French freediver David Helder has his own unique superpower – he can blow massive bubble rings, whirling vortices that manage to maintain their round shape for a surprisingly long time underwater. Although he appears to perform these tricks effortlessly, anyone who has ever tried freediving knows that it’s no mean feat.
“I had always seen people blowing vertical rings, I just gave it a try and all I can tell is that it’s a vortex and the air is coming out from your mouth,” said David. “It just spins in one direction creating a vortex. At the beginning, they were not good, after a couple of weeks, they were quite okay. And then I started to make some combination, trying to make some tricks.”
“Now, I’m doing some kind of figures when two rings are connecting. And I love doing those kind of rings in the sea. Laying on the surface of the sea, I just blow one ring and I can see the fishes – they are kind of eating the ring. It’s another way of interacting with the life in the water.”
David described freediving as a sport as being ‘meditative’. “When I’m freediving, I’m someone else. I freedive because for me it’s something spiritual, more than competing or anything else.” He finds a balance between my everyday life and my work when I face situations when he dives. Diving is true, he said, he cannot cheat on himself while he’s doing it.
You really have to see this guy in action. The really cool tricks start at the 2:36 mark.
“When you are doing a Foreman’s dive, which is quite long, and when you’re not doing static, and you’re blowing rings, and they are all perfect, it’s something very Zen. When you’re very quiet, very calm during your breath-hold, and then you’re blowing rings in the same state of mind, it’s just like… wow!”