Birthdate: December 4th, 1968
Resides: Vancouver, Canada
Occupation: President and Founder of Performance Freediving
PADI Master Instructor since 1988
Kirk’s life-long professional affinity with water started in his early teens as a lifeguard and swimming instructor in his home town of Prince Albert, SK. By 1984 he had become an open water scuba diver. In 1988 he finished a PADI Pro Plus program in Sidney, BC at PADI Canada College, while all the while freediving had been an off time recreation.
In the 1989 Kirk bought his first dive shop starting „The Diving Centre‟ in Saskatoon, SK after first having worked in the Cayman Islands at Parrots Landing as boat captain and instructor. In 1992 started nitrox and technical diver training. By 1993 Kirk had the 2nd technical training facility in Canada with IANTD. In 1994 Kirk sold his business and moved to Vancouver, BC where he had been asked to become one of the Directors for IANTD Canada. Declining this offer but staying in the Vancouver area to pursue work as a technical instructor and nitrox instructor trainer, Kirk also became a Canadian Yachting Association Basic Cruising Instructor.
In 1996 Kirk moved back to the Cayman Islands to start Cayman‟s first technical diving center, “Dive Tech”. During four and a half years in Cayman Kirk became a trimix instructor trainer and was exploring depths on the Cayman walls in excess of 500fsw by 1997. During this time freediving was quickly becoming is day-off passion that would soon turn professional as well.
By 1997 Kirk was head safety for the „Cayman Challenge‟ no-limits event by Pipin Ferraras by organizing the safety team and videographers to 400fsw. After this event freediving became a professional passion. From 1997 through end of 1999 Kirk has trained and coached both Tanya Streeter and Brett LeMaster to one national record and one world record each.
In January 2000 Kirk had formed Performance Freediving International and developed a professional freediving program emphasizing safety and technique for entry-level enthusiasts. In February 2000 Kirk met Mandy-Rae Cruickshank and Martin Stepanek by summer 2000 and started training them to what would eventually become sixteen world records. Along with Karoline-Del Toe of Brazil and Eric Fattah of Canada on one world record eacg he‟s trained a total of six world record holders to over twenty world records.
Kirk is now considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on the professional aspects of freediving education, instruction and safety having been invited to the board of advisors of DiveWise.org as well as the Freediver Retrieval Vest project by Dr. Terry Maas both safety initiatives for freediving. In the eleven years since inception, Kirk and PFI have trained more than 5,000 persons world wide in Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Freediver programs as well as professional programs of Safety/Supervisor, Assistant Instructor and Instructor programs
All the while forming PFI Kirk also became the founder and president of the Canadian Association of Freediving and Apnea (CAFA) as well as the founding member of the United
States Apnea Association (USAA) where he also organized and ran regional and national competitions. As captain of Team Canada for CAFA, Kirk has successfully coached and managed the women‟s team to two first place finishes and three third place finishes at the different AIDA World Championships in Spain, France, Cyprus, Hawaii, Egypt and Canada.
In August of 2004, Kirk was the primary organizer for the 4th AIDA World Freediving Championships Individuals in Vancouver, Canada. This competition was ground breaking employing for the first time, live bottom to surface cameras with underwater communications for the attending spectators. Freediving had finally become a spectator sport for more than pool events.
From 2001 through 2007 Kirk formed the Simon Fraser University Advanced Freediver Research Project in conjunction with Dr. Andrew Blaber. During its seven years it involved over 120 participants through twelve weeks of intensive training and psychophysiological testing. Along with this Kirk and PFI continue to work with many of the worlds most respected freediving researchers and physicians on other aspects of freediving safety including DCI, pulmonary barotraumas, physiology of blackout and the statistical evidence of blackout and fatalities in freediving. Kirk has worked with Dr. Peter Lindholm, Dr. Ralph Potkin, Dr. Neal Pollock and Dr. John Fitzclark to name a few. In 2006 Kirk was a guest lecturer at the UHMS conference on freediving in Orlando, FL.
From 2002 through 2005 Kirk sat on the executive board of AIDA International as Vice-President America‟s and is also an AIDA International Judge where he actively judged national and world record attempts. He was integral in designing the first Judge in Learning protocols as well as CAFA and AIDA‟s first „Safety Protocols for Competitions and Records‟.
February of 2006 Kirk and his wife, seven-time world record champion freediver Mandy-Rae Cruickshank joined the Oceanic Preservation Society for the making of the Oscar award winning movie „The Cove‟. As a principal underwater videographer and on-screen personality Kirk and Mandy were instrumental in the covert operations that helped expose the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Kirk has now started work on OPS‟ next project „The Singing Planet‟, the story of the earths 6th and current extinction phase known as Holocene and primarily affecting the earths oceans.
Notably Kirk has worked with celebrities such as Tiger Woods, Woody Harrelson and New York magician David Blaine on his 2hr LIVE ABC special „Drowned Alive‟ and the 2008 world record breath-hold of 17:04 on the Oprah Winfrey show. Kirk trained David for both of these shows in both scuba diving and the finer aspects of breath-holding / freediving. During this time he‟s developed a working friendship with film maker Bob Talbot who‟s worked on these projects with David Blaine.
Kirk‟s current projects are developing his instructor roster for PFI after having secured the first professional liability insurance for a freediving specific organization in North America. As well as continuing to champion safety in freediving through PFI, DiveWise.org and the Freediver Retrieval Vest. This May Kirk will be hosting his 8th Cayman competition known as Deja Blue II where two groups of researchers have been invited to attend. After this event he is launching the unique sport of Formula Three Freediving where “Top Gun meets Forumula One meets Freediving”. An underwater freediving head-to-head scooter race through gates on a track.
His number one passion and responsibility now is the raising of his daughter Kaila Marine Krack born Feb 23rd, 2010.