Stig Åvall Severinsen

is a four-time World Champion freediver and holder of two Guinness World Records

Hosted AMAs

Highest Rated Comments

StigSeverinsen2852 karma

Ha my girlfriend loves that I can stay a long time under water under in the spa :-)

StigSeverinsen1826 karma

Yes...when I was young and stupid I did this. I also used to tell my classmates that I was "watching television" as I was laying on the bottom. However, NEVER do this in your local swimming pool because your lifeguard might not save you, and it is not his responsibility.

I come from a professional background of swimming, and have lost several friends from mistakes holding their breath alone. NEVER do any of this. A big mission of mine is to educate people around the world on these specific safety issues.

I have a book (Breatheology), where I talk a lot about safety, and first aid.

StigSeverinsen1730 karma

Good question!

Simple answer...

Hold your breath for 30 minutes. It is a sure cure, but I wouldn't recommend it. </s>

StigSeverinsen1644 karma

Well actually training for another world record in Hawaii I got into serious trouble because there was so much algae on the rope making it slippery (was doing a deep dive pulling with my hands down and up). About 130 feet below, I felt like my mind and body started to waver, and at that moment a school of dolphins swam right by me. This woke me up, and I swear I have never experienced anything like this in my life before - just as if the dolphins understood that I was in trouble. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my entire life.

StigSeverinsen1474 karma

Not sure what you mean by this, but there's a driver in England who has a helmet on all the time, so of course he cannot breathe.

StigSeverinsen1083 karma

Actually no...I am from Denmark, but the responsibility of lifeguards is the same all around the world. I am also a lifeguard by education, and I can tell you that I know several sad stories where people have drowned even though lifeguards were on duty. This is because people put weights and go to the deep end of the pool, or cannot be seen because either light or reflection on the surface. This is why I always tell people to ONLY do freediving with professional assistants. It is not something to play around with, and you should never put that responsibility on a lifeguard. He is there to guard swimmers, not people doing silly things that are often not allowed in a swimming pool. Thank you for raising this important question. I am very concerned with safety, as I have seen and heard of too many young lives being lost. This is unbearably sad, and unnecessary.

StigSeverinsen1074 karma

Might work!?

StigSeverinsen888 karma

The secret is not so much what you think but how you think.

Your mind has to slow down with your heartbeat so that you conserve the minimum amount of oxygen.

I use many different techniques (visualization/imagry) ranging from childhood memories to imprinted images like dolphins and sharks.

Many times you get into what I like to call "Meditation under water" because you are in a meditative state where your brain works differently (alpha wave frequency).

The most important thing is that I have already done the dive 100's of times in my mind before I actually do the dive. This is KEY.

StigSeverinsen803 karma

Well....nearly 40 years of training (I'm 39 now) - I have done these records before and was actually the first to pass the magic barrier of 20 minutes (in 2010 I did a Guinness World Record of 20 minutes 10 sec in a shark tank in Denmark) - I like to work in "concepts" so did 20'10 min like the year (2010) - When I train for a big record like this I start with a lot of cardio, then sprint/CO2 resistance, then flexibility (especially diaphragm and chest/shoulders)...because the CO2 build up like crazy and your diaphragm starts to make strong is a big "trick/mind game" to not start breathing then.....I focus a lot on visualization and get my subconscious mind to accept that I CAN actually do these I project my dreams/goals into the future...till they come true;)

StigSeverinsen773 karma

I have drowned a few times (in freediving terms "blackout" or "shallow water blackout" but I have always had a great safety team around to bring me back).

I have never inhaled water. That happens many minutes after you really die. This is actually a big misconception. Don't believe Baywatch, and all of the water coming out of the mouth when they drag a drowning victim up on the beach. Most drownings are DRY (No water in lungs).