Time E-Mail News Archives
is finally here and the lakes are warming up. Vis on most lakes are going
through a turnover and should clear up again. Check out dives are starting so we
can get a better idea of what vis and temps are running.
We have added
a few feature articles by divers in the area that have a passion
for different types of diving. Fred Johnson, from Hillsboro ND, is a
freediver and is our contributing
writer on the subject. I hope you enjoy his passion
for the sport of free diving.
Fred Johnson has been freediving seriously for several years and is very
comfortable doing a -60' breath-hold
dive. He is able to hold his breath for over 3 minutes and although seeing
how long he can hold his breath is not his favorite thing to do it does allow
him to do his favorite thing and that is freedive! Training daily
throughout this past winter in the pool and on land he has noticed the comfort
level at depth increase substantially over last year. Although Fred
prefers to work on extending bottom time at shallower depths he plans to attempt
a -100' dive
this summer in the waters of Minnesota. He has done recreational dives
with world record trainer Kirk Krack and world record holder Tom Lightfoot
(although it was very shallow considering the company) and has studied and
applied freediving form from training technics to the physiology of freediving,
equipment, and safety.
Descending to depths of an advanced open water diver and beyond and returning to
surface all in the matter of a minute or two (or more) is not exactly what most
in mind as a recreational dive, but for some it's the ultimate in freedom.
happened to you, you're on vacation in a scuba land like Minnesota (or Mexico),
somewhere between 40 and 60 feet or more and looked over to see someone next to
with no tanks. Was that a surprise or what! Freediving, breath-hold
diving, or apnea
diving as it is sometimes referred to is becoming more and more popular as
discover the depths on nothing but lungs packed full of air. Who is
a freediver? Anyone
who leaves the surface of the water sans an air supply other than what is in
their lungs is
freediving. If you've been snorkeling and taken a breath to go down and
crawfish or clam, or to get a little closer look at the bass or sunfish, then
freediving. Freediving has nothing to do with how deep you go or how long
Freediving takes on different forms. Constant Ballast is diving with
whatever weight you
leave the surface with you bring back to the surface. To me this is the
most pure form of
freediving. There is also Variable Ballast which is going down with
weights or on a
weighted line and returning to the surface without the weight. This method
is a good
way to get comfortable with the depths without using up much oxygen except to
your mask and your ears. Other forms are Free Immersion - pulling yourself
guide rope or anchor line, No Limits - riding a sled down to the depths and
using a float
to return the surface. You cannot talk freediving with out mentioning
Static Apnea is holding your breath with no dive or swim and Dynamic Apnea is
for horizontal distance while swimming and holding your breath.
Just for the record... some of the Constant Ballast records in the professional
freediving are approaching -100 meters, that's over -300' to you and me,
breath holds of over 8 minutes. Although you may find records that differ
freediving organizations such as AIDA (International
for the Development
of Apnea)or FREE (Freediving Regulations & Education Entity), you get the
Everyone has a natural reflex called the mammalian reflex. This is the body's
ability, when submersed in water, especially cold water, to slow the heart rate
move more oxygen to the essential organs. You couldn't pick better waters
to test this
reflex out than
right here in the cold clear waters of Minnesota. This reflex is what
greatly enhances ones ability to go to deep depths and to stay down for
impossible times. Professional freedivers have been monitored with heart rates
as low as
7 pbm at
depth. This is the diving mode a serious freediver wants to be in to make those
comfortable, long, deep dives.
SAFETY: CAUTION! ALL OF THE ABOVE AND BELOW CAN BE HAZARDOUS
TO YOUR HEALTH AND EVEN CAUSE DEATH!
There are dangers involved in freediving so you MUST have a buddy diver with
matter how deep you are, if you have trouble when you are alone you could be in
trouble. Cramps, a lost fin, samba (a near black out with symptoms that
temporary loss of muscle control, shaking, disorientation), and the dreaded SWB.
SHALLOW WATER BLACKOUT. I have to mention SWB as it is a real danger if
have been to depths while holding your breath. Shallow water black out
in the last 30' of an ascent after a deep dive, but a blackout can also occur
swimming in a shallow pool. On a deep dive the lungs compact to the size
of an orange
and when you return to the surface the lungs began to expand and it's as if they
little bit of oxygen left away from the body. It's possible to blackout
within inches of the surface or even after surfacing and signaling to your buddy
are O.K. Hyperventilation is a no-no in freediving!
This can greatly reduce the urge to breath and that urge is not all bad.
At deep depths, because of lung compression, you can have the sensation that you
have more oxygen then you really do. The rule is - ONE DIVER UP, ONE DIVER
DOWN. The surface diver stays at the surface and then descends at a
pre-determined time to meet the diver down and accompany him to the surface.
Having not gone as deep or expended as much oxygen the buddy diver should be
able to help the other to the surface should there be any trouble. Once at
the surface, the divers should stay in eye contact with each other for 30
seconds or more to verify that the freediver has made a clean ascent and is
ready to be the "up" diver for the next dive. Best thing to do
if you are going to get serious about freediving, read all you can about SWB and
how to help a buddy who is having trouble.
and Safety go hand in hand.
thing - NO practicing breath holds in the bathtub or sauna. This is very
dangerous and many people have drowned doing this. Do your breath hold
dry land, preferably laying down so you don't get a knob on your head if you
pass out and
hit the coffee table.
This summer why not give freediving a try?
We still have one Darrell Allan light on our spring special. This
week we have Tank Totes for 20% off. Pelican Floats are 15% off.
see you in the water enjoying our great Minnesota diving.