Kerian Hibbs, who is right at this moment attempting to break a record or two at Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahama’s has been trying to break down the mystic of freediving for me – and I could have had no better instructor. At this rate I might just have to take up the sport myself…
As you know, the divers arrived several days, if not weeks, before the competition began, to acclimatise to the new environment.
The whole idea of diving to unknown depths without the aid of scuba equipment will seem very strange and extremely dangerous to many people. But these guys know what they’re doing, and I am going to give you a breakdown of a dive, as told to me by Kerian.
This 60m dive took place in the run-up to the competition at Dean’s Blue Hole.
You will see from the graph that the descent is pretty steep (1.25m /second) which is way, way too fast and meant that he had problems equalizing.
The ascent was, in comparison, way way too slow (around 0.8m/second).
However, this was are not a reflection of carrying too many weights, but more of laziness and no sense of urgency to reach the surface on shallow dives….
… it might amuse you to know that he now considers anything less than 60 m a shallow dive!
You can see by the curve at the bottom that he had to put in a few good kicks to get going, then at around -40 m he started to cruise – going a lot slower, conserving energy and just enjoying the sensation of the weight falling off.
It is hard to imagine diving to great depths without any artificial aids. Yesterday we did an article on Nuno Gomez who went down to 318 m+ – but with a serious rack of gas tanks on his back. Seriously extreme…
However, to do this with no aid except the confidence to rely on your lungs, your training, your overall fitness, is an extroadinary achievement. As Kerian says: “I guess at the end of the day, everyone knows that when it comes to FreeDiving, the competition is not with others, but within yourself, testing the limits of your own body, exploring the limits of the mind and trusting in the people around you. Thats what makes FreeDiving such a special sport.”
The competition began on 1st April. It ends on the 11th. So far Kerian has had a personal best of a 78m dive. Below is a wonderful photograph of another freediver – William Trubridge…