We Have To Go Freedive Too

The past 12 months have been a great ride for Alchemy; bumpy but awesome. Yes, we did have to battle all the global logistics’ mess created by the pandemic, yes, we did miss freediving during the lockdown and, yes, it wasn’t easy, but we made the most out of it. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And that’s what we did. The coming months will be even more exciting. Why? New products. New, ground-breaking products, to be precise. We’ve been working on a few ideas for some months now, some are at the prototype stage, others have gone beyond that, and are currently being tested by some of the world’s deepest freedivers. So, it’s that time of the year. Time to relax, unwind, travel around the Greek islands, spend time with our families, catch & cook a fish or two. Our production facilities will remain closed from 1.8.21 until 23.8.21. Orders placed from 20.7 and while we are away, will be processed as soon as we get back, keeping a strict first-in-first-out policy. Our live chat service will also be disabled, if you have any queries - or just want to say hi - please reach out to us via email or social media. Happy holidays guys, dive safely.
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Blackouts At Freediving Competitions

During this year's Vertical Blue, we have witnessed a few freediving blackouts. Some were surface ones, others were underwater and Walid Boudhiaf's was a very deep, and fairly scary, one. Why do these elite freedivers blackout? What are the causes at competition level? And most importantly, how can one avoid it? In a recent interview, Sheena McNally, Canada's deepest woman in CWTB, taps into one mistake deep freedivers make at competitions before their dive. Competitions Are The Safest Place  To Be Hypoxic "In a competition, hypoxia is not a desirable result, and even though there are divers out there, diving at quite a high level, who seem completely comfortable to repeat that as a result, I’m not. When I had a blackout, I was really disappointed in myself. That said, if you're going to be hypoxic, the competition is going to be the absolute best place to be hypoxic. You're surrounded by safety divers, usually four, minimum three, doctors, nurses, and other divers, who are all certified and know how to deal with the situation. You're in very good hands". Never Dive Alone "The biggest problem, I would say, with hypoxia is if it happens when you're alone. If you go on YouTube or you start digging, you can find stories of freediver deaths and what these deaths are, I can't say 100% of them but let's just say 99%, are people who went out spearfishing and they went out without a buddy. I believe that every sport has risk and we mitigate risk in freediving by never freediving alone. We freedive with a buddy and, I would add, not anybody. It has to be a buddy who’s qualified and trained, somebody who knows how to deal with these responses, a certified buddy. If you go out alone and you run into hypoxia, the problem is then there's no one there to help you. And the real risk is getting water in the airway. Say like, worst-case scenario, diver did something crazy and they suffered a blackout. Probably they will end up face down in the water and although they'll be okay for some sort of short window of time because their body will do everything it can to protect themselves from drowning, as their oxygen levels continue to drop, eventually they're going to take an involuntary breath and then it will become a drowning situation if they’re alone. There's no other outcome, they're not just going to lift their head and start breathing, no, they're not going to come back. Wherever they are, they're going to try to take an involuntary breath and that's where it becomes, I would say, super dangerous. But if there's a diver there, a trained body or safety who knows what they're looking at, they are trained in the response which is, I would argue, way more simple than anything I had to deal with in scuba diving in terms of safety. Then that person can be okay quite quickly and with no lasting effects". Hyperventilation Can Be Dangerous "At competition level, many blackouts occur because of how you breathe before you dive. It is a lot about breathing and if you breathe in such a way that you kind of artificially lower your CO2 levels before you start, so you hyperventilate either knowingly or unknowingly, it can be really dangerous. We need something to give us signals of when is it time to go up, and it's not going to be oxygen, we don’t have a great sensor for that. But we have very sophisticated and strong signals that we get from CO2. Like, are my contractions normal, are they coming at the right time, are they early, are they late? This is all information that we're using to make the decision on when it's time to go up, but if we suppress our urge to breathe by hyperventilating before a dive, then, it's kind of like, we're turning off our alarm clock, we're turning off or we're delaying the signals that are telling us it’s time to go up. That means we could carry on a dive feeling great, but, really, we could be kind of approaching our loss of consciousness threshold at some point. So, I'd say, a big mistake before the dive has to do with breathing". Watch Thibault Guignes BlackoutAfter A -100M Dive
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How Does Learning To Freedive Improve Your Breathing

