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Freediving for oldies

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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ROY ABEL

Member
Aug 15, 2015
2
2
13
66
Hello everyone.
First post: nice to meet you all :)
Okay, okay I'm 65 years old - it'll happen to all of you sometime, I sincerely hope!
I feel (slightly alarmingly) at home underwater - I guess all freedivers feel the same. I took my Aida 2 stars down 20m & along 60. Will do 3 star when I get the chance. Hope to be off to Egypt in November for a week with Sara Campbell..but who knows hey?
But to get to the point:
I was carting my long fins around the coasts of the Iles d'Or in the Med last summer when I was accosted by a prickly character asking my age & what I was doing. Turns out he was a pro Diver who got bent and suffered ongoing health problems. He more or less suggested that I was away with the fairies doing what I was doing: tho rowed back a bit when I pointed out I led an active outdoor life as a farmer & hillwalker.
I honestly can see no be reason to give up what I love: just not to expect quite so much in terms of performance, maybe..like most other things in fact!;-) Does anyone know more on the subject of wrinkly subaquanauts?
Stay safe :)R
 

Gunthr

Member
Jun 2, 2017
1
2
13
65
Hi Roy, I was just passing by, got a laugh on your subject of wrinkly subaquanauts. :cool: I'm 70 yoa, I live in South Florida, and I am primarily a scuba spearfisher. I am fit thanks to God and bicycle riding 16 miles a day about 5 days a week, but I have type 2 diabetes which complicates things just a bit. I have gone unconscious before when low blood sugar from meds snuck up on me, but I was on the bike, not in the water. So, to be safe in the water I make sure I am at a moderately high blood sugar level to work around the issue. I hesitate to mention it here because it is no doubt dangerous, and it is most likely not recommended for diabetics, and you risk your legacy to loved ones who may not get the insurance payoff if you die under these circumstances. So needless to say, I won't be holding my breath at my age. All I do is have nice, easy kicking, and if the grouper gets away, I'm just glad I got to see him. Cheers
 

dcvf

Member
Aug 15, 2015
83
22
23
78
Hi Roy
As wrinkly subaquanauts’ …Here is my journey!
65… it happened to me 12 years ago… I’ll be 78 in 3 month.
I got my AIDA 3* when i was young at 73.
With the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, my trip to the Red Sea in October was canceled, I could not freedive. I had however prepared for 'Nemo33' in Belgium, down to 21m (69 ft)
You wrote :
just not to expect quite so much in terms of performance,’
Same for me
I am not a fan of pure apnea along the rope, It is not much fun in the flooded quarries
I prefer doing films in red Sea, Maldives or Indonesia, please see here below
INDONESIE 2017
Indonésie Sulawesi 2017 => Indonésie Kri n°1 2017 => Indonésie Kri n°2 2017 => Indonésie Kri n°3 2017 => Indonésie Siladen 2017 => My other activity is ‘race bike’
Scott S1 copie.png


I climbed Mont Ventoux (1912m or 2091 yards) in France in 2018. I was 76 years old
P1130856 copie.JPG


P1130859 copie.JPG



Hi Gunthr,
Nowadays, I don't ride as much as you ( only 1203 km or 747 miles in 2019). I don’t ride by rainy weather and It’s rain very often in Belgium.
We aren't as lucky as you in South Florida.
You wrote :
So needless to say, I won't be holding my breath at my age.’.
During AIDA training, 2 months ago, I did 3'30 ’’, after a good preparation of course

So be optimistic ' young people' ;) , you still have great prospects in front of you.:cool:


Cheers
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
4,006
779
218
71
Hi Roy,

No reason at all to give up what you love. Do more of it, its good for you!

I'm 70, freedive much longer and deeper than 20 years ago(better technique makes a huge difference). The only negative I've seen with age is less endurance. Also a bit less of the testosterone modulated "go for broke" drive. Not sure that's a negative. Today, couple of hours of serious diving is about my limit. Used to be able to spearfish 5 hours a day and do it again tomorrow.

