Freediving book “Longer and Deeper”

It wouldn’t be a surprise if I say that it is not that many available Freediving books around. The last one which I read was “Oxygen” by William Trubridge. And I am also in the middle of “Manual of Freediving” by Umberto Pelizzari.


So, it was a pleasant surprise when the book “Longer and Deeper” by Jaap Verbaas was published a couple of months ago.

I don’t know the author personally, but I read a couple of his articles on the website Freedive Wire and also saw a couple of thoughtful comments here and there on different social media.

So, I was pretty excited to get his book. Is it worth to get it?

My opinion – 300% yes. First of all, it is not a “beginner level” manual, where an author explaining MDR or hyperventilation and you are skipping it because there is nothing new there. It is also not complicated medical research where you should Google every second word to understand what the article is about. It is somewhere in the middle.

But what is it exactly about? The book is mostly about how and why to train “dry”. There are exercises with explanations on how to do them and what exactly you will get from it.

I am not telling that these exercises are unique and you couldn’t find them somewhere else. But I was hooked by simple explanations about how exactly they work as a cross training for a Freediver. I haven’t met such detailed explanations before.

For whom this book will be useful? If you are a highly experienced Freediver with an academic background in the human physiology – then probably you will not find anything new. For anyone else – give it a try. Especially if you are not simply trying to increase your PB’s, but also want to understand deeply processes in the body during apnea training.

For example for me, none of the exercises was new (ok, I never tried apnea squads), but an explanation of how it works boosts my interest to understand more about certain parts of human physiology. So, because of it, I spent the last month trying deeply understanding different processes in a human body during apnea.

Overall this book is definitely in the TOP list of Freediving books for me at the moment and I definitely recommend reading it. And also I hope the author is not going to stop and will continue his researches and we can expect the second edition in the near future!

Buy this book on the Amazon

Freediving problems. Part 1 (LMC/BO/SWB)

I usually ask my students, what do they think, is Freediving dangerous sport or not? And

Freediver in the pool

if it is a PADI Freediver course (first level in Freediving), more likely the answer is yes.

What do you think about it? Stop reading for a second and let me know your opinion in the comments section at the end of this article!

Done? Good!

Ok, let’s start with it – any activity is potentially dangerous. And I am not even talking about such activities as a base jumping or rock climbing. Walking on the busy street can be extremely dangerous, right?

However, if you follow the rules of this particular activity – risks can be dramatically minimized (don’t walk on a highway for example). And Freediving is not an exception. Follow simple safety rules and Freediving would be the safest water based activity!

But I would lie to you by saying that there are no risks in Freediving. Are they big? Let’s have a look.

It is going to be two parts about most common problems in Freediving.

First one about – LMC/BO/SWB

IMG_0511And second is going to be about lung squeeze, DCS/lung overexpansion/gas narcosis


Before we start – it is very unlikely that you are going to experience it on your Freediving course (especially on the first level – chances close to zero). But with the experience, you are going to be not that much distracted with a high level of CO2 (you still have contractions, but you are going to be more ok with them) and able to hold your breath longer and longer. And longer your breath hold is, less O2 it is going to be at the end of it. And less O2 you have more likely problems can happen.

Let’s say a Freediver decide to do his PB (personal best attempt). He is relaxed and enjoys his breath hold. At some point, contractions (involuntary movement of respiration muscles) will start. But he is still relaxed. He has them before and he is not freaked out, everything is under control. Contractions become harder and harder, but he is still holding his breath. At some moment, contractions became unbearable and Freediver comes up. But because the level of O2 reached the critical level, there is a chance of LMC (loss of motor control). What happens with this Freediver if he has an LMC?

20180201_074458He is still conscious; the heart is working, blood still circulating through the body. But the partial pressure of O2 is too low for normal functioning. He is not fainting, but close to it. Signs can be small (blue lips, light uncontrolled eyes or head movement), or big (body shaking and losing coordination). What happens when a freediver lose coordination while he is in the pool? Big problem…

And this is why your buddy is very important! Safety buddy is going to grab the Freediver, provide support, remove a mask from the face (or nose clip) and encourage him to breathe!



  1. No hyperventilation before any breath hold
  2. Don’t push too much (be moderate with your progress and don’t do big jumps in it)
  3. Secure support (float, pool’s edge, your buddy arm) after surfacing
  4. Proper recover breathing after stop holding.
  5. Don’t do PB’s if you are dehydrated, too tired, you haven’t slept well, it is your second training per day etc



  1. Support your buddy, making sure airways about the surface
  2. Remove mask/nose clip
  3. Encourage to do recovery breathing
  4. Be ready to deal with BO

DJI_0760_MomentIf you have an LMC, take it as a lesson, stop training for at least a day, analyze why it happened and don’t repeat the same mistake ;-)


What is BO? In Freediving we call it a situation when Freediver lost his conscious due to hypoxia (insufficient supply of O2) during the long breath hold. There is a difference between hypoxia and anoxia – complete deprivation of O2 supply. Why it is important to understand this difference?

Anoxia is extremely dangerous because some of our tissues could not survive without O2 supply even a couple of minutes (brain as an example). During hypoxia there is still available O2, but not enough for normal body function. And the protective mechanism launched – Freediver experience blackout.



  1. Don’t do hyperventilation
  2. Do recovery breathing after any breath hold
  3. Avoid pushing too much your limits (especially if you are a beginner)
  4. Don’t depend on the watch, if you feel that you need to stop – stop!
  5. Have enough time to recover between Freediving sessions
  6. Don’t train when you dehydrated




  1. Learn rescue skills under professional supervision
  2. Practice these skills
  3. If your buddy has a BO – don’t panic, you can easily recover himDCIM100GOPROG0030109.JPG
  4. If you have a BO – stop your training for today
  5. If there is a chance that you inhale water – look for a medical checkup


As you know, BO happens when there is not enough O2 for normal buddy’s function (when a partial pressure of O2 below a certain level).

When we are diving, pressure changes very fast, compared to the surface. When we are only 10 meters deep, pressure increase twice (2 atm), 20 meters – three-time (3 atm) and so on. Same happens with the pressure of any gases in your body, include O2.

Deeper you go higher partial pressure of O2 you have.

But now you turned 😉 And while you are ascending, you are still burning down O2, but now also pressure decreasing. And on the last 10 meters, it is going down twice. And this is where the majority of SWB happens (some of them even on the surface).


swb2It is almost the same recommendations which I wrote about how to avoid BO! let’s repeat

  1. Don’t do hyperventilation
  2. Do recovery breathing after any breath hold
  3. Avoid pushing too much your limits (especially if you are a beginner), in case of SWB – don’t progress with depth too fast
  4. Don’t depend on the watch/depth, if you feel that you need to turn – turn!
  5. Have enough time to recover between Freedives (apply the rule, surface interval 3-4 longer then dive time or more conservative time)
  6. Limit the number of deep dives per session
  7. Don’t train when you dehydrated



What to do if your buddy has SWB

  1. Reach the diver
  2. Grab him
  3. Bring to the surface
  4. Remove the weight belt if necessary
  5. Blow-tap-talk for 10 seconds
  6. 2 rescue breath and ask for help
  7. Start moving the diver to the boat/shore, providing 1 rescue breath every 5 seconds
  8. Remove from the water and start CPR

Australian National Record holder Amber Bourke!

