyme levels in the brain, and the only way they can get elevated levels is by doing high-adrenaline activities.

Base jumpers are the ones that fit into this category. However, you are saying that there are freedivers who might fit into this category. I'd like to hear from them. Please send me a PM if you'd like to discuss this in private.

I repeat again, there are no right or wrong answers. Let me say here that I have a deep respect for the entire freediving community. Sorry, if in the past I had few disagreements.


Thanks again.
 

Paul Kotik

FreeDiving Editor
Oct 21, 2003
322
63
0
69
SAM...

I'm not afraid of any of the things on your list.

I am, however, quite fearful of you !

Paul Kotik
Freediving Editor
 
DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing

ABOUT US

ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2021 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Spearfishing and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.

ADVERT