No-limits freediving is the most spectacular form of freediving and attracts the most press coverage due to the extreme depths and risks involved. In this discipline the freediver descends feet first on a weighted sled which runs along a rope. The sled incorporates a scuba air cylinder and a large air bag. On reaching the target depth the freediver inflates the air bag with air from the cylinder, which then rushes to the surface, taking the freediver with it. Ascent speeds can be as high as 3-4m/s and can increase the possibility of the freediver suffering from decompression illness, otherwise know as the ‘bends’. To reduce the risk of such problems the freediver will usually let the air bag go at around 20-30m and complete the remainder of the ascent slowly by finning or pulling the rope. No-limits is demanding in terms of mental control and equalisation but less so in terms of breath-holding ability because no-limits freedivers are mostly static during the dive, which usually last around 3 minutes.
In short: going down on a sled and being lifted back up by an airbag
|Herbert Nitsch (Austria)
|Tanya Streeter (USA)