What does the future hold for a professional freediver?

Thibault has been taking part in freediving competitions since 2014. He has witnessed a big change in the sport over the past years and will shed some light on what it is like to be a professional freediving athlete.

Freediving is a young sport and there are not any professional Freedivers that live purely out of their career as athletes. I witnessed a change in the past 3 years and a new generation of Freedivers that are dedicated to have a freediving career is blooming. Athletes such as Alessia Zechini, Alenka Artnik or Arnaud Jerald are living out of sponsoring at the moment. But what is in store for them in the future ?

So far most freediving top athletes were of one of these two categories:

  • Freediving instructor/ dive center owner/ competition organizer: such as William Trubridge, Mike Board, Adam Stern, Carlos Coste, myself etc…
  • Freedivers with another job on the side: such as Jennifer Wendland, Alexey Molchanov (Who is also teaching but manages a freediving agency and an equipment brand).

This has to do with the youth of the sport. In the past, it was hardly possible, even for the best athletes to live just out of competing. Money prizes are very rare on freediving competitions and sponsors are just starting to emerge as the sport is getting more exposure.

Thibault at Vertical Blue 2021. VB is one of the biggest and most prestigious freediving competitions in the world. It is held in Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island, Bahamas.