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Seeking advice for Constant Weight

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Apr 19, 2004
Greetings everyone

I am going to my first Constant Weight (with fins) competition in two weeks. Never tried that before and I do not know what to expect. I can reach 100m dynamic with fins in 1:30. Goal in my head is at -40m depth.

I am seeking for any advice that you can share regarding this discipline. Also how important is proper clothing (how thick). Is hood neccessary (can I get away with a cap?) Really anything you say will be new and useful for me.

Do I understand this correctly:
You've never dived constant weight before and you plan to crunch -40m in a competition? I hope not, because that would seem absolutely suicidal to me, not to mention against the rules (?) in any AIDA competition.

Diving to depth is completely different from diving a distance. Most importantly, because of the pressure.

If you can swim 100m in dynamic, I have no doubt you can swim 40m in constant oxygen vise. However, if you've never tried equalizing in serious depth or in fact never dived deep, allowing your lungs and organs to develop flexibility, there's a very real danger of bursting an eardrum or getting lung squeeze, causing permanent injury.

I hope I understood your question wrong.

As for "clothing", depending on water temperature I would recommend 3-5mm of open cell neoprene and about 2-3kg of weight on your belt. But in general you can get away with what you feel comfortable in. The fact that you don't even know that your self sounds very alarming if you plan to dive to -40m. But be aware that at -40m water is cold pretty much anywhere in the world (here that would be 4 degrees celcius).

The correct way to do this is to get a wet suit, some weights, a buoy, rope, lanyard and most important of all: a buddy. Then go to a nearby lake/ocean and drop to 10m and see how that goes. Then gradually over the summer experiment with the configuration and increase depth and if you're truly talented, perhaps by the end of the summer you could be reaching depths of -30m to -40m. This while you (and your buddy) read everything you can from deeperblue, starting from instructions on proper safety (everything you can imagine has been written here years ago, just search the old articles for what ever you need)
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Hey Jome

Thanks for the advice, it did enlighten me in few ways. Of course I would never stretch to the far limits of my body at once. I did some 15 m dives before for fun. But never did anything really deeper. I am in competetive free-diving now for a year but it has been strictly in-land competitions (static and dynamic apnea). So I am not completly new to the sport. Of course I am concerned about my safety and that's why I asked for advice here, where so many people has so many experience.

We will have one day for diving and training prior to competition. This will be supervised by safety divers and I will also be training with my two team-mates. We plan to see what is safe for us to achieve in the competition. Of course the trick is to balance our ambition with safety. That's where I need your advice. Are there some signs that I've gone too far (other then equalization problems)? What can you say from your own experience from that kind of competitions to a newbie? I am also sure we are going to get instructions at the competition too.

First day there is Jump Blue competition that should be good for adjusting some more. Second day is constant weight.

Vlado said:
I did some 15 m dives before for fun.

It is my humble opinnion that jumping from 15m to 40m in one day is way too risky.

We plan to see what is safe for us to achieve in the competition. Of course the trick is to balance our ambition with safety. That's where I need your advice. Are there some signs that I've gone too far (other then equalization problems)? What can you say from your own experience from that kind of competitions to a newbie? I am also sure we are going to get instructions at the competition too.

That's a good plan, except I think it should be done BEFORE the competition. You should have dived enough to KNOW what a reasonable depth is for you. There are signs, but most of these are signs that are useless explained over the Internet, the trick is that they are individual and you must learn what they are by diving and getting experience. If you dived to 15m very easily, then you could propably add 5 or 10m to that reasonably easily. At these depths, if your equalization works, increase can be relatively fast. But after 30m or so, things get much more complicated. Your lungs compress beyond their residual volume and equalization in much trickier. Yes, in theory, you can hit -40m with one day training. But to me, the risks of doing so sound insane. You could end up seriously hurt...Is the "fame and glory" really worth that? How about saving it for the next competition?