Pundit Acharya once said, "only those who know how to breathe will survive". This might sound overly dramatic as the majority of us have all managed to get to where we are today giving very little thought to our breathing. But this lack of awareness of our breath does our health a great disservice. Considering breathing is something we do from our first cry to our last sigh, hundreds of millions of times (hopefully) throughout our life span, it begs the question: are we doing it as well as we could be? Most of us have dysfunctional breathing habits whether we realize it or not, but that’s a different article. This article is about how freediving improves your breathing. Helena Bourdillon explains. Learning To Freedive Will Make You More Aware Of How You Are Breathing "It was freediving that sparked my interest to learn more about functional breathing and how it can noticeably affect our wellbeing and health in the immediate moment both physically and mentally and how those benefits can then ripple forward into our future health. When I did my first freediving course back in 2013, I was told to lie down, relax and focus on my breathing. I was encouraged to do slow deep breaths down into my belly and to extend the exhale to help my body to relax and sink deeper into the floor. Learning to freedive will make you more aware of how you are breathing and how the breath can be manipulated to help you relax more deeply. Relaxation means you have activated your Parasympathetic Nervous System response which is when the body is able to rest, digest, repair, and recover. Without spending a significant amount of time in this state every day and night, we are causing additional stress to our bodies physically and mentally as it struggles to keep us functioning properly in the here and now and it lays the groundwork for future illness and disease. I learned how to do a full inhalation using belly breathing to draw the inhaled air into the lowest part of my lungs first, then filling the mid-chest and finally the upper chest which reaches as high as the clavicle (collarbones). Using belly breaths or Diaphragmatic Breathing, the Diaphragm which is the primary breathing muscle is exercised thus improving its strength and flexibility which is important and useful because a strong diaphragm draws the air down into the lowest part of the lungs where the most and easiest gas exchange takes place, meaning more available Oxygen with fewer breaths/less effort. Once I was thoroughly chilled (more so than I can remember having been before without the aid of some sort of massage therapy,) I was introduced to my first breath-hold and quite rapidly after that, the urge to breathe! These urge to breathe sensations, which for me start as butterflies in my upper abdomen followed by the onset of contractions (which feel like reverse hiccups,) don’t mean you are running out of Oxygen. They are in fact caused by the buildup of Carbon Dioxide in the body. The longer you are able to hold your breath, the better your tolerance to CO2 will become. The better your CO2 tolerance is, the more Oxygen is released from the Hemoglobin in the blood to the cells that need it to make energy resulting in better performance and endurance for less effort. All of this was news to me at the time but I trusted in the process and found that as I progressed my breath-hold, I was able to relax more into the feelings of discomfort and could hold my breath for longer. Maximum breath-holds cause the spleen to contract and release more red blood cells which means better aerobic capacity. This contraction of the spleen causes further natural production of EPO (Erythropoietin) to replace the red blood cells the have been released from the spleen. The outcome is the same you would get if you trained at high altitude or took synthesized EPO (which is illegal if you are competing in sports). I began to notice a brief period during the breath holds where I felt totally at peace before the urge to breathe would start to kick in. Stimulating the Parasympathetic Nervous System with calm breathing and a bit of breath-hold work can be a great source of anxiety and stress relief for some. The fastest way to cope with stress and anxiety is to focus on your breathing. By calming your breath not only are you focusing completely in the moment where it is not possible to be stressed but you are also activating the PNS which slows the heart rate, muscles relax, and blood returns to the prefrontal cortex and empathy circuits. All things that will make you feel better and more in control. I was also taught how to do recovery breathing for use at the end of a breath-hold. The body has used a lot of the oxygen in the bloodstream during the hold and it is important to let out the high levels of CO2 and exchange them for fresh O2 as efficiently and quickly as possible using the appropriate technique. The muscles we use to inhale are different from the ones we use to exhale. Both are equally important for functional breathing so we need to make sure they are both strong and flexible through exercising them. During my second freediving course, I was introduced to gentle lung stretching as a way of increasing available lung capacity and improving the flexibility of the diaphragm. More air in the lungs means more Oxygen gets into the bloodstream to be transported to the working muscles, where it is needed for the metabolic processing of energy which translates to longer breath holds and dives below the water and better aerobic capacity on solid ground too. Freediving is an excellent introduction to improving your breathing. It is a way to bring awareness to your body and breath. To learn to slow yourself down to stimulate the Parasympathetic Nervous System which has a whole host of immediate health benefits as well as improving your endurance, performance and mental focus. However, there is so much more to functional breathing that isn’t covered in freediving, like the importance of nose breathing which is impossible to do while wearing a mask or a nose clip and yet is the foundation of functional breathing due to the numerous and essential benefits it gives us that mouth breathing simply does not and as a result is extremely detrimental to our health if done unconsciously for any length of time. Learning to freedive will certainly improve your breathing and I hope it also sparks your interest to learn even more about it so you can further improve your health and wellbeing in the moment and for your future. Alchemy V330PROHelena's Short Carbon Freediving Fins Of Choice
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Drake
31/03/2021
UNITED STATES
alchemy V3

