Not much time has passed since Daniel dove 133 meters with a mask in the no-limit discipline.
Daniel im Interview mit Timo von Freedive your life
Here you can learn how it came to be that Daniel descends to such great depths relaxed and with enough air, and how he manages to make the most of the limited air we have available when freediving.
No sooner is Daniel back, he already has plans to dive deeper. Because for him, equalization is no longer the limiting factor.
Daniel's limiting factors are rather the training conditions and the time he can devote to training. He is very busy professionally with several jobs, as well as an instructor and with his private coaching. There is not much time left for training. Also, he does not live in one of the famous freediving destinations where he could train deep diving on a daily basis. Daniel has with Kaluna Freediving his center of life in Zurich, the mountainous Switzerland. Far and wide there is no sea in sight. But at least there is the lake of Zurich. Luckily! Only the training conditions beyond 60 meters with 6 degrees water temperature and complete darkness are not very inviting and the training involves too much risk.
So how did Daniel manage to achieve such an incredible result?
Daniel has been freediving for 10 years. For the first 6 years, he didn't focus on any particular technique when equalizing or on body fitness. In 2012, he didn't go deeper than 30 meters for an entire year.
Equalization was the limiting factor
The frustration was great. Many tips from other freedivers, such as "You just have to be really relaxed, then it works!" only helped to a certain extent. Daniel was relaxed and focused and it still didn't work. With a lot of experimenting, he finally managed to progress below his residual volume (which for him was about 33 m). Many people probably feel the same way as Daniel. Without knowing with which technique a certain progress becomes possible, it suddenly goes a little deeper. Until the next limit is reached.
Encounter equalization with awareness and patience
The training as an Apnea Academy freediving instructor with Andrea Zuccari as guest of honor has brought light into the darkness for Daniel. Light primarily in the sense of developing an awareness of what happens anatomically at depth during equalization. To be able to feel and describe which muscles are currently being used, or to recognize the position of the tongue, for example. This awareness has led to many "aha" moments in recent years.
A key experience
After the first meeting with Andrea Zuccari, Daniel had found out that he had taught himself the technique "reverse packing" to undercut his residual volume. Daniel begins to reflect on what has happened so far.
Approaching the topic of equalization via awareness, learning the anatomy of the mouth and throat, and a variety of exercises to strengthen and raise awareness of these very "newly discovered body parts," has changed everything. Daniel is relieved and at the same time endlessly curious. Finally there is something he can work with.
Since then, progress or failure in equalization can be explained and rationally understood. In 99% of cases, equalization fails because we are unable to control the relevant muscles (e.g., of the tongue, cheeks, Eustachian tube, the larynx, glottis, etc.). Almost never is it because someone is anatomically unable to do so.
With targeted exercises for the muscle motor function in the mouth and stretching exercises (with the yoga bridge), Daniel has managed in a short time to advance to depths that seemed utopian for him a few years ago.
Did this article make you curious?
Which techniques are the key to success? Want to know exactly which exercises really make a difference? Finally understand what exactly is happening and get some guidance along the way to help you improve?
With Kaluna Freediving, we offer private online equalization sessions where Daniel gives you personalized equalization tips and tricks. See more here!
Do you have any feedback on the article, or testimonials about how you managed to improve your equalization?
"Die Liebe zur Unterwasserwelt begleitet mich solange ich denken kann. Ich konnte noch gar nicht schwimmen, da bin ich schon getaucht."
Icons made by https://www.flaticon.com/authors/freepik von https://www.flaticon.com.