Coolibar Athlete Ashleigh Baird: Freediver

Mar 15, 2013 No Comments by

Born and raised in central Florida, I grew up spending weekends playing on beaches, exploring fresh water springs and sailing around the Florida Keys - all the while spending countless hours studying the natural world.  The underwater realm was my first love and these early experiences helped form a passion for exploration and desire to make a positive impact on the environment. This ultimately lead to my choice to become both a Freediver and an Architect.  Freediving is a form of underwater diving that does not involve the use of scuba gear or other external breathing devices, but rather relies on a diver’s ability to hold his or her breath until resurfacing.

While attending the University of South Florida’s School of Architecture and Community Design, I registered for my first freediving course and have since competed in both local and international competitions.  In addition to recreational freediving, I recently finished the Freediver Instructor certification through Performance Freediving International.

Freediving has opened many doors, providing opportunities to work with major companies like GoPro and SeaDoo, as well as making appearances in Red Bulletin Magazine and ABC’s Nightline.  Encouraged by these opportunities, I am currently exploring the potential impact that freediving in the media can have on environmental conservation and protection.  Believing that by adding the freediver as an element to underwater photography/cinematography, a very positive human presence can be introduced, forming a much deeper and more dynamic relationship between the viewer and media content. 

I am currently training for this year’s upcoming international competition in May. My goals are to reach a depth of 60 meters on one breath, and break the U.S women’s national static apnea record of 6:35.

After going through bottle after bottle of sunscreen during the competition in Grand Cayman, I realized very few products worked as well as my fair skin needed them to. I want to help spread safe sun practices to my fellow athletes as well as improve my own health and safety while training and competing in these events. More to come soon.

Ashleigh Baird

, Coolibar Athletes
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