We would like to introduce our today’s guest Amber Bourke, ex-World Champion, and multi-time Australian National record holder!

amber6Amber, thank you for finding time to reply some of our questions.

1. Amber, I know that you were a professional synchronized swimmer and even represent Australia at FINA World Championship in 2007. How you ended up in Freediving?

I actually injured my hip which kind or ended my synchro days. I tried out for the 2008 Olympics but missed out on a spot on the team and after that decided that it was time to move on.

2. You achieved a lot both in swimming and now in Freediving. Can you compare training approach in both sports?

Training is actually very similar. I definitely trained much longer hours as a amber8synchronized swimmer but with freediving I believe it’s more about quality over quantity.

3. Our huge congratulations on your great performance this year in CNF. Are you concentrating mainly on this discipline in your depth training?

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for CNF. I’m not sure why because breaststroke has always been my worst stroke. I think at the moment though I’m mostly focusing on it because my equalization is terrible and I haven’t been able to equalize deep enough to do decent CWT or FIM dives.

4. In 2015 you did 48 meters, 2016 – 58, 2017 – 68 (which is the new National Record!!!). Looks like you like number “8”. So, what to expect from you in 2018? 78 meters? 

amber2I actually didn’t realize that until you pointed it out. I really have to work on being less predictable! I think a lot of us freedivers subconsciously steer towards certain numbers. I don’t think of myself as a superstitious person but maybe I am! The number 8 just sounds so much better than 7 or 9…

5. What is a typical daily training routine for you? What kind of short/long term goals do you have now?

Up until this year, I’ve been working full time around training so I usually train in the pool 3-4 times after work during the week and then try to squeeze maybe some gym or yoga in during the week too. Then it is a matter of arriving at a destination with enough time before the competition to let your body adapt to the pressure and work on equalization. This year I took a gap year from work to travel and focus on freediving so that makes things a lot easier.

6. You also doing very well in a pool disciplines, actually you are 2017 Pool National Female Champion! So, what do you like to train more, pool or depth?

If it’s a choice between being in the ocean or being in a swimming pool every day I willamber5 always choose the ocean. However, I do enjoy training in the pool and sometimes it’s just more practical. In Brisbane where I live we don’t have easy access to depth like a lot of freedivers.

7. I saw a video on the YouTube (I think it is 2014), where you do DNF with no packing. Are you changed your approach since then or you still don’t pack?

I still don’t pack. Maybe one day I will but I always wanted to see how far I could get without packing and show new freedivers that there is a lot more you can learn to improve your freediving before you start packing.

8. Last year we all saw your amazing photo session with Ben Von Wong. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

amber7The Von Wong shoot was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve had in freediving. We were in these underwater caverns with sharks and I was wearing this crazy dress that was almost impossible to swim in. On top that the water wasn’t that warm and I was relying on a scuba diver for air. It was not easy but I’ve always enjoyed a challenge. I’d really like to participate in more of these projects in the future.

9. Freediving becoming more popular nowadays. What is your opinion about freediving development in the future?

I hope it becomes as popular if not more popular than scuba diving. The more people who freedive the easier it will be to find people to freedive with! I also hope that as freediving becomes more popular people will become more aware of the risks involved with holding your breath underwater and what to do in case of a hypoxic or shallow water blackout.

10. And at the end, what advice can you give to someone who just finished their first freediving course?

Find people to train with. The main reason I’ve stayed in the sport for so long is that I amber4have a great group of people back home that I train with and that keeps me looking forward to training each week.

Freediving German National record holder Timothy Oehmigen

Hey Timothy!

Our congratulations for you to become Freediving National Record holder for Germany in CWT on VB-2107! Thank you for finding some time to answer our questions and sharing your love for Freediving!


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself (where you was born and grew up, at what age you started swimming, what hobby you had before start freediving)tim3

I am half German, half American. I grew up in Germany (south west part) close to Stuttgart, studied in Konstanz at Germany’s biggest and deepest lake (256m) and learned freediving there.  Swimming I started early at around 5-6 years. I always liked to be in the water, although I didn’t join any swimming club or so. During school and university, my biggest hobby was not sport related but more music related. I was fascinated by going to concerts and music festivals. I also have been working until today in the concert business as a booking manager for part time.


2. Do you remember when and how you tried Freediving for the first time? And why did you like it?

tim4I joined a beginner course in the lake of Konstanz. I could hold my breath 3 minutes and go to 20m and I realized fast how challenging this sport is, which I liked. I had lots of trouble with equalization though and I was not able to dive head first. As soon as I learned how to Frenzel, things got more serious. I had my first competition also in the lake and soon went for more and more competitions.


3. How did you come up with the idea to become a Freediving instructor? How did you manage to arrange your time between teaching and competing on such a high level?tim7

It was basically important for me to become an instructor to learn more about teaching. I found it interesting and I hoped to gain life experience from teaching and responsibility you have as an instructor in the water. At the same time, I realized that through teaching you can also learn a lot since you start reading more about freediving (due to students questions which you fail to answer) and on the other hand building your own teaching style. Of course, teaching and competing at the same time is hard, but it can be also a nice balance. After a few days of teaching, you really like to go deep again. And motivation is so important for deep diving. My best pre training + competition was actually my first national record with 91m free immersion. And exactly during that period, I had lots of courses. I used the day offs for training and each and every dive was nice, clean and a relaxed dive. 80m, 82m, 84m, 86m, 88m and then finally 91m.


4. Once again congratulations with NR for Germany (CWT 93 meters)! Are you looking forward to reaching magic 100 meters mark any soon? 😉 If yes, what it will mean for you?

tim2Of course, 100m is a nice number, but for me, it is also more important to be good in the other disciplines and do nice dives. If I can reach a 100m one time just by having a good run, it will not be worth it. I would like to hit a 100m and claim that I can do it again. But for this, my body and my mind need to be ready enough. At the moment it is not and that is important to know to remain on a healthy road towards success.


5. On VB-2017 you made an attempt of 67 CNF. What happened during this dive? Why did you decide to make an early turn? Are you looking for becoming NR in this discipline as well in the future?

I had argued with board colleagues from AIDA Germany which did not let me dive in peace. At the board, there is somebody who really tries to work against me and such battles are not a good place for a freedivers mind. But yes, I plan to dive deeper in CNF. I personally think that there I have great potentials since hypoxia is no topic for me and my technique looks okay. Actually, I just broke the NR with 67m a few days ago in a competition in Panglao, Philippines.


6. Coming back to training, are you splitting equally your time between different disciplines? Any pool or strength training?

