Freediving means something different to every person that enjoys it as a sport. Whether you are a freediving professional or an aspiring amateur each diver has something different to say about the sport that they love.
In the first of what will be a series of interviews with freedivers from around the world, Freedive UK interviews British freediver Dave Tranfield.
David has been freediving since 2007. He is an AIDA freedivng Instructor and also a qualified International Judge. During his career he has broken three national records in the discipline of constant weight no fins.
Hi Dave… What got you in to freediving?
Hi… I got into free diving by chance . I was already a water kind of person and a qualified dive master. I was in Thailand on holiday some 6 years ago and noticed a scuba centre that taught free diving and I had always wondered how deep i could go without any tanks so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give it a go. As a young boy I used to pull down boat anchor lines on holiday and sit on the bottom for fun; I guess it was always in me.
You have made quite a name for yourself as a ‘no-fins guy’, is there a reason that you gravitate to no-fins as a discipline?
The reason i gravitated to no-fins was purely because I had equalisation issues. I couldn’t get on with the mono fin so I tried to go deep in free immersion but got stuck at 60m for over a year so decided to give it a break and went to see how deep I could go in no fins On my 3rd dive a did 48m which encouraged to try for a UK record. Obviously spending a year going down to 60m in free immersion had done me good and hadn’t been a waste of time after all.
Can you give us a breakdown of your basic technique when you dive?
I don’t think I have any special technique , in fact I think there is still room for improvement , but I am mentally strong and have a fair breath hold which helps. My way is to make very efficient stokes to free fall as not to use to much oxygen on the way down and then totally relax on the free fall at around 25m. Once at the plate I just turn and go for it while trying to keep my strokes as efficient as possible again but at the same time relaxing mentally to conserve my resources.
That’s really interesting and it kinda takes me to the next question… Lots of divers have a mantra or a ‘go-to thought’ when they dive…. mine is a slow version of Three blind mice!….. What do you think about when you are going deep?
The only thing I think of when I go deep is equalisation . I have no fear of the depth so that is not an issue, in fact I love being deep. Because my equalisation is not the best it is the only thing which will stop me reaching the bottom plate so it’s my main concern.
It will be nice for new divers to hear that its not just them who have equalisation issues, but it affects professionals too from time to time. Now….Is there anywhere in the world that you could label as your favorite dive site?
My favourite dive site has to be the blue hole in Dahab, Egypt for the obvious reasons , especially due to the fact there is no current which is a blessing to a no fins guy. Unfortunately I suffer a lot from stomach issues in Egypt so i actually set my records in Greece in competitions where i cope with the food much better .
I don’t think you will be the only one who has had ‘stomach issues’ after dining out in Egypt! Ok… so buzzers at the ready…Multiple choice questions now!
Run for an hour or Yoga for an hour?
…For me I would run for an hour
Monofin or bi-fins?
Slick skin wetsuit or ‘normal’ wetsuit?
Slick skin wetsuit
Day of line diving or day of reef diving?
Ale or lager?
Steak or Salad?
………..Sounds like a perfect day !
Your not wrong!…Whats been you biggest achievement in your freediving career so far?
My biggest achievement by far was my first national record, when I started free diving I would never of believed I would ever reach such a goal .
And Finally…. If you had to give a bit of advice /and or inspiration to new freedivers what would it be?
If you have passion and love the sport then never give up . I think with all sports you meet hurdles and barriers and it is very easy to say ” I can’t do it” but it is the ones who persevere who succeed ….like in life in general I guess!
Thanks Dave… its Probably time for a lager and a steak now right? And hope to see you down here in Cornwall diving with us at Freedive UK soon!
Dave can be contacted through his website at http://alwaysapnea.com/index.html