Freediving and Kayaking...

This boat is a form of racing kayak, known as a surfski. The surfski may well be the future of freediving. No single human powered boat is faster. They can handle 15 to 20 foot swells, and in fact, make bad weather fun!
The freediver is both an athlete and a Philosopher of "Underwater Zen". He has cast aside dependence on the technology of the masses. The gas or diesel engine becomes a fume belching joke, outside the province of the Zen state.
Paddling speeds of these boats will average 7 to 8 mph for a skilled kayaker. In following seas with large waves, these boats will surf the wave front and maintain speeds in excess of 14 mph for extended periods. The freediver's gear is minimal. Fins are strapped under bungee cords behind the seat. A dive flag is attached to the hull, turning the whole boat into a dive float. Water is carried in a camelback, where snacks are also kept.
There is no reliance on others for comfort and safety. The freediver will need help from no one, self sufficiency is absolute. Social interaction still does have an important appeal to the freediver, and this frequently manifests itself in the form of groups of Kayak based freedivers paddling out and freediving together. This shared unity with the Zen and each other's company becomes its own life force. It becomes a way to experience life unlike that known by most people. So is the kayak based freediver really a new phenomenon? The self suffiiency, the Zen, and the social interaction may have a paralell which has been occuring for millions of years....Take a look at Killer Whales or Dolphins...they are completely self sufficient. They are one with the ocean....They enjoy the company of others like themselves. If dolphins and Orcas required the assistance of technoology to survive in the ocean, would that represent evolution from where they are today, or de-evolution? The path of the freediver today is toward higher evolution, the "way of the dolphins". We still need a fins and a mask system to compensate for our physical limitations, but evolution from here is probably not toward diesel engines, BC's, and the other 50 plus pounds of gear typical to human divers in the 80's and 90's. The future of Freediving may well bring man back into a stronger balance with nature, because it will allow him to exist within nature. The shame of mankind's technology of this century has been our existance "on-top" of nature, in a place where we no longer see interactions, and lose sight of the health and balance of the ecology. Becuase we exist "on top" of nature, we can't experience the life force it collectively represents... and we can't see it as byproducts of our advanced technologies, act harshly to diminish it. If you want this balance, if you want this return to nature and self-reliance, and if this concept of freediving appeals to you, there are many choices for you to make. You don't "buy" your way into freediving, you must "train" your way into it. In the U.S., there are two main centers for freediving (i.e., large groups of freedivers you can learn from), these being Southern California and South Florida. In South Florida, the largest concentration is in the Miami area, where a club of about 40 freedivers is very active in diving from Palm Beach to the Keys and Bahamas. They are not an instructional agency, they are a club---a group of people with similar interests and who have trained extensively to enjoy freediving. If this was the 50's and snow skiing appealed to you, you would have had to seek out the few areas of the time and the small number of elite skiers, in order to pursue this sport as one you wished to become proficient in. Today in freediving, this is your paralell. While some local dive shops may be able to train you in this, most will not live the life themselves, so most will not be able to teach it. You must take the initiative to search for the right place and the right influence---don't expect to find a "trainer", since most of the right people do something else for a living. You will find many freedivers who can provide you an ideal path and assistance, and you can find this path without an instructor. If you are lucky enough to get access to one of the few really great "instructors" of freediving, you can develop even faster. These are men like Terry Maas, Pipin, and a few others. They are the masters. If This Tao of Freediving appeals to you, on behalf of nature, we would like to Welcome you to our way of diving.

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