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Free diving Israel - how did it all start?

How does a story begin?

As much as I think about the point in time I can put my finger on, one that can be said, "This is where we started," I find that it is always possible to run further back, that every event and occurrence, is directly related to the occurrence before,  And we too, a kind of occurrence, a phenomenon in flow.  Like a river that never stays the same. After all, it is not possible to enter the same river twice, because the river is no longer the same river, and the person is not the same person either.  

That is, there is really no beginning and no end. So we "created" the big bang, so we could put our finger on an arbitrary point in time and we could say, "Here we go!"

So here, start… and it all started when I worked at a scuba diving club in Otilla, Honduras.

A beautiful island in the Caribbean, wild, pirate. An island where boundaries blur (and sometimes there are no boundaries).  

A playground for young and old, drug sex and rock 'n' roll in the rum version.


"There is another Israeli here who asks full questions about the course but does not really want to do,"

I was called from the office.

"Come talk to him please, he's probably not really serious…"


If I could guess where this price call will lead…


Here I met Adam, later my partner in Israeli free diving and a dear brother on the road.

A young lion, long blond hair and the look of a surfer, where he has not gone (to this day) turned the eyes of girls and boys alike…


A man wandered around the island a bit idle. He opened a restaurant with partners. An Israeli restaurant with fine food made by him. Yes, both beautiful and baker it turns out.  

To his sorrow or joy he was forced to shut it down from constraints related to partners and authorities, and he had free time to fulfill.


"I went in because I saw the sign at the entrance that says up to 21 feet in two days, does that make sense?"


I began to explain to him all the principles that guide us even today, and how we are an aquatic creature in our essence, and our potential is insane and more and more.

I will not go into details and I will continue with the story, because as we started, everything is connected to everything and there is no occurrence that stands on its own.


A person, after researching and asking all the possible questions about the course (and whoever has the right to know a person, knows that a person does not miss any detail),  Signed and started the basic course, which led to the advanced course, which led to the masters course and entry into the family of free divers who support each other and live together, freaks who make diving a central and integral part of life.


Life flowed, time passed and we set out for a short round in Central America. Between the chicken bass and the bites of the taxi drivers, the crazy volcanoes of the belt of fire and the sweet, green smoke, the idea went up… an amorphous idea, clearly illogical (for those who thought they would never live in the country again)  


"If you ever return to Israel, then open a scuba diving club together"

One of us threw into the air,  

It seems to me I was too stoned on a hammock on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala to remember which of us it was,

And in order not to provoke unnecessary arguments, I will just say that it is 100% certain he was one of us.

אדמי ואריאל מסטולים.jpg

We returned to Otila after the trip, I went back to work, Adam returned to Israel, worked as a tank diving instructor and met his (wonderful) future wife, Jordan.  

The idea remained an idea, but like any seed (of an idea) watered it began to develop. Admittedly at first in both of our heads, but also in the body it felt more and more right.


December 2016, road trip, Ariel and girlfriend Gabriel AKA -Blue chitta (and Jersey the bitch who was supposed to come for two weeks foster care, and finally returned with me to Israel)

Route: Montreal, Canada. Destination - Box del Toro, Panama. (Destination changed along the way)

The goal: to open a free diving school in the Caribbean.


This journey requires a book of its own, so I will not give spoilers here, in case I want to write about it in the future.  

But there were adventures, scuba diving in crazy places, lots of car mileage, and even work and competition in the 2017 World Diving Championships.


In October 2017 Adam and Jordan set out on an eastward journey with no return date. There they delved into yoga and pranayama studies, did teacher training and also rolled into Thailand to learn and teach free diving and lived on the island of Koh Tao for a while and flew for life.

ארי וג'רזי בטיול במרכז אמריקה
ארי תחרות_edited.jpg

Back to me and Gabriel:  

After a long time on the road, we decided to end the journey back to the starting point, Montreal .. Since we descended from the east side of the continent, we ascended from the west side, the Wild Pacific, all the way north to Montana, and from there east to New York and back to Canada.

There we got on a plane, Jersey and I, and flew back to the Holy City, which is Eilat.


We arrived with nothing. Heartbroken and pocket after 8 years of wandering.

We landed on the couch of Adam and Jordan who arrived in the country a month before us, and lived with another partner in a three-room apartment.  

And this is how we opened the school for freediving - Freedive Israel

With minimal equipment, we started teaching word of mouth.  

And when the landlord decided to renovate the shower and take out the toilet, we realized it would not be there, and moved to the mountains.

"What do you mean in the mountains?"  

"What, how do you shower?"

"How do you cook", "Ahh is that you live up there ??"

  These are just some of the questions people ask when they meet the strange Israel Free Diving team, which included 3 instructors (Jordan, Adam and I) and two dogs, descending the mountain or ascending with water and food (the worst thing is to ascend and find that you forgot something in the car, or get off in the morning) , And find that the keys are cheap).


Two years of crazy experiences, sleeping under the stars, goats hiking near the head and also living in a large commune of mountain people, we, who chose to break away from life in the city and live cheaply on the summit of a mountain. (Well, maybe a mountain is a bit big… but more than a hill)


We rented a corner at a diving club called Achla Dave, and from there after two years we moved into the amazing house we are in today.

Villa Bugs 25. The diamond in the crown of the world of free diving in Israel :) And I'm not biased.


From 3 instructors and two dogs, the team has grown organically over time. And like the flower of life, it expands, with tangent lines. And every diver, and every guide who comes out of the club brings  His special character for studying the course and we all develop together and separately (which is also together). 

אדם הייל אריאל קדמי ירדן אחרק

Our vision, to set up a platform that is beyond the course, and will be a place that will feel at home to everyone who passes through it - is coming true.  

Amazing people from all walks of life come, practice in a variety of fields,  Learn and teach, share experiences on land and indulge in this all-too-beautiful underwater world.


Today our house, which is also the club of FREEDIVE ISRAEL - free diving Israel, Eilat,  

Provides all the needs of free divers at all levels. Luxurious showers, locker rooms, Chinese and Thai style classrooms (where it all started)  It's just amazing what we'll be here for.


From basic and entry-level courses to the water world, through advanced courses, internships to instructional level and competitive divers, Hook Hoof workshops and ice baths, oxgygen adventage, yoga classes and retreats in Sinai, and soon to more places in the world (Corona, 2022 is your year to go).


And there are more surprises that are going to come, because we are constantly learning and renewing, growing and growing.


Who knows how and where a story begins, and who knows where and how it will end.  

I just know that it's a huge privilege that has fallen to me to be a part of the life journey of so many amazing people in so many places in the world, and now in the pumping stone called free diving Israel.  

All that is left is to hold on tight and let the stream of the river of life take us to wonderful places.  


"When you start walking, the road appears" - Roman

Reporter: Ariel Kedmi

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