Respect to dcvf, nice vids.
 

vrokhlenko

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2002
244
56
118
55
Hello everyone.
First post: nice to meet you all :)
Okay, okay I'm 65 years old - it'll happen to all of you sometime, I sincerely hope!
I feel (slightly alarmingly) at home underwater - I guess all freedivers feel the same. I took my Aida 2 stars down 20m & along 60. Will do 3 star when I get the chance. Hope to be off to Egypt in November for a week with Sara Campbell..but who knows hey?
But to get to the point:
I was carting my long fins around the coasts of the Iles d'Or in the Med last summer when I was accosted by a prickly character asking my age & what I was doing. Turns out he was a pro Diver who got bent and suffered ongoing health problems. He more or less suggested that I was away with the fairies doing what I was doing: tho rowed back a bit when I pointed out I led an active outdoor life as a farmer & hillwalker.
I honestly can see no be reason to give up what I love: just not to expect quite so much in terms of performance, maybe..like most other things in fact!;-) Does anyone know more on the subject of wrinkly subaquanauts?
Stay safe :)R
I am not your age yet but I am getting there. These are my recommendations:
1) Always stay on a conservative side. Do not let your dives get longer than a half of your max static time
2) Try to be in the best possible physical shape
3) Depending on your metabolism rate never dive on a full stomach (my time is at least 3 hours after meal)
4) Make sure your equalization is top notch. During your diving sessions clear your nose regularly since a reverse block is a real bitch. Not to mention vertigo.

I noticed that as I aged I get more sensitive to the problems caused by not following these rules. Essentially you can dive as long as you can equalize. There is no reason for you to slow down!
Cheers!
 

prospector

Supporter
Supporter
Apr 25, 2012
79
36
73
72
Seventy one here, still hard at it, came down with lung cancer a year ago, post radiation dives down to sixty feet and average down time is around a minute and a half, can stretch it out to two minutes, was overjoyed to find I could still dive after the treatment.
 

Aquamac01

Well-Known Member
Jan 13, 2009
53
10
98
Hello everyone.
First post: nice to meet you all :)
Okay, okay I'm 65 years old - it'll happen to all of you sometime, I sincerely hope!
I feel (slightly alarmingly) at home underwater - I guess all freedivers feel the same. I took my Aida 2 stars down 20m & along 60. Will do 3 star when I get the chance. Hope to be off to Egypt in November for a week with Sara Campbell..but who knows hey?
But to get to the point:
I was carting my long fins around the coasts of the Iles d'Or in the Med last summer when I was accosted by a prickly character asking my age & what I was doing. Turns out he was a pro Diver who got bent and suffered ongoing health problems. He more or less suggested that I was away with the fairies doing what I was doing: tho rowed back a bit when I pointed out I led an active outdoor life as a farmer & hillwalker.
I honestly can see no be reason to give up what I love: just not to expect quite so much in terms of performance, maybe..like most other things in fact!;-) Does anyone know more on the subject of wrinkly subaquanauts?
Stay safe :)R
Carry on enjoying it! Being from Aus, I know lots of 60yr+ divers/surfers/watermen & women that live for being in the sea. The benefits of water lifestyles, freediving, staying fit mentally and physically are huge. I think the main thing is to be sensible and dive within your limits, but as far as I'm concerned - enjoy it as much as you can.
 
Apr 30, 2017
3
1
11
58
Well, I am encouraged to read this one! I am 57, and an active Scuba spearo, but wanting to learn to freedive and blue water hunt. Planning to take the level one course this summer, and see if I like it as much as I think I will....
 

Markusfugit

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2011
46
6
48
I'm 68 and still actively spearfishing in Costa Rica. I took AIDA 2 and 3 one week when I was 60. I see no reason to let up. Pictures and vids on my Facebook page "Spearfishing Coco".
 

Buddy Walsh

Active Member
Dec 17, 2014
2
2
38
69
Hello Roy,
I'll be 69 in May, and have been in the water since I was a kid. I'm a NAUI Scuba Instructor (#3132), USCG 100ton Boat Captain, and just a few short years ago took my first FII course with Mark Lozano followed by a specialty Frenzel course with Ted Harty. I live at the beach in Carlsbad, California and although maybe physically able as I was in my 20's, my age hasn't stopped me from anything I like to do in water. I dive here at the beach as well as in blue water from my private boat. My Christmas gift to myself was to get a new pair of carbon fiber fins, which are amazing. You may want to check those out if you don't have a set now-- I can't believe it took me this long to get a pair. Bottom line like everyone else has told you-- get out in the water and have fun. That's what it is all about. If you are into podcasts, the "Noob Spearo" podcast from Shrek and Turbo in Australia keeps me up to date and continuing to learn from the guests. In fact, I am on episode 92 if you want to hear my "old guy" stories! All the best to you! Dan Walsh
 
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DRW

Vintage snorkeller
Jan 5, 2007
262
103
133
I returned to snorkelling - my occasional duck dives in the sea are too modest to qualify as serious freediving - in my late 50s, when I wanted and needed some physical exercise and relaxation in my life while recovering from prostate cancer surgery. In the summer months during my 60s, I would jump into my car and drive eight miles to my nearest North Sea beach and spend half an hour gently floating on the waves. No fish or even seaweed to observe, but plenty of peace and quiet in the early morning light when the sun was still low in the sky.

