Freediving is probably one of the most dangerous sport on Earth, where men and women push themselves to their extreme limits. Let’s have a closer look on these incredible divers.
For thrill seekers, adrenaline junkies or ambitious adventurers, freediving represents a challenge and reward unlike anything else. The term freediving refers to underwater diving without the assistance of scuba gear or other breathing apparatus. Once an ancient method used in many cultures to catch fish, today the practice is utilized in competitions, sports and recreational hunting and gathering activities.
Brought into the mainstream by Luc Besson’s cinematic masterpiece, The Big Blue, freediving has experienced popularity growth throughout the world. Although not without its potential risks, professional and well-trained freediver’s rave about the experience, citing the incredible feelings of bliss that accompany the dive.
The definition of what actually qualifies as a free dive is somewhat ambiguous but not entirely important. Rather, people potentially interested in experiencing what it’s like to be underwater without gear should practice, train and stay within their limitations to achieve the unparalleled feelings of freedom and bliss. To get a better sense of what freediving is really like, check out first-hand accounts and productions in the videos below.
Guillaume Néry – TEDx Talks
To hear about it what it is like from one of the most prominent freediver’s is truly a remarkable treat. In his incredible Ted Talk, world champion Guillaume Néry tells a captivating tale of his experience in the depths of the ocean. His elegant speech highlights the physical and emotional pressure that builds as he swims deeper into silent bliss, chasing something he cannot quite identify.
His short film, titled Free Fall, enjoyed worldwide popularity, being viewed more than 30 million times and is recommended for all sea-lovers. To get inside the brilliant mind of the man who has plunged over 125m without any breathing assistance, watch this incredible video.
This video is in french but you can activate subtitles by clicking on the settings icon
Néry’s second short film, entitled Ocean Gravity, uses stunning cinematography to take us along with him on a dive. The video shows a seemingly weightless Néry floating just above the depths of the ocean floor. A vast array of nothingness surrounds him, creating both an eerie and memorizing picture. As the footage progresses, he transforms from a lifeless body into an overjoyed human, running and dancing throughout the endless space.
The lack of gear, outside of a bodysuit and goggles, reminds us of the remarkable feat we are witnessing. His apparent comfortability at holding his breathes while exploring the ocean for well over three minutes produces an incredible juxtaposition of danger and joy combining into one unbelievable experience.
Pioneers: Herbert Nitsch
For another breathtaking account of what freediving is like, look no further than the record holder himself, Herbert Nitsch. The Austrian freediver has set the world record with his no limit dive of 253.2m in 2012. In the director’s cut of Pioneers, we get a first-hand look at the spectacular video of Nitsch as he explains his connection to the water. His dialogue reveals the feelings of calm and bliss that overwhelm him as he pushes his mind and body to its limitations. This short video is a must watch for anyone who wants to know what it’s like to be alone in the depths of the ocean.
Enzo and Jacques have known each other for a long time. Their friendship started in their childhood days in the Mediterranean. They were not real friends in these days, but there was something they both loved and used to do the whole day long: diving.
The Big Blue is a masterful film that has marked an entire generation at its release. If you have not seen it yet then run it! A must see.