Sunny Days and Warm Waters are Coming Your Way!

Performance Freediver
March 2016 Newsletter

Here's a Look at What's Inside:

  • Countdown to Deja Blue 007
  • New Courses and Instructors near you!
  • Dive Into Spring Photo Contest
  • Come meet PFI Instructors at trade shows around the USA!
  • Training Tip of the Month--Apnea Walk
  • Freediving Travel -- Get Deep at the Deep Joy-40 in Italy

Deja Blue 7---The Countdown is On!

Spring has sprung, winter is in the rear view mirror, and it's time to get ready for sunny days and warm water!

DB7, our annual ritual of fun, friends and freediving family takes place once again in the sparkling, warm waters off Grand Cayman from April 24th to May 15.

Join us for just the competition week (May 9-15) or one or two of our training weeks beforehand (April 24-30 and May 1-9).  This is your chance to train alongside friends and world-class athletes in the some of the best dive conditions anywhere. 

Whether your goal is a new record, or just to strengthen your skills and develop your technique, this friendly, training camp atmosphere offers an experience unique in the freediving world.  

Want to know why PFI Deja Blue competitions are like family reunions? Zoom in and check every individual's expression on this candid group photo taken at last year's event 15 seconds before the pro photog started shooting. The smiles on the faces of the athletes, safeties, tech divers, medics, organizers, families and friends say it all.  

There's no better way to train and you connect with old friends and make new lifelong buddies.  Click here to see details or to register.  Call or email us if you have questions.

Come join the fun in the beautiful, warm waters of Grand Cayman!
New Courses and Instructors near you!

PFI is proud to announce a strong crop of instructor candidates have endured the grueling training and examination process and are now certified PFI Freedive Instructors!

Welcome and congratulations to Mike Avery, Chris Biasutti, Kyle Duffy and Johannes Fischer who have each met the rigorous standards to become a PFI Instructors!  Also welcome Safety Supervisor Vernon Scholey and PFI Assistant Instructors Byron Stocum, Kris Bro, Patrick Miles and Missy Gibson.

Look for them instructing or assisting our Staff Instructors at a course near you soon.  

Speaking of which, we now have over 50 upcoming courses posted on our website, from Freediver, Intermediate, Advanced and Breath Hold Surf Survival (yes more Survival courses are now up!).  Now is time to plan and reserve your next training and learning adventure! 
Click here to see Upcoming Course dates and Locations for all levels of Courses!
Dive Into Spring

Photo Contest

PFI is excited to announce a little photo contest to get us all in the mood for the great dive season ahead. We're inviting you to submit your favorite dive photo you've taken, along with a short caption describing the circumstances in which it was taken, and we'll award the top three entries some fantastic prizes!

Have you got a great competition pic?  Captured some amazing underwater animal life?  The subject is up to you, so let's have some fun!
Deadline for submission is May 1st and the winners will be announced in our May Newsletter.

The prizes are as follows:
  1. First Place: JBL Flip 2 Mini-Speaker  
  2. Second Place: Gannett Dive Fin Bag           
  3. Third Place: PFI T-shirt and hat
So bust out those cameras and share your favorite pics!  Email submissions by May 1st.

Meet PFI Instructors at Upcoming Shows

PFI will be in Booth 407 at Beneath The Sea Consumer Trade Show in New Jersey.
PFI will be at Booth 602 at the April 23-24 Blue Wild Expo in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  Kirk Krack will be leading a safety seminar in the pool Sat for people to take part in.  We will also have two Intermediate Freediver courses in the daily raffles (value $745 each).  See you there and good luck!
Training Tip of the Month - Apnea Walk

Looking for a simple, yet efficient, exercise to reliably increase your breath hold? that you can perform almost anywhere and without a trip to the pool or even getting wet? Give apnea walking a try!

Apnea walking is just what it sounds like...walking distance on a single breath. This exercise, which can be performed in a number of ways (on a peak inhalation, on a relaxed exhalation, or even after a period of stationary static apnea) is an excellent and efficient way to gain experience managing the many sensations you encounter during extended freedives.

First, find a safe (grassy) place to practice. Then after a few relaxed breaths, take a peak inhalation and begin walking slowly while holding that breath. As you proceed, you will soon encounter a number of sensations that replicate what you will feel on a deep ocean dive or dynamic pool performance. Among these are lactic acid buildup in your legs, and diaphragmatic contractions as you go further and further. You may also experience other signs and symptoms as your body metabolizes oxygen and produces carbon dioxide.

Learning to recognize and manage these feelings and sensations is key to extending your breath hold
abilities. Apnea walking also allows you to learn to focus on specific muscle groups (like your quads and hamstrings) so you can increase and decrease effort to suit the situation and reduce lactic acid buildup and promote conservation of oxygen. And you can track your progress easily by simply comparing distances walked over time. 

Apnea walking can easily be worked into your daily routine, and you can increase the intensity by simply walking on a sandy beach or up a grassy hill. It's a great, free exercise that gets you outdoors and gets you thinking about all the amazing things that are going on inside your body during a breath hold.  

Remember, train safe and train smart! 

Freedive & Travel - Get Deep at the Deep Joy - 40 in Italy

By PFI Instructor John Hullverson

How would you and your buddy like to freedive in thermally heated waters requiring no wetsuit, in perfectly controlled conditions, to depths of up to 42 meters, while your friends and others watch and wave through a glass windowed cafe at the 5 meter mark? And when you finish your session, imagine rinsing off in the spa and heading down the street for a dinner at one of the local trattorias featuring the renowned cuisine of Northern Italy. Then imagine repeating the process day after day, all the while improving your technique and performance. Sound like a dream come true? Then you need to check out the Deep Joy Y-40 pool in Montegrotto Terme, Italy, about 45 minutes west of Venice and 15 minutes from Padua. The pool, which opened in a specially built annex of the Hotel Millepini Spa in 2014, is a freediver's dream and a place that has to be experienced to be believed.  It's the deepest pool in the world and heated by local thermal waters to a super-relaxing 92 degrees. That's the temperature at which your body can stay in water indefinitely without developing a chill. 

I had the chance to visit and train there last summer prior to the World Pool Championships in Serbia, and it's an experience I'd recommend to any freediver looking for a relaxing and unique way to train and work on technique.  I stayed for 8 days at the very reasonably priced Hotel Millipini and dove for a couple hours every day. 


The pool itself is a multi-level tank with 1.5 M, 5M, 8M, 10M, 12M, 15M and 42M sections (See diagram below).  There are swim throughs and caves (for the scuba divers) and even a clear glass tubular tunnel running right through the pool at about 3 meters deep. The tunnel connects the locker room and pool entrance to the cafe, bar and pro shop on the other side. 

Dive passes can be bought for about $30 for an hour and a half session and if you're traveling alone you can hire a safety buddy for an additional $20.

There's a knowledgeable and helpful staff and a range of equipment they may let you test out, from monofins to dive sleds. 

It's a really great way to pack in some very concentrated and focused training with a vacation to one of the most historically significant areas in Italy. If you want to take a day off from training, the Renaissance city of Padua is only a bike ride away and Venice is only 45 minutes by train. 

The warm and calm water makes diving comfortable and easy and if you feel up to it, they even have a stationary exercise bike at the bottom of the 40 meter tube!

PFI is thinking of running a course at Deep Joy Y-40 in the next year, so shoot us an email if you think you might be interested and we'll put you on our "interested" list to make sure you get any updates!

Diver's view of the amazing Deep Joy -40
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