Despite the assumption, the trigger to breathe has little to do with lack of oxygen. It is actually caused by high levels of carbon dioxide combined with anxiety and rapid heart beat. Essentially, if you can train your body to extend that urge to breathe, to move past needing to take a breath, you could stay under water longer, safer and more confidently. What would that do for you? As a diver? As a surfer? Maybe that next big wave doesn’t seem so intimidating after all.
The Waterman’s Survival Extended (WSE) course offered by Freediving Instructors International (FII) is a three-day course covering academics, open water training, depth drills and pool exercises, to provide a better understanding of blackouts, drowning and breath holds. Throughout the course, you are trained in proper water safety and technique to confidently dive depths up to 66 feet and complete a breath hold of up to three minutes. Past students of the course include professional big wave surfers like Garrett McNamara, who states, “I recommend the F.I.I. Waterman Survival course to anyone who wants to enter the water. If you are engaging in some heavy sport, that’s in the water, then it is essential. Do yourself a favor — take the course.”
The photo series from photographer and FII Waterman Survival trained waterman Anthony Dooley offers a peek into the WSE course just completed in Rincón, Puerto Rico this May. While I only made it through day one for pool freediver certification, I commend all the waterman in the course. Well done boys.
All photographs taken at Rincón, Puerto Rico by Anthony Dooley. Follow him on Instagram.
For more information about classes in Puerto Rico and the US, please contact FII Instructor Joe Sheridan by visiting his website at www.watermansurvival.com.