Interview to Valeria and Adam from Freedive Menorca
Please meet Adam and Valeria.
Both are “Freedive Menorca”, a great team for learn to freedive.
How are you?
Yes, we’re both very good. Pleased to meet you too.
Where do you come from?
Adam: I’m from London, UK
Valeria: I’m from Barcelona
And how did you meet each other?
We met at a freediving centre in Bali where we were both working
Wow, that sounds perfect… Are you there right now?
Right now we are in Panglao, Philippines.
Where is it exactly? Ok, I see in Bohol Island
It’s a small island in the middle of the Philippines archipelago. Yes, connected to Bohol by a bridge
Are you doing there some courses?
Right now we are doing depth training for ourselves
Oh nice! Since how long are you into freediving?
Adam: I’ve been freediving around 10 years
Valeria: Me, 4 years
(y) So, sometimes you go to other countries to give some courses, but normally you work at your area in Menorca right?
That’s right. Most of our work is in Menorca now when we go away we are usually training for ourselves or exploring new places. We want to start running trips for our customers from Menorca to experience diving in other parts of the world.
Good idea! I’ve never been in Menorca but in Mallorca several times. The last one was two years ago doing psicobloc and the ocean is so cristal clear and warm 🙂 And the stones…
Yes, the water in the Balearic islands is beautiful!
We like Menorca because it’s much more peaceful than other Balearic islands and not so many buildings or cars… the architecture is very nice too.
There is a great energy in the nature in Menorca and it’s ancient landscape, the stones are a big part of that.
Love that. So you do there courses. Which type of courses you do? What certification would someone get making your courses?
So we run freediving courses from beginner to Master freediver level. We teach two different training agencies, depending on what people are interested in AIDA and Pure Apnea. If someone has never freedived before and wants to really get a good foundation in the sport I would recommend doing an AIDA 2 or Pure Apnea Level 1 course, it takes around 2 1/2 days and you learn all the basic skills theory and safety elements to start freediving.
AIDA is probably the most recognised agency around the world but teaches freediving from a very sporting perspective which has a lot to do with how deep or long you can go, Pure Apnea allows us to teach more adventure style freediving, like looking for fish, caves etc. So it’s nice to be able to offer a mix of aspects to our students.
Also we can teach surf survival apnea which is great fun, it’s useful for surfers who want to hold their breath when they’re pushed under but it’s a short one day course and it’s really good fun.
That sounds wonderful! And if someone goes to Menorca, is there any place where to stay?
We can always help people find somewhere that fits their budget. What we are starting this summer is all inclusive courses and camps where we will all be staying at a beautiful villa in the countryside, eating together teaching the theory in the garden and pool and using it as our base to go to the dive sites from. We organise the accommodation, all the meals and transport, as well as all the diving teaching and equipment. It’s a really nice way for divers to meet new people and it makes the experience more relaxing.
Each camp will be around 8-10 students
I think it is perfect! A great way to learn good and fast. Plus, enjoying a non touristic alternative. More closed to the real feelling of the island.
How many languages do you speak?
Adam: I speak English and bad spanish
Valeria: English, Spanish and Catalan
If someone wants to start into freediving and become an instructor and get jobs. Which tips would you give from your experience?
Valeria: I would say, find somewhere to do your first course(s) and base yourself in a place where you can also go to the water a lot and spend a lot of extra time practicing. Find someone you trust to guide you.
That is a great advice
Adam: Don’t be in too much of a rush to become an instructor, spend some time developing your own freediving first. Meet and train with as many different freedivers as possible in as many different places and situations as possible.
If you live in a big city, join a club.
These are really good advices. When I wanted to make the freedive course I was practicing nearly all days on the swimming pool. static, and long distance, I was feeling pretty comfortable.But, when I went to the course I was not on my environment plus all this extra gear on the ocean made my performance not so well. So in my short experience I agree that if you are lucky to be next to the ocean and with experienced people for practice it will make a big difference. What about the gear? What do you like more?
Adapting to new situations in freediving is always difficult. The more experience you have the easier it is but it’s also worth planning at least one session just to adapt to all the different/new things.
Can you clarify a bit by what you mean by equipment? Do you mean brands etc? The equipment we use for teaching or going exploring is different from the equipment we use for deep competitive diving or pool diving.
Yes, sorry. I mean brands, type of fins, diving goggles,… What do you look for, when you want to buy some equipment.
Adam: The first thing I look for is the fit. Does it fit well – the mask, the wetsuit, the fins – they have to fit well. I think if you have decided to really get into freediving it’s worth looking at custom made wetsuits and carbon fins. We like polosub wetsuits and we use them for all our own diving. I like the brand, 2971 for my fins – I’ve been using them for the last year or so, they are super soft and look cool 😀
Valeria: I agree but I like my Alchemy fins more! 😀
:D:D:D I’ve seen that the beard is also a bit an issue for the dive goggles. Vaseline is a good alternative for that. When I went with one friend to ask on a supermarket for a big vaseline bottle the girl that was working there was looking to us quite strange…
Haha! You get many strange looks when you go shopping for freediving ‘extras’. To be honest, I’ve been diving for so long with a beard a bit of water leaking into the mask doesn’t usually bother me but sometimes I will shave the top part of my moustache to help the mask seal better on my face.
hahaha! Do you remember any anecdotes at your freedive career? Some fun, danger, adventure moments?
Adam:I once walked up the highest mountain in Wales with all my diving equipment (including 5kg of weight) and then came back down to dive the lake at the bottom
Jesus! This is like 1000 meters right? For trainning?
Yes, no for fun! (cwl)
Adam: That’s it, Glaslyn. I did a lot of freediving in strange places in the UK in my first 5 years freediving. It was great!
The water on these lakes looks quite cold… It has to be much harder to be relaxed I guess…
It’s a different game for sure. But being in the water in places like that, you really feel closer to things. It’s a different way to experience your situation.
More connected? Like more in an spiritual way? I mean I’ve done some hikes and stayed there, like fasting, making sweat lodge, and so… And I do find a kind of connection doing freediving
Adam: Yes, whenever I go to a new place I always want to experience it from inside the water. Oceans, lakes, rivers it doesn’t matter but I feel like I understand it better from an aquatic perspective. It could just be swimming or snorkelling, to me freediving is just an extension of those things.
Valeria: I had a student who was so happy to reach 20m deep, she hugged me at the bottom and wouldn’t let go until we reached the surface! (cwl)
HAHAHA That is love
Ok. Before finnish… I would like that you share your future projects, links where can we find you. I’m also going to leave a link to your profile and…. welll if you want to add something feel free 🙂
I’ve already mentioned about the camps this summer, we’re really excited about this. We also want to start some guided dives of the big caves on menorca, they are really epic locations to dive! We are also starting to plan some trips to places like Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt – these destinations are the next step. There are also some deep wrecks on Menorca we want to explore this summer and get some video or pictures of. You can find all the details of the courses and camps on our website and details of the cave dives will be up very soon. www.freedivemenorca.com
Ok!It was a pleasure to meet you both! I wish you all the best and we’ll still be in contact. Please keep us fresh will all your upcoming news 🙂
Valeria: Nothing else to add but it was a pleasure talking to you. We will certainly keep you updated! 😀