Lubomir Stefanoff | freediving and UW photography

Archive for September, 2009

Skandalopetra in Porto Koufo

by on Sep.29, 2009, under Freediving

Skandalopetra dive - TanassosIn the beginning of September Nikolas Trikilis inivited us to the Skandalopetra event in Porto Koufo. We didn’t hesitate much, just borrowed a friend’s car (thanks Boko!) and took the 6 hour drive on Thursday night. The event was the First Panhellenic Skandalopetra championship, organized by Nikolas Trikilis and the Freediving Association of Thessaloniki.
For 3 days we had the opportunity to try Skandalopetra diving and enjoy the company of some great freedivers and friends. We want to thank them for the hospitality and the great time we had (Nikolas, Dimitris and the other divers that participated)! The event was organized very professionally (it’s usual, since Nikolas is behind it) – and we all felt safe while diving despite our (the Bulgarian group) limited experience with Skandalopetra. Well, that’s the nature of this type of diving – it’s really safe and enjoyable (I won’t describe the safety features here, if you want to find out more check out the Skandalopetra group in Facebook).
Skandalopetra - preparing for the dive Skandalopetra - coming up from a diveI still need more practice in order to do decent dives with the petra. I don’t feel very comfortable with the noseclip (I think I overequalize my ears) and no wetsuit…I couldn’t concentrate well during the dive and reached only 15 meters…my right ear betrayed me several times. On Sunday I went with Vov for an early constant weight session and did easy 25 m dives without any EQ problems, but later with the Skandalopetra I’ve got the same feeling in my ear…Anyway, it was fun. Peter was doing great dives (I’ll make a short video about the whole event when I have the time). With Peter we’ll order a real petra (9-10 kgs) and will practice more :-) .

Skandalopetra - peter - Nikolas - Lubo Bulgarian group and the organizersSkandalopetra in Porto Koufo - winnersSkandalopetra - ending ceremony

I noticed that it’s the second year in  row that I do Skandalopetra diving around my birthday (after last year in Lindos). So, that’s what I wish for myself in 2010 – I want to participate in Skandlopetra games/event again with those guys :) .

P.S More Skandalopetra pics from Porto Koufo coming soon on Facebook.

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Old school Russian monofin

by on Sep.23, 2009, under Training

Today I tried my new monofin – a genuine Russian monofin for finswimming, made some 10 years ago or even more… It’s a gift from Stefan Todorov (renowned underwater video operator and former champion in underwater orienteering). I turned 25 a few days ago and that was a great surprise :)
Russian monofin - back Russian monofin - frontThe monofin was crafted from first class fiberglass material. The rubber footpockets are a bit damaged but that could be easily fixed.
This morning I tested it in the pool. The footpockes are fairly tight (maximizing efficiency) but still feel great, as if the monofin is an extension of the feet! Only I have to wear some fabric (special socks for finswimming?) to prevent blisters. The blade is a bit stiff – it’s designed for fin swimming, not dynamic apnea (supposed to be ‘long’ distance), but we’ll modify it soon.
I had not planned a training session for today, just wanted to try out the new equipment. I did an easy 50 m and felt great…the glide is longer compared to my Waterway Nemo Wing monofin. I rested for just over a minute and did another 50m…and soon I ended my 20th lap (50m) with 1:20 rest intervals inbetween, feeling really good and confident. I did not count the number of kicks…that’s on my to-do list for next week. I can clearly see the difference between open-heel footpockets (no socks necessary) and closed ones (similar to Omer Millenium). Can’t wait to try a 100+ meters dynamic with it!
Monofins pile Well, did I mention that I’ve got TWO Russian fins, not just one…The other one has a little crack right on the edge and I’ll delegate the repair works and experimentation to Volodya (spearfisherman/retired military pilot with innovative and ‘crazy’ ideas about [mono]fins design).

Enough about monofins… Tomorrow we’re heading to Porto Koufo for the Skandalopetra event…I’d better do some equalization exercises now. Stay tuned for some pics and the story behind them.

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