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Freediving Records

Freediver descending down line

Freediving Records

Freediving is a sport that is simply perfect to set all kinds of records.

Whether it be depth, duration, even harsher environments, or removing certain pieces of the equipment, there is a lot to make breath-hold diving more difficult.

Here you find an up-to-date list of current freediving records in 2022.

Freediving Records vs Scuba Diving Records

Unlike scuba diving, where it can sometimes be hard to find reliable sources for diving records and where the categories are much broader, freediving records are highly regulated.

Athletes often compete in different disciplines or might strictly practice one over the others.

Therefore, freediving records are often broken more frequently than comparable achievements in the scuba scene.

General Freediving Records

Here are some general freediving records. Some of these, are truly breathtaking feats (pun a little intended).

Freedivers ascending on line underwater
A support diver is always there during competitions.

No-Limit Freediving Records

The deepest no-limit freedive (male) is 253 m (830 ft) and was achieved by Herbert Nitsch (Austria), in Santorini, Greece, on 6 June 2012.

The holy grail of all freediving records, the non-limit, whatever-it-takes deepest freedive is held by legendary Herbert Nitsch who has held 33 official freediving records so far.

Nitsch experienced severe decompression symptoms after the dive, which until then was almost unheard of for freedivers.

You can get a glimpse into his mindset and training approach here:

Constant Weight Freediving Records

The constant weight discipline consists of two sub-categories: Constant weight with fins (CWT) and without (CNF).

Freediving Record HolderDisciplineDepthTimeYear
Alexey Molchanov (Men)CWT131m (429ft)4:102021
Alenka Artnik (Women)CWT120m (387ft)3:322021
William Turbridge (Men)CNF102m (335ft)4:142016
Alessia Zecchini (Women)CNF74m (243ft)3:102021
Current Constant Weight Freediving Records

Constant weight freediving records require the freediver to carry a constant amount of weight through the dives. This means no sleds or other helpers are allowed and divers dive down and back up on their own.

Such dives are usually shallower but longer than those in other freediving categories and truly require tremendous athleticism.

Alexey Molchanov’s constant weight record also makes this the deepest “self-propelled” freedive in history.

You can watch it here:

Variable weight freediving records

Freedivers in the variable weight (VWT) category can use a sled to be pulled down to the target depth before ascending on their own, thereby leading to the “variable weight”.

Variable Weight Freediving Record HolderDepthTimeYearLocation
Walid Boudhiaf (Men)150m (492 feet 1 inch)3:232021Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
Nanja Van Den Broek (Women)130m (426 ft 6 in)3:002015Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt
Variable Weight Freediving Record Holders.

You can watch the current world record in this category here:

Free Immersion Freediving Records

During free immersion (FIM) freedives, divers pull themselves down to the target depth along a dive line without the use of fins, sleds, or other aids.

Free Immersion Freediving RecordsDepthTimeYearLocation
Alexey Molchanov (Men)126m (413ft)4:302021
Alessia Zecchini (Women)101m (331m)3:502021
Free Immersion Freediving Records.

This category is very similar to constant weight, and they both share the “head first” diving position.

Freediver without fins descending
A free immersion dive.

Static Apnea Freediving Records

In Static Apnea Freediving (STA), divers hold their breaths as long as they can – hence apnea – and records are solely determined by the duration of the voluntary breath-hold.

There are sub-categories to this discipline: Pure apnea, as well as after inhaling pure oxygen over an extended period of time (up to 30 minutes). Doing so extends the time spend in apnea as the body’s oxygen saturation is higher (and the nitrogen load smaller), allowing for longer breath-hold.

Static Apnea Record HolderDisciplineTime (mins)YearLocation
Branko Petrović (Men)Without Oxygen11:542014Dubai, UAE
Natalia Molchanova (Women)Without Oxygen9:022013
Budimir Šobat (Men)With Oxygen24:372021Sisak, Croatia
Karoline Mariechen (Women)With Oxygen18:322009Florianopolis, Brazil
Static Apnea Freediving Record Holders.

The current record holder Brank Petrović has actually held his breath for longer than that, however, the Guinness World Record and AIDA apply different requirements and standards.

Dynamic freediving records

Divers in the dynamic freediving with fins (DYN) and without fins (DNF) disciplines compete for distance swam underwater, rather than depth. Competitions are held in pools, in order to prevent environmental influences like currents, waves, or temperature on the measurements.

Dynamic Freediving Record HolderDisciplineDistanceYear
Giorgos Panagiotakis & Mateusz Malina (Men)DYN300m (984ft)2016
Magdalena Solich-Talanda (Women)DYN257m (843ft)2019
Mateusz Malina (Men)DNF244m (801ft)2016
Magdalena Solich-Talanda (Women)DNF191m (627ft)2017
Dynamic Freediving Record holders.

The longest distance swam underwater with one breath (open water) is 202 m (662 ft 8.7 in), and was achieved by Stig Severinsen (Denmark) in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico, on 26 November 2020. (Guiness World Records)

Stig completed the record using a mermaid monofin and has held numerous other freediving records.

You can watch the freedive in open water here:

Freediving under Ice Records

Ice diving draws many freedivers in as an extreme form of their sport.

Here are some highlights of records related to freediving under ice.

This is not an official category in AIDA competitions, however, it’s pretty cool!

Freediving under Ice Record HolderDisciplineDepthTimeYearLocation
Alexey Molchanov (Men)CWT81.4 meters (267 ft)4:102021Lake Baikal, Russia
Olga Markina (Women)CWT63.8 m (209 ft 3.81 in)3:322021listvyanka, Russia
Freediving under Ice Record Holders.

The longest dive under ice – breath held (fins and diving suit) by a woman is 112.3 m (368 ft 5 in) by Aurore Asso (France) in Ikerasak, Uummannaq Bay, Qaauitsup, Greenland, on 28 April 2015. (Guinness World Records)

The longest distance swam under ice – breath held (fins and diving suit) is 152.4 m (500 ft) by Stig Åvall Severinsen (Denmark), at Qorlortoq Lake (Lake 40) in Ammasslik Island, Sermersoq Municipality, East Greenland on 16 April 2013. (Guinness World Records)

The longest swim under ice – breath held (no fins, no diving suit) is 80.99 m (265 ft 8.58 in) and was achieved by David Vencl (Czech Republic), in Lahošť, Czech Republic, on 23 February 2021. (Guinness World Records)

Get a hot chocolate and put over a blanket before you watch the deepest recorded freedive under ice here:

Other Freediving Records

The longest underwater dance (freediving) is 3 mins 28.60 seconds by Marina Kazankova (Italy), in Montegrotto Terme, Padua, Italy, on 29 December 2018. (Guinness World Records)

The longest underwater walk with one breath (female) was 81.60m (267 ft 72 in) in one minute by Bilge Cingigiray, Turkey, in 2019. (Guinness World Records)

She actually broke her own record from 2017 when she already walked 67.16 m (220.34 ft) in one breath.

The longest underwater walk with one breath (male) was 107m (351ft 0.5in) by Vitomir Maricic (Croatia), in Opatija, Primorsko-Goranska Zupanija, Croatia, on 17th September 2021. (Guinness World Records)

Vitomir is an accomplished freediver and also holds other records in different freediving categories.

Conclusion

These are the current official world records in freediving in 2022.

Which of these do you find most impressive?

Don’t forget to also check out the current scuba diving records!

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Always dive with friends and happy bubbles. 😃

Cheers

Julius

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