We get more questions every year about freediving, here at Rich Coast Diving. That’s in line with the trend of freediving becoming more popular. Films such as The Big Blue help the awareness about this beautiful way of diving. As we get many questions about the disciplines of free diving, here’s a first introduction for you:
What is free diving?
Freediving is a form of underwater diving. The ability of the diver to hold its breath is a crucial element.Some traditional fishing has been using free dive techniques since before free diving became so well known. There are several competitions categories in free diving. The term ‘freediving’ is often associated with competitive breath-hold diving or competitive apnea.Despite it being perceived as recent, Jacques Cousteau described it in one of his earlier films already.
What is common, and different, between SCUBA Diving and Freediving
The biggest difference between free diving and scuba diving is of course the tanks with air (or enriched air) we take when Scuba diving. Both types of diving require the use of a mask, fins and a weight belt.
What are the disciplines in Freediving?
Time: The diver is timed to see how long he/she can breath under water. It is the only discipline in Freediving that measures the time a diver can stay under water. Static apnea is a challenge in itself, but also often used by free divers to practice breathing techniques for other disciplines.
Dynamic Freediving (with fins)
Distance:In dynamic freediving, the diver swims in a horizontal direction and attempts to maximize swimming distance on a single breath hold. This happens most often in a pool.
Dynamic Freediving (without fins)
It is very much the same with fins, but without he use of fins or alike.
Free immersion is a discipline that challenges divers to dive as deep as they can. The diver uses a rope to get himself as deep as they can. To ascent, they use fins or a propulsion device. It is amongst the most popular disciplines.
Constant Weight with Fins
Freediving for Depth: The diver will propel himself as deep as possible. He uses standard fins, or a monofin (think: mermaid). There’s a rope to guide the dive, but the diver can’t touch it unless he wants to stop descending or start ascending. Spear fishermen use this technique as well.
Constant Weight without Fins
Freediving for Depth: For many freedivers, this is the pure form of the sport. Muscles and swimming technique are all that’s used to descend. The fact that the diver swims, makes him use oxygen faster. So the balance between propulsion, buoyancy and equalization are key.
The diver uses a gliding device, that takes him fast into the deep. With this technique, the diver doesn’t use as much oxygen to descent. As one could go to fast or to deep, it’s considered a risky form in the freedive disciplines.
In this discipline, the diver uses a device to take him down fast, and things like a balloon to come back up. No-limits freediving is the most risky of all freediving disciplines: divers descend to great depths, and are dependent on the equipment to return to the surface. Seen the risks, it’s not practiced in competition.
So as you can see, in freediving, one can go for time, depth or distance. Working with a reputable diving instructor will allow you to discover the technique that works best for you.
What courses are available
At Rich Coast Diving, we are following the PADI Curriculum. The PADI Freediver course is an excellent start to learn the breathing techniques of free diving. Keep an eye on our Facebook page or contact us for the schedule, firstname.lastname@example.org