I like to switch between the disciplines. All disciplines have their pros and cons. FIM is tim6relaxed and easy to equalize deep. Descend is the easiest for me. On the other hand, you need good apnea and a strong mind since you are deep and you only have the rope to get up. CWT is fast, you enjoy the speed and the power behind the monofin. On the other side, you need a good technique to not become lactic and to be able to keep the relaxation which is needed for deep equalization. CNF is physically hard and the detail is most important. On the other hand, it is not so deep and the numbers seem to be more double for the mind.

If I am in the water for training, I try to avoid work out. Nevertheless, I see work out also as an important part to remain strong. Especially when you are already getting skinny you can’t effort to lose the power you need for freediving. If I have a few days or weeks off from freediving, I like to train in the gym or at home to build up strength. Pool training is nice for technique and mental training.


7. I saw that you started crowd funding campaign to go to Freediving World Championship 2017. Wish you to reach this goal and hope our readers decide to support you! Can you say a couple of words why this is so important for you? (interview was taken a month ago, so Tim already manages to get enough money to go!!!)

tim5That is easy: Because it is very expensive to go there this year, especially when you are coming from Europe and also if you already attended Vertical Blue in that year. I do not have the money to go or if I would need to work and have no time for training. The announcement that the World Championship will take place in Roatan came quite late this time. So I decided to register for Vertical Blue and see if I can finance  Roatan somehow. I saw that other athlete already successfully funded themselves with crowd funding. On one hand I know it might not be so nice to ask for money, but on the other hand, I believe that those who support me really like to do that. I always feel happy to give support if I can and I want.


8. Did freediving become more popular in Germany since you have started practicing it?

I don’t know. I worked for a bit more than a year at the board at AIDA Germany, but the problem is that it is led mainly by bureaucrats who have no idea about freediving. Germany is, for example, the only country who still has lake records and it is also recognizing No Limit records. Media will not distinguish between a 100m No Limit and a 100m Constant Weight or a 130m DNF World Record (in the lake) or a real world record of 244m. What Germany needs is stories and a nice representation of the sport. Many people still believe that it is an extreme sport for adrenaline freaks. Some people take the advantage and sell themselves as such ones and simply misrepresent the sport. But there are also others who are invited into talk shows and give very nice examples for how nice freediving can be. I hope that especially competitive freediving can be more established.


9. Tell us about your personal Freediving plans and how you see freediving in the future in general?

I plan to take part in Honduras at the AIDA World Championship. I hope I can hit new tim1PBs there and I am also looking forward to this competition in general. Freediving becomes more and more popular for sure. With this, the freediving world faces a difficult task, which is making/keeping competitions safe and professional. At the last two World Championships of AIDA, there were huge and embarrassing mistakes happening, which in my personal opinion also happened due to arrogance by the judges and not listening to the athletes. I hope that those mistakes will not happen again and that the administration at AIDA will start working properly again.


Freediving National records’ breaker from Barbados, Alex Davis!

Hey, Alex!

Big congratulations for your outstanding performance on VB-2107! Thank you for finding some time to answer our questions!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself 

Thank you Sergey, I am originally from Cornwall in the UK and moved to Barbados inalex6 2011 with my wife. Growing up in a seaside town (Perranporth) I was always in the sea surfing, swimming, Jr life-saving club or fishing but the water is very cold and murky so I never really got into diving. When I moved to Barbados I found warm (28C) seas with visibility exceeding 30m on some days! I instantly got into spearfishing and the deep started calling me. I wanted to freedive deeper, stay longer, hunt better fish and it just went from there. In 2013 I set up ‘Spearfishing Barbados’ offering guided spearfishing tours around Barbados which have been growing every year. In 2015 I went to train with Vertical Blue (Jonathan Sunnex & Will Trubridge) where I completed my AIDA Instructor course and at the same time setting a PB of 62m with bi-fins. I opened Barbados’ first freediving school at the beginning of 2016 and run AIDA courses weekday and weekend all year round.

2. What about freediving? When and how you try it for the first time? And why did you like it?

alex5I got into spearfishing through a mutual friend who took me out and let me follow and watch. I remember diving down to 30ft and instantly turning and heading back for the surface! However, it was at this time I discovered I could equalize handsfree and spent as much time as possible freediving whenever I could. I really enjoy the peace and quiet you find when freediving and much prefer it to scuba. Being able to just walk down to the end of the road with fins and a mask and go diving for hours was an amazing experience each and every time.

3. How often do you train? What is your normal training routine?

Because of the spearfishing tours and freediving courses, I dive quite a bit already, anywhere from 3-7 days a week I am in the water freediving. In the lead up to VB, I supplemented my work schedule with pool training working on my monofin and no-fins technique as well as CO2 tolerance. Some days I would spearfish for 3 hours then go and do an hour or two at the pool in the evening working on just technique.alex2

Two great sessions I do in the pool are over/under – you swim 25m on the surface, touch the wall and then start 25m DYN, reach the other side and immediately go back to 25m on the surface. Another training session which helped was to perform a STA followed by DYN – 1-minute static then 50m DYN with short rests.


4. You showed very impressive results on all three depth disciplines! Do you split training time equally between them?

Thank you! In the lead up to VB I had 3 weeks at Deans Blue Hole and would dive FIM, CWT then CNF followed by a day of rest. I had spent a lot of time in the pool training for CWT and CNF so felt very strong diving to depth in those disciplines. 50m CNF was actually a PB for me, I had done 48m in training, about a week before which felt great so decided to round it off to 50m and I surfaced strong with lots of energy left for more. During training, I had progressed very well in CWT and FIM making small improvements every day. After each training session, I would go home, export the dive data from my watch and analyze my profile making sure my descent speed was correct and making notes on what felt good and what could be improved to take into the next session.

5. Why decide to compete in the first place? Are you going to do it again?

alex5After opening my freediving school I wanted to try my hand at a competition and also represent the country which I had made home for the last 6+yrs. There were no National Records for Barbados for men at this point so any white card performance would claim an NR, however I wanted to really give it my best shot and get white cards I would be proud of. Yes, I am scheduled to compete later this year at Blue Element 2017 in Dominica (October 13th – 21st) with my old Instructor Trainer Jonny Sunnex! My goals for this comp are to extend my CNF record and hopefully add a few more meters on to my CWT and FIM records.

6. It was your first competition, how you manage the stress? Or it was not stressful at all?

Yes, this was my first ever competition and I would say I was more stressed during training than I was during my official dives. During training you have to co-ordinate with other persons schedule so you will always have to compromise. When training you want to be respectful of everyone’s time so often take it in turns which means your warm ups usually take longer and by the time you do your target dive you may even be too alex4cold.

On competition days I would arrive at the Blue Hole at least 1hr before OT to check in and almost every day my resting heart rate was 100BPM! Haha! Once I got my suit on and clipped my lanyard to the warm up line however I was totally relaxed and actually my warm up dives where better/more relaxed than the ones during training. On the comp line during my countdown I breathed with my snorkel until 1min before OT which helped to tune out noises and other distractions with my eyes closed. I would then finish my breathe up vertically on the line, keeping my eyes closed and just listening to the announcer. On my very first dive of the comp (76m FIM) I was completely relaxed all the way to the bottom plate but once I had that tag in my hand all of the nerves finally caught up with me and my contractions started the moment I turned. The first dive was always going to be my hardest and after this one things got easier and more relaxed with each dive.

