New AIDA Variable Weight world record of 150m set by Walid Boudhiaf of Tunisia. See the video of the dive below and to view all the current AIDA freediving world records check out this link:
We are super pleased to announce that One Breath Freediving has been awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for 2019 - the second year running!
A big thank you to all freedivers and customers that have dived with us, past and present. We could not have done it without you!
By David Watson, AIDA & PADI Master Freediver Instructor and Owner & Founder at One Breath Freediving, based in Malta
Freediving in the Maltese Islands has lots of wonderful features that make it spectacular; the stunning underwater visibility of up to 40m, the cliffs and caves that are prevalent across the islands, the deep blue colour of the water that is unique to the Mediterranean Sea. But one thing that really draws freedivers to Malta is the chance to dive on ship wrecks. Malta has a LOT of wrecks, some sunk by nature (storms), by humans (wars), or on purpose to create artificial reefs. The P-31 wreck falls into the latter category.
P-31 History & Key Information:
Since being purchased by the Maltese Tourism Authority and sank as an artificial reef attraction for divers, the P-31 now sits upright on the sandy seabed West of Comino( just South of Blue Lagoon and just West of Crystal Lagoon), approximately 200m from shore. The depth on the bottom here is 20m and the top of the wreck is at just 10m deep. In fact the P-31 sits so shallow that it was necessary to cut off the mast of the ship before sinking her so as not to obstruct boat traffic. The wreck can often be seen clearly from the surface when you arrive by boat and I have even seen it occasionally from out of the airplane window when arriving or leaving Malta on certain days! In the summer months you will see a yellow ‘X’ marker buoy above to indicate the wrecks position.
Since her sinking, the P-31 has had to weather some rough storms as the prevailing winds on the islands are from a NW direction and sitting this shallow in the water means that waves and swell have had an impact, but considering that she has been underwater for 10 years already the wreck is still in very good condition. Before sinking she was thoroughly cleaned and made safe for divers. This means doors and hatches were removed and obstructions such fixtures, wires and cables were cleared out. There are a number of levels to explore and for a freediver it is normally clear and obvious which direction it is possible and safe to go in.
Specific Tips for Freediving The P-31 wreck:
5 Essential Tips for Wreck Freediving:
Lastly, please remember, freediving, and especially wreck freediving, can be DANGEROUS. Always freedive with a buddy, never push your limits or enter enclosed spaces with no clear or obvious exit. Please take a freediving course for your own safety and that of your buddy.
Interested in wreck freediving? Then subscribe to One Breath Freediving and follow our ‘Wrecks of Malta’ video series! Speak to David about freediving courses and wreck exploration possibilities.
Monofin Training Drill:
Here Jose is using a kick board to help stabilise the upper body and a front snorkel to allow him to breath during the training exercise. This takes away the 'apnea' element away from this particular drill and allows him to focus on technique over breath hold while he adjusts to using the full sized monofin.
How do you think he is doing?
The freefall can be one of the nicest aspects of depth freediving. The moment on the descent when you become 'negatively buoyant' and start to sink independently of effort. This of course has it's advantages, most prominently; saving energy (and therefore oxygen) and aiding relaxation (saving oxygen and facilitating ear equalisation).
So what is involved in a good freefall? Let's take a look:
Training and coaching sessions!
Taking training sessions or a one-to-one coaching session with an experienced instructor can give invaluable feedback on your dive preparation and technique, give you new solutions to problems, give you feedback on your dives and give you the tools to perform at your best. For more experienced freedivers, coaching could help you overcome a plateau in your performance or open up new depths with easier equalisation methods, for beginners it could help refine your technique and increase your comfort and time underwater.
Freediving is a SPORT (unlike some other underwater activities that shall remain nameless :)), with strong mental and physical components and a high emphasis on technique. So to improve and achieve personal gains you need to practice and train yourself. Repetition and consistencey are vital to see improvments in performance, there is no way around that. Remember, if it was easy and came with no real effort it would not be half as satisfying to reach new depths or times!
"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."
- Vince Lombardi
+++ Training and Coaching sessions are available year round for certified freedivers. David is an experienced AIDA & PADI freediving instructor with additional qualifications in Sport & Exercise Science and Personal Training. +++
There was a total of 3 of us doing the course, so after we did our introductions we started on some classroom work. We also practiced the correct technique for ear equalizing and did some timed breath holds. Around midday we went to Malta's national pool to do the required 40m underwater swim. This is called Dynamic Apnea and the main points of this involved correct weight and buoyency, pushing off from the side of the pool and doing the first arm stroke, turning at the other end of the pool and getting to 40m. All these parts were covered in detail and we practiced our techniques until we were ready for the 40m. Rescue diver procedures were also taught and practiced during this pool session.
After the pool we went back to the classroom for the final theory for day 1 and briefly went over what the plan is for the second day.
After a brief classroom session we entered the very calm water of Cirkewwa and setup the buoys in 20m deep water. First we practiced Free Immersion where you pull yourself down the rope. There were a few things to get right, such as relaxation, initial accent technique, then equalising and pulling yourself down the line.
After this session we went onto constant weight where we used fins and the correct technique to efficient finning. The AIDA2 course requires a dive of 16m-20m.
The day was very calm and relaxed and this was clearly a major part of freediving. Not pressure or stress to get things done, take your time.
We met at the dive centre and had a quick briefing for the day's events. First off was the static apnea discipline at a sheltered area near Bugibba. To pass the course a 2 minute breath hold was required. I managed 3 minutes and felt like I could manage a few more seconds, but I was more than happy with myself achieving this time. We also had a go at being the coach. This involved steadying the person, timing, communication and watching for signals.
Next up was a trip to Cirkewwa again for the final open water dives before the exam. We did the constant weight again, like on day 2, but a little deeper and also practiced using a lanyard to keep you secured to the line as well as being a rescue diver who meets the other diver half way. With all the open water requirements completed we all headed to the classroom for the written exam.
My Final Points From a SCUBA Diving Background.
Very interesting learning about ears, equalising, lungs in lots more detail.
Knowledge of what's involved in freediving will allow me to be more aware of freedivers when I'm scuba diving.
Being relaxed is very important.
Finding a competent buddy you can trust. This must work both ways.
Learning what your body and mind is really capable of.
Overall the course was very enjoyable. David, the instructor was very informative and knowledgable. Detailed instructions and techniques were demonstrated and personal feedback was given throughout the day.
The 3 full days were good fun, calm, knowledgable and were the ideal environment for pushing your mental boundaries to an area it's difficult to imagine before the course.
Static: 2 minutes. I managed 3 minutes. (Holding breath floating on surface)
Dynamic: 40m. I managed 40m on my second attempt. (In swimming pool).
Constant Weight: 16m. My maximum depth was 20m.
The exam was a mix of multiple choice as well as full answers and was straight forward if you followed the manual and classroom ok.
here to edit.
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