Styles of freediving
There are 8 official freediving disciplines however only 6 are used in competition.
Pool Freediving Disciplines
The most simplest form of breath holding. A free diver basically lies face down floating in a pool and holds their breath for as long as possible. This is great training for the other styles of freediving. Mostly a mind game, static apnea starts with trying to relax as much as possible. The end of a static apnea performance turns into a battle of will as to how much longer one can stay under.
Dynamic Apnea with Fins
Dynamic apnea sees the freediver trying to cover as much distance as possible in the pool. Standard bi-fins can be used but most high level athletes use a mono fin. This can be done in a 25 or 50 metre pool with freedivers turning at the end of the line similar to competitive swimming. Technique is crucial here, as well as being able to pace yourself to improve oxygen consumption.
Dynamic Apnea without Fins
The most graceful of all the pool freediving disciplines. Similar to DYN however the freediver is not permitted fins of any kind. A modified breast stroke is used to propel the freediver horizontally through the water. Technique is of even more importance here to make the most of the glide phase.
Depth Freediving Disciplines
Free Immersion is a great warm up for other open water disciplines as well as being used in competition. The freediver must pull themselves down a line and back up again. If weight is used it must be brought back up again. Considered the most relaxed form of freediving. Good upper body strength is required.
The most well known and widely practised of all the freediving disciplines. Constant weight involves finning down and back up again along a rope. Like free immersion if weight is used the same amount must be taken to the surface again. The freediver is only allowed to grab the rope to turn and surface.
Constant Weight without Fins
Using the same technique as DNF (dynamic no fins) but in the ocean. Vertically. Swimming down a line and back up again is widely considered the most challenging type of freediving. Excellent technique is essential. The most natural way to freedive as divers can use only a nose clip and goggles.
Non Competitive Freediving Disciplines
Variable weight is not used in competition however records are made official. It involves descending along the line using weight to pull the freediver down to depth which is then left at the bottom. The athlete must get to the surface using their own propulsion, most choosing to either pull up on the rope or using fins.
Extremely fun, but can also be dangerous is pushed too far. Which is why it is also not used in competition because athletes can be tempted to go beyond their limits. No Limits involves descending with weight but buoyancy devices such as air filled balloons can be used to ascend. This allows incredible depths to be achieved as the freediver only has to concentrate on equalisation.