7. What do you think about VB? Anything what you think can be improved?

VB, as we all know, is one of [if not THE] top competition each year and the organization is absolutely spot on as well as the safety team being very professional and courteous. During the closing ceremony, Will even mentioned that throughout the entire competition there was not a single delay in the schedule which is a testament to the professionalism and organization of this event. Having not yet experienced any other competition I cannot really say if I think there is anything that can be improved but I think everyone at VB is on point.

8. Tell us about your future plans and how do you see freediving in the future?

alex3My plans moving forward are to continue growing my freediving school here in Barbados and attract more people to the island wanting to learn, both from around the Caribbean and all over the globe. I have already had students come over from nearby islands to train as well as going myself to Grenada earlier this year to teach a group of avid divers and spearos so the sport of Freediving is definitely on the up! I think more people are going to move from scuba to freediving as time goes on as well as people who just really enjoy snorkeling wanting to learn more about freediving and improve their ability and enjoyment underwater. We also actively promote the hunting of Lion fish and regularly give talks in Barbados informing people about this invasive species and why we need more freedivers out there removing them – and eating them!

Follow Alex on his Instagram and Facebook and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to get more stories from Freedivers about Freediving 😉

Победительница Чемпоната РФ по фридайвингу 2017 года Вероника Кравцова

Рады представить Российскую звезду фридайвинга Веронику Кравцову. Прежде всего – поздравляем с успешным выступлением на Чемпионате РФ по фридайвингу 2017!veronika

Вероника, спасибо, что нашли время ответить на наши вопросы.

1. Традиционный вопрос – как вы пришли во фридайвинг? Что понравилось больше всего, а что было не идеально?

Здравствуйте и спасибо за поздравления. Фридайвинг для меня начался с Красного моря лет 8-9 назад. Тогда я еще не очень представляла, что это такое, но прозрачный подводный мир меня зацепил и увлек. Помню даже альбом фотографий с той поездки назвала “Другой мир”, так это меня впечатлило. Ну и пошло, поехало. На море постоянно не поездишь, поэтому стала искать альтернативу в бассейне и нашла. Рыбок и кораллов, конечно, нет, зато есть ты и вода, а больше, по сути, ничего и не надо.

veronika3Стала регулярно тренироваться в бассейне. Я, как человек увлекающийся, быстро втянулась, постепенно набирала форму. Чего тогда не было, так это теоретической подготовки, тактики и расслабления.

2. Окей, вы попробовали фридайвинг и вам понравилось… А как пришло понимание, что это не просто увлечение, а серьезная часть вашей жизни? Почему решили стать инструктором?

Фридайвинг и остается для меня увлечением, хоть и серьезным. Проанализировав все виды физической активности, которых к тому моменту набралось немало (горные и беговые лыжи, велосипед, триатлон, ориентирование и т.д.), я остановила выбор на нырянии по многим причинам. Во-первых, вода, будь то бассейн или открытая, всегда доступна, во-вторых, открывает практически безграничные возможности для индивидуальной физической самореализации как в бассейне, так и в море; в-третьих, это прекрасный досуг для отпуска. И это совсем не то, что окунаться под воду с баллонами, как-то в Египте я сравнила, чтобы убедиться. Ну и самое, пожалуй, основное (хотя понимание пришло со временем), это возможность абсолютно отстранится от суеты, повседневных забот и проблем, и вынырнуть совершенно другим перезагрузившимся человеком.veronika4

В своих тренировках цели стать инструктором у меня не было. Инструктором мне предложила стать Наталья Вадимовна Молчанова. К тому моменту у меня уже был весомый опыт участия в национальных и международных стартах, в том числе несколько чемпионатов России, 2 чемпионата мира, а также выезды на глубину. Поскольку к своим тренировкам я относилась серьезно, решила, что мой опыт и новые знания, и навыки, полученные у легендарной спортсменки помогут мне научить и увлечь новичков фридайвинга.

3. Вероника, на Чемпионате вы заняли первое место в общем зачете трех дисциплин. На первом месте – плавание в ластах . Отражает ли это ваше ориентирование на тренировках?

veronika2Да, я много времени уделяю работе в ластах. На все 3 дисциплины просто не хватает времени.

4. Еще раз поздравляем с призовыми местами на Чемпонате России по Фридайвингу 2017. Первое место – более чем впечатляющий результат. Рассчитывали ли вы на это? Как считаете, что помогло вам выиграть (настрой, опыт, тренировки)?

В апреле 2016 года на соревнованиях в Севастополе вы показали замечательный результат 160 метров, а всего через год улучшили свой результат до 200 метров! Поделитесь секретом такого впечатляющего прогресса! 🙂

Конкуренция в этот раз на чемпионате России была не слишком сильная, поэтому, да, я рассчитывала на первое место в динамике в ластах. Конечно, все было не совсем гладко, ситуация осложнилась простудой, поэтому 2 другие дисциплины решила не давить, а сосредоточиться на ласте. Но мне повезло, поэтому выиграла еще и общий зачет. Конечно, когда выступаешь на соревнованиях с количеством участников под 100 человек, все имеет значение, и опыт, и тренировки, и, конечно, психологическая подготовка.

veronika5В Севастополе ситуация была непростая. Во-первых, это был мой первый старт после декрета; во-вторых, расписание стартов было такое, что в первый день спортсмены делали статику, а во второй было сразу 2 динамические дисциплины: сначала брасс, потом в ластах. Поэтому в ласте был такой скромный результат. Мой лучший результат в нырянии в ласте на тот момент был 180 м.

5. Некоторые критикуют нас за то, что в наших вопросах много “спорта”. На ваш взгляд какое место во фридайвинге занимает именно спортивный аспект? Кроме спортивных достижений, что еще дает вам фридайвинг?

Фридайвинг – это и есть спорт, просто в нем присутствует и рекреационная часть, и соревновательная. Если говорить о спортивных состязаниях и подготовках к ней, то, конечно, они занимают весомую часть всей фридайверской деятельности. И связано это с тем, что только через массовые мероприятия, которыми и являются спортивные соревнования, происходит развитие фридайвинга в мире.

Спортивные достижения сами по себе дают немало. Это и физическая форма, реализация спортивных амбиций, мотивация. Кроме этого, только фридайвинг через практику самоанализа мне позволяет привезти нервную систему в порядок и снять психическое напряжение.

6. Помимо того что вы действующий спортсмен, вы еще и инструктор по фридайвингу. Не мешает ли одно другому? Какими качествами на ваш взгляд должен обладать инструктор по фридайвингу?veronika6

Напротив, совмещение собственных тренировок и инструкторской деятельности только на пользу и тому, и другому. Имея значительный опыт занятий фридайвингом, как удачный, так и не очень, легче сориентировать занимающегося в правильном направлении, исправлять и не допускать ошибки.