I can also tell you that competition organizers hate nothing more than so called "kamikaze divers". Ie divers, who have absolutely no idea about their limit and come to a competition with a blind trust for the safety organization, that they'll catch you if something goes wrong. Let me correct this misconseption: the primary safety organization that is most responsible for your well being is YOU. And the only way you can be responsible for your self is by knowing what your limit is, and the only way to know that is by doing enough repetitive dives to your comfort limit. The safety organization is only the back up in case the primary one (ie you) for some unexpected reason fails to do it's job. It's not some magical safety net that enables people to do life threathening stunts. Very much the same way as your dive buddy. He doesn't go diving with you so he can pull you out if you're in danger. He goes diving with you, because he likes diving, hoping every single dive that you come up ok and he doesn't have to lift a finger. The safety organization in a competition doesn't exist to pull you out. It exists, so that it never has to be used. It is just that in case of absolute emergency, they are trained to do just that.

You don't trust them with your life (as if giving them the honor of protecting you), you give them the responsibility for your life, and they accept that responsibility (can you imagine a bigger one?), because they trust you. Don't abuse that trust too many times, or you'll find you don't have many friends in freediving circles.

Sorry for the long rant, I wish you all the best and safe dives. Your progress does seem promising, so keep at it. Just for your own sake, take it slow. This sport is not worth dying or permanent injury. It's just fun...
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I've been teaching beginners in CW for a couple of years - I wouldn't recommend trying any more than 20m in your first few days - and after that grow at no more than 2m a day - in the company of good buddies

40m from nothing, even 40m from 15m just sounds insane - sorry!
Thanks for the long rant. It is exactly the kind I need!

You mention equalization becomes harder at higher depths due to lung squezing. How does one usually overcome this?
After all this reading, I feel like I had suicidial tendencies before I spoke with you people. I am somewhat dissapointed of course, but I learned that advice is priceless. Thanks guys.

You want to go from 15m to 40m, but you are concerned about cold.
What is a bit of cold for such tough guy. I suggest you go for 40m naked. :D

Vlado, mani se corava posla i vjezbaj postepeno povecavajuci dubinu.
Of course, I wouldn't like to catch a cold at that depth ;)

I guess it is a big leap afterall.
Hi Vlado,

The above comments are on target, to be listened to. Here are a few details. Between 20 and 30 meters,the rules you are used to start to change. Your lungs begin to approach residual volume. Your diaphram and chest may start to spazm like a huge contraction because your body thinks it needs to reinflate the lungs. Very wierd and disturbing but not dangerous. It sure slows you down though. After you pass residual volume, you can clear your ears (open the e-tube valves) and nothing happens because there is no air (preasure differential) to clear with. Also very wierd at first, and stops you cold. C02 tolerence seems very different at depth, and you general comfort level is much different than in dynamic. Makes it hard to relax and dramaticly reduces your comfortable time down. You can adapt to all of these things, but it takes time and practice.

The best excersize I know for improving ability to equalize at depth are diaphram stretches. Use the search function for detail.

Take it easy and you will get there.

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There is an old saying that Seb reminded me of ......or was it Eric :duh

"inch by inch is a cinch, yard by yard is hard" this is good advice and should temper 15m-40m jumps in one day.......HOWEVER I don't subscribe to hard numbers such as "and after that grow at no more than 2m a day" and believe that listening to your body will give you a better and safer result than that. Hard numbers are misleading as a 2m increment in itself maybe a huge step or a small step depending on the ease of the previous effort.....your body is a much better guide to how quickly you can progress.

Last year in Kona I took my CW PB from 38m - 52m over 4 dive sessions and still had plenty left in the tank. Some who have responded above might suggest that this was reckless but I suggest that I was well within my capabilities and also that the PFI instructor(they are the best in the business) that was teaching me would not have allowed me to progress this quickly if it was unsafe to do so.

I'm all for safe practices but hard & fast guidelines rarely acheive the very safety they target, so I suggest listening to your body and exploring your capability progressively and safely........and never dive without a buddy who knows and practices what to do if things were to go wrong.

my 2 cents worth

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