The phrase “save your breath” has a completely different meaning for Carlos Coste than for almost everyone else on the planet. The man known as “the Freediving King” was the first human to descend 328 feet (100 meters) on a single breath. He has set 11 other freediving world records.
Coste discovered the sport during college in his native Venezuela. “From the first moment, I loved the sensation of freedom,” he says. “It’s only you in the water, so it’s a personal challenge with yourself, focusing on your body and your abilities in the depths.”
His body hit its limits in 2006, when he was gravely injured while attempting a 600-foot dive. Coste was paralyzed on his left side and spent months recovering in rehab. “I was always thinking about how I love this sport, love to be in the ocean, and how I can recover my abilities and return to freediving,” he says.
Coste made his comeback within a year. He has since set seven more records and opened his Deepsea Freediving School on Bonaire. “I have always loved sharing my passion for freediving,” he says. “Now, I get to share it with students from all over the world.”
How does it feel to be known as “the Freediving King?” I am super proud, but it is not only about setting records. It’s the fact that you feel like a real explorer. You discover new levels of concentration, new techniques and explore depths that no one has explored before in that way.
Why did you establish your freediving school on Bonaire? It’s the perfect spot for freediving. The reef is protected in the national marine park, and the water is always pure and clean, warm and calm.
What’s the hardest freediving skill for students to master? To relax. Once students allow themselves to relax, it opens up a new world of possibilities in the water.
Carlos Coste’s best of Bonaire
Peanuts Fresh Market Cafe (Kralendijk): You can have a nice coffee and Venezuelan chocolate, maybe an arepa or fresh bread. They have lots of healthy options.
Kite City (Kralendijk): It’s a food truck on beautiful Te Amo Beach, near the airport, with fresh and tasty fish. They have great sashimi, mahimahi, tuna burgers and crab.
1000 Steps: It’s a beautiful beach and reef in the north, a classic destination here on Bonaire.