2. ABOUT FREEDIVING
What is freediving?
Free Diving is a way to enjoy the underwaterworld completly apart from the other type of diving because this sport is without the use of an underwater breathing apparatus.<br>
Apnea Diving or Breath-Hold Diving are synonyms of Free Diving. Apnea got Greek origins, which means "without breathing"
Free Diving is as ancient as the humanity itself. Holding your breath is a subconscious reflex written in our genomes. Remember that during your first 9 month you were living in an environment very similar to that of seawater.
Under the water, a baby will instinctively hold his breath for up to 40 seconds while trying to swim. Apparently, we lose this capacity as soon as we start beening able to walk.
Freediving as a tradition
For a little wink to the first men recorded to practice breath holding, The Ertebölle culture is the reference. Around 5000BC, the archeologists studied the Mesolithic period and discovered a Scandinavian village that was a fisherman's place by the coast. Kitchen's rubbish with oyster shells, mussels, snails and other shellfish were discovered.
During centuries, there are plenty of examples and different methods used by free divers to collect the underwater wealth like fishes (spear fishing) or pearls. The 2000 year old culture and tradition of the Amas in Japan is amazing example of this. They practice pearl diving without any scuba gear. They generally are women from any age, free diving in freezing water (about 10 degrees Celsius) using rocks to plunge to the bottom to collect the goods.
The French divers, Roland Speaker and Claude Chapuis, started in 1990 to create regulations for free diving and to gather the passionate.
In 1992, an association to recognize records was born: AIDA (Association Internationale pour le Developpement de l'Apnée) ; Roland Speaker was its first president. Read more about AIDA in our Scuba Certification Agencies section.
Free diving is very healthy mental and physical discipline. To be able to control your body and your breathing you need relaxation and meditation trainings.
Free diving is not only about getting a record of depth or time, it's about learning relaxing skills and breathing methods.
Those skills used for thinking and acting during a free dive will definitely help you in you life and even in other types of diving, like scuba diving (you will use less air). You will feel more Zen and in control of your body because your mind was trained to follow this philosophy that we can associate with the practice of yoga.
Most famous freedivers:
Molchanovia Natalia (born in 1962) is the free diver who win the most free diving medails.
She got a total of 40 world records! She has, so far, 20 individual gold medals and two team gold medals from the Freediving World Championships. Natalia is a Russian champion freediver and is the current President of the Russian Freedive Federation.
Her son Alexey Molchanovia (born in 1987) got the record in CWT.
Herbert Nitsch (born in1970) has held world records in all of the eight freediving disciplines recognised by AIDA. He is the current freediving world record champion.
The title of "the deepest man on earth" was given to him, when he set the current world record in the "No Limits" discipline at the depth of 214 meters (702 feet).
To date, he has achieved 31 official World Records, one world record in the traditional Greek discipline of Skandalopetra 107 m. In June 2012, he surpassed his own no limits record with a dive to 253.2 meters (831 feet).