Apnea Academy - Robert Gustavsson

Apnea, is a technical term for suspension of external breathing. Literally means breath holding or breathless and derives from the Greek word (άπνοια). You may not be familiar with this term. But in Europe, Apnea freediving is an art form.

The most famous apnea sport is deep free diving, which was theme of the movie "Le Grand Blue". The great French diver Jaques Mayol reached to -102m in 1978 by the discipline of No Limits Variable Weight, now the record is grown to -150m which was set by Italian, Umberto Pellizari in October 24th, 1999.

Apnea, is a technical term for suspension of external breathing. Literally means breath holding or breathless and derives from the Greek word (άπνοια). You may not be familiar with this term. But in Europe, Apnea freediving is an art form.

The most famous apnea sport is deep free diving, which was theme of the movie “Le Grand Blue”. The great French diver Jaques Mayol reached to -102m in 1978 by the discipline of No Limits Variable Weight, now the record is grown to -150m which was set by Italian, Umberto Pellizari in October 24th, 1999.

Freediving has been going on for hundreds of years, starting with sponge diving and pearl diving. It’s holding your breath and diving without any breathing apparatus, and it’s developed into a sport.

Regardless of your motivation, diving is an activity that requires the right training in both theory and practice in order to acquire the necessary skills to dive safely. Unlike professional and commercial diving, it is not necessary to undergo decompression with sport diving, because the depth and time of immersion are kept within safe limits.

If you think about other mammals that hold their breath to make extended dives—whales, seals, and sea lions—freediving doesn’t sound all that crazy. Human physiology is quite a bit different, but research has shown that with training, almost anyone can develop the ability to hold their breath for three or four minutes. Still, there’s a big difference between holding your breath on the surface of a nice, safe swimming pool and doing the same thing under hundreds of meters of water.

Freediving, originally referred to as skin-diving, is in essence how you unite yourself with the world under the surface. The only thing you need to practice this sport is a breath of air but, of course, most people use a mask with snorkel and fins.

Because of mans never ending desire for fun and play, he has made the sport of freediving to also include competing in a variety of categories. Contest in freediving are primarily divided up into three basic categories:

Constant weight

This is the classic branch of freediving and most people believe to be the most important, because it is. Here the diver swims down as far as safely possible then swims up to the surface. The diver normally swims beside a line but is not allowed to touch the line. The diver can not dump any weight to surface, that is to say, his weight must remain constant during the entire dive. If fins and mask are to be used for the competition, this is decided upon before it starts. Of course, Constant weight is done without fins as well.

Static apnea

In static apnea you just lay in the water and hold your breath as long as you can.

Dynamic apnea

This is swimming underwater as far as you can, horizontally. You get only one breath of air and swim with or without fins. This type of competing is well suited to swimming pools as well as open bodies of water.

These are basically what people train and they all help to become a better Freediver and to enjoy the sport more. If you become really good and want some real adventure you might want to try No limit.

No Limit

This branch of freediving is all about diving deep any way you can. The competition is organized when someone want to hold the world record and was made known and popularized by the movie “The Great Blue”. No limit competition is not recognized by the AIDA or CMAS and contest of this nature are very uncommon. In no limit the diver rides a sled that can weigh as much as the diver wants it to and the diver comes up with the help of an air sack that the Freediver fills up at the bottom.

Variable weight

Here the diver uses a sled running along a line for the decent. The sled can weigh as much as the diver wants. During the ascent the diver is allowed to use the line to help surface.

Free Immersion - Immersion Libre

That’s what the frogs made a game and named it. It just moving down and up a line as far or as fast as you can. (Without fins).

Sources:

http://www.apneamania.com
bbc.co.uk Hannah Stacey
Koe Kissell Freediving article March 22, 2005