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A long lost love under the sea!

Oppdatert: 6. mar. 2020

I want to share with you my story about how I found my love for freediving!

Ever since I was a little boy growing up on the peninsula called Nesodden a short boat trip from Oslo the capital of Norway I have been in love with the water, my parents tell me story’s that they had to hold me every time we got close to water or I would jump in, it didn’t matter how big the drop was, how deep the water was or that I didn’t know how to swim.

Because in my head I did know how! I have this memory in my head swimming under water just coming up for a short breath just like a dolphin with for legs and it worked!

I didn’t need to swim over the water when all the cool thing was under the surfes! I was always running down to the beach when I was young but as I got older other things like work, pubs, school and so on took me more and more out of the water and also as I got older the waters of Norway got faster colder and I left this world a little more every year but I always needed to stay close to it!

As I turned 30 I did my first kayaking trip, an amazing trip from the border of Myanmar all the way down to Malaysia that changed my life! (


After that i traveled to the Perhentian islands, as got off the boat there a woman ask me when I wake off the jetty if I would like to try scuba? I don’t think I hesitated a second and after checking inn I started my course, I was like a fish in the sea again, it felt like I had reunited to a long lost love! And after passing my open water I did my advanced, and I ended up selling my kayak to do my rescue course. Thank you so much Christine and

when it got to spring time I went back to Norway to work up some money for my trip to Mexico where I had gotten an internship to become a dive master!

And after working there for some months, another Scandinavian dive master and i had a bull shark dive with some costumers, it was a really good dive! Lots of sharks swimming around us and then I see this freediver coming down the line and he sits down in a lotus possession in front of us and the sharks immediately starts swimming around him to check him out, it looked so peaceful so pure! I decided right there and then that I needed to know more and if I cud do it!

For the best underwater photos in Playa check out

and for the best dive experience

Later that day my friend DJ

shows up at the intern house, I had heard him taking about freediving before but not really listen, I guess I was like most other and didn’t believe it was a sport for everyone, but he explained to me about safety, the feeling of one breath, how the animals react when you don’t have bobbles and invited me to join for a class, I really wanted to but not much cash left so I decided to finish my time in Dressel and my dive master, go back to Norway and work up some money again and learn the art of freediving!

Back in Norway again working on the beautiful

I found an opening in a freediving class in Oslo with

and the first PADI freediver instructor in Norway

. I did my theory and meet up with Morten and the others in Drammen for indoor trading and we started up with 300m swim test, then with Apnea (see info below) where I passed on my first try with 2.30, then 3.00, then 3.30 I loved it, then we did some rescue and Dynamic Apnea (see info below) where I passed right away with 25m and my best at 40m and after some playing around the day was over.

The Next day we were doing Open Water training at Sjøstrand just outside of Oslo, a little rain but no problem, we all got in our wet suite and headed out to around 12m dept. where after a warm up dive to 5m we were allowed to go 10m, no problem and we took turn resting, diving and buddying. I was starting to do some hangs and after a break we went back out again now we cud do dives to 16m! Also no problem, we did our rotation and rescue trading, free immersion and constant weight. I was already asking about how to become an instructor when we got back in to land.

And I was finally a PADI beginner freediver!

Static Apnea- This discipline is performed in a pool or confined water.

The objective is to hold the breath for as long as possible without moving. The current world record is over 11:35 minutes for men and 9:02 minutes for women.

Dynamic Apnea- The objective of this discipline is to swim as far as possible in a pool.

There are 2 sub-disciplines: Without fins and with fins.

The current world record is over 300m for men and over 243 for women.

Constant Weights (CWT)- The FreeDiver uses long fins or a monofin to dive as deep as possible. A depth must be declared before the dive. A tag needs to be brought back to the surface and a surface protocol must to be completed within 15 seconds.

The world record is 130m for men and over 101m for women.

Free Immersion (FIM)- The FreeDiver pulls himself along the dive line and aims to dive as deep as possible. As in CW, a depth must be declared and a surface protocol needs to be completed within 15 seconds.

The world record for men is over 125m and 97m for women.

This is actually the only place in Norway where there has been registered a shark attack, but in taught it was a stupid diver that grabbed a sleeping shark and I bit his dive computer in defense. It was a small-spotted catshark and it is one of 9 native (18 including visitors) Norwegian sharks and all the sharks of Norway are harmless, so are all sharks if YOU behave correctly. the best shark series is on Netflix and is called Sharks.

List over Norwegian sharks:

Have a look here how media makes headlines when a human attacks sharks and they respond:

After my certification I joined

and started my training, after paying the yearly fee and checked that I knew rescue we started training, a nice grope of freedivers! With a good focus on safety and training every Wednesday but also other days when interest, in the winter time the training is moved to a pool in Oslo so you have training every Wednesday all year for 1200nok, that is a good deal!

During the summer I researched dive schools and send out some requests but the one that stood out was

in Phuket, Thailand. After a little chat and a phone call with Shaun and a confirmation mail From Nora I made my payment for the classes up to PADI Instructor, AI Instructor And AIDA level4 with a promise that after passing all this I would have a good understanding of freediving not only from one side but three mixed together in the WeFreedive way!

And after working up the money I needed and sad my goodbyes to friends and family I took my flight with

to Krabi in Thailand.

Lots of Love

Joachim Larssen

The ShibbyTraveler

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