competitions not always successful matt malina static limitless freediving

Competitions are not always successful

Two Competitions

It was a hell end of a year. First I have broke unofficial World Record in DYN Bi-fin category and secondly I was taking part in two competitions. BrnoMiniComp 2016 and Silesian Freediving Cup. Our team “Wodne Małpy Atakują” which means “Aquatic Apes Attack” have won in Rybnik. Team consisted of Magdalena Solich, Michał Mrozowski and myself. Individually I have lost two times with Czech rising star, Martin Valenta, purely because of my static mistakes and of course Martin’s massive statics 🙂

Frankly speaking, after Turku I have focused on teaching and preparing materials for my masterclasses a lot and my training went sometimes a bit sideways.

dynamic preparation matt malina concentration freediving world champion dyn

Pink lovers 🙂 fot. Patrycja Radiowska-Polak

peak performance

Which is understandable, we can’t perform 100% all year long and if we do it means that we can’t plan our training well. It also means there is room for improvement cause we would achieve more if we could plan and prepare towards peak performances.

Or at least it’s what I tell myself to sleep well at night 🙂

Nevertheless I was hoping to break a national record in static on one of this events, but I couldn’t. I need more routine, more training and more time when I’m strictly focused on one discipline in order to work it out.

While few training I had in water were very good, it’s still a lot of work in order to convert that into competition performance. I guess a lot of people have been in that point.

In Brno I have achieved 7:39 static and 192 m DNF, 12 hours after beating unofficial WR in DYN Bi-fin (229 meters). I knew this static was a result of residual tiredness and not enough practice. One week later I have done 208 m DNF, 7:33 static and 213 DYN. Again static went not as planned.

However, I’m not worried because now it’s the time, when I have finally sorted a lot of things out. I finished competitions, teaching, preparing and analyzing stuff. Now it’s time to focus on training and on things I want to do and achieve next year.

training time

This is one of my recent training. 9:10 static from which I’m very proud of. Let’s see where I will progress from that point.

Pictures from The Silesia Freediving Pool Cup:

by Rafał Meszka, click here

by Patrycja Radiowska-Polak, click here

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World Record in Dynamic with Bi-Fins 229 m by Matt Malina – Limitless


 World Record or not?

In September I’ve decided to try improve the World Record in Bi-Fins category of dynamic. This discipline is not recognized officially by AIDA, but it is by CMAS and Pure Apnea (on different conditions). The competition (Brno Minicomp 2016) was in AIDA/Pure Apnea standards, thus this record is official by Pure Apnea standards and unofficial (not recognized) by CMAS. Anyway I don’t care about this much. I did it mostly for fun and I just wanted to know If I can swim longer than anyone in history with Bi-Fins with literally 0 specific training or experience.

History behind it

In September after speaking to Roman Ondruj (organiser of miniComp Brno 2016) I’ve decided to swim longer than previous record. Roman did a research and established that current World Record is at 226,5 m, done by Andrea Vitturini (ITA) during CMAS 9th Indoor World Championships. To be honest? I’ve never really trained or swam in professional Bi-Fins nor I’m a spearo.. I have bought monofin right away and only this year I’ve bought pair of carbon-fins when I became freediving instructor. My feet were not used to it and during summer I was getting cramps in my feet all the time while I was teaching. Luckily I got used to it.

Finding the right strategy

I knew that in terms of oxygen this dive will be not a problem at all. I had in total 4 trainings and during that time I was mainly searching for the most optimal strategy during the dive.

There are 3 main techniques used:

  • hands along the body and regular kick (official technique)
  • hands above the head and regular kick (official technique)
  • hands above the head and dolphin kick (unofficial technique)

This are my 4 trainings:

  1. 175 m with hands above the body and dolphin kick (dive time 3:02) – 0,96 m/s
  2. 200 m with hands above the head and dolphin kick (dive time 3:33) – 0,94 m/s
  3. 150 m with hands above the head and regular kick (dive time 3:02) – 0,82 m/s
  4. 175 m with hands above the head and dolphin kick (dive time 3:01) – 0,97 m/s

As You can see in my case, hands above the head and dolphin kick seems to work best (I can use all the power and endurance I’ve built for monofin style). Regular kick would require a lot of work from my side and I don’t enjoy it anyway, it might be more optimal though. I’ve tried some shorter swims with  hands along the body and regular kick but it was way too slow.

However it’s important to choose the right strategy that suits Your current capabilities best and it’s applicable to all disciplines. Copy/paste of champions doesn’t always work best, however it’s good to understand what they do and apply it for Yourself.

The World Record dive

Before the swim I have checked how far I would have to swim and I saw that at around ~31 m from starting wall, there is a slope going to 5 m. I knew that after 200 m I will have to swim until I see it. Simple as that.

I’ve started the swim and from the video You can see that my technique is hilarious. Actually it looks like bag of potatoes swimming with good oxygen capacity 🙂 Well, true,  all I was focusing on is relaxation and to be very gentle with my legs. I knew they will become very lactic sooner or later. Thanks to my slow speed they got lactic much later than on training and I had to switch into my hybrid “dyn+dnf”  technique few meters before 200 m wall. From there it was formality and I was swimming towards the “slope”. My legs were more and more lactic and my technique was “amazing” 🙂

The result

I came up crystal clean at 231 meters and got 2 meters off my performance because of turning below the step. I knew it will happen but decided to not care about it during the dive. Relaxation is the key and I was focusing on that. I think with flat pool, fully optimized and pushing to my maximum, 250 + should be very well possible, but lets keep something for the future 🙂

Do You want to learn from me? Organize masterclass in Your country,make it happen and contact me for details! My calendar for 2017 is limited and bookings fill up quickly!

If You have any questions, ask them in comments and if You like what You read, please subscribe.