Professional freedivers snub such short dives. They can stay underwater for minutes – without breathing. Peter Durdik is one of them. He once remained under water for eight minutes and one second, thus setting a Slovakian record.
He doesn’t know how long he will be able to stay under water in the Water Sports Village pool yet. The world record is 11 minutes and 35 seconds.
Peter Durdik is wearing a wet suit. He lies flat on his back at the edge of the pool and takes his last breaths. Breathe in. Breeaathe oouut. Breathe in. Breeaathe oouut. His normal lung volume is six liters but it increases to 11.5 liters when he dives.
He needs ten minutes to do his warm ups, which look more like a cool down. Then Peter Durdik takes a dive. Completely relaxed. And then: the art of freediving is to control your breathing and relax completely.
“This helps us to calm down our organism, which is a fundamental requirement for subduing the reflex to breathe,” says Robert Woltmann, who is also a freediver at Freedive Munich.
Woltmann now sits at the edge of the pool and controls every one of his colleague’s movements as Durdik floats calmly on the surface of the water. Not a twitch, not a bubble.
Numerous spectators gathered around the pool watch in amazement – even though the sport is nowhere near as exciting as surfing or snowboarding. “This is one of the few sports that don’t work on adrenaline,” says Robert Woltmann.
Later on, Woltmann will demonstrate dynamic freediving. But for now he is sharing Peter Durdik’s delight, who resurfaces after seven minutes and three seconds. Slowly and calmly.