It’s a brisk, bright spring day, get the picture. Now imagine yourself, on a boat rocking and pitching with the surge of the open sea, in a bikini. You pull your dive mask over your eyes, take a deep gulp of air and drop over the side with little fanfare. With the 24-inch long fins on your feet, you propel yourself straight down into the cool silent blue of the ocean. You’re alone, seemingly, as you leave the familiar surface above you, traveling deeper, darker, colder. The one trick you must remember here is to not breathe in. This is the sport of the likes of Natalia Molchanova, Annelie Pompe, and Herbert Nitsch minus the bikini. This is Freediving.
HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?
Single-breath diving probably began with primitive coastal communities searching for nourishment. One fellow probably got a charge from diving further and longer than his cronies, and a sport was born. Today, “competitive apnea” is the term used for freediving contests; however if you want to compete, you’re up against established records. Molchanova’s fins took her to 225 meters in 2010, garnering her a world record. Pompe dove to 126 meters using weights, to break the world record for the sport in 2010. And Nitsch holds enough diving world records that he’s known affectionately as the deepest man alive.
But for those who enjoy the game over the glory, there’s no better time to get into the water and start playing. Water resistance works all the body muscle groups, with repetitive sessions underwater you’ll be toned in short order. Then get yourself to deep spot, take a good long sip of the wind, and see how far down you can get.