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How deep do I dare to declare?

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 do I declare for CW?

  • Go safe

    Votes: 13 59.1%
  • Go with PB

    Votes: 4 18.2%
  • Go for broke

    Votes: 5 22.7%

  • Total voters


Blue Member
Aug 30, 2002
How deep do I declare?

Okay, I'm pretty happy - with a week to go before my first CW comp, I hit a new PB of 46.3m


This was my first ever attempt with a mono. It was borrowed from a friend, but I ordered one as soon as I hit dry land. It arrives on Tuesday!:D

The question is : how much do I declare in the comp? In my first competitive static my heart nearly burst from my chest and I was far from my PB. But I think CW is different - the big day could 'bring out my best'.

Do I go for a safe 40 (I say NO WAY), an achievable 45, or a hopeful 50?

What do you guys think?

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personally, i steer clear of the competitive freediving scene. i have my own philosophical reasons for that. i have done a couple of competitions a few years ago when i first started - before i really knew anything about freediving or formed my own personal understanding of what the activity is about.

but i do have some (useful?) input though...

you often see people aiming for 'round numbers'.... by round, i mean numbers ending with a zero or a five. it's all too tempting to go for these 'nice looking' numbers. you can end up declaring more than you should, with predictable consequences!

i would definitely not do more than your PB in your first competition. if the 46 felt comfortable, then i would aim for 42/43. if it was quite a hard dive (in terms of O2 OR equalisation), then i would go for 40/41.

'that's all i have to say about that' :)
Hey Alastair,

Alun has a good point, if you felt the way you did in the last comp what makes you think it will be different this time? Are you more confident? Are you feeling more relaxed? Even if you answered yes to either question you never know what the day will bring.

I hit a PB 2 days before my comp dive in Cyprus, but I backed off by 5m on comp day. I know I could have done the deeper dive, but do you want the points for sure or do you want to risk blowing it? I'll take points over no points or a deduction any day.

I think the answer lies within you. Do what your heart thinks is right. You want to have a consistant and strong showing, then expand on that in the next comp. Would you rather succeed or fail? You will get many suggestions on how to do, but it really comes down to you. You choose.

Stepping off the soap box.

Listen to the man, he knows what he is talking about....
Sorry I'll stop sucking up now :D

Congrats on the PB dive Alastair, 46m, well done !

Back to the Question:- Cutting back by 5m seems to be a common figure for a lot of people in comps. Don't forget nerves and conditions may be against you. In Hawaii I'd hit a PB of 61m, and announced 58m for the comp. I was diving really well in training and 61m was no where near my limits. But this was my first proper competition, and an international team one at that. So had no idea how calm I would be for the actual comp dive. 3m isn't even all that conservative.

Diving less then a PB gives you a huge psychological advantage too, You know you have done more so there is room for error. Do you really want to be thinking just before your comp dive, was that PB dive just a fluke?

You only get one shot, you should know yourself the difference between a good day in training, and a bad one. Don't count on having the same conditions as your best training day.....

OK - good advice everyone - thanks.

It's just that I'm on a bit of a roll at the moment, and I've gone deeper with each dive. Given a liiiiitle bit more time I think I could have hit 50 for the comp, and that would have put me up with the slightly more serious divers.

It's a team event, so as DSV says, let's go for some solid points and improve for the next event.

By the way - it's a whole different game with a mono... I find it harder to adjust my trajectory when falling beyond 30m, and a bit tricky on the turn, but it's just so damned quick on the ascent. Without even trying the 'Skindiver Shuffle' I see the markers wizz by. It's very reassuring.


Good answer, you have figured it out by yourself. That's what is important.

I used bi-fins for my first comp, I have very bad knees so I thought that a monofin would help take the pressure off them and I was right. 2 years ago my PB was 51m with a bit of difficulty in bi-fins, since the switch I've add 19m with room to grow. I believe for me the monofin was the ticket. But as Martin just proved, it's not just the fins that are the deciding factor, they may play a small part, but it's the diver himself that is the final factor.

Al, go kick some ass and have fun doing it! Then worry about the next step.


I really wish you'd have made it to Cyprus, I think you could have produced some vey impressive numbers.

The advice you've been given sounds good to me.

Not long back from Cyprus, like you, I hit a PB of 45m in practice. I subscribed to 42m, 'cos there's that performance thing in front of the judges when you surface.

I came up clean, but had a moments hesitation about grabbing the rope once I surfaced. That got me a red card, and many hours waiting around for my appeal. I won it in the end, but it ended up as a 50/50 split decision between 4. We all looked at the video tape 4 or 5 times, and apart from half a second of delay before I grabbed the rope, nothing else 'wobbly' was showing.

I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm, but if you want the points, you need to remember that it's not just getting to the surface with your tag that counts.

