Did you ever try to hold your breath and push your body down in a pool and as you neared the bottom your felt the pressure of water on your ears? Most pools have a depth of 2-3 meters, allowing your middle ears to reach the point where it needs to be equalized.
Freediving isn’t far off that as it’s all about moving freely in water on a single breath of air as you minimize the use of oxygen and equalize your ears when heading down with a world record reaching as deep as 128 meters, that’s more than a quarter of a kilometer heading down and back up on one lung-sized volume of air!
Why the hassle though? As a freediver people often ask me why I don’t strap an air tank to my back and go scuba-diving instead. Well, it isn’t easy to explain the pleasure of this sport yet I come back from every dive with a wide smile on my face. It’s the natural connection you feel to your surroundings that will make you euphoric.
The ability to glide and move freely underwater without any heavy equipment or assisting machinery. The state of deep meditation that you get into as you experience water directly with your body while getting to explore the limitations of your breath hold, mental strength and physical discipline in this open blue world. And how you end up feeling you’re no different from a dolphin for a brief amount of time as you swim with fishes, turtles, and even whales!
The difference between scuba-diving and freediving is the exact difference between flying in an airplane and flying in a wing suit, and it’s hard to not smile with excitement and joy with the last!
Is it for me?
Another common question is: can I freedive? Freediving is often perceived as an extreme sport that requires massive amount of discipline, fitness and health that only a superhuman can acquire. Videos of freedivers like the following one make freedivers look as if they’re from another planet. Yet the truth is that anyone who’s comfortable at water can freedive without evening needing to be a particularly good swimmer.
Okay, You want in?!
Wondering how can you get hooked? Dahab, the newly-famous little town in Sinai has been considered for years as one of the best spots for freediving in the whole world with its super deep blue hole and stunning sea life.
What I consider to be the best freediving center there is called Dahab Freedivers, which is run by 3 of the most competent freedivers in the world, one of them is the 3rd deepest human with a depth of 117 meters, along with the national champion of Ireland and the Swiss champion. A discovery intro with them will cost 75 euros or the equivalent in Egyptian pounds while the 1st course where you get to as deep as 16 meters will cost you 210 euros. Their Facebook page includes all sorts amazing photo from their training sessions and offers you a direct way of contacting them via messages while he center is perfectly located in the heart of the town right in front of the water.