What is Freediving?

Freediving, also known as apnea diving, encompasses various forms of underwater activity performed while holding one's breath. There are different disciplines:

  • STA, Static Apnea in the pool
  • DYN, Dynamic Apnea in the pool with a monofin
  • DYNB, Dynamic Apnea in the pool with bi-fins
  • CWT, Depth diving in open water with a monofin or bi-fins
  • FIM, Free immersion diving along a rope without fins
  • CNF, No-fins depth diving
  • VWT, Variable weight diving with fins
  • NLT, No-limits diving with a sled and lift bag
  • Scandalopetra, diving with a weight along a rope and being pulled up
  • So, what is freediving: A very versatile sport with many possibilities!

What are the differences between Freediving, Free Diving, and Breath-Hold Diving?

Diving while holding one's breath is also called freediving, free diving, or breath-hold diving. These terms all refer to the same sport.

Freediving: A Sport for Everyone

Most people know about freediving from the film "The Big Blue", Netflix documentaries, the records, or the tragic accidents. In recent years, freediving has developed into a sport that any healthy man, any healthy woman, and even teenagers can safely practice. Freediving offers a lot: some come to freediving through yoga and meditation seeking relaxation and mindfulness, often freedivers are former swimmers who love silently gliding underwater in the pool. Others seek peace and relaxation after a stressful day at work. What probably connects all freedivers is their love for water; and there is no more intense way to experience the element of water than through freediving!

Freediving for SCUBA Divers

Many freedivers, including myself, came to freediving through SCUBA diving and enjoy gliding into the depths with minimal equipment and experiencing weightlessness. Freediving is also beneficial for SCUBA divers to expand their experiences and deepen their knowledge of breathing, breath triggers, relaxation, and the diving reflex. Moreover, SCUBA divers can develop a higher level of calm and confidence in practicing their sport through the experience of freediving. What is freediving? An exciting addition to SCUBA diving!

How can you learn Freediving?

A Basic Freediver Course, which teaches theoretical knowledge through self-study and classroom lessons and includes practical exercises in the pool, lasts one day. A Freediver Course, which also involves diving in open water, lasts two days. After two days of training, you will be able to hold your breath for 2-3 minutes or more, swim 30-50m in the pool (1-2 lengths in a 25m pool), and dive 8-16m deep in a lake, vertically along a line. What is freediving? A sport that allows for easy entry but offers unlimited possibilities!

How can I learn Freediving?

Through eLearning, you gain the theoretical knowledge at home, which takes about 3-4 hours. On the morning of the course day, the theory is reviewed and supplemented with breathing exercises. In the afternoon, you learn and practice the skills for freediving in the pool, in an indoor pool or in an outdoor pool in the summer. Training for freediving in open water takes an additional day. With a bit of preparation at home, you can learn freediving over a weekend and get certified as a freediver.

How much does a Freediving course cost?

A PADI Basic Freediver Course costs 275 CHF at freedive-frauenfeld, a PADI Freediver Course costs 400 CHF. At freedive-frauenfeld, the course fee includes all costs for eLearning, equipment, pool entry, and certification. Prices and services vary by provider.

How much does Freediving equipment cost?

For about 700-800 CHF, you can buy good equipment with an Open-Cell neoprene suit for freediving, with which you can dive all year round in the pool and open water.

What does Freediving cost?

Besides the costs for training and equipment, there are no further expenses. If you train in a public swimming pool, you pay the entry fee and possibly the lane rental. There are no costs for training in open water, except for the travel.

Is Freediving dangerous?

Freediving is no more dangerous than other outdoor recreational activities. Incidents usually occur in competitions, during record attempts, or when safety rules are disregarded. The most important rules in freediving are: Never dive alone and always dive within your limits!

If a freediver suffers from lack of oxygen and loses consciousness (known as a blackout), the safety diver can defuse the situation and the diver will quickly regain consciousness. However, if no trained freediver is present, the situation can be fatal.

Since 2016, I have been a freediver and have done about 800 diving sessions in the pool, lake, and sea. I have never had a blackout, nor witnessed one in another diver. Blackouts are extremely rare among recreational freedivers who practice this sport for pleasure and relaxation.

Freediving briefly explained

I hope this article has answered your most burning questions about freediving. You can find more information in the article Frequently Asked Questions about Freediving. If you have any further questions, please call me or send me a message on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. You can find my contact details here: Contact Andreas Horvath