You check your Instagram and Facebook feed and you see a lot of people posting photos and videos gracefully diving underwater. Of course, you’d get enticed and amazed at the same time. Then, you start telling and asking yourself: “I want that, too! But how do I start Freediving?” Say no more as here are the things that you may want to know if you’d like to start your Freediving journey soon!
What is Freediving?
Freediving is a competitive sport and a recreational underwater activity that involves breath holding. The divers do not rely on any breathing apparatus. They leave the surface with nothing but one full breath and utilize this in their descent and ascent. Normal breathing resumes when the freediver resurfaces.
You may also want to read: The Differences between SCUBA Diving, Freediving and Skin Diving
How Do I start Freediving?
What Do I need to Know and Learn About Freediving?
There are basic Freediving skills that you need to learn about and which will be taught during your Introduction to Freediving class. This includes apnea or breath holding, duck diving, equalizing and finning.
- Breath holding or Apnea – While the process of holding your breath is simple, you will train and learn from your Freediving instructor the practices that would eventually help you to hold it longer.
- Duck diving – the entry act; you should leave the surface of the waters through it with a very minimal force as possible
- Equalizing – a technique to equalize the pressure in your body’s air pockets and mask, too to prevent barotrauma or injury
- Finning – a bi-fin technique pushing the fin blades down to displace water hence move forward; a much more different technique from treading
On top of all these, there’s one that you need to master – relaxation. Being relaxed when Freediving is the key to a safe and good dive. These basic skills are easier said than done. However, frequent dives could help you improve these.
Where should I take my Introduction to Freediving Classes?
There are number of Freediving schools around the Philippines that you may choose to learn from. Rates vary, of course. There are affordable rates and there are also pricey ones but take note that these groups offer quality services with certified Freediving instructors. Some of these hold their classes in pools at the city or straight at the open waters. Both swimmers and non-swimmers are welcome as long as you are confident enough to be in the waters. Among these Freediving schools and groups that you may join into are the following:
- Ocean Limits PH (Batangas-based)
- Seazoned Philippines (Manila & Batangas-based)
- Pinay Freediver (Batangas-based)
- Azul Freediving (Manila & Batangas-based)
- APNEA Philippines (Batangas-based)
- TRA Freediving (Batangas-based)
- No Fins Freediver PH (Batangas-based)
- Seangle Breath Freediving PH (Batangas-based)
- ManuMano Freedive (Batangas-based)
- ILOCOSIRENA Freediving (Ilocos-based)
- Freediving Nomads (Lapu-Lapu, Cebu-based)
- Orca Freediver Philippines (Moalboal, Cebu-based)
- Kataw Freedive Philippines (Batangas-based)
What gear should I have?
A beginning Freediver should at least have a mask, snorkel and pair of fins; a mask to let you see underwater, a snorkel to let you breathe at the surface and a pair of fins to let you propel through the water. You may opt to rent first to get a feel of which gear best suits you instead of buying a set right away. It is indeed inviting to get your own right away but you may not want to end up buying and selling just because the gear just doesn’t feel right.
Eventually, if you take the sports seriously, you’ll find yourself investing on Freediving gear such as good quality mask and snorkel, pair of fins, wetsuit, weights, dive watch or computer and other accessories.
You may also want to read: Decathlon Philippines’ SUBEA Complete Freediving Gear – A Review
After the Intro Classes, What Now?
While learning the basic Freediving skills could take a day, perfecting it does not happen overnight. Hence, if you want to improve your skills, dive deeper and hold your breath longer, you should train and dive regularly. Most of the aforementioned freediving schools and groups also offer depth trainings, fun dives or other dive events. In this way, you have an instructor to still guide you and other buddies to enjoy the dive with.
You may also want to read: Depth Training Experience with Ocean Limits PH
Most importantly, you should remember that this sport has risks, too. Thus, it is a must for you to learn the safety and rescue practices of it. There are safety and rescue courses offered that you might want to enroll in to enhance your knowledge on it. In this way, you’d know what the risks are and how you can deal with it if you get caught in those situations; hence, a safer dive. Among the principles that you should always have in mind every time you dive is “Never dive alone”.
It is in these trainings as well where you could learn the different disciplines of freediving. These include the Constant Weight (CWT), Constant Weight Without Fins (CNF), Free Immersion (FIM), Dynamic with Fins (DYN), Dynamic Without Fins (DNF), Static Apnea (STA), Variable Weight (VWT) and NLT (No Limit). Mastering these disciplines could take you to national and international Freediving competitions shall you want to take this track.
Most people especially nowadays are drawn into Freediving either because of curiosity or how good and cool it looked like to be underwater. As time goes, a lot of these divers gradually shifts into the “Freediver” lifestyle. This is because freediving is more than just what they initially thought it was. It actually has a lot of benefits to our mind, body and actions. Freediving makes one mindful or aware of your own body as well as how one’s acts could impact the environment especially the ocean.
You may also want to read:
How Do I Start Freediving, In a Nutshell
This is basically a preview of what Freediving is like. In a nutshell, a safe and good Freediving journey starts with a good foundation. Thus, as a beginner, you should not only focus on investing on good gear but also on choosing a good group to start with and acquire the necessary knowledge from.