By freedivinguae

What is Freediving and Types of Freediving

This is the Beginners Guide to Freediving.  We’ve put this guide together to help budding Freedivers understand what is required to get started.  Part 1 of this series takes a look at What is Freediving and the Types of Freediving.

What is Freediving

Freediving is breath hold diving, being in and under the water whilst holding ones breath. Today, most people associate freediving with images of super humans plunging to the darkest depths of the ocean with only the air in their lungs, the power of their bodies and the will of their minds to keep them alive and bring them back. However every time you slip into water and hold your breath you are a freediver, exploring our world of water from the shallows to, occasionally the depths.  Read on for our guide to What is Freediving and Types of Freediving.

Diving without an aqualung is often referred to as ‘skin diving’ or ‘snorkeling’. Both can use mask, snorkel and fins, but freediving will always involve a breath hold, no matter how deep you go. Humans first started freediving through necessity, for food, trade-able items or items lost overboard, however in more recent time, freediving has evolved into a recreational pastime, a way to take photos, catch food, and as a sport.

Competitive freediving has different disciplines to reflect the various ways that you can be in the water and hold your breath.  This came with the emergence of competitions involving teams, countries and many individuals. Back in the early part of this century there was a distinction between records done in salt and fresh water, although this has since been stopped.

In individual and team world championships, each diver will perform a constant weight dive with fins, a dynamic swim with fins and a static breath hold with points awarded for each discipline to arrive at a final combined score. Free immersion, constant weight no-fins and dynamic no-fins can also be a competition discipline they are usually stand alone events.

The most recognized disciplines are explained below, although many people often seek to invent new disciplines, whether for fun or competition.

Types of Freediving

Let’s take a look at the different types of freediving now.  You’ll hear Freedivers talk in strange code when referring to diving to depth or in the pool with different equipment and here we’ll try to de-mystify it.

Open water depth disciplines

Constant Weight Freediving

This can be done with fins (CWT) and without fins (CNF)

This is a depth discipline and a competition discipline. Seen by many as the purest form of freediving, the diver descends and ascends under their own power, the weight (or not) that they wear on their person remaining the same throughout the dive.

Constant weight with fins (CWT), along with static apnea, were the original two competition disciplines before Dynamic with Fins (DYN) was added. In the first international competitions, most people wore bi-fins with only a handful of people using the monofin. The monofin proved to be far more effective than bi-fins and now it is the monofin that all deep competitors use.

In the past few years, constant weight without fins (CNF) has become increasingly popular. There are competitions which have CNF as a category, with depths thought impossible even for No-Limits diving a few decades ago. CNF can be challenging overcoming initial positive buoyancy at the start of the dive and then negative buoyancy at the bottom as the diver starts to ascend. This is further complicated by having to use one of the pulling arms to equalize. To help overcome the issue of equalization, most CNF divers wear a nose-clip and fluid goggles (or no mask) to keep both arms free for the stroke.

Free Immersion Freediving (FIM)

A depth discipline where no fins are worn, and the diver pulls down a rope and back. This is often used as a warm up for a constant weight dive to save the legs whilst still preparing the body for depth and checking how smoothly the ears are equalizing.

It is also used extensively on beginner freediver courses so students can learn equalization skills slowly and carefully. For many people new to the sport and having issues equalizing, it is only possible to do so feet first, and so pulling down the rope is invaluable, although this takes extra effort. Whenever a diver uses free immersion to prepare for depth diving, fins are always used as a safety precaution to make it easier to ascend to the surface.

Variable Weight Freediving (VWT)

This discipline uses added weight to take the diver to depth, and then the diver returns to the surface under their own steam, finning and also using the arms to pull on the rope.

It is not a competition discipline however there are national and world records set in it and it is often used to train equalization and constant weight with fins diving.

