Do you have any hidden talents or any special tricks you can do? Maybe it’s moving your tongue in a special way or being extremely flexible. David Helder can do something absolutely amazing. The funny thing is, he didn’t think it was anything special until a freediving veteran saw him doing it and was dumbfounded not only by the feat itself, but by the way David seemed to do it so effortlessly.
So what’s Helder's special ability? He can create mini vortexes that shoot through the water to create intricate patterns in just about any direction. That may not sound like much, but anyone who has tried freediving or even just been messing around in the water knows that it’s no easy task to control water the way he can. Seeing is believing so watch the video above to see this one of a kind “magic” show on display for yourself.
We sat down with the 40 year old Frenchman to find out a bit more about his story and found a passionate freediver who believes that it’s more than just a sport but rather, “something spiritual” that provides him with an escape from the stress of daily life where he feels that we are normally forced to show an altered version of ourselves. For him, being below the surface gives him a chance to be true to himself without having to put on any acts or trying to convince anyone that he is anything other than David.
“You can knock at my door,” says Helder , “and I will not answer because I’m not there.” More than anything, it’s the meditative qualities of freediving and the chance to be “someone else” that have this 35 year freediving veteran so excited about the next dive. It was his father, a freediver in his own right, that got young David started around age 4. It hasn’t all been easy though.
His worst failure came around age 12 when,
“I had a blackout when doing dynamic inside a pool. I [was] rescued by a friend who was acting as a buddy. At that time, I was trying to find a different path than the one taught by my dad and my breath up was a mix of hyperventilating followed by a slow belly breathing. That technique led me to the blackout. I then decided that performing a slow belly breathing prior to a dive was definitely the only right way to freedive safely!”
When asked about his biggest success, Helder responds with a smile and says,
“Staying enough time underwater to make some friends: Clown fish and groupers are very friendly!!”
David’s advice to anyone thinking about freediving or trying to improve their skills is to dive without a watch. In his opinion, that frees up your mind to relax and focus on the sensations around you. While he doesn’t have any inspirational quotes to share, Helder leaves us with his own parting words of wisdom that make his passion about freediving abundantly clear:
“…if I am freediving it ‘s to find peace beyond thoughts and words. Freediving is taking a retreat.”
Be sure to watch the video to see some stunning footage of David’s underwater vortexes and some of the marine life he encounters on his adventures. Pay special attention to the tricks he does around minute 2:40 if you want to see a really impressive display of his talents. Don’t forget to “Like,” share and comment below to let David know how much you appreciated him taking the time to be a guest on our website.
Director : James Doherty & Usman Khan