DISCOVERING FREEDIVING

1

DIVE INTO THE HISTORY OF FREEDIVING WITH SUBEA

Man has practised freediving since the beginning of time, in particular for food, and then for commercial reasons.

Freediving has been practised throughout the ages and all over the world: from collecting shellfish in prehistoric times, till the time of Homer, in the ninth century BC, when people used to dive for marine sponges and the famous red coral. 

In the fourth century, several writers, including Aristotle and Plinius the Elder, described how divers in the Mediterranean would hyperventilate, then dive with stone weights. 

The famous naked Ama divers in Japan have been freediving for fish for more than two centuries, and sometimes to the age of 50 and more! In Polynesia, freedivers collect pearls, amongst other things…

And what about closer to home? This sport was revealed to the general public in 1988 by the film Le Grand Bleu, but it has remained marginal, due to the numerous accidents that have happened, in swimming pools in particular. 

But the sport continued to grow, and has been booming for the last five years. Today, it is recognised as a sport and a recreational pursuit in its own right and has become fashionable, thanks to diving clubs, greater standardisation and improvements in safety. 

2

BEGINNERS: LEARN EASILY THANKS TO SNORKELLING

It is quite simple to discover the joys of freediving. And snorkelling is the obvious starting point. Anyone aged between 6 and 77, or more, can discover the world of subsea observation and make their first dives with nothing more than a diving mask and a snorkel.

But some diving fins would be very helpful too. A wetsuit could also be more comfortable, if the water is cold and you stay in the water for a long time. Or a Lycra outfit, if the water is warm and you need protection against the sun! 

Once you are fully equipped and in the water, you will quickly start enjoying yourself. By accepting this invitation to discover a new world, you will be surprised by how you gradually start holding your breath as you swim on the surface. 

And you are already in apnoea, without even realising it! Who has never held their breath when swimming underwater? Now you can enjoy the pleasures of discovering an exceptional natural environment and of learning new ways of moving. 
 

3

GUARANTEED THRILLS AND PROGRESS THROUGH COMPETITIVE FREEDIVING

There are several types of apnoea freediving: static, dynamic and deep, which is in turn divided up into sub-categories. The first two disciplines are possible in swimming pools, while the third is practised in diving pools or the natural environment. 

They are all quite accessible to the greatest number, right from the age of 8, and are a good way of making quick progress. You will quickly feel some new sensations, no matter how experienced you are, and you will be motivated by the progress you make.
 

4

FREEDIVING OFFERS SEVERAL ADVANTAGES

You can freedive wherever you can swim, in swimming pools, diving pools, the sea, lakes, quarries or rivers, which means that this sport is readily accessible, no matter where you live. The equipment is cheap, lightweight and easy to carry in just a small bag.   Once in the water, you will benefit from the exercise and enjoy the spontaneous soothing of your senses (the quiet, the feeling being cut off from the world, etc.). Freediving is good for your health and the morale, and is a discipline for sharing. You can freedive with the family and when on your summer holidays.   Not to mention the aquatic rambles in natural parks and marine parks! They are often free of charge and allow you to enjoy breathtaking scenery, whose rarity and fragility will be explained by your guide. Another option: diving in shipwrecks, which can also be very exciting. While always following the International Responsible Free-Diver’s Charter, of course.   To fin out more about the benefits of freediving, check out our list of the Top 10.

5

A SMALL SAFETY REMINDER WHEN LEARNING TO FREEDIVE

1.  You must always freedive in pairs, with someone capable of taking care of you, or at least preventing a second accident in the event of syncope, or of calling the emergency services. One stays on the surface, watching the other one as they freedive. Then you take turns.  2. Tell someone on land that you are going freediving in the sea, and find out all about the spot where you plan to go freediving in advance (rocks, currents, etc.).  3. Instead of trying to learn yourself, join a club that can give you freediving lessons. Learning and practising with professionals will protect your safety and guarantee that you will make progress. There’s sure to be a diving club somewhere nearby!   And what about all the technical vocabulary? Check out our freediving glossary: It will also teach you more about how your body works!
 

IN CONNECTION WITH THIS ARTICLE, SUBEA RECOMMENDS:

£79.99*
4.64 / 5 11 ratings
    £69.99*
    4.80 / 5 5 ratings
      £49.99*
      4.40 / 5 5 ratings
        £49.99*
        4.40 / 5 5 ratings
          £17.99*
          3.86 / 5 112 ratings
            £29.99*
            4.17 / 5 6 ratings
              £7.99*
              4.36 / 5 47 ratings

                CHECK OUT SOME MORE TIPS ON DIVING! 

                Advice
                tips glossary freediving subea chapel point
                Do you know what hypercapnia, hipoxia, syncope or the vasalva manoeuvre mean? Do these terms mean anything to you? Read our glossary of terms to get a better idea!

                ARTICLE WRITTEN WITH

                erika sales assistant decathlon marseilles member of longitude 181
                Erika, sales assistant at Decathlon Marseilles 

                I am a sales assistant at Decathlon Marseilles and a snorkelling enthusiast. I also have my Open Water PADI qualification. As an active member of Longitude 181 Nature, I am delighted to contribute to the work that the association does to protect the oceans, their fauna and their flora. If I can do my part or raise the awareness of just one person, then I think it’s really worth my while. And Longitude 181 is a team of passionate enthusiasts, which is what I really like about it! 

                 

                TOP OF PAGE