No Limits Freediving (NLT)

This discipline is the deepest, the one that most makes the news, and arguably the most dangerous. In No Limits, you use a weight to take you as deep as possible and then a buoyancy device to return you to the surface. Very few freedivers train for No Limits however it was the main method of freediving that the pioneers such as Jacques Mayol and Enzo Majorca used when diving deeper, and was immortalized in the film The Big Blue.

In the sixties, the depths achieved meant that it was possible for the diver at the bottom of the dive to use a tank to fill a lift bag that would take them back to the surface. As dives got deeper and deeper however, the lift achieved was not as effective and sometimes the hose would come out of the bag it was supposed to be filling. In addition, with the risk of nitrogen narcosis, it was unsafe to reply on the diver at the bottom of the dive to execute a series of functions to fill the bag, As a result,  the deepest divers have preferred to use a buoyancy device not reliant on air or the diver at the bottom to perform and bring the diver safely back to the surface.

Pool Disciplines

Static Apnea (STA)

This is simply holding your breath for as long as possible, lying on the surface of the water, usually in a swimming pool. It is one of the hardest disciplines, simply due to the fact that there is nothing to distract you from the breath hold.  It is also very easy to give up as the surface is millimeters rather than meters away.

Static apnea (STA), along with constant weight with fins is one of the original competition disciplines and is always the last to be performed in competitions. It is the ‘decider’ discipline, with competitors using tactics to ensure they only have to do the minimum needed in order to win, unless of course they are going for a record!

Static apnea is a discipline that can be practiced all year round in a pool, which is perfect for freedivers who live far from open water or in colder climates where it is not possible to train depth all year round. In addition, it is great training for all round apnea ability, mental toughness and confidence.

Dynamic Apnea

The can be done with fins (DYN) and without fins (DNF)

This discipline is usually performed in a pool and is based on maximum distance horizontally under the water. Both are competition disciplines but dynamic with fins is used in International team competitions.

Dynamic disciplines are great training for style and constant weight diving particularly in colder countries where access to open water diving is limited to the summer months. Some divers are also unable to equalize or find it very difficult, and so dynamic with and without fins is a way that they can enjoy freediving without the issues of depth.

Even though records can be set in every discipline, when freediving for fun, the most common discipline freedivers use is constant weight, using fins to explore and enjoy the underwater world. Free immersion is often used for equalization practice and to get to a suitable depth for buddying whilst saving the legs for a possible rescue and many freedivers take to one discipline such as dynamic without fins over another simply because they enjoy the feeling and have little access to depth due to location or weather. If however a freediver is keen on competing then they will usually focus on the main competition disciplines of constant weight with fins, dynamic with fins and static apnea. Ultimately however, freediving is about being in the water whilst breath holding and practicing one discipline can have beneficial results for another.


Source: deeperblue

By freedivinguae

DeeperBlue Photo Of The Year 2017

One of the final things the team here do for the year is look back over our Photo Of The Week (brought to you by Vivid-Pix) series and pick our choice for the best photo of the year.  It was a close competition this year with several entries causing quite a bit of debate!

The 2017 Photo Of The Year is “Magical Light Beams” by Tom St George and featuring Guillaume Nery.

We also recommend that you use Vivid-Pix to help improve your images with fast, easy to use software.  Their Land&SeaLand&Sea Scuba and Land&Sea for iOS software uses patented technology to improve both your topside and underwater photos.  Available for download on iOS, Windows and MacOS.


Source: deeperblue

By freedivinguae

Beat the Holiday Stress – Turn Up the Chill Factor

This time of year is often jam-packed with holiday preparations, social events, family visits and, somewhere in between, the mania of gift shopping. After all that, it’s no surprise that many of us want to escape to the world of scuba diving for a change of scenery.

Part one of this blog series looked at Exploring the Winter Sun, but if you’re living in a warmer region where there’s no shortage of sunny days, you might want to turn the temperature down a notch.  Here are a few of the coolest destinations where you’ll be able to celebrate a white winter in scuba style.

