Freediving Training in Kalamata, Greece

World Championships Nice

Welcome to the not-so-secret freediving training diary of David Mellor

Following his recent  victory at the BFA (British Freediving Association) National Depth Championship in Chepstow, David enjoyed 10 days of freediving training in Kalamata, Greece. We caught up with him to find out how his training went.

David’s Freediving Training in Kalamata

I have just finished 10 days freediving training in Kalamata Greece. I trained there as it’s similar conditions to Nice where I will be competing in the World Championships.

Previously I had been doing some cold water training in Vobster and Chepstow so Kalamata was a lovely change. The conditions there are pretty much perfect.

Stavros and Nicholas along with their interns have a fabulous set up, you have safety on every dive and on the main line you have a counter balance system along with Nicholas with his scooter. I rented a room from Stavros 200mtrs from the centre so everything was super easy.

freediving in KalamataFreediving Training in Kalamata – Training Routine and Focus

My alarm would be set at 7am every morning and I would start my pre-dive routine. I start with back and shoulder stretches and then some diaphragm stretches and then finish with equalisation exercises. Breakfast would be 1 banana and a fruit juice and then to the centre for 9am. It’s a 10 min boat ride out to the mark and 9 times out of 10 the water is super flat, the wind usually gets up about 11.30 but we are usually finished by then.

I had seen some bottom camera footage of myself and thought I looked a little rushed getting the tag and decided that I would do some deep hangs so I would feel more comfortable at depth. That was my plan for the first few days and it went well, I did some nice 50 m dives and then counted to 10 very slowly at the bottom, it felt nice and I even did a 53 m hang and stayed around a little longer!

Happy with that progress I moved on to my old favourite, equalisation.

Luckily for me one of the other divers was a Frenchman called Max Gardien, he’s a bit of an equalisation guru, he can hands-free with a mask to 90 m, so I did his two day course.

Max has superb knowledge and taught me many tricks and drills to help, not an instant fix but really good sound techniques which I am currently trying. I would definitely recommend Max to all levels of divers, it’s clear he has studied equalisation for many years.

My next few days in the water were spent trying out some of the new things I’d learnt.

Before I started chasing depth I wanted to see how much air I could have in my cheeks at 50 m, so I spent a couple of sessions doing this.

A couple of the dives felt great, I arrived at the plate with plenty of air, enough I was thinking to get me way past 60 m. It’s still work in progress at the moment as I also had a couple of failed attempts.

While freediving training in Kalamata I had been given the news that Mike Board had decided not to take part in the world championships, for those of you who haven’t heard why I would say read his blog, it’s an incredible story and thank goodness it has a happy ending.

Mike is an inspiration to me, a person I look up to and he is so helpful with any questions I have, he is based on Gili T and it’s one of my favourite places to train. His absence means I am now doing a CNF dive, so I thought it would be a good idea to try some no fins dives before leaving.

I only did a couple of sessions and was pleased to achieve a 44 m dive – a new CNF PB for me! I’mm also pleased as I think there is still more left in the tank. I still have a lot more work to do and progress at the moment is slow but I am still in good spirits.

I have now moved to Villefranche  in readiness for the world championships, it’s getting very exciting now.!!

Missed David’s last blog? Catch up with everything, here:

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Competitions Countdown!

13th - 20th October
Infinity Depth Games Cyprus



Mini Comp – Dahab – 52m BiFins
Dahab Championships – 2nd Place!
BFA Depth Championships – 1st Place!


2nd Place: Double Dip: 48  with mts fim, 36mts cnf and 46mtrs cwt in Sept
3rd Place: Nationals: 124mtrs dyn, 100mtrs dnf and 5.19 static.
3rd Place: Bristol Blue (Team Event)  135mtrs dyn and 5.48 static
Vostok cup: 50mtrs cwt, 50mtrs fim and 41mtrs cnf in Oct
Redccup: 60mtrs fim and 57mtrs cwt

Personal Bests and Achievements


134m DYNB
*New PB!! 9th Feb ’19*

118m DNF
*New PB!! 17th Feb ’19*

44m CNF
*New PB!! July ’19*


Male UK Freediving Champion 2018

100 DNF
5.48 STA
60m FIM
57m CWT
41m CNF



UK Nationals –  Bristol – 9th – 10th March
Mini Comp -Dahab – 5th April
Dahab Championships – Dahab – 25th – 29th April
Philippines Diving Champs – Panglao – 18th – 19th May
Double Dip 2019 – Chepstow – 18th July 2019
World Championships – Nice – Sept
Infinity Depth Games – Cyprus – 13th – 20th Oct

More To Be Announced!


UK Nationals – March 2018
Double Dip –  Chepstow – Sept 2018
Vostok Cup –  Kalamata – Oct 2018
RedCcup  – Egypt –  Oct 2018
Bristol Blue – Bristol – Oct 2018

Video Library


January 2019

February 2019

March 2019

April 2019

Abbreviations and Meanings

DYN – Dynamic

DNF – Dynamic No Fins

DYNB – Dynamic Bi-Fins

CWT – Constant Weight

CNF – Constant Weight No Fins

FIM – Free Immersion

STA – Static

CWTB – Constant Weight Bi-Fins

FRC – Functional Residual Capacity


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