freediving- chris

Freedivers stories – Chris Carroll

“There’re few better feelings! It calms your mind and gives you focus, it’s adventurous, and it takes you to places you never would normally think to go…”Chris Carroll

What got me into freediving?

I had a good friend at University who hooked me with tales of daring exploits and beautiful underwater scenery after a trip he made to West Coast Scotland. He told me of places where you could swim down to old shipwrecks just off shore, and explore caves and swim-throughs filled with all kinds of marine life. It sounded sweet!

Before that I’d recently learnt to scuba dive, so I guess I was also fulfilling bit of an intrigue for the underwater world passed onto me from my Dad, who was also a keen scuba diver back in the day…

Why do I love it

There’re few better feelings! It calms your mind and gives you focus, it’s adventurous, and it takes you to places you never would normally think to go…

I’ve always loved snorkelling and swimming, and learning even the basics of freediving can really give you that much more enjoyment from both of these. Being able to hold your breath longer, go a bit deeper, and to do it all safely is so rewarding.

I used to be pretty scared of deep water, and I sometimes still get a little wigged out when I’m staring down at the line disappearing into the depth below… but that’s what it’s all about; overcoming fears and boundaries, being in control of your thoughts, and listening to your body… That and eating loads of food afterwards!

I’ll never forget the first time of going deep enough to get that feeling of complete weightlessness – when you switch to being negatively buoyant – and start to feel the pull downwards. It’s so exhilarating, but at the same time relaxing… it’s weird – you have to try it to find out I suppose.

My journey

I completed my first freediving course in Thailand back in 2011 – the AIDA 2 star which teaches you all the basics and gets you down to 20 metres. My AIDA 3 star was done and dusted a month or so later – and I just completed my SSI Level 3 (or AIDA 4 star equivalent) in Costa Rica last year.

Once I’ve got few bits and pieces at work out of the way I’m going to be looking into doing the Instructors course next, so that I can keep nagging my friends to come and get involved but actually be able to teach them properly…

Right now I’m waiting for the water to warm up a bit before getting back into the swing of things. I really want to get down to Cornwall this summer to explore some of the bays and coves around there – some of the places look incredible. I also really want to go and dive in Nemo, a 35m deep swimming pool in Belgium – that looks so cool!

I wanted to share this story because I think more people need to get out there and try it – it’s so much fun, it’s easy to learn and you’ll end up loving it; guaranteed J

If you have a freediving story to tell, then please get in touch! It can be anything; Why you got in to the sport? Why you still love it? A holiday adventure? The best dive you ever had?
Email your submission (text and photos) to info@freediveuk.com and we will publish it on our website for the world to see.

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