So let’s start with the first question most people think to themselves when they hear about freediving.
What is freediving?
Freediving is a word that can be used to describe any sort of underwater activity while holding your breath.
Better than Scuba?
Most people choose to use scuba equipment to explore the underwater world. Freediving is a much more accessible and economic way to discover what lies beneath the ocean. Think of it like advanced snorkelling. Instead of just observing marine life from above at the surface, imagine being able to dive down and get a closer look.
With no heavy gear to carry around freedivers are able to dive virtually wherever and whenever they want. As long as there’s water of course.
Freedivers can move through the water at greater speed than scuba divers. They make less noise and in general don’t scare the fish away like noisy bubble makers do. Of course, freediving looks a lot cooler as well.
Underwater photographers and videographers choose freediving to capture some of the worlds most amazing underwater photos and footage. Being able to get closer to animals without spooking them is an important part of underwater wildlife photography. Freediving is the most natural choice. Not to mention the advantages of actually being able to keep up with them. Most marine animals are curious. Nemo is much more likely to approach a graceful freediver swimming amongst the corals. Scary scuba divers have bubbles and tubes coming out of them.
Freediving as a way of life
Breath hold diving has been used for centuries by certain cultures to provide food and tradeable goods.
The island of Kalymnos in Greece is famous for it’s sponges. Divers retrieve them from the seabed at depths of up to 30 metres. Valuable shells and corals are also collected in this way. The Ama divers in Japan have also been using freediving to collect pearls for more than 2000 years. Sea gypsy tribes in South East Asia also regularly hunt fish and collect shellfish for food to support their families.
Spearfishing is a growing pastime in the West as well, with competitions being held. It’s a wonderful and sustainable way to fish which doesn’t damage our oceans.
Freediving is also a competitive sport in which athletes compete against each other (or for records) to see how far or how deep they can go on only one breath. Competitions are held either in the pool or the ocean in various different disciplines. Some even without fins.
World records in freediving are proof of the incredible feats the human body is capable of. Each year new records are set. These incredible athletes show that we still don’t know exactly how far we can go.
Underwater sports such as rugby and hockey are also a popular past time. Breath holding can add a new and exciting new element to traditional games.
Sounds like fun? It is.