What is Freediving?
Freediving is the practice of deep diving and deep swimming without SCUBA and relying solely on the air in the lungs. It is also called skin diving, breath-hold diving, apnea diving, etc.
Over the years significant scientific scrutiny has revealed safe and proper techniques based on new understandings of physiology.
A properly trained freediver will avoid all specific dangers in the practice by ritualizing the correct form in preparing for, executing and recovering from a deep dive. Further there are freediving techniques for substantially increasing breath-hold durations and increasing dive times and depths.
Freediving as a Yoga
Over years of teaching freediving it has become clear that some of the best students had experience studying and practicing yoga. Freediving shares many commonalities with yoga including a focus on form, on breath and on mental clarity, on fear management. Each dive can be an expression of a yogic practice.
The Mammalian Diving Reflex
In addition to the similarities to other yogic practices there is a physical syndrome that experienced freedivers induce to more fully express their aquatic nature, the Mammalian Diving Reflex. This is a combination of peripheral vaso-constriction, a blood shunt to critical organs and a marked reduction in heartrate- bradycardia. This syndrome can be induced through providing cues to the body to help it transition into the MDR. This creates an altered state of awareness, presence of mind, good judgment and expanded consciousness which leads to the fullest expression of an aquatic nature.
Is Freediving safe?
Yes. Modern science has provided understandings about proper training, equipment and technique that make deep diving and deep swimming very safe.
The human body can adapt to every shift in physics encountered at depth. Many freeswimmers dive below 120ft regularly, which is the Open Water limit for SCUBA divers, with no adverse effects.
Proper training and adherence to technical rules make freediving a safe and pleasurable practice whether for photography, meditation, competition or use as a practical sea skill.
What equipment do I need?
Generally speaking, freediving can be accomplished with common snorkeling gear and even no fins at all. However, we suggest that by the time you take the intermediate course you acquire the basic freedivers gear kit.
You can and should contact us for advice about a proper gear kit based on your specific interests.
Freediving/Freeswimming is about swimming naturally and unemcumbered, free from the weight, sounds and restrictions of tanks and regulators. The goal of the competent freeswimmer is to develop and enhance his/her aquatic nature through equipment, technique and training.
Freeswimmers commonly use long freediving fins or monofins because they reduce the effort to swim. When it might take 30 vigorous kicks without fins or with small fins to swim to 10meters, long fins allow the same distance to be covered in 4 gentle kicks.
Additional gear includes:
Low Volume mask
All equipment serves at least one and sometimes more than one function and when combined allow the freeswimmer the best support and safety.
What kinds of classes are offered?
We offer introductory classes in freediving and deep swimming, a full series of freediving training - beginner to intermediate to advanced - supported with a manual.
We also offer courses tailored to the student's projected use of the practice. If you want to learn to freedive so you can do underwater photography, we offer a supporting module and will tailor your beginner or intermediate course to meet your photography goals. If you are interested in competitive freediving we will focus your course on the techniques and practices of competitive divers.
Additionally, we offer an adventure day boat trip to seek out unusual and unique freediving opportunities.
Photo by Ted Roe Copyright Ted Roe Everblue Freediving