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Shell Eisenberg Sets New US Freediving Record

Shell Eisenberg did it again! On Sunday April 17th, 2016 in Kamuela, Hawaii the golden west-coast girl from Santa Cruz, California set a new freediving national record for the United States. Shell’s record-setting swim of 132m in dynamic no-fins (DNF) took two minutes and :48 seconds to complete; (a mere three seconds longer than her first national title for an impressive additional seven meters in length)

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An instructor trainer for Performance Freediving, Shell’s new personal best was achieved during the Kikaha Apnea Competition, a small, local Hawaiian pool event. Less than a year ago, Shell broke what was then a very long-standing record in Cayman at the Deja Blue competition. Then Shell’s record was improved upon by Claire Paris in August of 2015. Happily this weekend Ms. Eisenberg took it back. Having a second national title under her belt is a confidence builder for the petite but mighty athlete, who generously spoke exclusively to immediately after her successful performance.

and with a white card performance comes Shell's 2nd National by Mike Hong
and with a white card performance comes Shell’s 2nd National Record…photo by Mike Hong

DB: What do you like most about DNF?

Shell Eisenberg: “Diving without fins feels very comfortable and natural. After a lot of technique training, I enjoy the feeling of moving the water with my arms and legs and no additional equipment. I especially love the way the water feels on my feet during the gliding portion of the swim.

Glide by Mike Hong
Glide time…photo by Mike Hong

DB: How does it feel now that you’ve achieved this goal?

SE: “I’m very happy to have achieved 132m! It wasn’t easy. I believe these types of records do not belong to any individual. I’m grateful for this second record and am proud to have my name on it. However, I did not do this alone and it would’ve never been possible without the endless support, encouragement, and coaching from my friends.”

a trusted coach and by mike hong
a trusted coach (Jess Ica) and concentration make for a winning performance …photo by Mike Hong

DB: And what’s next for your pursuits?

SE: “I am satisfied with this second DNF record. I look forward to working more in the ocean during the spring depth competitions. This year I’ll attend Deja Blue 7 and Caribbean Cup. heartily congratulates Shell Eisenberg on this wonderful accomplishment.

All photos © Mike Hong

Francesca Koe
Francesca Koe
An active ocean advocate, VP of U.S. Freediving, a multi-agency dive instructor, PFI Safety Supervisor and AIDA judge, Francesca also serves as the Editor-At-Large here at You can usually find Francesca diving in the kelp, hanging out at the Farallones with sharky friends, or trying to improve upon her own PB's.