Friday, 29 August 2008

Sponsored suit from Elios-sub

My old 3mm suit is starting to fall apart after two years with a lot of diving, so I was very happy when Elios-sub wanted to sponsor me with a new 3mm suit. The suit is one of their new top models, made from yamamoto neopren, which is much more flexible and comfortable than my previous suit. It will make a big difference to how easy it is to swim and I'm even planning to try it for a dynamic dive.

So big thanks to Elios-sub for making a great suit that I'm looking forward to use!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Nordic Deep 2008 - Fun stuff

I feel it's quite important to get new freedivers to come and compete. Competitions are a great way to meet other freedivers, learn new stuff and see a new angle on things you already know. Even though it might seem like competitions is only for the experienced and top athletes, they are mostly about having fun and doing what we like: Freediving!!!

At Nordic Deep there is also a number of pure fun competitions, outside the normal diciplins and rankings of AIDA. You can do Team Static (three persons doing static in relay), Guess Your Depth (no watches and closest to 30m wins) and Magic3 (static without watch and closest to 3min wins).

We even found time on the busy schedual to play paintball in the woods (who can shoot Sebastian?!) and a japaneese martial arts game with paper swords and blind folds.

Feel like joining us next year?

Nordic Deep 2008 - New norwegian mens records!

Let me give you a short intruduction to two of the new and upcoming freedivers from Norway:

Bjarte - A quiet and friendly guy who was competing for the second time at Nordic Deep (first deep competition though). He seems to surprise himself and everybody with a very fast improvement in most of the diciplins.

After an easy "try out" constant weight dive to 46m, he put the plate to 56m and came up again with a new personal best. Later he had a successfull constant no-fins dive to 35m.

In static he performed another nice and clean dive to 5:32, a new competition best. The norwegian male record is not far away now on 6:02.

But it was in dynamic without fins that Bjarte blew everybody away. Already in Aarhus Triple challenge he impressed with a 125m long dive. This time he didn't stop untill he had passed 140m and still he looked strong.

In the finals sunday morning, after a whole week of diving, he put himself on the list of the World's Best DNF divers with 152m, another norwegian record!!! What more to say? This is a freediver to keep an eye on :) Congratulations, Bjarte!

On the picture from left to right: Martin, Steinar, Leif and Bjarte

Steinar - The big and stronglooking guy showed up on friday night, only to jump in the water the next morning and do a national record in constant weight without fins to 41m. Very well done!

He has been training regularly in Oslo lately and I believe he's quite used to the cold water in Lysekil. Previously it was the lenght of the rope who stopped him from going deeper that 38m in training, but now I've heard they have got a 70m long one... I'm curious to see what he will be doing in the future.

Steinar is mostly interested in the deep diciplins, but he joined the rest of the norwegians (Bjarte and me) to make a NORWEGIAN TEAM for the team static on sunday. Strong and consistent dives to well past 4min for all three gave us the 2nd place, only beaten by Denmark.

Nordic Deep 2008 - The warmest cold water competition

I have once again been to the beautiful coast of Sweden to join the Nordic Deep competition in Lysekil. The event lasted a whole week from 19th to the 24th of August. I competed in a total of 9 AIDA competitions, 2 x STA, 3 x DYN, 4 x Depth, and several fun competitions like "team static" and "guess your depth".

This competition is not only about who get's deepest, but also about who can deal with the conditions best... Here you will face of stinging jellyfish, refreshing wind, chilling rain and dark, cold water. Healthy, vegetarian food cooked by Mia and Bea, yoga sessions in the morning and lots of nice freedivers weighs up for most of the challenges.

I was very happy to see old and new freediving friends here again. This was my 3rd time at Nordic Deep and it has a very nice familly feeling to it all. It was especially nice to see two other norwegians here, Bjarte and Steinar, who both did some really great diving (more on this coming later!).

The diving was a little trip of ups and downs for me. I faced some new problems on my deep dives, getting nasty contractions already on the way down. This gave me a problem with my mouthfill and also with my confidence. On friday I announced an easy 48m CWT to get over it, which was a really good idea. It felt good to reach the plate and I felt strong again (even though I was having contractions).

I was also having a little fight in dynamic, coming up at 129m, but this I have enough time to train before the next competition and the pool was not my focus this time. In static I was not doing what I wanted to do either, finishing with a 4.29. The total points were enough for a third place. Hanli Prinslo from South Africa won the competition with three great dives which were all national records. I'm very happy for her, not only because she's a dear friend, but also because she hadn't had a good competition in a good while. Thanks to Hanli for some nice inspiration!

And thanks for pictures from Jesper, Matti and Morten :)

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Diving in the dark: Wildschütz

Last sunday I finally had the chance to do deep diving again, for the first time since the trip to Dahab in April. Martin, me and two other Berlin freedivers, Mathias and Jonas, drove down to Wildschütz to have a training.

The lake is a flooded old stone break, located not far from Leipzig, with 74m max depth. The temperature on the surface was very nice, but as soon as you get below 5-10m, it get's COLD and dark. Diving in these conditions is much more demanding than those of the Blue Hole, but it made a perfect training for the up-coming competition in Sweeden, Nordic Deep.

We had two dive sessions. On the first one I focused on getting back the right feeling and trying to relax, even with the cold water stinging in my face. I slowly moved from 15m to 30m, adjusting my bouancy and my technique. I kept having problems with water in my mask (I later found out there was a serious leak), but figured I was ready for one last deep dive.

I went to 45m, a bit slow, with some swollowed air and water in my mask. Still I had managed the dive without any real problems or stress, so I was content for the day and confident I'll dive deeper next weekend when we do another trip.

On the second session, we first did a little fun diving down to an air filled dive station on maybe 10m depth. Martin took a few videos, so you can check it out yourself. There is also a track with rings to swim through, like a freediving fun garden. The only problem is to avoid getting stuck with the monofin...

All in all it was a great day. The cold water treated me nicely enough, so I'm already looking forward to coming back and doing some more deep training.