Turn Up the Chill Factor


If you’re looking for visibility that takes your breath away, you’ll find it in Canada’s cold waters along with harbour seals, wolf eels and orcas. In Ontario, Tobermory is the country’s scuba capital, with options for every level of diver and noted for its preserved wrecks. Lake Minnewanka’s submerged town can be found in the popular snowsports area of Banff National Park, while British Columbia was a favourite of Jacques Cousteau — look out for colossal creatures at Barkley Sound, like the giant pacific octopus and sixgill shark. Read more about diving in Canada.


New Zealand

A perfect destination if you’re looking for cold-without-the-ice. On the South Island is Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, Milford Sound’s freshwater layer is known for bringing deep-water black and red corals to shallower depths. In the North, the Poor Knights Islands boast post-volcanic seascapes, kelp forests, seal colonies, and whales en-route to migration. Even further north, the Bay of Islands shelters vast communities of marine life and Greenpeace’s infamous flagship, the Rainbow Warrior. Read more about diving in New Zealand.



This Nordic winter wonderland is as beautiful above the water as it is below, and if you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights during the darker months. At Silfra fissure, you can dive between two tectonic plates where the chilly glacier-fed waters produce visibility of over 100m/328ft. At Kleifarvatn Lake, streams of hydrogen sulphide bubbles rise up from hot springs for an eerie experience. Don’t miss Strytan’s hydrothermal vents where you’ll feel the heat and might be greeted by wolf fish, starfish, jellyfish and cod. Watch this video taken at Silfra.



Another treat for ice divers is the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido, a World Heritage Site where waters drop as cold as -2°C/28°F, and where you’ll be able to dive below drifting blocks of ice flowing from the Sea of Okhotsk. Keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful Clione (or Sea Angel), a transparent winged sea slug that will bring joy to macro photographers. Further south, Lake Shikotsu is one of Japan’s clearest lakes and never freezes, making it accessible for recreational winter diving. Read more about diving in Southern Japan.



Despite sub-zero temperatures, the White Sea is anything but frozen still; tidal movements carve out stunning shapes and sculptures in the ice, while dramatic boulders and drop-offs give shelter to countless cold water species. Look out for gigantic sponges, crabs, nudibranchs, skeleton shrimp, wolf fish, and even beluga whales. In the East, Lake Baikal is a World Heritage Site, and the oldest and deepest lake in the world. It provides habitat for nearly 2,000 species of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic to the area. Read more about diving in Russia.


California, USA

This temperate west-coast state offers boat dives, shore dives, novice dives, advanced dives and everything in between. If you’re looking for towering kelp forests, sea lions, sharks and colourful reefs, it definitely won’t disappoint. Monterey Bay saw fame in Finding Dory, and is a top place to find otters and octopus, while Catalina Island offers regular sightings of the state marine fish, Garibaldi. Further south, adventurers will love exploring Wreck Alley or the underwater canyon at La Jolla Cove, both near San Diego. Read more about diving in California.


Source: padi

By freedivinguae

Deptherapy Helps Grant Terminally Ill Scuba Diver’s Last Wish

A team from scuba diving rehabilitation charity Deptherapy and the PADI dive centre Divecrew have made a scuba diver’s wish for one, last dive come true this Christmas.

Sixty-year-old Colin Clements from Woodley, England is suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer that will take his life in the near future. Knowing he would be unable to dive again, Clementsdonated his diving equipment to Deptherapy so that other divers could be helped even after he is gone.

When contacting Clements to thank him for his gesture, Deptherapy Chairman Richard Cullen was made aware that Clements’ dying wish was to do one, last dive.

Clements’ last dive took place on Sunday 17th December at Eagle House School in Sandhurst. The dive was kept as a surprise for Colin until the moment he arrived at the swimming pool.

