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Freediving is an incredible sport that pushes the limits of how deep and far a freediver can go on just one breath. Because there are so many freediving competitions across different disciplines taking place around the world, freediving records are spread across different agencies.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the current freediving world records across all major apnea agencies. Note that each discipline is different. When you consider how many different records there are and how many countries there are, there are quite a few freediving record holders out there in the sea.
Current freediving records
Constant weight record
Contant weight freediving records are made when a freediver carries the same amount of weight throughout the dive. This discipline is broken up into two sub-categories, constant weight with fins (CWT) and constant weight without fins (CNF).
|Freediving Record Holder||Discipline||Depth||Time||Year|
|Alexey Molchanov (Men)||CWT||131m (429ft)||4:10||2021|
|Alenka Artnik (Women)||CWT||120m (387ft)||3:32||2021|
|William Turbridge (Men)||CNF||102m (335ft)||4:14||2016|
|Alessia Zecchini (Women)||CNF||74m (243ft)||3:10||2021|
Static apnea freediving record
The static apnea freediving record (STA) is determined by how long a freediver can hold their breath (apnea).
While some records have been broken with the use of oxygen, others have been broken by breathing 100% oxygen for up to half an hour before completing the breath hold. The aid of oxygen helps a freediver hold their breath longer thanks to the oxygen blood saturation level.
|STA Record Holder||With/Without Oxygen||Time||Year|
|Branko Petrović (Men)||Without||11:54||2014|
|Natalia Molchanova (Women)||Without||9:02||2013|
|Budimir Šobat (Men)||With||24:11||2018|
|Karoline Mariechen (Women)||With||18:32||2009|
Free immersion freediving records
Free immersion (FIM) is when the freediver pulls themselves down a weighted dive line. This means that the freediver won’t have the aid of a monofin or fins to aid them.
|FIM Record Holder||Depth||Time||Year|
|Mateusz Malina (Men)||127m (417ft)||4:30||2022|
|Alessia Zecchini (Women)||101m (331m)||3:50||2021|
Variable weight freediving records
Variable weight (VWT) freediving is when your weight changes during your dive. For example, a freediver pursuing this record might hold onto a few kilos of lead to assist them on their way down. The freediver then drops this weight and fins to the surface at a lighter weight.
|VWT Record Holder||Depth||Time||Year|
|Alexey Molchanov(Men)||156m (511ft)||3:33||2023|
|Nanja Van Den Broek (Women)||130m (427ft)||3:00||2015|
No limits freediving records
No limits (NLT) is a discipline that is rarely practiced due to its dangerous history. Freedivers use a metal sled to gain depth, and then use an air bag to assist them to the surface.
|NLT Record Holder||Depth||Time||Year|
|Herbert Nitsch (Men)||214m (702ft)||4:24||2007|
|Tanya Streeter (Women)||160m (526ft)||3:26||2002|
Dynamic freediving records
Dynamic freediving like constant weight freediving is broken up into two sub-categories: dynamic with fins (DYN) and dynamic without fins (DNF). Dynamic freediving is when a freediver holds their breath for a distance–rather than a depth. These competitions typically take place in a pool.
|Dynamic Record Holder||With/Without Fins||Distance||Year|
|Guillaume Bourdila (Men)||With||301m (987ft)||2022|
|Magdalena Solich-Talanda (Women)||With||277m (908ft)||2022|
|Mateusz Malina (Men)||Without||250m (820ft)||2022|
|Magdalena Solich-Talanda (Women)||Without||243m (797ft)||2022|
Frequently Asked Questions
Freediving is the act of holding your breath underwater. Some freedivers choose to do the sport for fun while others use this skill while spearfishing or competitive freediving. Freediving is also called apnea or breath-hold diving.
This depends on if you are a trained freediver or not. While freediving is a sport anyone can learn, the only safe way to do so is through an in person course. Contrary to popular belief, most deaths from freediving happen at a shallow level rather than deep down. Freediving alone is extremely dangerous, which is why you must always dive with a buddy.
There are handful of freediving agencies (AIDA/CMAS) that host competitions each year. Some freedivers choose to only compete in one type of discipline while others choose to compete in many. Each discipline of freediving and freediving agency have their own set of standards that a freediver needs to hold to to complete a record. For example, if a freediver blacks out during their record attempt, they are disqualified.
With proper training, most people can quickly learn how to hold their breath for up to two minutes. Like any sport, the more experience and training you have, the longer you’ll be able to hold your breath.
Freedivers setting records use freediving computers that track how deep the diver has gone. During competitions, freedivers also follow a line that reaches their target depth–announced before they start their freedive. When the freediver reaches the bottom of the line, they know they have hit their goal.