COSSIE DIVES IN: Freediver Steph Schuldt

Master freediver, 7x USA World Record holder, COSSIE lover and Captain of her own ship Sail La Vie, we dive in with Steph Schuldt to learn about her experiences since turning her back on corporate America and embracing nature and a life on the ocean.

Freediving is a far cry from your days in corporate America, tell us what inspired you to first give it a try.

I took my first freediving course because I loved snorkeling + catching lobsters with my brother-in-law, Jared. He could hold his breath three times longer than I could, and would catch three times as many lobsters :) That motivated me, I decided to take a course! I wanted to be able to hold my breath longer + dive deeper.

The ocean is your office and you must really have a connection with the sea and marine life. What has been the most astonishing + eye-opening thing you have seen?

So far, the most eye opening thing I have seen are sharks behaviour. I started studying sharks 5 years ago when I got into freediving, and sharks, by far, are the most surprising to me. They are extremely misunderstood and one of my passions is introducing people to sharks so that they can reset their minds about these beautiful animals. 

My favourite encounter is pictured above. This beautiful tiger shark swam right into me and I put my hand on her nose to move her to the side and then she just kept on swimming, completely unfazed by my presence. I think the ability to co-exist with marine wildlife is so magical and so important.

What would be your top tip for anyone looking to get into freediving?

If you are interested in exploring the underwater world without the need for the extra gear of scuba diving, my advice would be to go and take a course! Make sure you learn techniques and safety the right away so you can fall in love with the sport in the best way possible. 

What has been your most memorable / favourite dive yet + why?

My most memorable dive was when I freedove with my boyfriend in Norway. We put on 7mm wetsuits and jumped in the water as It was snowing and freedove with a pod of Orcas. It was absolutely magical + an experience I will never forget.

When it comes to swimwear, what do you look for most?

I live on my sailboat, so I live in swimwear! The most important features for me would be comfort + quality!I also want to make sure the brands are sustainable and give back to ocean efforts. These are the same exact things that make COSSIE+CO a great fit for me!

Talk to us about your business Sail La Vie!

Sail La Vie is my lifelong dream. I always dreamt about leaving corporate life, leaving the land + sailing off into the sunset with my pup. Fast forward 3 years, I am now living that dream! (with two pups + a boyfriend). Sail La Vie is the name of my sailing Catamaran! As a way to make ends meet, I invite groups of people onboard for a 'live aboard adventure' where I teach them to free dive, spearfish and then dive with sharks to overcome fear. It is so rewarding and fulfilling to be able to accomplish this life and then have the opportunity to share It with others!

What are your travel essentials, what can you not be without and why?

I dive almost every single day, and there are a number of things I absolutely could not live without! Swimwear is probably my most used and most important. I wear swimwear the same way other people get dressed in the morning. It’s the first thing I put on and the last thing I take off! My other essentials are my mask, snorkel, fins, weight belt, dive knife, gloves and pole spear. If I have those items, I am set for a great day!

If you had to choose one of our COSSIEs to be your favourite, which one would it be and why?

My COSSIE girl would be The ASHLEY. It’s elegant, functional, comfortable + sexy, all in one! It’s the perfect suit for the active water woman, highly recommend.

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