Diving Deep with Johanna Nordblad

Posted by katherine woosley on

Diving Deep With Johanna Nordblad

Womens Beachcomber Espadrille in Orange


 Sea Star Beachwear is thrilled to announce its partnership with the record-breaking Finnish free diver Johanna Nordblad! This year, she had planned on attempting to break the men’s ice free diving world record (understandably, those plans had to be put on hold). With Johanna's newfound free time, we were able to work with her on a photoshoot in Heinola, Findland, where she wore a selection of our footwear in Lake Sonnanen. Here, she tells us about everything from free diving’s thrills to its uniquely meditative qualities.


10 Questions with Johanna


1. What was it like free diving for the first time? 

I fell in love with free diving the first time I tried it. The underwater world felt amazing without scuba gear. It feels like playing in the water. I love it.

 2. In 2015, you completed a 50m ice dive and ended up breaking the world record for a breath held swim under the ice without a suit or fins. What was it like breaking that incredible record? 

It always feels nice after a good dive. That day was perfect and pretty. When I looked at the ice holes, one in front of me and one far away, it looked like it's a long way to dive in that cold water. The water was only 2 degrees Celsius, but the dive felt good and easy on that day, so I was happy.

3. What is the biggest lesson free diving has taught you?

It’s taught me to listen to myself and my body. Also, it’s taught me to understand how amazing the human body really is. It can adapt to so many things you wouldn't even think are possible.


Womens Seafarer Slingback in Black


4. Where is your all-time favorite spot to free dive and where do you want to dive next?

My favorite spot has to be Lake Sonnanen by our winter cabin. It's beautiful, clear, and familiar to me. All our shoots and films have been done there. 

It's starting to get cold in Finland, so I'm waiting for our lake to get colder and dive there. Still, I would just love to hop in some warm tropical sea. Due to the Coronavirus, my trip to Croatia with my sister was canceled. So hopefully, next spring, I’ll get to do something like that.

5. Do you have any pre-dive rituals?

If it’s a more serious dive, I plan them super carefully and have some quiet time before too. When everything is planned perfectly, I know what will happen so I can enjoy my dives. Competition dives and fun dives are completely different things; But, I have to be well prepared and feel comfortable for both. Otherwise, it might not be the right time to dive.


 Womens Beachcomber Espadrille in Platinum


6. What's the most common misconception people have about diving? 

They might think free diving is an extreme sport, but for me, it's so well-planned that it doesn't feel like an extreme sport.

7. What would you recommend to divers who struggle with breathing techniques in the water?

Any kind of meditation and practicing stillness is good. It's also good to stop and think about how the cold water and holding your breath feels. It’s most important to relax in the water.


 Womens Beachcomber Espadrille in Orange


8. Are there any exciting projects you’re working on that we should look out for? 

The plan for this coming winter is to break my previous record ice dive in order to beat the standing men's ice free diving record. I also plan continue the filming of a documentary about my sister and me. Both of these plans stopped in March because of Coronavirus. Let's see what happens this year.

9. As of right now, the men’s ice free diving world record currently stands at 76.2m by Stig Severinsen. What is your plan to break his record? Is there anything, in particular, driving you to beat the standing male free diving record? 

I aim to swim horizontally beneath the ice for 81m. Something that drives me to break this record is that I always think girls can do what guys can do. At least they can try and not give up instead of not trying at all. 

10. What was it like diving in our water-friendly espadrilles? Did you have a favorite pair?

I like Sea Stars a lot!! They are perfect summer shoes, and my favorite pair is the platinum beachcomber espadrilles. I have a boat and spend a lot of time in wet conditions, so they are perfect. We spend time by the sea and our cabin, like last weekend, we were shooting for 6 hours. With being in and out of the water so much, the shoes are perfect for things like that. If we get to go to our bikini-holiday somewhere warm, I’d definitely pack the shoes to go with me- plus they look really nice!


Shop Johanna's Favorite from the Shoot


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