Rudi Castineyra was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, on June 26th, 1969. He started swimming and diving by age 4, scuba diving by 7 and by the time he was a teenager, he was a very experienced diver with thousands of dives logged. Enamored with the underwater world, he started taking underwater photos at age 14, a perfect marriage of his two passions, diving and creating images. During his teen years, he became heavily involved in competitive freediving, designing a proprietary system specifically tailored for that sport. In general, he became an avid sportsman, practicing many different sports, and excelling at judo and kayaking.
By age 20, Rudi immigrated to the USA, where he created an underwater video production company called Ideas in Blue, and managed several dive shops through which he certified thousands of new divers for agencies like NAUI, PADI, CMAS, YMCA and TDI. With Ideas in Blue, he traveled around the world, capturing the beauty of the underwater realm for programs that have aired on Discovery Channel and National Geographic. In 1995, he focused his attention on freediving once again, worried about the lack of safety standards that had become prevalent in the sport. He co-founded the certification agency F.R.E.E. (Freediving Regulations & Education Entity) through which hundreds of freedivers have been certified around the world and many records been verified. As a freediving trainer, Rudi has guided 4 different athletes to a combined 22 world records, the most recent of whom, Yasemin Dalkilic, also became his wife in 2003.
Nowadays, Rudi dedicates his time to video and film projects of all kinds for Ideas in Blue, which has expanded to much more than an underwater production company, producing TV commercials, documentaries and feature films. He still conducts freediving training, together with Yasemin through www.LearnFreediving.com. Rudi is also an in demand personal trainer who has helped many clients around the world, from regular people, to athletes, to moviestars achieve their fitness goals. Rudi and Yasemin also dedicate a lot of their efforts to the Yasemin Dalkilic Foundation, helping raise funds and awareness to fight cancer through a healthy lifestyle, Yasemin herself being a survivor of the disease. Rudi can be reached at [email protected]