Two Deptherapy program members offered to accompany him on his last dive and travelled to Sandhurst from their homes in Banbury and Bristol. Gary Green was blinded in the right eye by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan and suffers from acute PTSD. A Trustee of the charity and a PADI AmbassaDiver, Green is also a trainee Divemaster and led Clements’ last dive.

Fellow veteran Chris Ganley served two tours in Afghanistan before suffering a devastating motorcycle accident that resulted in the amputation of his left arm and other serious injuries. Ganley wound up receiving Clements’ donated buoyancy control device.

Green said:

“As a new trainee Divemaster, it was a huge privilege to lead the dive and an absolute honour to dive with Colin. I hope through this dive, Deptherapy and Divecrew, have made Colin’s Christmas special and helped made his passing easier.”

Ganley said:

“I thought I had been through some difficult times, but being with Colin was humbling as he talked about his death and what this dive meant to him. I don’t think words can describe what happened this afternoon. It was all so dignified and respectful to be with a man who is facing death with such courage.”

Clements spent about 15 minutes underwater before unfortunately being overcome with tiredness. While his speech is already affected by his illness, he was smiling from ear to ear and said:

“Today I am very happy; I have dived. I couldn’t have asked for any more. Thank you all so much.”

Check out an interview the BBC did of Clements’ final dive below. For more info on the work Deptherapy does with injured British military personnel, go to the organization’s website at

Source: deeperblue

By freedivinguae

10 Dive Resolutions to Make for 2018

You’re ready for your 2018 dive life to be even more awesome and inspiring than 2017 was, but you’re not sure how to make that happen. We’ve polled instructors, divers, non-profit founders and more to find out how they are resolving to make 2018 the most challenging and fun underwater year yet.

  1. Reach a new number in your logbook.

“This year, I want to hit 200 dives. I have 130 now, and 200 seems obtainable.”— Brit Siepker, Divemaster

  1. Give yourself the chance to encounter an animal you’ve always wanted to.

Want to swim with a whale shark in Mexico? Manatee in Florida? Humpback whale in the Silver Banks? Many of these animals have habitual hangouts, making it easy to book travel that coordinates with their natural migratory routes. If you can, book your airfare and accommodation as soon as you can so you’re committed.

  1. Explore the far-flung.

“My 2018 resolution is to focus on seeing new destinations that are off the beaten path for the diving world. To explore obscure locations. There is a tendency to go back to tried-and-true places, but there is just so much more out there that I want to see.” — Amanda Cotton, underwater photographer and founder of the Water Women organization, connecting women in the diving community with younger mentees.

  1. Find a new-to-you dive challenge.

“If your dive life is stagnating, it’s always up to you to find a way to make it more interesting. This year, I am challenging myself to do more rebreather diving.” — Alan Keller, Open Water Scuba Instructor with Adventures in Scuba, based in Calgary, Canada

  1. Join a conservation effort.

“I always like to challenge myself to do something I have never done before, and this year, that will include working with a new conservation project. I just haven’t decided which one yet!” — Liz Parkinson, shark handler at Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas in Nassau, Bahamas

  1. Give back through diving.

“I just became a public safety diver. My goal now is to be the best professional diver I can be while working with the police and sheriff’s departments.” — Pete Markusen, PADI IDC Staff Instructor with Weaver’s Dive and Travel Center in Boulder, Colorado

  1. Do something fun that’s a little out of character.

What’s something that you’ve always wanted to do but told yourself was too silly, too expensive or just too out there for you? Why not look into it and see if your schedule and budget can afford to take it on? Maybe your dream is to hire a photographer and arrange an underwater photo shoot in the pool or ocean. Or maybe you dream of signing up for a mermaid course and learning what it takes to swim with a tail. If you don’t have something in mind, keep your ears open for new opportunities.

  1. Become an instructor. If you are an instructor, teach more.

“I’m looking forward to teaching more specialty courses this coming year.” — Bill Merritt, Master Instructor Trainer with Gigglin Marlin Swim and Dive in Houston, Texas

  1. Challenge a friend to try diving in 2018.

You can treat your friend to a Discover Scuba Diving course, either at home or while you are traveling together. Or, invite them to watch an Open Water course.