Считаю, что для инструктора самыми важными качествами являются серьезный подход к делу, понимание, что от своих действий зависит безопасность обучаемого, опыт и отличные аналитические качества.

7. Фридайвинг становится более и более популярным. Появляется больше школ фридайвинга, больше студентов… Каким вы видите развитие фридайвинга в будущем?

Это сложный вопрос. Лучше всего на него ответят руководители национальных федераций и международных организаций, так как именно руководство дает посыл для развития фридайвинга. Что касается ситуации в регионах, могу ответить по поводу Санкт-Петербурга. Как инструктор и спортсмен, я представляю клуб Freediving.spb. Его основал мой супруг Александр Виноградов. Уже в течение 3-х лет мы активно занимаемся развитием фридайвинга в Санкт-Петербурге, сертифицировано около 100 человек, накоплен значительный тренерский опыт. В ноябре прошлого года Александру удалось собрать отличную команду и организовать первые в истории соревнования в Санкт-Петербурге по фридайвингу по правилам AIDA. Надо отметить, что прошли они весьма успешно как для организаторов, так и для спортсменов. Были и прямая трансляция, и серьезные призы, и 2 национальных рекорда у иностранных атлетов. Нашу замечательную команду, включающую не только спортсменов, но и судей, и страхующих, вы могли видеть на прошлом чемпионате России в Москве.

8. И в завершение, какой совет вы могли бы дать тем читателя, которые только начали заниматься фридайвингом?

Не упустите возможность взять от фридайвинга именно то, что вы хотите. Потому что он может дать все: и отдых, и работу, и развлечение, и самопознание.

Подписывайтесь на наш блог и читайте интересные интервью с российскими и зарубежными фридайверами!!

PADI AmbassaDiver Adam Stern, the deepest man in Australia.


We would like to introduce our today’s guest Adam Stern. Multiple Australian national record holder, rising star in Freediving with recent achievements of 100 meters (CWT)!

Adam, thank you for finding time to reply some of our questions.

1. I know that you started your Freediving (at least officially) during your time on Koh Tao, Thailand. What was the most difficult part of the first course? And why you signed up for the next level?

adam5I was just backpacking around Asia and I was on Koh Tao, Thailand at that time, doing my PADI Advanced Open Water course.  And once I saw a  freediving center – Apnea Total and thought that it was cool and took a course and kept training with them.

I remember I did my first dive to 20 meters and it was easy and I did another one and it was a little bit more challenging and I did another one and I was cold and tired and I remember on the last dive I had a lot of contractions but in the Apnea Total course we weren’t taught what contractions were so I was very surprised at the horrible feeling.


2. Do you remember the moment when you realized that freediving is not only a hobby for a few weeks but something more important?

It happened when I was training in Roatan and one day reached 70 meters deep. I was just training for fun and it was all going well. When I reached that depth I was thinking wow I’m getting better in this, might be I should see what happen if I take it more seriously. After that, I came home and started training more seriously in a pool and then went to Dahab and started depth training there.adam7

3. You are well known for your competition performance (Vertical Blue 2016 and Blue Element 2016 is just to name a few of them). But do you remember your first competition? Now, when you get more experience with it, is it easier to manage stress during competition? If it is not a big secret, what are your future plans as a competitive Freediver?

It was a mini comp in Dahab in 2013. I announced a dive 15 meters shallower than my PB just to have a nice competition experience. In my first few competitions I was quite nervous but now it doesn’t stress me at all and I’m definitely enjoying competing more and more the more I do it.

adam3My future plan is always just to get deeper and deeper! 🙂 My target in freediving is always to progress, always to hit PB depths. I will do that for as long as I am enjoying training and competing in freediving. I could say things like Oh, I would like a world record! And I would love nothing more than a world record. But I find that large and far away goals are not that effective as having many small, short-term goals. So the goal for me is always simply a PB. Every single time I train or I do training cycle I want to PB.


4. To be able to compete on the highest level you obviously need to be in a great shape. How do you manage to combine teaching and training?

I am the competitive diver and my focus was and always will be on my own training and competitions. So, I have to structure my business around that. Basically what I do is dedicate a period of time to teaching and a period of time where I’m not teaching at all, just training.

My training schedule is quite complex and depends on which phase of training I am in. I break my training at base training and depth training.adam8

My base training is training in the gym 5 days a week. I train CrossFit which is high-intensity interval training. I also train three days a week in a pool mostly doing dynamic tables. I mostly do hypoxic tables which are actually CO2 tables to the point of hypoxia. This base training period makes up about 2 thirds of my training cycle.

Then I go to a location to start diving deep. The frequency of my dives depends on how deep I’m diving. When I am above 80 meters it’s three days and one day off, between 80 and 95 – two days and one day off. And then any deeper than that it’s one day and one day off. My training in structured and I almost never cancel dives or leave it up to how I feel in the morning. I like to just get up and get it done.

Obviously, if I am tired and I need a rest, then I rest. But besides this, I don’t give my mood any power over me. If my body feels good and it’s time to go to dive or time to go to the gym or to the pool – I go. There was countless time where I’ve had no desire to train but I make myself train.


adam45. And why did you decide to start teaching freediving at the first place? Why PADI? What is your favorite PADI Freediving course to teach?

In the beginning, I was not really interested in becoming an instructor. I just wanted to make some cash while leaving in Dahab at the time. And then I realized that I really enjoy teaching, I fell in love with it and still love teaching. When PADI launched their freediving program I knew they had the biggest market potential and the largest reach. They had the largest potential to actually expand the freediving industry more than any other company that have ever been involved in freediving. So, I stepped in to be involved in this expansion, to be in a front line, and to help growing freediving as a sport and as an adventure activity.

My favorite course to teach is the instructor course. It is the most intensive and interesting course to teach. And I can work very closely with divers who are diving at a high level.


6. In your opinion – what are the main qualities which freediving instructor should have?adam6

Someone who has expert knowledge in Freediving, who has expert skills in freediving, and very high-level teaching skills. Every instructor is different and teaches in their own way. Every instructor’s style may work or may not work with different students so there is no such thing as the perfect instructor.


7. What do you think, who can apply for PADI Freediver course (level of fitness or age)? Is it a course for everyone or you should be somehow prepared for it?

adam2Anyone can apply and join PADI freediving course! Obviously, you need a reasonable level of fitness, let’s say you should be able to swim continually 200 meters or snorkeling 300 meters. If you can, you then you’re absolutely ready for the course. I believe everyone can do it. Obviously, if you have issues with your heart etc you should get checked my a doctor before you sign on for a course but apart from medical limitations, everyone can do it.


8. Now freediving slowly comes to be “in trend”, probably same like it was with yoga 10 years ago. More freediving centers, more students…What are the pros and cons of it?

