What is Freediving?
Freediving is diving and exploring under water while holding your breath. It is as ancient an activity as humanity itself. It gives you total freedom to move underwater in a completely natural way. Freediving is an exciting way to rediscover yourself and all around a very pleasurable experience. It is about reuniting the mind and the body as you become one with the environment. It also allows you to get much closer to the marine life without disturbing it. When freediving you feel that you belong in this beautiful and peaceful marine world. Once you try it you will struggle to think of how you enjoyed the ocean without this essential life skill.
What is the difference between freediving and scuba diving?
Freediving, as the name suggests, is diving with complete freedom. It is easy to setup using simple and light equipment that you can easily travel with. In addition, it is environmentally friendly and probably the lowest impact water sport around. The vast majority of freedivers claim to be able to approach and interact with fish much more intimately than when using scuba equipment. Interesting also for scuba divers, is the fact that proper breathing techniques acquired in a freediving class decrease your gas consumption. The efficiency of your movements also adds to the comfort level and effortlessness of a scuba dive. It can also be an additional safety tool for every scuba diver. With freediving all you really need is a course, a mask and some fins and you are good to go, anywhere, anytime.
What’s the difference between snorkeling and freediving?
Although similar at the first glance, 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. Freediving adds a much needed third dimension to this by allowing you to dive deep under the water and to become part of the environment and not just sit staring at it from the surface. It does this by using advanced breathing techniques, efficient movements underwater, and specialized equipment – all designed to conserve oxygen – thus dramatically increasing depth and time underwater.
Can anyone freedive?
Yes, It’s a sport for everyone. The only requirement is to know how to swim. For the first 9 months of their lives, humans exist in an aquatic environment very similar to seawater. If a human infant is submerged under water, it instinctively holds its breath for up to 40 seconds while making swimming motions. This thanks to old subconscious reflexes we have in common with marine mammals, adaptations which were inherited through evolution. Waking up these reflexes is one of the most important elements of freediving. You do not need to be super fit to be able to freedive! We work closely with each student to encourage them and make sure they are happy and progressing well on their freediving journey.
Holding my breath that long, won’t it be a bit difficult for me?
Not at all. The one thing all of our students say without fail is that they were surprised. Surprised to see how easy and how much fun it was to dive down into the ocean to depths they never even dreamed of and find there a calm mind and deep relaxation they never knew possible. Learning to freedive is highly rewarding and the learning curve is relatively fast. After just 3 days of training with us, our beginner students are able to feel at home underwater and hold their breath for 2 to 3 minutes !
What if I have equalization problems ?
Well you are not alone. We offer specific equalization workshops for people who need it. Just let us know when you book your course so that we will take this into account and include the time for the workshop to be done prior to the beginning of the course. Our method has proved very helpful to a great number of divers, ranging from beginner to advanced.
I’ve heard it’s dangerous?
No, no more than any other in water activitie. And not if you abide by the golden rule: “never freedive alone”. Always freedive with an experienced buddy. During all of our freediving activities you will be supervised at all times by a certified instructor, offering you the best conditions in which you can practice freediving. Safety is the central element of freediving. As part of the course you will be taught and have the opportunity to practice the safety and rescue procedures that are integral to the sport. Thanks to a step by step approach, we ensure the enjoyment and progression of all our students.
What are the benefits of freediving?
There is a unique feeling of inner peace as you merge with the liquid element. Integrating this with slow and relaxed movements plus the connection with marine life, freediving truly is a therapeutic activity, and it will help you in more ways than you could have imagined. Learning to Freedive will also help you to manage stress, assist in other sports and promote a healthy mind and body. Personal achievement and self discovery are other benefits. Any time you will be in or near the water you will be a safer and more confident person.
Where are our courses held?
All of our courses are held in stunning El Nido, the diving paradise of Palawan and one of the top spots when it comes to freediving in the phillipines. Freediving is truly a unique way to discover El Nido. With it’s sheltered coves and impressive visibility, El Nido offers ideal freediving conditions in picture perfect settings. For more infos on things to see and do in El Nido take a look at our blog: Life in El Nido. We can arrange transport and accommodation for you in El Nido if requested. For more details please refer to our how to get to El Nido and sleep, drink and eat in El Nido sections.
When can I start?
We run several courses every week so let us know when you’d like to start. We have discovery courses almost daily and at least one AIDA2 courses and one AIDA3 course per week but we can put on a course to suit your dates if required. Make sure you book your course well in advance as places are limited and courses fill up fast.
What is included in a course ?
All of our AIDA courses are designed to help you master new freediving skills and techniques. Theory sessions will allow you to get in depth knowledge of the crucial concepts involved. Put them into practice exploring all the disciplines of freediving. Static sessions are all about preparation and relaxation; Dynamic sessions are the best time to improve finning technique; put it all together during the various drills practiced during open water sessions and enjoy the results on fun dives.
Do I get a certification ?
Yes we offer AIDA courses and certifications. AIDA international is the most widely recognized freediving agency. So if you get addicted which is likely, you can continue your freediving training where ever you decide to dive next. As a registered AIDA member you will also get access to all the AIDA’s online education system with freediving material, news and more. In addition to freediving education, the International Association for Development of Apnea is the worldwide rule- and record- keeping body for competitive freediving. It aims to set standards for safety and comparability of Official World Records.