  1. Find a scuba mentor.

It helps to stay inspired if we connect with those who are doing what we wish to do. Do you want to become an IDC staff instructor? Reach out and connect with someone who already holds that title. Is your retirement plan to live in the tropics? You get the idea. Start by sending an email or Facebook friend request, then ask for what you’d like most — maybe even ask if you can go diving together.

Need help convincing your friend or family member to start diving? Check out these ways you can convert your friend so you always have a dive buddy.


Source: padi

By freedivinguae

2017 Wildlife Comedy Photography Awards Announced

Animals can make us laugh, cry, and sometimes be amazed with a sheer sense of wonder.

This is a laughing week, as the 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography award winners have been announced. Various pictures that capture animals in some of their awkward and inopportune moments will make almost everyone chuckle.

According to The Guardian, images featuring various animals from a highly surprised seal to an unfortunate young owl who gets pushed off his perch by his two siblings will put a smile on your face.

Included amongst the winners is a fox who is being very naughty on a golf course.

You can view all the winning photos here.


Source: deeperblue

By freedivinguae

How Scuba Diving Makes You Smart

The lure of a scuba diving lifestyle draws images of underwater explorers having the adventure of a lifetime. A not-so-well-known part of learning to dive is that we have a collective intelligence of physics. Most people think science is for geeks, but scuba divers get it – we see how physics applies in real life.

Here are a few examples of how diving makes you smart

Have you ever noticed it’s easier to read your gauge underwater?

Objects appear larger underwater when you’re wearing a mask. That’s due to “Snell’s Law.” Light refracts between the water and the airspace in your mask that magnifies objects and makes them appear closer

Do you know how a 100-ton ship floats?

It’s the same principle that makes divers float or sink, Archimedes’ Principal. If an object is less dense than the fluid it’s in, it will float. If the object is denser than the fluid, it will sink. Divers strive for neutral buoyancy. Our goal is to neither float nor sink by using our BCD to make us equally dense as the water.

Why does a ping pong ball implode when you take it on a dive to 60 feet / 18 meters?

That’s one of the most important physics laws for scuba divers: Boyle’s Law. If you have a closed airspace, like a balloon or BCD, the air inside will get smaller as you descend on a dive. That’s because the pressure of the water increases the deeper you go. While going deeper makes airspaces smaller, the opposite is true when ascending. That’s why the most important rule in scuba diving is never to hold your breath. The expanding air in your body needs a way to escape so you don’t injure your lungs.

Have you ever noticed how hungry you are after a dive?

At the end of a long dive, we often feel tired, hungry, and cold. Why? Thermal conductivity. Water conducts heat away from our body at a faster rate than air does. Our bodies are working harder underwater to maintain our body temperature. No wonder you need a post-dive nap!

As you can see, scuba divers are smart about physics because we can see it in action when we dive.

While we haven’t mentioned all the laws of physics involved with scuba diving, the Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving is the ultimate resource for diving physics. There are plenty of opportunities to geek out about science in the PADI Divemaster courseContact your local PADI dive shop to learn more.


Source: padi

By freedivinguae

What You Didn’t Know About Mola Mola

What is a Mola Mola?

The ocean sunfish, also known as a mola mola, is an odd-looking fish. The word “mola” means millstone in Latin and describes the unusual, disc-like shape of this fish. Their teeth are fused together giving the sunfish a beak-like mouth that is always open, similar to their relative the porcupine fish. Mola mola may be brown, gray, white or spotted and are found in temperate and tropical oceans around the world.

How Big Do They Get?
Mola mola grow to an average size of 11 feet (3.3m) in length and weigh around 2,200 lbs (997 kgs). The largest mola mola ever recorded was a female weighing more than 5,000 lbs (2,268 kgs) – that’s heavier than an average pickup truck.

