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Special Techniques for Apnea Performance?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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This thread started off discussing supplements and such things. My personal view about this is that if we want to improve our performance in freediving, then we're far better off working on our technique in the water than trying to optimise supplement intake.

The gains we (may?) get from these would be insignificant to the gains made from improving technique to make it as O2-efficient as possible. Taking constant weight dives for example, having a more efficient descent will generate less CO2 in the body, which should help minimise CO2 narcosis too later in the dive...

Sea mammals have millions of years of evolution behind them to teach them how dive as efficiently as possible. Even the best freedivers only have perhaps a few hundred hours of dive time logged. Do we really believe that we can truly perfect a technique (for whatever discipline) in that amount of time? I don't think so.

Technique also applies to static too. In the early stages of doing a static, I often think: "ok, I'm relaxed now", then when I scan my body I actually find lots of tension, without even realising it was there. Sometimes, wastfeul muscular tension is obvious even to an observer, when you see someone clinging onto the side of the pool in a hunched position.

Same sort of thing applies to diving too... relaxing muscles that aren't actually being used for propulsion. This is something I always try to look out for when diving. It's not an easy thing to do though - it takes a lot of practice.

As well as striving for the most oxygen efficient technique, I think the equipment we use also has a massive bearing on performance, much more than supplements. There are lots of variables to experiment with, such as thermal protection, weighting, position of weights, monofin (or bi-fin) design... Correct me if I'm wrong, but I doubt that any serious research has been done on these things to maximise performance for diving, for eg. academic standard fluid dynamics reasearch on monofin design. New equipment and designs are just waiting to be discovered! Fluid goggles and lenses being classic examples.

I think supplements have their place, but they're certainly no substitute for technique/equipment improvements and most importantly of all... spending time in the water.

"That's all I have to say about that"

alun :)

ps: On that note... I am now off for the weekend, when I'll be testing out my new Henx monofin. So far I use only Waterway monos, but I think this one will be very good for depth. I may post my initial thoughts about it next week.
Good Point


At this very moment I'm in the process of designing custom monofins for freediving (WaterWay will be building the blades). Suffice it to say that I'm trying some very radical ideas; I did take some fluid dynamics at UBC but doing the math on the fin is a bit beyond me. The way I figure it, I'll try several strange shapes/stiffness-profiles, and see which works best. Hopefully one of them will turn out to be better than the existing monofins, and maybe I can market the result as a freediving monofin. I figure if a world record was set with a strange looking fin, everybody would want it!

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

> Suffice it to say that I'm trying some very radical ideas

Did you ever see a propulsion device called Aqueon, or something similar? It was developed by a Pasadena engineer. He had an ad in Skin Diver in '69. It looked like a model airplane, attatched to your shins and had a propulsion hydrofoil that operated in front of your solar plexus. I lost mine in '72. The navy ran some tests on it, by scuba divers, and air consumption was reduced, big time.
More details


I don't quite understand the design. Could you sketch a jpg of the design and post it?

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Please excuse the 'art' work.
Last edited by a moderator:
hi alun

Im with you pure practice on your chosen event whether it be dynamic, constant, static makes a improvement.


ps eric are you the guy who is diving to 111m in training
those customs monofins sound interesting. I look forward to see what you come up with.

I picked up my Henx mono today... "dissappointed!":vangry
It was meant to come with a Waterway footpocket. Instead it came with some really awful footpockets (Mat-Mas). The size is theoretically ok for me (45/46) which is UK10/11. But they are way too big for me. Does anyone know if it's possible to remove footpockets, and how easy it is to glue new ones on etc... They are so bad, I can't even try it in the water - it would be a waste of time - the blade would probably slip off my feet and end up at the bottom (90m+) :(. The blade looks and feels nice though, which makes it all the more frustrating!


(I would have put this in a new thread, but it follows on from what I mentioned earlier...)

What's the latest thinking on packing for static? The last I read, the French team was going to try it. The first time I tried, it was so uncomfortable that I had trouble getting relaxed. I just tried again (about 0.25 litres) and there was no discomfort. It seemed to help on the time too.
I've been slowly increasing the packs for over a year now and the Vc measurement is about 10% higher.
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