Freediving is such a wonderful experience. I’ve always loved the wet element, and spend more time underneath the surface than above. The magical world that awaits us below surface is just breathtaking – It’s truly a whole new world.
When you freedive you do not use an oxygen tank, and you are dependent on holding your breath, and using a snorkel to release air along the way. Personally, freediving is my favorite, and that’ why I say; Ditch the tank, freediving for life.
You move more freely without the tank, and you get a lot of breathing exercise diving this way. Free diving gives you a feeling of mastery and experiences you will not forget. Let’s dive right into it, and explore the wonders of freediving.
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Before you go ahead exploring the underwater world on your own, you’ll need to go through a freedive training program. You will learn the basic techniques, what gear is needed and safety rules among other things. Once you have passed the training/course, you will receive a freediver certificate, and you can start exploring on your own.
The freedive training program/course is divided into two parts:
- Theoretical introduction – The theoretical part normally lasts 9 teaching hours + a final theoretical exam. You have to pass the exam before you start the practical part. You will learn about; Equipment training, safety, rescue, medicine and training in various knots and stitches.
- Practical introduction – Introduction to water training, lifesaving and swimming tests. The swimming tests are exercises that will be performed in the pool and sea, and you have to pass them to get your certificate.
The entire course is led by skilled instructors who constantly give you new challenges under safe conditions, and they are all certified for the training.
Three exercises you can practice yourself :
- Freediving breathing exercises – Practice holding your breath two to three times a week. The best way to practice this is to find a comfortable reclining position. Remove all thoughts that hold fear and relax throughout the body. Breathe in and hold. Once you have practiced this for a while, you can try to keep your breath under water – in a bucket, bath, pool or sea / water. Exercise every week and results will show. You should NEVER practice this alone in case of fainting due to lack of oxygen. Also, check with your doctor if your health is in good enough shape to practice this sport.
- Swim speed exercises – This is used to get as deep as possible in the shortest possible time. Also, it will help you explore the wonderful underwater world as your’r swimming skills are better. You can practice in a pool or the sea/water. Practice by swimming 25 meters under water a couple of times a week. Of course, regular swimming is also good training, but try to stay focused on underwater swimming. Try not to overdo things in the beginning. Increase gradually when you feel you are mastering 25 meters.
- Endurance – Is needed to feel confident that you can maintain both you’r swimming speed and continue to hold your breath. This will come naturally when you get better at the two processes above – Just keep practicing, keep a calm mind and relax in your body and progress will show.
To get started with your new adventures in the underwater world you’ll need some gear to start with. You don’t have to go completely overboard and buy everything in the beginning, but you need the most necessary things to get started.
- Wetsuit – There are many types of wetsuits. Some are for cold water and some for temperate water. Find the wetsuit you need in relation to where you are going to dive. In cold waters you’ll need socks and gloves in addition to the wetsuit. You should also choose a suit with a hood. You can check out some reviews online, and ask for help in the store – Find the best alternative for you.
- Mask – You need a good mask to enjoy the freediving experiences. There are an oceans of choices here as well, and you should choose the mask that meets your desires and requirements. You can even buy a snorkeling package (snorkel, mask and fin set).
- Snorkel – You will notice that there are different types of snorkels on the marked. The five most common types are; Classic snorkel, flexible snorkel, semi-dry snorkel, dry snorkel and the full-face snorkel mask. The classic snorkel is the most affordable one, and ideal for beginners.
- Snorkeling fins – The snorkeling fins makes the whole freediving experience so fun. It makes you swim faster and greatly simplifies descent and ascent. In the snorkeling fins categories you will find different types and sizes. Check product reviews and ask in the store what is the best alternative for you.
- Weight belt + weights – When you freedive you’ll most likely use a wetsuit. These suits float very easily and you need the weights to be able to dive. Without lead, you simply will not get down.
So this is the most necessary gear to start with. You can add more as your go along. I personally love to bring my pole spare for spearfishing. It’s exciting and so much fun – Plus you get to exercise even a little more.
A World of Wealth
There are many places you can free dive. I prefer to dive in the sea, as there are so clear and nice conditions, and so many incredibly beautiful things to see. When you dive into the sea, you will soon realize that you are swimming in a world of wealth. The sea has an enormous amount of resources that we can benefit from.
What feels better than catching your own food, or other treasures from the bottom of the ocean? This is a great activity to do while freediving. Bring your pole spear or your harpoon, and start the hunt. You can bring a diving net, to collect your catch – Being food or treasures.
If you get lucky you can even find pearls. Many shells contain pearls – There are saltwater pearls and freshwater pearls, so you can get lucky both in the sea or the lake/river.
Seagrass and kelp are often used for both food, medicine and even make up, and these are found in large quantities in the sea, so feel free to go get some. Sushi has become a very popular dish, so why not try this with self-caught fish and kelp?
Benefits of Freediving
Freediving is not only fun, it also can provide some great health benefits.
Let’s take a look at five of the many benefits of freediving:
Increases Oxygen Efficiency: You constantly activate the body’s mammalian dive reflex. This is a trigger to the body and it leads to the body using oxygen more efficiently.
Better Water Safety: You will get more and more confident under water as your practice your freediving skills. In freedive training programs / courses you learn about safety under water, and how to react if you lose a snorkeling fin, mask or in other rescue situations involving yourself or others. You will manage situations where panic would be the reactions before, and you will be able to spot a challenging situation before it occurs.
Improved focus: Freediving requires a great deal of concentration and focus. Every time you freedive you have some kind of goal to reach – Catch fish, find and capture shellfish, reach new depths etc. All of your goals need you to maintain focus and stay concentrated, and this will improve the more you practice.
Improved fitness: This sport requires tons of movements. You have to swim out to the diving site, setting the line, perform safety etc. Freedivers often train outside of the water as well, to gain strength – Going to the gym, yoga, hiking etc.
Stress-relief: Freedivers often meditate to learn how to relax. The freediving in itself, done properly with safety in mind, is a relaxing experience. The sounds, the visions and the floating environment makes it a wonderful and peaceful sport. If done the right way you will find it relaxing before, during and after the freedive.
Become a Freediver
Not everyone is lucky enough to live nearby the sea, lake or river, but I’m sure it will be some possibilities for the most of us to check this out. There are so many benefits to this sport and I wish everyone could try it at least once in their life.
It will require some training and a health check before you start, but it is so worth it. Always keep in mind that safety comes first, and you never go freediving alone – Always bring a diving companion.
With all it is benefits and great experiences, I can highly recommend freediving.
Start exploring the magical underwater world – Become a freediver.
I hope you found some inspiration from this article. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.