The Many Disciplines of Freediving

Static Apnea

Static Apnea -breath floating face down in a swimming pool

Freediving is a true sport which can be done just for the enjoyment of the ocean. For self-improvement and as a competitive sport, the sport of Freediving has eight main competitive discipline

  • Constant Weight (CWT) Probably the most common depth version of Freediving. The diver descends on a using either bi-fins or a monofin and typically a wetsuit and a small amount of weight. The diver is not allowed to pull on any guide ropes or change the weight used.


  • Constant Weight without Fins (CNF) In this discipline, the diver wears a wetsuit and a small amount of weight without the need of any type of fin.  The diver uses only muscle strength to propel them downwards and back up again is generally regarded as the most difficult and pure discipline from a sporting perspective.


  • Free Immersion (FIM) This discipline is similar to Constant Weight No Fins in that the diver uses only a wetsuit and a small amount of weight, however, in this case, the diver can only use the guide rope for propulsion.  You see divers doing this discipline both in a “head down” and “head up” position.


  • Dynamic with Fins (DYN) The first of the pool disciplines.  Here the diver travels in a horizontal position underwater (typically in a pool), with a propulsion aid such as bi-fins or a monofin, in an effort to cover the greatest distance possible.


  • Dynamic without Fins (DNF) The diver in this discipline again tries to cover the greatest distance possible in a pool but this time all propulsion aids/fins are prohibited so divers just use their arms and legs to propel themselves.


  • Static Apnea (STA) This discipline requires the diver to hold their breath for as long as possible floating face down with the respiratory tracts submerged.  This is the only discipline where performance is measured by duration.


  • No Limits (NL) No Limits: The deepest freedives in history are made in this category. Here the diver uses a weighted sled, descending at a rate of 3 – 4 meters/second. Ascent is assisted by an air-filled balloon or another lifting device, which the freediver usually has to activate upon arrival at depth manually.