No "high-tech" equipment for me back then or since. I've stayed committed to the old-school fins I used when I qualified at my late-1960s university sub-aqua club. To complement the fins, I would don a classic oval mask fitted with a stainless-steel rim and top screw, a J- or L-shaped snorkel and a thin 1950s vintage-style drysuit to keep warm and dry. I've always been a "road less travelled", "If it ain't broke, why fix it?" sort of guy with plenty of stubbornness to resist the hyperbole and blandishments of the merchants of new technology, whether it's a mobile phone or the latest underwater gear fashioned from "space-age" synthetics. If there's one lesson I've learnt in life it's the one about things that are new not always being better for me.

Now I'm in my 70s, I tend to spend my daylight hours researching the early history of fins, masks, snorkels and suits instead of using them for dips in the ocean. I have posted some of those research findings, e.g. my take on the evolution of the monofin, on this very forum. And who knows, once we're out of the current lockdown, I may rediscover the joy of snorkelling and dust off my still-favourite old-fashioned gear for another outing or two.:)
 
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roflynn

Active Member
Sep 11, 2011
2
2
38
Things change... Lungs grow from infancy, reaching their 'peak' at adulthood ~ 21 y/o (as measured by forced expiratory volume in 1 second - FEV1). After that, the FEV1 gradually declines so at 70 y/o your back down to ~ 80% of your 21y/o FEV1: much less if you've done permanent damage along the way. The lower air volume movement means the 'dead air' space of a snorkel is proportionately larger, so you'll be rebreathing more of your exhaled CO2 than before. A smaller diameter snorkel (16mm ilo 19mm) can get you back to the same alveolar ventilation (same should apply to kids 12 -18). Other than adding scar tissue from accidents, I don't know why the lungs get stiffer and lose FEV1, though it seems easier to do damage these days, and takes longer to recover. Trying a personal best is something I wouldn't recommend anymore as pulmonary barotrauma might be more of a risk? If you have a thick wetsuit and heavy weights that cause back issues,, then you may find a weight vest is more comfortable on your lower back. These can be balanced using ankle weights. Smaller fins are better for cramping, and a buoyancy vest can be welcome when you want to stop to drink or eat.
 
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cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
4,006
779
218
71
I've read about age related declining FEV, but it has not yet appeared to me. Maybe thats because I dive half lung anyway. My big barrel snorkel doesn't seem to be causing any issue.
 
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prospector

Supporter
Supporter
Apr 25, 2012
79
36
73
72
Things change... Lungs grow from infancy, reaching their 'peak' at adulthood ~ 21 y/o (as measured by forced expiratory volume in 1 second - FEV1). After that, the FEV1 gradually declines so at 70 y/o your back down to ~ 80% of your 21y/o FEV1: much less if you've done permanent damage along the way. The lower air volume movement means the 'dead air' space of a snorkel is proportionately larger, so you'll be rebreathing more of your exhaled CO2 than before. A smaller diameter snorkel (16mm ilo 19mm) can get you back to the same alveolar ventilation (same should apply to kids 12 -18). Other than adding scar tissue from accidents, I don't know why the lungs get stiffer and lose FEV1, though it seems easier to do damage these days, and takes longer to recover. Trying a personal best is something I wouldn't recommend anymore as pulmonary barotrauma might be more of a risk? If you have a thick wetsuit and heavy weights that cause back issues,, then you may find a weight vest is more comfortable on your lower back. These can be balanced using ankle weights. Smaller fins are better for cramping, and a buoyancy vest can be welcome when you want to stop to drink or eat.
Has it occurred to you that most of the folks responding to this thread have probably been diving for around 50 years, and have acquired opinions based on considerable experience.
 
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slingshaft

Well-Known Member
May 4, 2007
367
41
118
HI, I have been absent for awhile, I had a few joints replaced. I am gearing up in order to practice 'Social Distancing' underwater.
 
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