The Best Freediving Instructors Translates To The Best instruction
Ashley Futral Chapman
Ashley Futral Chapman is considered one of the Best Freediving Instructors in the world. North Carolina native, Ashley is undoubtedly leaving her mark on the world of competitive freediving. She took interest in the sport of freediving in 2008 as a means of spearfishing the North Carolina waters with her husband, Ren. Years of competitive experience have culminated in 3 world records and 17 national records.
Of her last world record she said,“ I knew I had the dive in me. I executed the dive twice before in practice with ease. I just needed to get beyond the pressure that comes with announcing a world record and it being the first day of the competition. My greatest strength in training has been my husband Ren who is my safety, my coach, my life partner — he takes care of everything else so I can simply just perform the dives I need to do.
Since Ashley’s last world record in 2012 she has affectionately dubbed herself the “come back kid”. After giving birth to their daughter, Ani, in 2013 she managed to accumulate four more national records. The Chapman’s son, Cape, was born in 2017 making 2018 another opportunity to get back in shape, be patient and focus on family and setting goals for the 2019 comp season. Nothing is more exciting to Ashley than having her entire family out on the lines with her. Chapman says, “After child birth it feels good to focus on relaxing and being grateful for my dives and my beautiful family. I love the opportunity to face my fellow divers at a physical disadvantage but with more psychological authority. My mental state improved from the trials of motherhood.”
Ren was raised in Wilmington, NC and alongside Ashley has taught freediving since 2009. From day one he was immersed in coastal living and was fortunate enough to have been raised with his toes in the marsh and estuaries of the area. He began freedive spearfishing in 2007 and has since made a name for himself in the spearfishing community as a spearfishing instructor, spearing guide, videographer and underground producer of spearfishing videos with Searen Productions.
Ren is also an experienced safety diver for various international freediving competitions including PFI’s Deja Blue. He has acted as Chief of Safety for Suunto’s Vertical Blue, Caribbean Cup, The Big Blue, Deepsea Challenge and even AIDA Individual World Championships. Ren also boasts the position as coach to his world record holding wife. In 2014 and again in 2017 Ren assumed his most challenging and rewarding position to date as father to daughter, Ani and son, Cape. Check out Ani’s first freediving video here: http://vimeo.com/98591873
“Freedive instruction has to be the most rewarding thing that I have ever done. When folks come into these courses and completely blow the doors off of their expectations, it is just amazing to see their excitement and it makes me feel like a million bucks because I helped get them there. Not only that, the skills which they have learned could very well save their life or the life of other’s. That’s what it’s all about.”