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Snorkelling is the casual act of putting on a mask and snorkel and looking below while floating. Snorkelers may not have any training and spend most of the time on the surface. Skin diving takes snorkelling a step further by adding short dives underwater. Skin divers may have training that teaches skills, such as efficient dives and snorkel clearing.
Freediving uses advanced breathing techniques and diving skills to increase depth and time underwater. Through training, freedivers learn to conserve oxygen while breath-holding while practising different freediving disciplines, such as static apnea, dynamic apnea, free immersion and constant weight freedives.
Although freediving has a reputation amongst the public as dangerous, it is a safe sport when the proper guidelines are followed.
The key to freediving is mental and physical relaxation, a slow heartbeat, and an almost meditative state of mind; adrenaline is exactly the opposite of what is meant to be achieved during a dive. Taking a proper freediving course, following the rules, never diving alone, and staying within your limits makes freediving one of the safest sports, especially when practised recreationally.
As with Scuba Diving, it is vitally important to have the proper training and have a trained buddy to dive with.
The PADI Freediver course contains three phases – knowledge development, confined water sessions and open water sessions. During knowledge development, you learn about how your body reacts to breath holding and how water pressure affects you as you dive down. You also learn about freediving equipment, important safety rules and buddy procedures.
In confined water, such as a swimming pool, you learn breathing techniques, then practice breath-holds while floating (static apnea) and while swimming (dynamic apnea). You also practice basic rescue techniques and learn your role as a buddy.
During at least two open water sessions, you practice diving down while breath-holding, either by pulling yourself along a line (free immersion) or duck diving head first while following a line (constant weight). You learn to gradually increase your depths by relaxing and enjoying each dive. Rescue practice is another key part of the open water sessions. learning to scuba dive online right now with ABYSS SCUBA DIVING and PADI eLearning.
The PADI Freediver course is flexible and performance based, which means that your PADI dive shop and PADI Freediver Instructor can offer a wide variety of schedules, organised according to how fast you progress. Knowledge development is handled through independent study with the PADI Freediver Touch – an interactive tablet-based app.
You pace yourself as you work through each topic, then complete an overall Knowledge Review, then an Exam. There are at least three water sessions that we scheduled on separate two days.
During confined and open water sessions, your PADI Freediver Instructor will focus on helping you become a confident and comfortable freediver, not on how long it takes. You earn your certification based on demonstrating you know what you need to know and can do what you need to do.
This means that you progress at your own pace – faster or slower depending upon the time you need – to become a competent freediver.
Compared with getting started in other popular adventure sports and outdoor activities, learning to freedive isn't expensive.
For example, you can expect to pay about the same as you would for:
- a full day of surfing lessons
- a weekend of rock climbing lessons
- a weekend of kayaking lessons
- a weekend of fly-fishing lessons
- about three hours of private golf lessons
- about three hours of private water skiing lessons
- one amazing night out at the pub!
Learning to freedive is a great value when you consider that you learn to dive under the guidance and attention of a highly trained, experienced professional - your PADI Freediving Instructor. From the first day, freediving starts transforming your life with new experiences you share with friends. And, you can do it almost anywhere there is water.
ABYSS SCUBA DIVING is proud to be able to offer the PADI Freediver Course for $550 per person, and that includes a free set of freediving fins.
Remember we supply you with a pair of freediving fins as part of your course, and that these are critical in becoming a Freediver.
In the PADI Freediver course, you learn to use a mask, snorkel, and fins, and may also use a wetsuit and weight belt. Using gear designed specifically for freediving is best, however, in this freediving course, you may be able to use snorkeling equipment you already own. Mask, snorkel & wetsuit are available for hire but this is scuba gear during the course.
If you intend on completing the PADI Advanced Freediver Course, you will be required to have Freediver specific equipment. Gear that you normally use for SCUBA will prevent you from achieving the performance requirements. Please speak to one of our staff members and we can arrange an equipment package for you.
The minimum age is 15 years old for the PADI Freediver course and 12 years old for the
PADI Basic Freediver certification. PADI Basic Freediver is a subset program on the PADI Freediver course that only includes knowledge development and a confined water session.
All student divers complete a medical history form that asks about medical conditions that could be a problem while freediving. If none of these apply, sign the form and you’re ready to start.
If any of these apply to you, your doctor must, as a safety precaution, assess the condition as it relates to freediving and sign a medical form that confirms you’re fit to dive. In some areas, local laws require all students to consult with a physician before entering the course.
Your PADI Freediver Instructor will have you demonstrate basic water skills to be sure you’re comfortable in the water.
This is a 200-metre swim or 300-metre swim using a mask, fins and snorkel without stopping. There is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want. Any individual who can meet the performance requirements of the course qualifies for certification.
PADI Freediver course – Develops the knowledge and skills for basic static apnea, dynamic apnea, free immersion and constant weight freediving from 10-16 metres. When completing open water training is not feasible or desirable, students complete just the knowledge and confined water skill portion of the PADI Freediver course (6 metres maximum) to earn the PADI Basic Freediver rating.
PADI Advanced Freediver course – Expands knowledge and skills, and with further development in static apnea, dynamic apnea, free immersion and constant weight freediving from 16-24 metres
PADI Master Freediver course – Continues knowledge and skill development with further development in static apnea, dynamic apnea, free immersion and constant weight freediving from 24-40 metres