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Intro to freediving

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

New Member
Jun 28, 2004
10
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Hi there everyone! I have just come back from volunteering at the Candian National Free diving competition in Vancouver as an EMT. I signed up for this, blindly, not really knowing much about free diving. I had read and heard about Mandy Rae Cruickshank but am embarrassed to admit I really wasn't too interested in the sport. I grew up as a competitive swimmer which ultimately lead me to develop compartment syndrome. Subsequent operations left me unable to move my foot. But I never let it stop me and jumped full force into scuba diving. Watching these amazing athletes this weekend triggered a primal response of CHALLENGE!!! For the first time in years, I was caught up in the excitement and atmosphere of competition. On top of that, what inspired me the most was the absolute freedom the divers seemed to experience. Eric Fattay and Peter Scott left me astonished as I watched them compete without a wet suit! When I scuba dive, I use argon to keep me warm, so the thought of entering our waters without protection gave me goosebumps. Of course, my paramedic and nursing mind immediately started to worry about hypothermia in the men. THey were incredible! As ignorant as I was about free diving, I was amazed at how genuine and nice these world class atheletes were! They all inspired me to no end!

So here is my question.....I am 29 years old. I know it is never too late to learn new things, but a sport as challenging as freediving raises questions. Am I too old to learn how to free dive? What are some skills I could try until I am able to take a free diving course? Are there any books available that I could read?

Any information would be much appreciated!
Jill
 
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efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
3,294
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Hi Jill,

Nice meeting you on the weekend.

Freediving is quite easy to learn, compared to more 'evolved' sports. Some athletes such as Patrick Musimu have gone from discovering the sport, to breaking world records in as little as a year.

There is no existing 'bible' of freediving, but there are some classic books:

'Homo Delphinus' by the late Jaques Mayol
[this is a book about human aquatic potential underwater--it is not a book on how to dive]

'Freedive!' by Terry Maas
[goes over very basic freediving skills as might be taught in a basic freediving course]

Other than those, there are classic inspirational videos, such as the movie 'The Big Blue,' the TV documentary 'Ocean Men' (also an IMAX movie of a shorter length); the compilation called 'The Forgotten Origin' available from Howard Jones at freediver.co.uk.

Also, Ambrosia Productions:
http://www.ambrosiaproductions.tv/

They produce quarterly DVD's, the latest of which is about the Cyprus 2003 competition.

Otherwise, the internet and especially deeperblue are really the best sources of information.

Practicing dry breath-holds is a good starting point, but unfortunately this is not a pleasant activity in the beginning. It is important to understand that a trained freediver feels very little (if any) discomfort while diving for 'pleasure'.

Even during competitive events, the 'burn' or urge to breathe only occurs significantly in the end of the performance.

A common myth is that anyone doing activity while holding their breath must be experiencing a suffocating feeling. Not true--however, in the beginning, before the body has adapted, that might occur, and it can discourage beginners.


Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
 

smellsfishy

Mmm... Freediving
Jan 12, 2004
235
28
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Great post Eric. I wanted to give you Karma but there seems to be some sort of anti-fattah karma conspiracy ;)
 

Jilly

New Member
Jun 28, 2004
10
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Eric, thanks for the advice! Any tips on how to start holding my breath? Peter told me to lie down and relax, but not necessarily hyperventilate?

I'm pretty new at all this "chat", I'm not sure what karma or signature means?

Jill
 
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The111

Shallow Water Whiteout
May 29, 2004
155
29
118
Practicing dry breath-holds is a good starting point, but unfortunately this is not a pleasant activity in the beginning. It is important to understand that a trained freediver feels very little (if any) discomfort while diving for 'pleasure'.

Even during competitive events, the 'burn' or urge to breathe only occurs significantly in the end of the performance.

A common myth is that anyone doing activity while holding their breath must be experiencing a suffocating feeling. Not true--however, in the beginning, before the body has adapted, that might occur, and it can discourage beginners.

This part of your post especially interested me, Eric. Though I've been freediving for over 6 years, I would still label myself a beginner - all I've ever done are constant weight dives at one place mainly (Blue Springs, Orange City FL), I've never gone past 60ft and I'd guess those dives don't last more than 40 seconds.

Recently I've started doing a lot of dry statics for practice and usually get the desire to breathe very badly and it causes me a lot of discomfort. However, one week ago I set a PB of 3:30 (while driving, criticize away :naughty), which shattered my previous 2:30. Weirdest thing is, I was barely even uncomfortable, even at the end... I just felt like it was time to end it.

Since then I've tried some more (no more driving, I decided against that, but sitting in my room) and as early as *1:15* I start getting very uncomfortable. I simply don't get it. As bas an idea as automobile apnea is, I wonder if the road passing by had a relaxing effect on me. I did it the other day as a passenger and didn't time myself but felt like I went pretty long.
 

The111

Shallow Water Whiteout
May 29, 2004
155
29
118
I'm pretty new at all this "chat", I'm not sure what karma or signature means?[/B]

Signature is the phrase (or whatever) you can opt to have your post automatically end with. You can choose whatever you want.

Karma is something on this board that allows you to give positive feedback to someone if you like his post, and it affects his karma "score", as far as I can tell. Kinda cheesy I think, I got a bunch of negative karma for posting my honest (but un-insulting) view of religion in a thread that was far off-topic...
 
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ramstam

New Member
May 9, 2003
227
11
0
You will here different from other people, but I usually
have new people hyperventilate before they hold their
breath. It makes it easier and makes it more fun when you
can last longer.
Just don't hyperventilate if you are in the ocean pushing
yourself to go deep or stay at depth for awhile.
 

