Alexey Molchanov is the deepest man in the history of competitive freediving.
He achieved his first world record in 2008 in a pool discipline called Dynamic Apnea, in which he swam 250m underwater on one breath with a monofin. From there he focused on the depth discipline and began to compete in the open ocean. In 2012 he set a new world record in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, when he swam 125m beneath the surface – far deeper than scuba divers would ever dare explore – and back on a single breath while wearing a monofin.
Later that year he broke his own record with a dive to 126m in Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas, and at the 2013 AIDA World Championships, Alexey shocked the world when he broke his record yet again. This time he was in Kalamata, Greece when he dove to 128m and back under difficult conditions.
He extended that record to 129m in Baja in 2016. Overall he’s set five world records and has earned 15 combined gold, silver and bronze individual and team medals at world championship events.
A former nationally ranked swimmer, Alexey took up freediving as a teenager when his mother, the late Natalia Molchanova, fell in love with the sport. She would go on to develop a branded training regiment, which included meditative techniques that turned her into the greatest competitive freediver of all time, and transformed Russia into a freediving power. Alexey has followed in her foot steps and in addition to running the Russian Freediving Federation, his Molchanovs brand produces some of the finest freediving gear available.
An instructor, entrepreneur and elite athlete, Alexey Molchanov splits his time between his homes in Moscow and Dahab, runs regular training camps in Bali, Mexico and the United states, and competes all over the world.
He often brings his camera and drone along with him. Given what he does and where he travels, the results are often spectacular.