The popularity of freediving in the world is growing every day, attracting more and more people. Many reasons lead people to freediving: someone found inspiration watching beautiful underwater videos or thematic movies; someone knows a freediver or a spearfisher and wants to join the community; someone, while diving with a scuba, saw “strange” people without tanks diving to the same depths, and even with faster speed using only single breath. Many people decide to try freediving to deal with their fear of the water because, as we know, the best option to conquer fear is to look into its eyes.
The purpose of this article is to tell you a bit more about what to expect from your first freediving course if you are still in doubt about taking it.
Understanding the physiology of the process
It’s important to know what exactly happens to your body while breath-hold and freediving to depth. It takes away from you lots of the stress caused by uncertainty. When you know what to expect and why something happens one way and not another, especially when you discover that your body and reflexes play by your side, it’s much easier to relax and enjoy the whole process.
Increasing a breath hold in a safe manner
The majority of the people, when asked how much they think they can hold their breath, answer “oh, I can’t do even 1 minute!”. After the first day of the freediving course, most of the people have a smile on their faces, saying “I couldn’t believe this”. There was one student, who did 5:30 minutes on the first day of the freediving course and was completely shocked all the day after because he couldn’t believe the stopwatch. No one says that everyone can make such a long breath hold on the first day, and there is no need for it, but, for sure, you will be surprised by your own results. There are a couple of “freediving lifehacks” as breathing and relaxation techniques, which the instructor explains and shows to students, which allow them to stay without breathing for longer.
Equalization in freediving is different than in scuba diving because freedivers are descending faster, head down and don’t have a tank with the air behind their backs. In your basic course, you will have an introduction to a Frenzel maneuver, which allows you to equalize taking into account all the above conditions. You will practice different exercises to increase your awareness of muscles involved in the process on dry land and then transfer the skills to the water environment.
Learning the most efficient way to dive from the surface, maintaining body position, and practicing proper finning techniques will take away a lot of effort. The proper technique helps to save precious oxygen, and, as a result, makes your dives more pleasant, effective, and, of course, longer. An instructor will always be by your side to correct your position and provide you with advice on what and how can be improved.
Safety measures and accident prevention
A lot of the attention on the courses is dedicated to safety and this is the number one priority. Freediving is a safe sport when practiced correctly without neglecting safety rules and standards. A lot of accidents can be prevented if you follow the rules, so during your education, an instructor will explain all the situations which can hypothetically happen, how to prevent them and what to do if an accident occurs.
Quality of the information
There are tons of unverified information on the internet regarding freediving, so it is very easy to get confused. Sometimes that information can even be controversial, so you never know what to believe. Taking a freediving course from an experienced instructor who is teaching under a world-recognized organization will take you out of that kind of problem. The manuals of the organizations are proven by many different professional and knowledgeable freedivers, medics, and lawyers, which means that you receive the most accurate and updated information. Moreover, if you have some questions, a professional instructor always is ready to clarify them and provide you with an answer.
In addition to what is already written above there is one more important thing: taking a freediving course is just fun. You are trying something new in a company of like-minded people and making friends. You make discoveries about the capabilities of your mind and body you didn’t know before. You meet a piece and meditative state of mind in the underwater world while it meets a new member of a worldwide freediving community.
Taking a basic freediving course will bring you a lot of new knowledge and impressions to your life. You’ll understand why this practice is so natural for humans and how our body adapts to being underwater. You will become aware of relaxation techniques that will help you to relax your body and mind and consume oxygen in the saving mode.
You’ll know how to safely dive with a buddy, prevent accidents, and how react right in case of emergency. So, in short words, you’ll become a confident freediver who will be able to discover the underwater world with a buddy in a safe and comfortable manner.