Q: What are the benefits of freediving?
A: There are several benefits to
freediving, here are a few to consider:
contact with marine life – One
of the main reasons why freediving is so popular is
in the freediver’s ability
to get close to marine life. With no bubbles and slow,
graceful movements, the freediver resembles an aquatic
respond to freedivers much better than scuba divers,
thus allowing the
freediver a closer and more intimate experience with
- Serenity – Many
put freediving akin to yoga as pre-dive techniques place
freedivers in a meditative state. Gracefully
slipping underwater, freedivers hear only their heart beat.
Freedivers glide effortlessly underwater, unencumbered
by bulky scuba equipment.
The brief time spent underwater on a freedive is a rich
and intensely beautiful experience.
- Cost – Freediving
is a very cost-effective way to explore the underwater
world. All that is generally needed
are a mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit, and weight belt. The
specialized freediving version of each of these items
(i.e. longblade fins,
low volume masks, depth-compensating weight belts) tends
to cost slightly more than their scuba counterparts.
However, there is
no need for scuba tanks, buoyancy compensators or regulators – which
can add up to several hundreds of dollars.
the difference between snorkeling, skin diving and freediving?
A: Although similar, there are some differences that make
each of these activities separate. Snorkeling is the
act of floating
on the surface while utilizing a mask to see underwater,
a snorkel to breathe while keeping one’s face submerged,
and a pair of fins to move about the surface. Skin Diving
and swimming underwater to the activity of snorkeling.
This may or may not include a weight belt and a wet suit.
alters the act of skin diving by using advanced breathing
techniques, efficient movements underwater, and specialized
equipment – all
designed to conserve oxygen – thus increasing depth
and/or time underwater.
Q: But you can stay down longer
with a scuba
tank, why not just scuba dive?
A: Fish and marine life
are very attuned to their surroundings. Disturbances
such as the whining of regulators and columns
of rapidly ascending bubbles often startle fish away.
The vast majority
of freedivers claim to be able to approach and interact
with fish much more intimately than when using scuba
brief underwater freediving encounters, whether 30
seconds or a few minutes, make freedivers feel as though
mammals. Freediving is often a more pleasurable experience
due to the connection with marine life, the meditative
state of mind,
the slow movements, and the feeling being an aquatic
Q: Is freediving hazardous?
proper training, education, and especially supervision,
one small miscalculation in staying
down just a little
too long, or moving too much at depth could prove
tragic – even
fatal. Knowledgeable, competent and qualified freediving
buddies must ALWAYS be used. Proper training and
education is mandatory
to successfully understand proper breathing techniques,
proper equalizing, proper underwater motions, and
proper buddy techniques – including
freediver rescue. Without this specialized training
the potential for ear injuries, lung injuries,
and unconsciousness due
to blackout is high. See Freediving Safety for
Q: Where can I get specialized
training to learn how to freedive?
Q: Can you get decompression sickness,
a.k.a. the bends, from freediving?
A: Yes, but only rarely
and only in extreme breath-hold diving situations.
dives for long periods underwater, with
little recovery time at the
surface have developed decompression sickness
from an accumulation of nitrogen in the
freedivers (those making a living harvesting
pearls, sponges, lobster,
fish, etc.) doing breath-hold dives for
several hours in a day, to
depths of 60 to 90+ feet, for periods of
two minutes or more per dive, have displayed
signs and symptoms
sickness. However, most recreational freedivers
do not come
close to this phenomenon. Others have become “bent” (decompression
sickness) from conducting repetitive breath-hold
dives using a diving scooter. Also, never
freedive after scuba diving.
The high rate of ascents and descents in
a freedive cause saturated
nitrogen from the previous scuba dive to expand
and contract in the bloodstream and tissues.
This can easily lead to decompression
sickness. See Freediving
Safety for more information.
Q: How come lungs do not collapse
when descending or burst on the
way up to the surface?
A: When a freediver
takes a breath at the surface the lungs fill to the
surface. When the freediver
underwater, the pressure of the water
increases as the
freediver goes deeper. This increasing
pressure squeezes several air
spaces of the freediver. The largest
of those air spaces is the lungs.
The lungs can compress to a remarkably
small size, and due to a “blood
shift”, the lungs compress equally
instead of flattening, thus preventing
them from collapsing. As the diver
ascends, the water pressure decreases allowing
the air spaces to expand back to their
original size upon reaching the surface.
If a freediver were to take a breath of
air at depth, for example
from a scuba tank or a pocket of air, upon
ascent that freediver could suffer a
fatal lung overexpansion injury. This
place due to the air in the lungs expanding
more than the original volume inhaled
at the surface, which could lead to air
the lungs. See Freediving
Safety for more
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