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pardon the question, but what IS a samba?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Aug 10, 2002
before i joined these forums i had never even HEARD of a samba, but i am familiar with SWBO (as all divers should be...) can anyone clear up what a samba really is for me? physiologically and its effects and how your reach it. from searching i have gathered that it is definitely not good but have not been able to !find out what it is!:duh :confused: anyone here able to clear that up for me?
Hey LaJolla! A samba often precedes a blackout. What I can tell you is from what I've heard and read, not from experience. There are others here who, I'm sure, will fill in the blanks if I miss anything. Basically a samba is a loss of motor control due to extended breathold or exertion while in a state of apnea (holding your breath). Coming to the surface is no guarantee that you're out of the woods. Sambas often happen at the surface as a result of oxygen debt and can result in drownings. That's why when doing deep dives it's always a good idea to keep an eye on your buddy for a moment even after he/she surfaces.

Hope this helps.


From the articles, some videos shoots and discussions on different forums, I believe that “samba” is a physical state of the body at the end of apnea – it is a state before a hypoxia state and a person has a lack of motorical skills – looks like an epileptic attack. Until now, I haven’t been in such a state /hopefully also not in the future/.
Samba is a loss of muscle control due to low oxygen level. In a hypoxic state, brain tends to keep all the O2 for itself, so first it "shuts down" the arm's and leg's muscles...



If we are talking about samba...maybe a word about tango will also be interesting...what is this, when/how do you reach it etc.

10x, Matej