The increase of freedivers and the growth of the freediving industry is fantastic. I love freediving soo much that I love to see more and more people doing it. The only issue with the freediving explosion is that there are some parts of the world where people are choosing not to take freediving courses which are so dangerous and in the end will only reflect badly on us all.


9. What is your opinion about freediving development in the future? What is the best way for it?

I would love to see it as big as a scuba diving. I think right now what is popular worldwide is all kinds of adventure sports, adventure activities, adventure travel. Freediving is all about adventure! People like to have a challenge. I see freediving constantly growing but what I want to see is the amateur sport of freediving became professional. A professional sport with paid athletes. It’s happening slowly. Now we have more divers than ever who can dive over 100m and the gap between the world’s elite professional divers and those aspiring to be is closing.adam1


10. What could be your contribution, as a PADI Ambassador, in this process?

My goal as a PADI ambassador promotes freediving as much as possible, especially safe diving practices and promote PADI courses which I personally believe is the best and safest way to learn freediving.


11. And at the end, what advice can you give to someone who just finished their first freediving course?

Go and have some fun! Go deep snorkeling, go freediving in beautiful locations, explore the Ocean. You can just literally go anywhere and just check out what is beneath the surface! You don’t need any preparation, just go!

And when you’re ready to go for an advanced course! You’ll dive deeper, hold your breath longer, improve your knowledge of freediving safety and learn so so much more about your body, which is the most important.adam9

The advice I would give to people getting into freediving as a sport. I would tell them, don’t take it too seriously! Have fun! If you are not having fun there is no point doing it anyway. Enjoy freediving. Enjoy the sensation of being in the water and have a wonderful, wonderful time. Never push yourself.



Sign up for our blog and find inspiration from the Freedivers from all around the world!!

You can also follow Adam on his Facebook, Instagram and Youtube chanel to get more inspiration as well as tons of useful information for your Freediving!

Победитель Чемпионата РФ по фридайвингу (общий зачет) Игорь Самохин

Рады представить Российскую звезду фридайвинга Игоря Самохина, успешно выступившего на Чемпионате РФ по фридайвингу 2017!

Игорь, спасибо, что нашли время ответить на наши вопросы.

1. Во фридайвинг вы пришли после довольно серьезной травмы, в 2010 году…. Почему именно фридайвинг, а не, допустим, просто занятие плаванием? Что понравилось больше всего с самого начала, а что было не очень? Помните Ваше самое первое занятие?:-)igor1

Сразу оговорюсь, что «российской звездой фридайвинга» я себя не считаю и воспринимаю Ваше обращение исключительно с иронией. Я себя позиционирую, как крепкого середняка, находящегося с еще десятком моих хороших товарищей в пелотоне, возможно в его начале. Звездами у нас являются Алексей Молчанов и Александр Костышен. И еще Андрей Матвеенко, который давно оторвался от пелотона, но еще не догнал Алексея и Сашу, но у него еще всё впереди.

Я не сразу пришел во фридайвинг после травмы, восстанавливался где-то 1.5 года. Почему занялся фридайвингом? Когда-то сам анализировал, что повлияло, что было начальным импульсом? Было два основных мотива: 1. Когда я вернулся из армии в 1985 году, ходил пару лет в бассейн Олимпийский, плавать. Я тогда только-только научился. Проплывал с трудом 50 метров и отдыхал. В какие-то дни параллельно с нами, любителями, на соседних дорожках ребята занимались  подводным спортом – плавали в моноласте. Меня тогда поразило, с какой скоростью и легкостью они ныряли, как чья-то тень мелькала, как торпеда под водой. Вот это впечатление мне и запомнилось. Я даже после несколько раз пытался найти моноласту, но, видимо, тогда это было еще сложно. После периодически пытался найти секцию, где можно было бы научиться. Но как-то всё не сросталось. 2. Я раньше часто летал в Египет и увлекся подводной фотосьемкой. Часами плавал-нырял, часто сильно закислялся, когда делал это без должного отдыха. Чувствовал, что навыков ныряния мне не хватало. Хотелось улучшить свои возможности пребывания под водой. Ведь когда фотографируешь какую-нибудь рыбку, долго ждешь нужный ракурс, часто ныряешь. Удачный кадр сделать сложнее, чем подстрелить рыбу из подводного ружья.

Плюс после травмы понял, что потихоньку нужно увеличивать нагрузки, хотя врачи и говорили всякие глупости)).  Вот это все и привело меня в бассейн. Правда, я сразу же пошел заниматься и моноластой в ЦСКА ВМФ к Лене Жиляковой, и на курсы фридайвинга в Олимпийский к Оле Суряковой.

Понравилось всё. Я всегда любил воду во всех её проявлениях.

Что не понравилось даже не помню. Скорее всего, такого не было. Может быть, хотелось заниматься больше по времени. Хотя в первые 1.5 года я занимался 4-5 раз в неделю.

2. На ваш взгляд, что является вашей сильнейшей дисциплиной – динамика в моноласте (DYN) или динамика без ласт (DNF). Почему так? Насколько это отражает тренировочный процесс?  Ваше мнение, являются ли фридайверы с многолетним плавательным (в том числе и соревновательным) опытом более успешные в DYN/DNF?

igor4Раньше я бы сказал, что DYN, но в этом году я немного подтянул DNF, и они у меня почти сравнялись. Правда,  на последнем питерском чемпионате России (CMAS) я опять немного улучшил результат в ласте, так что она у меня снова немного вырвалась вперед, но думаю, что ненадолго)). Ласта у меня идет легче. Похоже, я немного неуклюжий, и в ласте нужно делать меньше движений, и это меньше влияет на гидродинамику.

Последние месяцев 6 я больше уделял внимание брассу. Считаю, что это более чувствительный вид ко всему: и к технике, и к развесовке, и к гипоксии. Т.е,  если я правильно вывесился для брасса, то и для ласты это подойдет. Тоже и при подготовке к соревнованиям. Я перед московским чемпионатом, как уже говорил, чаще плавал длинные дистанции брассом – прошел свой официальный максимум, а в ласте же не доплыл до максимума метров 25. Потом перед соревнованиями мне Максим Жиляков сделал новую ласту: немного помягче. И так как она была «необкатанная», то я не ждал от себя хороших результатов. Но, на удивление,  в обоих чемпионатах я все же занял первые места в ласте)). Это опять подтверждаем мою теорию о большей чувствительности брасса.

3. Еще раз поздравляем с первым местом в общем зачете и отдельно в дисциплине DYN на Чемпионате России 2017! Рассчитывали ли вы на такой результат? Как вы считаете, что помогло выиграть именно вам (настрой, опыт, тренировки)? Как справляетесь с предсоревновательным стрессом (если таковой имеется 😉 )

За поздравления – спасибо))igor2

До соревнования я по диагонали анализировал лучшие результаты участников. Получилось, что у меня брасс был где-то на седьмой позиции, ласта – на пятой, а статика, кажется, на 15-ой. Я рассчитывал, что: улучшу свои результаты в статике и брассе; а в брассе считал, что у меня хорошие шансы попасть в тройку. Про ласту ничего не думал, так как тренировал ее мало, ласта была новая и  необкатанная. Хотел   просто ее испытать)). Кстати, та же история повторилась и на питерском чемпионате – тоже ласта была новая, необкатанная, уже от Алексея Молчанова (приз за 1-е место в Москве). И опять нежданное первое, да еще с улучшением своего личника на 7 с лишним метров. Короче –  сплошное везение в этом году))) – все ожидания выполнил и перевыполнил.

