Jonathan Sunnex
Freediver - NR Holder - Instructor

Jonathan Sunnex

Jonathan's affinity with water started at an early age. He swam competitively during his childhood and in later years took up surfing and surf life saving.

Jonathan grew up in New Zealand but it was whilst traveling through Australia that he discovered the sport of freediving. It was also during this time in Australia that he became a diving professional, working as both underwater photographer and PADI Scuba Instructor on North Queensland's Great Barrier Reef.

Freediving remained his true passion though and in 2011 Jonathan made a decision to commit his life to breath hold diving. Within the year he was achieving depths greater than 70 meters, less than a year after that he had broken the magical 100 m barrier in the constant weight discipline. In 2012 and 2013, in only his second and third years of freediving he finished the competitive seasons with top 5 world rankings in both free immersion and constant weight. Jonathan has represented New Zealand at the 2011 and 2013 depth World championships and in 2013 was the winner of the bronze medal for mens free immersion. He was the winner of the prestigious Triple depth and Deep Dahab competitions in 2011 and continues to compete on a regular basis.

Jonathan is a world renowned safety diver. Member of the Vertical Blue safety Team in 2012, in 2014 he returned as Chief of Safety and Event manager for the competition referred to as 'The Wimbledon of freediving' by The New York Times.  His team of expert safety divers raised the bar and brought a new level of professionalism to safety at high level freediving events. Since then he has featured prominently on the competition circuit as an organiser and chief of safety. Jonathan assumed the role of AIDA safety officer in 2017 and together with an expert panel they strive to improve the safety of freediving for all.

Jonathan has a strong background in teaching. As a coach/instructor Jonathan has had much success. So far he has helped athletes achieve five world records, more than 70 national and continental records, world number one rankings and world championship medals. He is an AIDA and PADI Instructor trainer, SSI Master instructor and EFR instructor.  

He teaches and trains in various locations worldwide including Dominica, Egypt, Europe, New Zealand and Australia.


110m Constant weight (unofficial)
105m Constant weight (official)
101m Free immersion (official)
105m Variable weight (unofficial)
65m Constant weight no fins (official)

Bronze medal Mens Free immersion World depth championships Kalamata Greece 2013
World number three Free immersion 2013
World number five Constant weight 2013
World depth number three combined depth disciplines 2013
Nominee for AIDA awards in three categories- Best male new comer, Best coach, Best Instructor

Winner Triple Depth Championship Dahab Egypt 2012
Winner Deep Dahab 2012
Winner FDD June mini-comp 2012

World number four Constant weight 2012
World number three Free immersion 2012
World depth number three combined depth disciplines 2012

New Zealand representative World depth championships 2011
Third place Static Danish Masters 2011

Event Organiser/Co-ordinator:

CMAS WR attempt Sofia Gomez, Blue Element 2017
Blue Element 2016
Steinlager "Return to the Deep" 2016, William Trubridge 102m record attempt
Vertical Blue 2016
Vertical Blue 2015
Vertical Blue 2014
​Deep Dahab 2012

Safety diving:

AIDA Safety Officer 2017- current
Chief of Safety, Event Co-ordinator, Locations Manager Suunto Vertical Blue 2014
Chief of Safety 'Big Blue' Freediving competition, La Paz, Mexico 2015
​New Zealand Depth Champs 2014
New Zealand Depth Champs 2013
Suunto Vertical Blue 2012
Freedive Dahab minicomps 2011

Coach/Instructor for five World Record performances:

2017 Sofia Gomez Uribe CMAS CWT bi-fins 84m
2017 Sofia Gomez Uribe CMAS CWT bi-fins 83m
2014 Sahika Ercumen CMAS Variable weight no-fins 91m
2014 Sahika Ercumen CMAS Free immersion 72m
2013 Jeanine Grasmeijer AIDA Free imersion 90m
Coach/Instructor for 50+ National and Continental Records


AIDA Safety Officer
AIDA Instructor Trainer
PADI Instructor Trainer(freediving)
SSI Master Instructor
PADI scuba Instructor
Emergency First Response Instructor

See Jonathan's AIDA Rankings.