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Introducing a new passive exhale free diver

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migs

Well-Known Member
Mar 29, 2005
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3
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I'm new to free diving. I've never dived and despite feeling at home at a specific outcrop of rock which falls into the ocean at the South Coast of New South Wales (Australia), I feel claustrophobic underwater. I'm starting to overcome that fear. In many ways I'm a perfectionist, a control-freak and free diving represents both a challenge and a way to listen rather than control. I'm overcoming the feelings of claustrophobia by listening to my body.

I come to this with what I feel is good theoretical training in passive exhale diving. I come to this with surprise people view free diving as extreme (someone at work just said 'you know you're doing one of the most extreme activities?') and free diving seems to exhibit a strong ego drive. That surprises but doesn't interest me. Perhaps that opinion was formed too early. It probably says more about my own motivations, my experience which includes skateboarding, stand-up surfing, body boarding, bodysurfing, snowboarding, yoga and swimming. These last two activities are my foundation for health, yoga for listening and tuning, swimming for physical aerobic maintenance. The others hint to me of the possible future of free diving, because of the physical division between those who inhale and those who passive exhale. I say they are physical differences but they're not obvious, it's not like the difference between stand-up surfing and body boarding. In surfing there's a division between body boarders and stand-up and no matter what the wave if you ask people (who don't surf) then most will say body boarding isn't surfing (what do they say when you ask 'what is it'?). In viewing free divers that division won't be as obvious to the general public so I think it will make the divisions stronger amongst those who practice inhale or passive exhale. Even more so where egos are involved.

When I was 16 or 17 I saw the Big Blue and it was momentous film for me. It marked an opening for me, a reflection of the way I viewed surfing, totally different to any surfing film. So it brought an opening for the way culture can reflect emotions and practices (surfing/free diving). I saw it again recently (after free diving training) and it was distancing not just for the size of the shoulder pads but the ways in which I have changed since I was 16 or 17 (I'm 31). I also thought, this is about inhale diving so the practice doesn't relate to me much and I thought, what if he'd been an passive exhale free diver? What if that was the norm? What if it wasn't the norm? The emotional side of the story wouldn't change. It wouldn't matter except free divers would notice.

I live by the Indian ocean. The water is not deep. Right now that doesn't bother me, I'm practicing in a pool. Pools are very dull places but so are yoga mats. Right now I'm not finding the pool dull. My equipment consists of a mask. Perhaps I've get fins later but I guess I'd need to have a reason, perhaps for easier flotation on the surface.

People buy you presents. If you tell them you free dive, then eventually someone will ring up my girlfriend and ask if I've got fins (probably say flippers) and then they might buy them for me. What do you do with this stuff? Assuming they fit and work then I change my technique, change the way I free dive, change what I take with me, change my approach and my understanding. I like change, I welcome it.

There's two types of bicycles which are sold, one which is fitted and has the seat higher than the handlebars and the other bicycle isn't fitted and probably has the seat lower than the handlebars. If you go into a bicycle shop and ask which are sold then they might be honest and tell you that fitting a bike is costly and fear inducing for both staff and customers. They might tell you they've never fitted a bike to a person yet; to their budget yes. So what happens to those bikes when the person who bought them finds they want a fitted bike? They are given away or sold. The person who buys the bike probably gets a significant amount of enjoyment out of the bike but there's no innocence in ignorance. When I've learnt about my body under passive exhale, then I'll look at fins, what value they might give me, if that will be a positive change. Until then I'll ask my girlfriend to dissuade anyone from giving me fins because I'm a control-freak.

I've noticed on this forum people are worried about this division of passive exhale and inhale, are sick of it, don't want it to dominate. It dominates for me. It doesn't matter if someone is discussing the colour of the water but it does if we talk about physiological issues.

I hope to come to a better understanding of what is possible for me in free diving. I hope to return to that particular place on the South Coast and dive there, where I surf.
 

gwpcasey

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2005
90
9
113
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Migs,

Welcome. I'm not sure that I can really appreciate where you're coming from as I grew up in the sea and in swimming pools. Most of my childhood was spent playing underwater - doing underwater gymnastics, racing my friends to the bottom of the pool, seeing who could hold their breath longest. Sometimes we'd be holding our breath, but other times we'd let it all out because we wanted to sink down as fast as possible. So to me, the two are intricately linked and simply two different methods with different strengths and weaknesses.

Regardless, I wish you the best of luck in gaining additional confidence and comfort in the water, however you do it.

And welcome to deeperblue, it's an awesome forum and I'm sure you'll find lots of interest and contribute lots to our communal knowledge as well.

Cheers,
Gordon.
 

Mr. X

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jul 14, 2005
8,079
1,620
418
migs said:
...People buy you presents. If you tell them you free dive, then eventually someone will ring up my girlfriend and ask if I've got fins (probably say flippers) and then they might buy them for me. What do you do with this stuff? Assuming they fit and work then I change my technique, change the way I free dive, change what I take with me, change my approach and my understanding. I like change, I welcome it.

.... When I've learnt about my body under passive exhale, then I'll look at fins, what value they might give me, if that will be a positive change. Until then I'll ask my girlfriend to dissuade anyone from giving me fins because I'm a control-freak.

Tip: buy your own presents, or ask for normal, boring things (e.g. specific clothes). I have several very specialised hobbies (spear fishing is just one). Non-participants are unlikely to be able to buy you what you need for all sorts of reason -- even another participant might have different tastes, views, etc.. I buy my own presents now, often ahead of time -- and let people pick which they want to give me. That probably sounds awful but it has worked out quite well over the years and saved a lot of wasted money and time all round. My :girlie wife bought me a Rob Allen railgun for my birthday this year -- great present or what?! :) I had 20W Marshall tube amp for Christmas a couple of years ago -- fantastic. Often though, I don't want anything expensive -- in that case, getting a small, quality present (a 12 pound OMER dive knife, 15 pound pair of speedo snorkelling fins, $20 pair of Nashbar clipless MTB pedals or a 12 pound RA weight belt for example) that is exactly what I want/need makes that a great present (better than an expensive present that I don't want/need or isn't quite what I would like). Get the picture?! ;)

BTW As for what to do with your unwanted freediving fins, send them over to me -- I promise I will use them if they fit (UK size 10/US 11/Eu 45)!:wave[Otherwise, sell them on ebay -- so somebody else can use them -- good karma.]
 
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