I have always wanted to try freediving, especially after I started scuba diving. I thought this diving discipline is really cool, as you can just go and enjoy the underwater world without having to worry much about equipments. But I keep putting it off trying out freediving…as you know, I was quite afraid of unknown. I’m not exactly comfortable in the water at depth without my scuba equipments on. What’s worst is that in freediving, it will challenge your physical endurance as it involves alot of breath holding.
The thoughts of not being able to breathe at depth was frightening, but I have recently started mermaiding, which is also a form of freediving, albeit a more freestyle and artful one at a shallower depth of 5 meters at most. While mermaiding, my feet are bounded together with a monofin that’s all wrapped up in a mermaid tail skin. I have to hold my breath while mermaiding as well, but of course, unlike freediving, mermaids don’t really challenge themselves to hold breath as long as they can, and when they feel like they can’t hold their breath, they’ll just come up for air. After a few months of mermaiding, swimming and diving without my scuba equipments on doesn’t seems so scary or traumatic anymore, and I decided that perhaps, it’s high time that I go and try freediving as well.
I was contemplating on which dive centre and which instructor I should go with, as to me, it’s really important to have an instructor that you are comfortable with and able to trust your life with, considering the nature of the sport.
And then, by chance or luck, Scuba Dobedo Divers organizes a freediving tryout session with Instructor Swen Becht. And I thought, this is just perfect. I’ve always been comfortable with Scuba Dobedo Divers and it’s crews. Even my first scuba fun dive after my certification was with them and they’re nothing but a bunch of professional people who not only put divers’ safety as a priority, but treats people with genuine warmth as well. A plus point that encourage me to sign up for the tryout is that I’ve seen Instructor Swen Becht in action with his students prior to the tryout announcement during my weekly lake dive clean up session at Bandar Saujana Putra Lake, and I was somewhat impressed on how he teaches and takes care of his students.
So yea, I signed up for the tryout. Here’s a picture of me with Instructor Swen and Bryan. They were the one who took care of us during the tryout.
I’ve already have half a mind to follow this through to the end, if I were to be honest with you. But of course, after all the nightmares of not knowing my instructor better during my Open Water Diver certification 3 years back, there’s still nagging doubts and I would like to get to know my future freediving instructor better before I made any commitments, and the tryout session was the perfect opportunity for me to do so.
So here’s yours truly, at the freediving tryout session organized by Scuba Dobedo Divers at Kelab Golf Negara Subang’s pool.
Yours truly and her mermaid buddy Kelly. Kelly has been kind enough to come to the tryout with me and keep me company. I am so grateful that she came with me the other day.
Pretty ladies who were there during tryout session as well.
Getting my fins on before the session starts. To be honest, I got a little nervous cuz I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
Happy excited faces during the tryout.
Class in session. We were split into two groups for the session. We were quickly briefed on what we should do, what we shouldn’t do and some short introduction on the freediving discipline that’s available. We were told that during the tryout, we would be doing a little duck dive and a dynamic swim of 25m underwater and static apnea. For those who are not familiar with the term, static apnea is where you hold your breath as long as you can without moving.
Freediving tryout with Scuba Dobedo Divers
And here’s a video of us in action during the tryout.
So how did I do? Was I happy? Did I think freediving was fun and it’s something I would like to pursue further? Well, I was practically sold. I didn’t change my mind after the session and I really wanted to go on with the full course. I was so happy as well because I finally managed a 25m dynamic swim during that session. I never did hit a 25m underwater swim in one breath before. And oh here’s sharing my first static apnea record:
Static- 1 min 20 sec
Static- 1 min 30 sec
Static- 1 min 38 sec
I wouldn’t wanna gloat but hey, I think I deserve a little pat on the back for this. I thought I wouldn’t be able to hold my breath pass 30 seconds.
And of course, apart from the personal achievement, I was also very happy that I got to spend time with my buddies from Scuba Dobedo Divers as well. Here’s Farah and Yin Chao. They’re Scuba Dobedo Divers in- house scuba instructors. They’re both my dive buddies.
This is my Laoshi (mentor), Tom Chan. People generally knows him as a scuba instructor or a PADI Course Director in Scuba Dobedo Divers, but he doesn’t teach me scuba diving. Instead, he teaches me Chinese martial arts, which is Qigong, Taichi and Taichi weapons. I got to know him by fate during lockdown as well.
Two years back I spent alot of time with some of these buddies online during lockdown, especially with my Laoshi . I was practically still sane because of them. Without them I would probably have gone cuckoo cuz of being locked up at home for so long. And here’s us spending some time offline together.
There is a saying that says; ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’. But that saying is not applicable in real life situation at all, as sometimes, no one wants to accompany you at the beginning, so you will have to go alone on your own, or you’ll never go anywhere at all. This is especially true for me, as there are many things I want to do, and yet, most of the time, whenever I asked my friends to join me or to accompany me, they would refuse as the things that I would like to do is usually not their cup of tea. But you know something? Don’t worry about being alone. The right people will always appear along your journey as you start walking further.