Выиграть помогла удача, более длительная подготовка к соревнованиям (в этом году я специально с этой целью участвовал в декабре в соревновании World Class V), не самые хорошие старты для тех, кто вместе со мной претендовали на призовые места, и отсутствие на соревнованиях наших лидеров (Саши Костышена, Алексея Молчанова и Андрея Матвеенко).

С соревновательным стрессом не справляюсь – я просто с ним живу эти дни. И перед первым днем соревнования опять удалось уснуть часа на 2, и перед вторым была похожая история. У меня в Москве всегда так было, но обычно не спалось только перед первым днем, а тут не получилось и перед вторым. Но, на результаты это не повлияло)). Нужно просто перед стартом хорошо подготовиться к нырку и вуаля))

4. На Чемпионате России 2015 года в дисциплине DNF вы показали результат 140 метров (первое место), в 2016 году 134 метра (4 место), в 2017 году 150 метров и второе место! Что повлияло на соревновательный результат?

igor3Прошлый год в московских соревнованиях для меня был неудачным. Очень плохо выступил. Был недоволен. Да и вообще, у меня было три года застоя по всем трем дисциплинам. Вы не написали, что в 2014 брасс у меня был 141м. Так что динамика была еще хуже: 141-140-134. Правда, через месяц после Москвы в Питере удалось нырнуть на третье место 140 метров с копейками (немного подправить год), но всё равно не важно. Ласта тоже: 205-209 (красная)-201. Чтобы не подумать, что я уперся в потолок в этом году, как уже говорил, начал подготовку пораньше. Так что на результаты влияет подготовка и настрой в голове, когда вы не готовы мириться с тем, что лучшие свои результаты вы уже достигли. Но тут главное не борсить: спорт у нас необычный и силой воли решить ничего не получится. Нужно постоянно анализировать свое состояние, прогресс, ошибки, почему дальше не идет; пробовать что-то новое, верить в себя, верить в то, что пределов нет.

5. Некоторые критикуют нас за то, что в наших вопросах много “спорта”. На ваш взгляд, какое место во фридайвинге занимает именно спортивный аспект? Кроме спортивных достижений, что еще дает вам фридайвинг?

Спорт во фридайвинге опционен: большинству он вообще не интересен. Люди любят нырять, ездить-общаться (видимо, фридайвинг хороший фильтр: меня окружают очень интересные и главное светлые люди). Кто-то любит фридайвинг за особые состояния при нырянии: покой, осознанность, растворение, полет, тишину, нахождение здесь и сейчас… Кому-то нравится контакт с природой через фридайвинг. А кто-то просто любит воду во всех ее проявлениях. Мне интересны все эти грани.

Когда человек начинает у нас заниматься, он постепенно как нанизывание бусин, начинает оценивать свое состояние, что и когда он ест перед тренировкой, устал он или нет, какие дополнительные практики могут повлиять на результат, как глубоко он расслабляется, где возникает дискомфорт и какова его динамика, как справиться с волнением и с тем же дискомфортом, и тд и тп

6. Игорь, как находите мотивацию тренироваться и успешно выступать на соревнованиях различного уровня уже более семи лет? Какие краткосрочные и долгосрочные цели ставите перед собой?

Ну, для тренировок мотивацию мне искать не надо – мне просто это очень нравится. Если была бы возможность я бы вообще не вылезал из воды. Когда-то в Египте я плавал-нырял по 5-7 часов, выходя из воды, чтобы что-то съесть и перезарядить аккумулятор в фотоаппарате. Для участия в соревнованиях возможно нужна мотивация, а точнее не для участия, а для стремления показать какие-то результаты или улучшить свои достижения. Вот последнее (постоянное улучшение) скорее всего и является моей мотивацией, если в ней возникает необходимость. Я просто считаю, что если я чем-то занимаюсь, то это должно улучшаться. Или даже не так – любая практика – это инструмент для самокопания (кто-то называет это повышением осознанности). Т.е Вы чем-то занимаетесь и через это познаете себя (и не только). И здесь не важно чем, важно, чтобы это было интересно и не требовало дополнительной мотивации, кнутов и пряников. А соревнования нужны в качестве дорожных знаков: результаты растут – двигаетесь в правильном направлении, нет – нужно понять почему.

7. Фридайвинг становится более и более популярным. Появляется больше школ фридайвинга, больше студентов… Каким вы видите развитие фридайвинга в будущем?igor5

Надеюсь, что он будет признан ни как непонятное экстремальное занятие для узкого круга любителей, но и как интересный зрелищный вид спорта для широкой аудитории.

Надеюсь, что в нашей стране, которая дала миру такого человека как Наталья Молчанова, найдутся средства для строительства глубоководных бассейнов.

8. И в завершение, какой совет вы могли бы дать тем читателя, которые только начали заниматься фридайвингом?

Вот это для меня самый сложный вопрос. Не зная зачем человек пришел, трудно ему что-то посоветовать. Тут вспоминается старый мультик, где главная героиня (уж, не помню кто) стремилась делать добро. У нее это как-то не очень получалось. Например: увидев, лежащую под солнцем на горячем камне ящерицу, она окатила ее холодной водой. И так далее…

А так если меня о чем-то спрашивают – я стараюсь отвечать, если могу))

Подписывайтесь на наш блог и читайте интересные интервью с российскими и зарубежными фридайверами!!

Member of French National Freediving Team Aurelia Voyer

1. Do you remember how and when did you find out about freediving? What made you start freediving? What were your 1st steps in this kind of sports? aurelia8
I found out about freediving in 2013. I started competition quickly, one year after beginning. I was attracted by relaxation and nice sensations during static or dynamic apnea. My first steps were in childhood when my father was timing me! Good memories.
2. What is your favorite discipline in freediving and which one you don’t like? And could you explain why?
My favorite disciplines are static and dynamic apnea. For me, static is the purest apnea because we have to let go our thoughts, to meditate in the silence of water. It’s a real challenge for me! During a dynamic apnea, I imagine that I’m a Manta and it is changing my perception of the performance. I hope to begin freediving (outdoor) next year, after indoor AIDA World Championship. I’m impatient, it will be a new step in my life and in my training.
3. Tell please few words about your freediving training approach: How many times a week do you train? And do you have a fixed schedule or you just wake up in the morning, look into the mirror and depending on your mood, body condition or weather decide what to do today?
I train 16 hours by week: 5 hours of static and dynamic apnea, 3 hours aurelia4of yoga, 2-3 hours of swimming, 2 hours of running, 3 hours of physical preparation. All the time I do 15min of stretching after training. I have a fixed schedule every week but sometimes I have to change my planning if I’m tired or sick.
And do a lot of biking since I’m not using a car 🙂