Ozzy

New Member
Jan 12, 2004
16
3
0
The111,

I have not been freediving for as long as you have but I have found that I tend to perform better when not concentrating on the fact i am holding me breath. For instance I may be at work using a computer and doing statics, and hold for 3 minutes before thinking, "i've been holding my breath for 3 minutes and not realised it" and as soon as i think about it, I need air.

I have carried out tests where all i think about is holding my breath and do not last as long as when i am concentrating on something else and holding my breath, you seem to "forget" you are and go a lot longer. Maybe it's because the time seems to pass faster or something....I don't know.

But from what I can tell from what you have said, is you have done better whilst "static driving", maybe it's becasue you were distracted from holding your breath by the fact you were driving??

Cheers
Oz
 

Snorkel Bum

Absolut Escargot
Mar 26, 2004
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However, one week ago I set a PB of 3:30 (while driving, criticize away ), which shattered my previous 2:30

HAHAHAHAHAH! Great!
 

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Kars

Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2003
3,445
569
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The picture looks like "the last moment of the life of the The111", :eek:

Nice commic! could use some bumpy roadmarks, to mark out the reduced awarenes and concentration :D

Onto your static, maybe you just feel much more comfortable while in the water? I find dry statics also a terrible undertaking. While I enjoy a 6 min in the pool. Overviewed/checked by a capeble buddy offcause.

I think the key is to learn to relax instead of to get tence when the urge comes. Doing schedules can help very much in learning.
Gradually you mind and your body learn that a higher Co2 level is not bad, and you can remain relaxed. Feeling vary relaxed is big part of the fun of freediving.
For me It's better not view training like beating a time or setting a PB. Instead I enjoy learning to know my body better every time, learning to relax better, learning to dream while being awake.
I've seen many beginners fall into the trap of going for records.
Freediving is more exausing (to body AND mind) than most people think. Freediving is much more than setting records.

May 'Being better than everybody' evolve into 'just Being down there...'

The best way to get started is to find a buddy and learn it together.
And beware Freediving is very addictive! I guess we're all victems arround here! :D

Love and peace,
Kars:eek:
 
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ramstam

New Member
May 9, 2003
227
11
0
I read somewhere that our brains use like 90% of our
bodys O2 so I try to not think about anything when I
dive or static, just go on cruise control.
 

spike

New Member
Jun 11, 2004
25
2
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ramstam, that would be true when your inactive, like laying down. Soon as you start to move (use muscles) you will burn up O2 fast and produce CO2 alot faster through metabolic processes.

Try doing walking statics as oppossed to resting dry ones, huge difference!

cheers
 

island_sands

Erection Supervisor ;)
Supporter
Jan 19, 2001
7,998
1,281
418
Hi Jill
i learnt to freedive at the ripe age of 33... my instructor was Cali from the Canadian freediving team of 2002.. it was really fun and very informative.
i never thought i'd be able to get past 10m.. i was truly surprised.

i went with friends a couple of times after that and i actually managed to get to 58 feet.

it's an exhiliarating sport and i felt a true rush in being able to do just that depth... the silence down is wonderful and feeling the limits rise in your body and pushing yourself a little further each time.. totally therapeutic.

i did the IANTD openwater freediver course. Eric's post has all the info you need... i just wanted to share my experience with you. i think it's also important that you don't do it alone.. you need a buddy.

Annabel Briseno was also a late starter... :) you're never too old.

be safe, and enjoy it!
Sara-Lise
 

Snorkel Bum

Absolut Escargot
Mar 26, 2004
311
42
0
34
I did it the other day as a passenger and didn't time myself but felt like I went pretty long.

Last summer during a trip in Corsica I was doing automobile apnee as well (not driving), I did some pretty good performances! Also I when I do statics I read something or play a game on my phone, very good to take your mind of everything. Although my best static that year ( my PB 4 min 15s) was during a dinner at a restaurant! I was on antibiotics as well, I had some problem with my throat. It was quite funny watching peoples reaction when I finished my static, gasped for breath and got up and went YEAH!!! :p
 

Kars

Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2003
3,445
569
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Originally posted by Snorkel Bum
Although my best static that year ( my PB 4 min 15s) was during a dinner at a restaurant! I was on antibiotics as well, I had some problem with my throat. It was quite funny watching peoples reaction when I finished my static, gasped for breath and got up and went YEAH!!! :p


rofl really funny!

Maybe they thought you invented a new way of saying grace to le dieu :)

rofl

Love and peace,

Kars
 

seagull

New Member
May 11, 2004
33
5
0
:cool: nice on, Snorkel!

My worst problem of dry statics, is that I usually think about it at home in bed at night, when my wife gets convinced that I am going to kill myself! "Come on! Breath, God damn it!" followed by an elbow in the side :martial to make sure I follow orders :D

Either that, or I am just getting towards a PB, and she asks a question ... "Hang on just one minute " I 'mumble' through tightly buttoned mouth and nose, totally unintelligbly ... whereupon the question gets asked again, but in a tone that tells me, "Either stop that bloody stupid breath-holding rubbish, or you are going to be just making a start on your (guaranteed!) last and longest ever breath-hold of your life" :ycard

This is the point at which I say to myself, "Hell, getting a new PB ain't really so important ..." and live to breath(hold) another day.

Oh, and Jilly, I'm 33 and only just started this year.

ta ta for now.
 
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