Diving into deep waters on one breath and without any breathing apparatus is referred to as ‘freediving’. Freedivers use inward control, discipline and power to descend into the ocean while holding their breath until they resurface. Freediving is both a recreational and competitive sport, with many freediving competitions being held regularly around the world.
Although both freediving and snorkeling require the use of similar equipment, the two activities are quite different. Snorkelers remain on the surface of the ocean looking down with their mask while breathing through their snorkels. Whereas, freedivers dive deep beneath the ocean’s surface holding their breath until they resurface. Freedivers only use their snorkel at the surface of the water and instead, remove this piece of equipment before they descend.
This is one of the most common misconceptions about freediving. With proper training you will learn breath-hold techniques that will likely result in you being pleasantly surprised by how long you can hold your breath.
While you don’t need to be an Olympic swimmer to take the course, it is important that you feel confident in the water. To become a Freediver you will need to be able to swim 200 meters/218 yards. This swim will be untimed and can be completed using any stroke, so you can take your time. You’ll also need to learn multiple breath-hold techniques, some of which involve swimming underwater and at depth.
To become a AIDA Freediver you will need to complete three main phases of the course:
To enrol in the PADI Freediver course you must be at least 16 years old