You might be wondering why anyone would want to try this sport that takes you in to the depths of the ocean, all on your own breath. Isn't it dangerous? Just for thrill seekers?
Media has portrayed freediving to be an extreme, high-risk sport. However, as time has passed, freediving has developed and refined to a sport that has stringent safety measures and a culture that holds safety at the highest level. As it takes place in the water and minimizes heavy gear, it is far from an impact sport. Most freedivers will tell you that their favourite dive has been the one that they were most comfortable and relaxed in, which may not be their deepest dive or their longest breath hold. Controlling your breathing, hearing your own heart slowing down, surrounded by blue water, feeling more connected to your own body, mind and emotions than you have ever been- that is why we freedive.
Of course, part of the reward of freediving does come from the discovery of your own abilities and their limits, and becoming better. Watching your breath hold record climb up from one minute, to two, three, four minutes is an accomplishment that really translates to how well you freedive, but also how well you manage stress out of the ocean. To enter the ocean on one breath and descend in to its world requires a mastery of your own body and mind to adapt to the physical pressure and clear the shroud of mental fears and anxieties that hold us back from our true potential. People who learn how to freedive are amazed at what they are capable of.
But it's not just about you.
The ocean in our hearts, our hearts in the ocean.
Freediving is the most natural way to have a connection with the ocean. You go down to the same level of the underwater life and see them the way they see each other- in a quiet, unintrusive way. Without the sound of bubbles and the constriction of scuba diving equipment, you can appear more natural, less threatening to marine life, and more fun. Charismatic marine megafauna like seals, dolphins and whales are often curious toward scuba divers, but are more likely to play with freedivers because of how much more freedom you have in your movements- connecting you to the ocean in a extraordinarily deep way.
Just dive in.
Freediving requires less gear.
Unlike other forms of underwater diving, freediving requires very little equipment- as little as your body. While freediving, you don't have to carry a tank, compressor, buoyancy compensation, or constrictive wetsuits.
You can access your dive sites easily.
Organising, maintaining and carrying all that extra gear to and from your dive site can be a real hassle. Being able to jump in and out of the water from a boat, cliff or through surf makes it even harder, but with freediving gear and a little training, you can move with ease.
You can do it on the cheap.
With a focus on improving your body and mind as your means of freediving, you can enjoy freediving while spending very little on gear and boat costs to access sites. Your equipment isn't the thing holding you back!
There's less to worry about.
Freediving has risks that are inherent with any breath-holding activity in the ocean. But because you only have your dive buddy and yourself to think about, you don't have to rely on gear to keep you safe. Freedivers don't get decompressions sickness (the bends) as we don't spend as long at depth as scuba and surface supply divers.
Finding yourself in nature.
Connection with nature.
Freediving allows us to immerse ourselves in the underwater world and experience a profound connection with the ocean and its inhabitants. It provides a sense of serenity and awe, offering a different perspective on the beauty and diversity of marine life. Through the way freedivers move in the water, freedivers can have a much more intimate and trusting relationship with nature.
Mindfulness and relaxation.
Freediving promotes a state of mindfulness and deep relaxation. Focusing on breath control and being in the present moment has a calming effect and reduce stress. It can serve as a form of meditation, allowing individuals to disconnect from the outside world and find inner peace both under and above the water.
Personal growth and self-discovery.
Freediving can be a transformative experience that builds confidence, self-awareness, and resilience that extends beyond the water. Overcoming fears, mastering new life skills, and exploring personal boundaries can lead to personal growth and a greater understanding of oneself.
Conservation and environmental awareness:
Freedivers develop a strong bond with the marine environment and often become advocates for its preservation. By witnessing firsthand the beauty and fragility of the underwater world, they often develop a deep sense of responsibility to protect and conserve marine ecosystems.
Progression feels fantastic.
Once you know how to freedive effectively and safely (taking a freediving course will help with that!) your breathhold increases dramatically and you can explore deeper depths spending longer under the water. It won't take long before you're on the bottom in 15 metres of water watching a crayfish!
Satisfaction from spearfishing.
Freediving for food, essentially. When done respectfully, spearfishing is an intense way of connecting with the ocean, both mentally and physically. The challenge and responsible attitude of a good spearo is something only attainable through freediving.
Check out our freediving and spearfishing course here.