Great product. Best fins I’ve owned to date. Hopefully they are durable enough to withstand years of diving.

Verified Buyer
Ali
30/11/2020
QATAR
alchemy V3

It's worth that money i paid. I think the footpockets are not as high quality as the blades.

Verified Buyer
Coert M
27/11/2020
UNITED STATES
alchemy V3

A few years ago, I needed a pair of new blades when I lost my beloved pair of Fiberglass DiverR's to 6000ft of water. I quickly was interested in Alchemy because of their high quality engineering processes in development of these blades. I always try to give my business to a company that does things the right way and stands behind their product. I love the lightweight of these blades and also durability of them when spearfishing. Customer service is also excellent and responded with a youtube video for an issue I had. I was able to fix immediately. This is a great company that produces an exceptional product with engineering processes. I will buy my next pair from them if mine ever break, but I don't think they will.

Verified Buyer
Tomislav A.
20/04/2021
CROATIA
alchemy V3-30

I'm using V3-30 with C4 300 footpockets for two seasons and they are by far the best carbon fins I had (I had Carbontek and Mtehnic). I'm using them in summer and winter up to 25m with 4-6 kg weights and I'm around 105 kg. I bought medium stiffness. My dive are mostly with a lot of swimming (no boat) and finally I have great combination on my feet - I don't get tired after more than 6 hours in the sea. Dive ascend has never been so easy, descent is little bit harder because I think I should bought medium-hard fins. But no regrets and not looking back :)

Verified Buyer
Taihoon Lee
27/11/2020
SOUTH KOREA
alchemy V3

It's a very good fin, but the price is too high.

Verified Buyer
Robert MacKichan
30/03/2021
HONDURAS
alchemy V3 Pro

Built with great quality and care. Great for traveling and all around enjoying the ocean. Snorkeling exploring the reef and going on the line these are fun easy to travel with fins.

Verified Buyer
Tsung Han Kuo
30/11/2020
TAIWAN
alchemy V3-30

Very good.

Verified Buyer
Guillaume Froment
25/11/2020
FRANCE
alchemy S-30

Usually, i use V330 for doing spearfishing and freediving. Recently, i turned to S30. It's different but i don't regret my choice. They are more in adequation with my spearfishing style. Good handmade construction and nice packaging with the serial number for the 5 years warranty! You can go on it with closed eyes!!!

Verified Buyer
Hyunsoo Kang
27/11/2020
SOUTH KOREA
alchemy V3

Satisfied with the best. Please make a blade that is more than 10cm longer than now. It will be Alchemy's innovation.

Verified Buyer
Raul Vega
30/11/2020
PUERTO RICO
alchemy V3

Amazing !!!

Verified Buyer