Ren was raised in Wilmington, North Carolina. From day one, he was immersed in coastal living and was fortunate to have been raised with his toes in the marsh and estuaries of the area. Ren’s father, Frank Chapman, humanitarian, biologist, and teacher, has been the scuba instructor and director of water safety for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington since the mid 70s. Ren has always been around the ocean. He began scuba diving at the age of 6 and after a short period of inactivity during his college years he got back in the water and has never come out.
He began freedive spearfishing in June of 2007 and took PFI's Intermediate course in October 2007 in Miami. Unable to do the ocean portion of the course due to weather, he traveled to the Cayman Islands in 2008 where his love for the sport, as well as his sense of accomplishment, grew. Since taking the first freediving course in 2007 he has made a name for himself in the spearfishing community as a videographer and underground producer of spearfishing videos with Searen Productions.
Since Ren’s introduction into the sport, he has refined his skills through the PFI professional level courses where he has earned his credentials as an Intermediate Freediver Instructor. Ren is also an experienced safety diver, working for various international freediving competitions including PFI’s Deja Blue II, III, and IV in Grand Cayman and Suunto’s Vertical Blue in beautiful Dean’s Blue Hole, Long Island, Bahamas. Ren also boasts positions as a coach to his world record holding wife, Ashley, and to Team USA during the 2012 team championships in Nice, France.
Currently, Ren is teaching freediving with Ashley and undertaken his most challenging and rewarding position to date as father to Ani and Cape. Check out Ani's first freediving video here.
“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.”