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Freediving in the UK - The World of Apnea

Freediving in the UK - The World of Apnea

Here at Aquanauts, we are delighted to now offer PADI Freediving courses, delivered by our Freediving Instructor Laura.

Freediving has been around for thousands of years and pre-dates recreational scuba diving which started in the 1950s. The world of freediving or breath-hold diving is something that humans have explored for a long time. However, the freediving sport today is something far more disciplined and advanced. Becoming a certified freediver will give you a greater understanding of the physiology behind freediving, the techniques involved, and ways to reach new depths safely.

If you have snorkelled you may well already have some experience of breath-holding while diving down and wonder what makes freediving different and why you should become a PADI-certified Freediver. Freediving uses methods that enable you to stay underwater for longer periods, focusing on breathing and efficient swimming techniques to help you safely freedive and improve.

During the basic course, you will start in the controlled environment of the swimming pool. Here you’ll learn techniques such as breathing exercises and skills to conserve oxygen while breath holding, also known as apnea. Apnea is a word used in freediving to describe the temporary absence of breathing while practising different freediving disciplines, such as static apnea and dynamic apnea, both of which feature in the course.

Aquanauts Freediving Instructor Laura commented;

“As a PADI Freediving Instructor, it’s my job to teach you how to safely explore and enjoy the beautifully silent underwater world using apnea. We’ll focus on developing both mental and physical techniques, along with learning important rescue protocols to ensure you’re equipped to confidently freedive anywhere in the World.”

Once you have an understanding of the basics, you will find that you’ll be able to explore the shallows of your local snorkelling spots with more confidence and appreciate the underwater world around you using your new apnea techniques, perhaps even inspired to take your freediving to the next level with one of our more advanced qualifications!

Lastly, after learning the basics, you may start thinking about buying gear so you can continue to practice and improve. Although most people have a scuba or snorkelling mask, freedivers tend to wear low-profile diving masks as this allows them to be more streamlined in the water with less air space to equalise on descent saving valuable air. Some good options for low-profile masks include the Fourth Element Aquanaut Mask (great name!), Cressi Atom, and Cressi Minima Mask, each is designed to be low-profile and flexible to allow the best freediving experience without losing field of vision. 

Once you have your mask you may also need a snorkel, or at least may wonder which type is best suited to free diving. The Scubapro Apnea snorkel is a great cost-effective freediving snorkel, small, compact, and soft enough to fold away, the snorkel unlike larger snorkels has less drag, which makes it your perfect freediving companion. 

The next item of gear that may be on your list is freediving fins, unlike scuba diving fins, freediving fins are longer, which simply put, allows you to move through the water with more speed and waste less oxygen. The Cressi Gara Professional LD Fins, offer a perfect introduction to Freediving fins, these high-performance fins, are more flexible and more forgiving than some other freediving fins, meaning less effort and more distance.

However if you already have regular snorkelling gear, this is also a good place to start. Feeling inspired? To find out more about our Freediving courses visit our freediving section and check out our dates, it’s the perfect summer sport to get certified in.