Come freediving and feel total freedom from the hectic hell of land…
I’ll be the first to admit that competitive freediving is a little odd. Especially at the top levels. Pushing your body to its limit, any mistake could be your last.
Yeah. People don’t really die within the confines of competition. Safety is taken seriously. Canned O2 on the surface, emergency staff, safety divers keeping an eye on everyone.
There’s really only been one death in a sanctioned event. But the Nicolas Mevoli incident was more a cause of an overly driven individual than any failure on the part of event staff. Tragic, but hardly indicative of the sport as a whole.
Recreational freediving, either with a spear or without, tends to take a few people each year. Often very capable people, just half-assed safety protocol one time too many. Easy to do, become a tad complacent, forget that even minor depths are dangerous.
It’s hard to convey the appeal to people who, perhaps rightly, view the whole ordeal as kind of dumb. “Worst sport ever. Just put a gun in your mouth and be done with it,” really isn’t far from the mark. Especially if you’ve never experienced the thrill.
The sounds at depth, it’s hardly quiet. The sensation of a slow freefall through water. Your lungs feel full again as they compress to the size of oranges. Total freedom from the hectic hell of land, too focused on your body, your survival, to care about what’s always waiting up top.
It makes for gorgeous video, if you can combine ability with creative talent. Which is a hell of a challenge.
No one does it better than Les Films Engloutis.
Guillaume Néry and Julie Gautier have been producing stunning work revolving around freediving for years. You’ve probably seen some of it.
Freefall did the viral rounds a year ago.
Ocean Gravity did too.
Narcose was beautiful. Visual poetry that comes damn close to capturing the feeling of euphoria you experience just prior to the lights going out.
Their newest piece, Haven, takes a turn to the sinister. Dark, foreboding, brilliantly edited. This time they focused on the fear, rather than the majesty.
Give them all a watch. Book a freedive course. Learn to hold your breath. Stop being a pussy who plays around on the surface without thinking about the wonderland that lies just beneath you.