Freediving is an activity where you hold your breath while diving underwater. While people have been practicing this activity since the earliest days of mankind, it was only in late 1970s and 1980s when freediving became popular. Thanks to pioneers of competitive freediving, people like Enzo Maiorca and Jacques Mayol, the sport quickly found followers around the globe. When I am concerned, 1988's beautiful movie The Big Blue finally woke up in me an aquatic instinct buried deep inside every human.
How do I start with freediving?
Freediving can be practiced in a swimming pool or at home but best of course is in the sea. At home you can practice relaxation and breathing techniques (which have a lot of in common with yoga). In the water you practice diving and physical techniques. There are more and more freediving courses organized on popular travel destinations.
Freediving is fun only when practiced safely
No matter how do you decide to practice, never do this alone specially if you do not know where are your limits. This is the first and most important rule of freediving, one you should never forget. Too many freediving accidents happen around the world and I have witnessed several. This mostly applies to competitive freediving when people are pushing their bodies to their limits. Did you know that a freediving world record for holding one's breath is more then 9 minutes? Do you know that people have been in depths of more then 200 meters and back on a one single breath of air?
So, what is freediving like?
Ever tried asking someone how it is like when you are jumping with a parachute? Or flying an airplane? It can not be described, it is one of the things you need to experience.
That moment when you feel in tune with yourself, in tune with your surrounding, the water, you experience a higher perception of the nature. A primeval mammal diving instinct wakes up and takes you to a journey you are hard to part with.
Here is a link to a good freediving resource for beginners, called Apnea Mania. It should get you started with basic principals and techniques of this wonderful sport.
And a couple of freediving videos to tingle your imagination.
William Trubridge freedives THE ARCH at Blue Hole, Dahab
Peter Pederson does 200m dynamic apnea in the pool
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