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Freediving is a series of learned techniques applied for exploring the underwater world and our own capabilities without the use of breathing equipment. With so many applications for freediving, it becomes very attractive to a wide variety of enthusiasts.
Freedivers are often passionate about one or more fields of interest which range from underwater photography and art, mermaiding, scientific research, hunting and foraging, personal development and competition, and they generally are passionate about ocean conservation. If any of this and increased water confidence sounds like fun, then freediving is for you.
What should we take into account if we want to start this activity?
Step one in learning to freedive is to attend a Level 1 course with a certified instructor. With a quick internet search, you will find that many certification agencies exist. For example, “Molchanovs” and “AIDA” (Association Internationale pour le Développement de l’Apnée) are very well known internationally, and they have excellent reputations for freediving instruction. Upon visiting one of the websites, you will be able to select certified freediving instructors based on a preferred location and language preference.
Instructors will either be affiliated with a dive school or be independent but this has no impact to the student unless you will need to rent or buy equipment.
The instructor will advise:
- whether they provide the equipment necessary to take the course
- The course costs
What do I need to practice apnea?
One of the beautiful parts of freediving is peacefully gliding through the water with minimal equipment.
You will need a mask, snorkel, basic freediving fins, and depending on the water temperature the wetsuit and a weight belt will vary. In this activity, wetsuits are even worn in warm water because the calmness and lack of movement induce shivering which uses valuable oxygen, and additionally, it is preferred to achieve the appropriate buoyancy.
I want to buy a piece of equipment, what should I do?
If planning to purchase equipment, it is best to consult your instructor so they can advise on proper fitment and the many options of specific equipment.
For many people freediving is a transformative experience and becomes a way of life. The practice becomes a way to explore the underwater world, and also the depths of your mind resulting in overall health and wellness. Historical records of freediving women called the Ama date more than 2000 years ago so it is by no means a new activity.
Freediving is available to those with generally good fitness, and accommodations can be made for those with disabilities so it is available for many to find transformation both in their body and mind.
Proper training is important as it will teach you how to unlock your potential to go deeper into the oceanic beauty while holding a single breath, and also how to be a safe diver and dive buddy which is important because we never dive alone.
Written by Chris Jackson , AIDA Freediving Instructor
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