4. And how often do you try something new in your freediving training?

Ha ha, it depends on my coach! He likes giving me new exercises and new challenges.
5. The next question – what makes you day after day to go to train in a pool/sea? What motivates you to train hard? How do you fight humans’ laziness?
aurelia2I always take my bike for 20-25 minutes to go to train in a pool. Last year I had 45 minutes of a bus! I fight laziness with my passion and my willpower. I think that if we want something, we have to fight for it. Freediving has an important place in my life, so it’s normal for me to be passionate, demanding and endurant.
6. Do you believe that some food products could influence the ability to equalize? Like gluten or lactose, for example, create more mucus which is not good for equalizing? Do you personally follow any diet?
Yes, food is energy. It’s important to choose what we eat and what we drink. I don’t eat red meat and avoid white meat, wheat (pasta and bread) and cheese. I don’t drink alcohol one month before a competition. I never drink animal milk. I’m asthmatic and cow milk doesn’t help me!
7. Let’s talk about money 🙂 Do you have any support from sports community of your country or may be some trade brand?
No, I have not any support to pay my freedive material, my trips to competitions and myaurelia3 individual training. But I would like to be supported 😉
8. What about your targets in freediving? What would you like to achieve and how deep would you like to get?
My targets will depend on my evolution during the two years coming. For the moment, the first objective of this season could be to do 5’45-6’00 in static and 150m in dynamic.

9. What do you do except freediving? Do you have any hobbies?

Except for freediving, I do shiatsu massage and magnetism. My hobbies are walking in mountains, reading, writing, painting, traveling and meeting people.
10. What would you advise to people, who just discovered this kind of sports?
aurelia6Come to discover new sensations in water and to discover YOU. Freediving is like a soul’s mirror. Don’t forget your pleasure to be in nature, in the water element.
Sign up for our blog and find inspiration from the Freedivers from all around the world!!

Former Freediving World vice-champion and French National champion Yoram Zekri

1. Do you remember how and when did you find out about freediving? What made you start freediving? What were your 1st steps in this kind of sports? 

Photo by Christian Coulombe


From born, I have always been a water lover. I started swimming competition when I was 8, then I passed my first level in scuba diving when I was 12, and then when I was 13 I watched the movie “The Big Blue” and I knew from this moment that freediving will drive my life. So I started freediving long time ago, in 1988 🙂

2. What is your favorite discipline in freediving and which one you don’t like? And could you explain why?

My favorite discipline is No Limit. This is also the discipline I did my best result with 141 meters during training in 2001. It was only 11 meters from the World record at this time. No Limit is just about sensations and free fall, without any effort. It is a journey where you can focus only on what happens in your body and your soul. I also like Free Immersion because it is very relaxing but you still need to be fit. It is a real sport 😉

A few years ago I really didn’t like Dynamic. I found pool disciplines very painful, without finding any good sensations. But when I was living in Sydney I didn’t get the choice. It was or pool training or no training at all. So I started to train in Dynamic and at the end I enjoyed it.


Photo by Christian Coulombe

I think at the beginning, training a new discipline is always not very enjoyable. But more you practice it, more you like it 😉


3. Tell please few words about your freediving training approach: How many times a week do you train? And do you have a fixed schedule or you just wake up in the morning, look into the mirror and depending on your mood, body condition or weather decide what to do today?

I try to organize my training with some macrocycles, few months before the competition or event I target. I plan it as much as I can, early enough and try to stick to it. It is important for me to organize very carefully the planning of my training because I have to manage it between my work and spending time with my son who needs a lot of attention. It is sometimes challenging but this is the way I have to do to feel confident enough and match my goals.

4. And how often do you try something new in your freediving training?

Mostly every time at the beginning of the specific deep training session. There are always things new to try and improve about equalization, techniques, weights… But then when the competition day is close enough, like one week away, I don’t change major things and try to keep always the same routine and equipment.

Photo by Julia Wheeler


5. The next question – what makes you day after day to go to train in a pool/sea? What motivates you to train hard? How do you fight humans’ laziness?

I just love it J. You can’t progress and make good results in your training if you don’t like it, especially in freediving. I use to say to all my freediving students that it is OK to go for a run if you don’t want really to go, you don’t risk much. But if you go to train freediving without pleasure, you will not do anything well and you can actually hurt yourself if you dive deep without any relaxation and without enjoying yourself. I love sports in general and challenging myself. I love to be in the water. So I am never lazy for a good training with some good friends 🙂

6. Do you believe that some food products could influence the ability to equalize? Like gluten or lactose, for example, create more mucus which is not good for equalizing? Do you personally follow any diet?


Photo by Christian Coulombe

Lactose is a mucus forming food and some people are more sensitive than others. I am French and I love cheese ;). But I try to avoid any dairy at least 2 or 3 days before to dive to give me the best chance to equalize perfectly.


7. Let’s talk about money 🙂 Do you have any support from sports community of your country or may be some trade brand?

It is very difficult for competitive freedivers to make a living just with sponsors. Just a few of them succeeded this way. When I was competing 20 years ago I used to have some sponsors who were helping me with equipment and a bit of money to organize my training. Then I stopped competition for about 10 years. I am a freediving instructor and I work full time in freediving industry. I have the chance to own a freediving school, Ocean Prana, based in Bali, Indonesia. So I think teaching freediving is the way to make a decent living from Freediving. I don’t have any sponsors or partnerships for the moment. yoram1

8. What about your targets in freediving? What would you like to achieve and how deep would you like to get?

After 10 years without competitions or serious training, I feel that I am now mature enough to go back in the game. I won the Australian Deep National Championship last November and I allow myself 2 years from now to come back to an internationals level in deep competitions disciplines. I try to set up intermediate goals but I don’t focus only on numbers because for me good sensations and good feelings are the way to success. Putting pressure on numbers is not very productive. But if this year I can dive around 90/95 meters in FIM and CTW I will be very happy with that. This is the first time in my all freediving life that I can seriously and easily train with amazing facilities we have at Ocean Prana. So I will give it a shot :-). Then my ultimate goal is to go back to sled training…

9. What do you do except freediving? Do you have any hobbies?

I have a little boy, Ocean. He is 2 years and a half. He lives in Perth, Australia. I travel a lot to teach freediving so when I am in Perth with him, I just enjoy being with him full time. He is my favorite hobby ;). Otherwise, I practice CrossFit, but I guess it is related to freediving training 😉

yoram6I also love to spend time home, watching movies and series, cooking and sleeping 😉

10. What would you advise to people, who just discovered this kind of sports?

Of course, never ever freedive alone. You should take a recognized freediving course to learn how to practice safely. Freediving is a sport of patience, so progress step by step and most of all always enjoy and have fun 😉


Sign up for our blog and find inspiration from the Freedivers from all around the world!!