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freediving potential of elite fly/backstrokers

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Chris M

New Member
Nov 23, 2003
Being that freediving is too low profile as yet to draw olympic level aquatic talent [ particularly competitors in butterfly and backstroke( re. the underwater inverted dolphin start)], I find myself speculating on the human potential in this sport. Consider the efficiency of elite butterflyers' underwater dolphin kick, the speed and power, what could these guys do with a monofin? Years ago, restrictions had to be place on backstrokers to keep them from doing the first 50m or more of the race underwater via the inverted dolphin which is faster than the backstroke.
With a lot of equalizing practice some of these guys might be able to complete a CW dive to -100m. in less time than an average snorkeler can hold his/her breath.
Chris M: great thread,
as a former swimmer, i have had this discussion with friends many times. i could not tell you how many times i have tried to get my buddy (an all american backstroker) to get into freediving. this guy is an animal, as you said earlier, they are so efficient and quick it is awesome. i have another former teamate (breast stroker) who easily does 100 yard dynamics without fins, no warmups, no statics, no concentration/ relaxation!! he just jumps in the pool, takes a couple deep breaths and busts it out like it's nothig. he has never practiced freediving and he hasn't swam in years!

while the actual stroke is a great advantage for freediving, swimmers have another huge advantage. most national level swimmers have been swimming ( training) since the age of 6-9 years old. talk about a head start. they are way ahead of the game. i read some of the aerobic/ cardio workouts that the worlds best freedivers do and can't believe it. they do workouts that we did when we where 11-12 years old! granted, end results are different but my point is, swimmers have an enormous cardio/ muscle memory advantage when it comes to training.

hate to be the bearer of bad news, but just watch as all "self propelled" freediving records are shattered in the next couple years. i think we already witnessed a finnish triathlete named Topi, convert to freediving and look what he did in such little time! freedivers watch out!

you're right, I swim in a pool with pro monofinswimmers and I am sure current freediving records would be exploded if some of these guys get involved into freediving.
I knew a german guy who was monofinswimming three times a day when he was a teenager in east germany! he has incredible ankles flexibility, can stay for hours with arms ahead without any pain.....German and russians coaches select childs at 10 years old. They say << you stay in the swimming team >>or <<you will be a perfect monofinswimmer>>.
Immagine we do the same for freediving, u take the childs with high freediving ptential and train them 15hours a week.
matthieu: "Immagine we do the same for freediving, u take the childs with high freediving ptential and train them 15hours a week."

15 hours a week? that's it? how about 30 hrs a week! better yet, we will take them out of school and let them train 35 hrs a week in water, 35 a week yoga, and dryland training 15 a week. this should leave them with about 83 hrs a week to sleep, eat, and socialize! :)

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name for school of freediving?

just thought of a name for the kids school. NAZI School of Apnea! any other suggestions? i will be signing my son up on his 3 birthday :)

Yeah, you have to wonder what is possible. Being a cyclist and cycling fan, there's an analogical situation with regard to elite endurance track athletes. What could some of the top Kenyan and Moroccan 10k athletes do in the Alps and Pyrenees given the right bikes and training?
There are so many new and innovative sports, but it will be a long time, i think, before they begin to offer the kind of prestige and rewards [scholarships, contracts, etc.] that draw the top talents of the world.
Those monofin guys might well be the first to cross-over, being that their sport is, like freediving, also relatively marginal. I think the WR 50m. [underwater] is around 15 secs. vs. the 50m Freestyle record which is somewhere in the 19.0 sec range [I haven't checked lately. ]
As for swimmers, I think they'll continue to opt for the all-expenses paid college and university educations, and possible Olympic 'glory.' In Australia, the top swimmers such as the "Thorpedo" are very well-respected and recognized.
Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the absence of pay-parking and signs that read "beach closed for freediving competition" at most of the local dive-sites....
NAZI school of Apnea

Hey, I think Peter Benchley might have already copyrighted that. He wrote a novel, a pretty bad one actually, called "Great White" about a NAZI soldier who had been genetically alterred as part of an experiment to create a new breed of aquatic soldier. This hybrid creature is released from a sunken U-Boat years later only to terrorize US coastal waters.