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The Joys of Freediving
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Simon Harris

 
By Simon Harris
Published on December 24, 2008
 
Freediving has become quite popular in the past few years. It has become an extreme sport where competitors attempt to attain great depths on a single breath - without the assistance of underwater breathing apparatus. The best part about this sport is that you needn't be an athlete to enjoy freediving because it is more about mindset, technique and correct weighting than strength.

Freediving has become quite popular in the past few years. It has become an extreme sport where competitors attempt to attain great depths on a single breath - without the assistance of underwater breathing apparatus. The best part about this sport is that you needn't be an athlete to enjoy freediving because it is more about mindset, technique and correct weighting than strength.




Snorkelers do qualify, but there is one important element separating freedivers from snorkelers - apparently you achieve a feeling of true ease and relaxation under the water, in free diving. This is not the case in snorkeling.

Freediving can be defined as any of various aquatic activities that involve breath-holding underwater diving. Examples include breathhold spear fishing, free-dive photography, apnea competitions and, to a degree, snorkeling. The activity that garners the most public attention is competitive apnea, in which competitors attempt to attain great depths, times or distances on a single breath without direct assistance of underwater breathing apparatus (scuba).

The record holder for freediving, is Patrick Musimi who dived an incredible 687 feet on one breath. He was under water for close to three minutes.

. According to him, this category should not be considered nor used as a sport!

His quest led him to achieve 'the ultimate dive'.

In June 2005, Patrick Musimu marked history by diving consecutively up to 100, 136, 151, 170, 185 metres, and on the 26 th of June, he finally reached the mythical mark of 200 metres.

On 30th June 2005, his body, exhausted, forced him to stop after a dive of 209,6 metres, shattering the deepest human performance registered by almost 40 meters. His record was finally broken by Herbert Nitsch on 14th June 2007 with a dive of 214m.

It is not necessary to dive to 200m. A 45 second dive to about 30ft is generally quite deep enough. Most of the ocean's marine life resides within 30ft of the surface so there's little reason to go deeper. 45 seconds is generally enough time to take a few photographs, and spend time checking out the fish. Any person can master these sort of dives in about 2 weeks without spending too much money on equipment. All you require is a mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit and weightbelt pack.

However caution should be exercised for those wanting to achieve depths similar to Patrick Musimu's , unless you want your dive to end in tragedy.