Eventually, my stay in Makassar for almost 4 months, without doing anything except traveling gave positive impact to me. One of the most I proud of beside understanding blogging, is free-diving. Free dive might not be popular in Indonesia, but it’s pretty popular in middle east up to western countries. Thanks for my friends in Makassar especially Ikin who had introduced and taught me free dive.
Let’s start with the definition of free dive. What is free dive? A kind of diving? Yes that’s right. The difference is you dive inside the water without scuba gear such as oxygen tank, BCD, regulator. You totally depends on the oxygen inside your body or by holding your breath. Ups, it might seems a little bit creepy. How to dive just by holding the breath? We won’t be able to stay and hold our breath for a long time. We are mammals not fish. Don’t worry. For girls who had a dream to be a mermaid, it’s possible. Of course it requires techniques and practices. Free dive has been considered as sport and there are numbers of world record achieved by professionals. Professionals can dive deep until 100 meters, and hold their breath for 10 minutes. Click here to see world record. Are they really human?
I, personally practice free dive to support my biggest passion, which is traveling. I love traveling to the beach, or island, and do snorkeling. I really want to take diving course but I stuck on the money problem. Scuba dive is expensive including the equipments and dive trips. I prefer spending money for new destination rather than just doing diving in a spot. When I first saw my friends in Makassar could go deep and swam like mermaid, I was so envy and decided to learn. Now I can enjoy swimming in the ocean with fishes and witness the beauty of corals inside the ocean without paying much for diving.
Free diving in Cangke Island
I’m gonna share few steps that you need to learn when you want to free-dive. This is the introduction part for those who want to learn.
1. Holding Breath Techniques.
Better to inhale from your stomach not from your chest because it give you more power to suck the oxygen to your lung. If you ever take vocal course, you will understand what I mean. Normally when we breathe, our chest will moves up and our stomach will bulge. The opposite thing happens if you breathe from your stomach. Pull your belly inside and feel the air was sucked. Chest stays in same position. When exhale, stomach will be back to same position. Here’s the video to make it clear.
Apnea is a term for hold breathing training. Practice inside the pool. Hold your breath inside the water. The important thing to keep you stay longer inside water is keep relax. Don’t think you are holding your breath because it’ll give signal to your brain to breath. Stay calm, think about happy things or it will be great if you are not thinking at all. Practice it for several times. Remember about the time gap when you hold your breath and taking/breath normally. Make it 1:2 ratio. So if you hold your breath for 30 seconds, when you’re up, breathe normally for a bout 1 minute before you start practicing holding your breath again. There are 2 types of apnea. Static is when you stay and do not move. Dynamic is when you move or swim with holding your breath.
Duckdive is actually a technique used by surfer for catching the waves. In free dive, duckdive is the first step to get into the water, same thing as surfing. Enter the water with head first, push your body down until you form vertical line. It may be hard for the first time. If you are not fully form 90 degrees, it will be difficult to get inside the water. To practice it, you may use the ladder inside the pool, hold on it, turn your body and with your hand pull your body down. Head first. Same position like spiderman. Haha. After you get used to it, try it without holding the ladder. Check out the video.
spying under there
Equalization is the important technique in free dive. If you go deep, the pressure is bigger. It will hurt your ear. Similar to the situation when you have a flight. To avoid this, you have to equalize. Equalization must be done before you feel the pain. There are two types of equalization: Valsava (commonly used) and Frenzel. Further information check this.
Do not practice alone. Bring at least a friend to have an eye on you.
6. Get used to fin, mask, and snorkel
Some people might feel uncomfortable using fins but actually fins make you move faster inside the sea. Snorkel is also important to get the air in relax position. Adapt yourself breathing with your mouth not nose.
7. Relax and relax
The main point of free dive is relax. Panic in the sea is very dangerous. Keep calm and relax. I’m sure you’ll stay longer in the water.
Free-diving in Wakatobi
So, interesting right? Feel the sensation flying inside the sea and swimming with the fishes. It will be so amazing when you can reach certain depth. I’m still a beginner though, I only can hold up around 1 minute and go deep until 10-15 meters. I’m still learning and practicing. Join communities, learn from the experienced one. You can find it through facebook like “Freedive Jakarta”, “Makassar Freedive”, “Lets’ Freedive, etc. If you want to learn and get the license, find it in Jakarta or Bali. Contact Jason Hakim: First Indonesian Free dive instructor. Check it here Let’s Freedive .
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