Whatever you decide, best of luck.
Hi Alastair,

In my first comp (UK 2002) I subscribed -40m even though I had never done it before. This set me up for the most frantic dive ever, my suit was new on that day, my weight was a horrifying 6Kg and it was done in a 1-2m swell 6 miles out!
I think I only just got away with it.
In Cyprus I had subscribed -50m having only done that depth once on a sled but in practice 2 days before the C/W event I did over -50m easily with no competition pressure. This gave me such confidence for the big one that on the day I did the -50m and had one of the most relaxed and enjoyable deep dives ever. I totally agree with Walrus, he mentions the psychological advantage, freediving for me is 70% mental and 30% physical.

Looking at your profile your dive looks very quick even by monofin standards although it looks like your Stinger/D3? wasn't set to freedive prior to the dive as you have a very steep profile for the first 7m so you will have lost maybe 5 seconds or so of logged time before the computer automatically switched modes from "Time" Gliding is the key, you save so much O2 by "shutting down" when you reach negative buoyancy which for me at that depth I ballast for about -20m. At what depth are you getting to glide?

Good luck and let us know how you get on in the comp.

Simon Reid
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Do 50m Alistair.

If you are even thinking about it you can do it. How important is the comp to you ? Can you win ? Place in the top 3? If not then use the comp drive and the inherant safety nets to dive for it.

I say go 50m. Believe in the mono. When will you get the opportunity to dive so deep so safely again ?


But if it's seriously a team event.. be considerate and play it safe.. 45m.
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Skindiver - you are the little red devil on my shoulder.

The reasons I would go for it are :

1. I NEVER have the opportunity to dive as safely as this

2. If you don't make your depth then they only penalize you 1 point

I hestitate only because :

1. I might get to 50 and then BO on arrival, and it is a team event

2. I could never win (many people will hit the 70m limit), so what's the point in pushing

I will dive on Friday / Saturday and then decide.

Ciao Alastair,

quando ho visto l'immagine del tuo logbook non ci potevo credere, pensavo che fosse mirko a scrivere!!

Sei il migliore, minchia!!

OK, I decided to go for 45.

This was pretty much a compromise depth that I felt was within my reach, without risking too much.

It was made better by the fact that my teamate would also attempt the same depth.

Then we saw that a few bigger names had not made the trip to the comp, and 45 would put us in 3rd place!! There was one at the 70m limit, one at 50 and one at 42.

At this point we decided to play it super safe and go for 43 - remember that I'd only made 43 once before (when I hit 46).

Unfortunately (in true Mafia style) the 42m guy changed to 44 after the close of the declaration...

Anyway, on the day, almost everything went wrong :

1. Our ride was 40 minutes late and we missed the boat
2. The current was very strong and the warmup lines were wrapped around the anchor at 45 degrees.
3. I found my tag at 36m instead of 43 and had to redo the dive

Luckily in the end we were fine, and came 4th - which aint too bad for a beginner.

The static was a disaster!! My teamate won with 5:33 (the big guns like Battaglia weren't there), and I pulled up at 4:15. Unfortunately I was upset with my performance, tore my mask off, swore, and did everything except BREATHE! 10 second later I was having a BIG samba.

Oh well - you live and learn.

Thanks for your advice chaps

Hi Alastair,

You are right about live and learn. In Cyprus I learnt plenty, only my third comp but I got too cocky in the static and blew it with a good samba.

My training dive was great but I injured a lung and bled a bit so had to drop out of the dynamic which held was the next day, I thought I would have to forego the constant weight too but had just recovered enough to do it.

So after two successful competitions my third was a bit poor but I took away a very good dive which was wonderful to do and was clean (you may have heard the judges were a little tough this year) even though my overall points were rubbish I was still delighted. As everyone knows it’s the dive that matters ;-) So well done to you, -43m in your first comp? pretty damn good. Will we see you in Cyprus next year? A whole 12 months to get that magic -50m sorted.


I spent a fair amount of time in Siracusa with Alessandro Rignani Lolli (-88 in CW). He hit -61 in a lake within 12 months of starting to dive, and told me that I should aim for -60 at the next comp in September, not -50!!

He was quite serious, but he was also quite drunk.

I've never seen anyone dive so FAST! He shot down with shallow monofin strokes as if his arse was on fire.

Yes, I was most interested in the dive, but the samba in the static took my team of the podium, so I feel like a prat.

My Mat-Mas mono arrived today, and tomorrow I'll give it a go.

Congrats on the 43m dive Alastair awsome :cool:

Man that made me laugh about the guy diving like his ass was on fire thanks man :D


Don't beat yourself up about it. Whatever the circumstances, it could have happened to anyone. You learnt something. If your team buddies are true sportsmen / sportwomen, then they'll understand. At least you did your dive ( in difficult circumstances ).

When's your next comp?
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