Interview with Freediving Instructor Muhammad Samsul Rois


We caught up with one of Indonesia’s most passionate freediving instructors and freediving photographers, Samsul Rois. Samsul lives in Jakarta, where he helps train new freedivers at the Freediving Society freediving school which was started by Indonesian record holder, Nikita Fima.

Could you please introduce yourself to our readers? (The same way you introduce yourself to new students)

Hello, my name is Samsul Rois. I’m one of the freediving instructors in Indonesia. I am also an aircraft technician.

When, where and why did you start freediving? What inspired you to get started?

I started freediving in 2016, but I took my first course in 2018 in Bali. I started freediving because I was interested in underwater photography and I wanted to take good underwater photos.

What is the best photo you feel you have taken while freediving? Can you tell us about the photo please?

This is one of my favorite photos that I took. The triggerfish had some lunch at the USAT Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali. I took this photo very close to the fish, just 30cm from it because I was using a fish eye lens. It was very challenging and fun. I moved very slowly to make sure I did not disturb it and then when I got closer I shot it and boom hehehe.

Trigger Fish at USAT Liberty Wreck, Tulamben
Trigger Fish at USAT Liberty Wreck, Tulamben - Photo by M Samsul Rois

What is your favourite freediving location and why?

My favorite freediving location is Labuan Bajo, because there are lots of healthy corals, mantas, turtles and maybe you can meet dugongs sometimes. Bali is also one my favourite places to freedive. There is a wreck, schooling fish and much more!

What has been your most memorable dive so far? 

Whenever I achieve a PB during my training sessions. It’s unforgettable.

M Samsul Rois

What is your favourite marine animal and have you freedived with one yet?

My favorite marine animal is the humpback whale. In the future maybe I can freedive with them. Now I like to freedive with a lot of schooling fish.

Why did you become a freediving instructor?

I liked freediving very much and I liked sharing my passion with others. One day I got a chance to become a freediving instructor and I took it! Also when I teach I can take underwater photos too… hehe.

Where do you teach your courses?

I teach in Jakarta, Indonesia.

How would you describe your local freediving community?

In Jakarta there is a big freediving community and FREEDIVING SOCIETY is part of this community. I teach for FREEDIVING SOCIETY along with Nikita Fima. We always have a lot scheduled and we do a lot of teaching. Sometimes on the weekends we have 30 students in just one day.

What gives you the greatest sense of achievement or satisfaction when teaching freediving?

Making a student happy gives me great satisfaction. I really like teaching students that are for the first time getting into the water and they panic. Then they become good freedivers.

If you had to convince a friend to try freediving, what would you tell them?

I will tell them that the goals of freediving can make their lives easier.

Other than teaching freediving, do you have any freediving related projects, trips or activities you would like to share with us?

Yes we have a lot of trips planned in the future. We will go to Coron Palawan in the Philippines and then we will go on a sailing live aboard to Labuan Bajo.

Indonesia has over 17,000 islands. Are there any islands you haven’t visited yet, but really want to go explore for freediving?

In indonesia there are a lot of beautiful islands. I really want to go to Raja Ampat, near Banda, Wakatobi. I hope I can go there.

Thank you Samsul!

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