Freediving: What is my limit? Errol Putigna

Napsal Errol Putigna - November 24th

Freediving: What is my limit?

I often hear the excuse, "Oh, I'm fine. I never push myself..." This may be fine and dandy until something goes wrong. I have a friend that has a static apnea breath-hold of 5 minutes 30 seconds. He is definitely above the norm in the freediving world.

As a general rule of thumb, your working time underwater is half of your static apnea time. So in his case, it was 2:45. I witnessed him having a loss of motor control (when you lose control over your muscles in which at this point you need the assistance of buddy to keep your airway out of the water so that you don't inhale water or if the situation escalates, blackout) after a dive that was only 1 minute 17 seconds.... Now the question is, what happened? Did he push his limits? We went over his dive and reviewed it..... To tell you the truth, I (and he) have no idea what happened except the fact that he had a properly trained safety buddy to bail him out of his situation. This brings me to my next point on how to wrap your head around what freediving/spearfishing truly is: it is a sport in which there are so many variables that one can never be certain if and when they will have a hypoxic event (such as a Loss of Motor Control or a Blackout). The variables may be; what did you eat? Are you hydrated? Did you sleep well? Are you stressed about family or work? What was your breathing pattern before and after the dive? These are all variables that will interact with each other in a different manner on any given day. We just don't know.

Having said this, there is one really simple solution to correct any possible mishap that may happen during a dive. Have a properly trained safety buddy! I cannot reiterate this enough. All it takes is one event of your safety buddy not being there and, well let's just say that it won't be good.... I always say, "I love spearfishing and freediving, but I love my wife and son a whole lot more." Keep everything in perspective. It's a sport we love to do but let's keep it safe! Take a formal freediving class and educate yourself on what you can do to be safe.

So, next time you're out there enjoying the outdoors, make sure that you have all of your safety plans in place and that you're not relaying on what your limits are!

 

Errol Putigna

Errol Putigna is an internationally recognized Freediving Instructor that works with Freediving Instructors International (FII) and 13 time world-record holding freediver and creator/founder of FII, Martin Stepanek. He helped develop freedive curricula along side Martin Stepanek, such as FII's Junior Freediver program and is one of the most sought after freediving instructors in the world, having taught professional athletes and Forbes 500 business entrepreneurs among others. He teaches both recreational level and professional level certification courses all over the United States, Bahamas and Spain. In addition, he has translated and adapted FII's materials for the Spanish speaking market.

Click here to view Errol's course listings.


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