A word that brings many different pictures to mind. It could show the image of a person jumping from a high board that itself is a spring. Jumping into a deep pool from higher grounds. Perhaps it reminds you of a song or a movie. To me it brings memories of being one with the ocean on one breath. One single breath.
Freediving is diving while holding your breath and staying underwater whilst continuing to do so. To me it relates to diving while being free of equipment. Being underwater without a tank. One a single breath. No bubbles to scare the fish away.
Freediving wasn’t something you would hear people talk about ten years ago. Even five years ago it was uncommon to hear the term freediving. We called it snorkeling or maybe even skindiving. Nowadays it is becoming more common to hear people talk about ‘going freediving’, but somehow we still think it relates to super-humans.
Can you hold their breath for over 90 seconds? Do your ears allow you to reach a depth of 20 meters?
When I was a kid it seemed impossible for me to even only immerse my head into the water as my ears were too sensitive. I couldn’t jump into the water without wearing plugs in my ears. Let alone diving into depth with tanks later on. Somehow my body got used to the water and it transformed while adapting to the water. Loving the water I swam and swam and with the help of my father taking me to the local swimming pool on the weekends I learned how to swim. By the age of ten I was a complete water-rat.
Swimming had become a favorite activity of mine and so was snorkeling. When I was ten years old my parents took me to Aruba and there I snorkeled on top of a reef. I got so intrigued by the big parrot fish and the chance of seeing a sea turtle that I started to develop an interest for the sea. I managed to keep my head underwater and study the marine live with a mask.
The first bubbles.
By the age of sixteen I set foot on Jamaica for the first time. Jamaica had always been a dream trip for our family and finally we got to spend a holiday on this reggae island. There was a local diving center at the resort where we were staying and I remember that the guy who ran it was British. He was the person to take me underwater while being able to breath underwater for the first time. After a short skill practice session in the pool we left with the boat into the Caribbean sea. It was going to be my first Discover Scuba Dive, which is something I teach people myself nowadays as a scuba instructor. This British man was the person to introduce me to it, but I never found out his name.
Freediving with love.
Over the following years I kept snorkeling, skindiving, freediving – whatever you’d like to call it, but I never managed to stay underwater for an impressive long time. In 2014 I became a certified scuba diver and also my breath holding skills improved. Then I met my boyfriend, mr. Viking, and the practicing became more fun. We dove together with and without tanks. He was always much better in holding his breath than I was, being able to stay underwater for 3 minutes with little practice. Together we enjoyed diving with tanks more, but with him I got challenged to practice and work on my breath holding.
My ears still need practice. While I am an experienced scuba diver instructor who can easily descend to 40 meters, the freediving descending still needs some practice to get smoother.
Try to use your mind more and not your muscles”
– Jaques Mayol
By now I can proudly say that I am a freediver. Even though I would say I am a beginner, I can hold my breath 2,5 minutes (static apnea freedive), freedive over 50 meters in length (dynamic apnea freedive) and now almost immerse to 20 meters of depth. Now it’s time to improve techniques and become better.
All pictures, except for those under-titled otherwise are made in Karpathos, Greece.
And yes… We need freediving fins which we both don’t own yet, so we’re freediving with scuba diving fins.