It’s absolutely amazing when you learn a new sport and simultaneously discover an ability you never realized you had. It was time to take a deep breath, dive in and have some one on one quality, uninterrupted time with the ocean. So to be quite obvious, learning to freedive was an all-around rather awesome experience.
I took a FII Level 1 freediving course on the Big Island (officially certified now—the card is in the mail) and really, it was one of the most exhilarating, eye-opening weekends I’ve had in a while.
I knew the class was going to be awesome when the guy who sat next to me, Aquil, had flown all the way from Dubai to take it. He had 21 hours of flying, I had about 21 minutes—you get the picture. Our instructor was Martin Stepanek and he can hold his breath for eight minutes. He's dove to 400 feet deep, which just so happens to be the world record. Now I know why Aquil flew from Dubai.
So I had a total bada** yet modest instructor, and over the course of the weekend, learned how to properly breathe for a dive and the ins and outs of making it all safe. After two days I was able to hold my breath for three minutes, and dive to a depth of 66 feet three different times with one breath.
Freediving is also an amazing workout. It's a relaxing, peaceful sport but it mimics interval training so it's a total fat blaster. When you pop up from a dive, you are breathing as if you ran up a flight of stairs, only you were swimming with dolphins instead. I’ll take Flipper over the Stair Master any day.
Some people get into freediving for recreation, to help with spearfishing, to survive big wave surfing wipeouts, or to compete (good luck beating Martin). Me? I got into it completely out of the blue.
Visit Goldfish Kiss