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HomeFreedivingGüldner Breaks Nitsch's Skandalopetra Record

Güldner Breaks Nitsch’s Skandalopetra Record

Andreas Güldner recently broke Herbert Nitsch‘s Skandalopetra freediving world record with a 112-meter dive in the Red Sea off the Egyptian coast.

Nitsch held the previous record at 107 meters.

Güldner, an SSI Freediving Instructor, had a dive time of 3 minutes 23 seconds. He achieved his record on June 26th at ‘Panorama Reef’ in Soma Bay, with logistics support from the SSI Freeediving Center ‘Blue Silence.’

Skandalopetra diving dates back to ancient Greece where it was used by sponge fishermen. It consists of a variable ballast dive with no fins using a flat, hydrodynamic stone weighing between 8 and 14kg. Güldner used one that weighed 11kg. According to SSI:

The discipline is comparable to the descent in variable ballast diving but no equipment such as fins or suits are allowed. The athlete, still on the boat, prepares before diving, holding the stone, then dives, remaining motionless and as vertical as possible. For the return to the surface, the diver moves his feet onto the petra and lets himself be pulled to the surface by his companion. It is therefore essential that there is synergy within the team of diver-assistant, the latter at any time should know the depth of the diver, feel when they slow down to equalize, leaving the stone when it arrives at the bottom and finally when it is the right time to sail. The diver during the descent handles the stone in different ways serving as brake, as the helm and, of course, as a ballast.




John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.