Freediving or apnea is an age old technique where dives are made on one breath of air. With proper training a free diver can go to considerable depth in a safe and relaxed manner. The true appeal of freediving is in the silence and calm it brings to people’s hectic lives.
Freediving or breath hold diving differs to snorkelling by adding short dives underwater. Freedivers use advanced breathing techniques and diving skills to increase time and depth underwater. Whilst training freedivers learn to conserve oxygen whilst breathholding whilst practicing the different freediving disciplines:
Static apnea: breath hold without moving underwater
Dynamic apnea: breath hold where the diver travels horizontally with or without fins
Free immersion: breath hold without use of propulsion equipment, but by pulling a rope during ascent/ decent.
Constant weight free dives: freediver descends and ascends using their fins and/or with the use of their arms without pulling on the rope.
As well as an ideal way to relax, freediving is an international competitive sport. Professional freedivers/ breath hold divers can exploit the bodies diving adaptations to go to depths of over 200m on a single breath. Diving reflexes can help conserve oxygen by restricting bloodflow to extremities and conserving it for vital organs.
To enroll in a PADI Freediver course you must be at least 15 years old. You need adequate swimming skills and need to be in good physical health. No prior experience with snorkeling, skin diving or freediving is required.