Check out this massive mola:

Where Does the Name Ocean Sunfish Come From?
The common name “ocean sunfish” may have come about because this creature loves to bask in the sun. This animal is often seen lying on its side near the surface, soaking up the rays. The mola mola may appear to be dead – until you see it waving a dorsal fin.

Scientists aren’t 100% sure why mola mola behave this way, but many believe the fish is warming itself up after a long, deep dive. An additional theory supposes the mola mola wants to attract seabirds from above, and fish from below, to eat parasites from its skin.

Mola mola are often infested with parasites and need help getting rid of them. The fish can jump up to 10 feet (3m) in the air, which scientists believe is an attempt to knock off some of the parasites.

Are Ocean Sunfish Dangerous?

Mola mola eat jellyfish, algae and zooplankton. They are curious, and may approach divers, but they aren’t aggressive.

Is the Mola Mola Endangered?
The mola mola’s conservation status is “vulnerable.” They can easily suffocate on plastic bags, which resemble their favorite food (jellyfish). Also, hundreds of thousands of mola mola are victims of bycatch every year. The natural predators of the mola mola include: orcas, California sea lions and great white sharks.

What Does a Baby Mola Mola Look Like?

We’re so glad you asked! This massive animal starts out as a tiny, two millimeter baby fish that grows incredibly fast. The Monterey Bay Aquarium had an individual that gained 822 pounds (373kg) in only 15 months – nearly 2lbs (1kg) per day.

Want to Dive With a Mola Mola?
Here are some of the best places to find mola mola:

Baja California, Mexico
Bali, Indonesia
Western Spain
Inner Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Learn more about unusual fish and fish families in the AWARE Fish ID specialty. Contact your local PADI Dive Center or Resort to enroll.

Source: padi

By freedivinguae

Freedivers Living The Dream Diving And Filming With Sharks

Meet Madison Stewart and Perrin James, a freediving couple who are making a living out of swimming and filming sharks.

According to, the couple spend their time creating content and leading expeditions around the world. A big part of their work is based around conservation and creating content for brands that have a positive ethical stance towards the environment.

Stewart, who is Australian, grew up diving and swimming with sharks since she first learned to dive aged 12, while James is American from South Florida. The pair met at a restaurant in Los Angeles Airport (LAX), and since then their adventures have taken them around the world.

The couple have continuously shared their passion for freediving with sharks on Instagram, and it has made them stars. They now organise trips, and shoot videos around the globe, while not forgetting to indulge in their passion for diving with sharks on a regular basis.

You and Check out James’s Instagram, or Stewart’s Instagram here.

Check out some of James’s work below.

Source: deeperblue

By freedivinguae

Why The Paralenz Is The Best Underwater Action Camera For Divers

One of the biggest innovations in the diving industry in 2017 was the Paralenz Dive Camera. It emerged as a Kickstarter campaign in 2016 and has then since developed into the perfect action camera for divers. The news about the camera is starting to reach the furthest and deepest regions of the dive community and is creating quite a hype, but what is it exactly that makes this new action camera for divers so revolutionary? You would think that there were already enough action cameras on the market… Think again!

This camera is developed specifically for scuba and freediving, it is the result of combining the knowledge of 250 testers from 38 countries. Though it can be used above water it is really under the surface that its features shine through. The same features described below is what truly sets this camera apart from anything else and shows that it is built for being underwater.

Shaped For Diving

A robust circular aluminum housing is the best solution for a high-pressure environment.  It gives the camera the strength it needs to reach the unbeaten depth record and toll the conditions on a dive boat. In addition to that, the “torch” like shape, the positioning of the buttons, and the haptic feedback is also much more user-friendly compared to an old “upright” camera with a button on top and no feedback. The design and built on this camera alone will make most divers go in that direction.

Intelligent and Informative

Another great thing about the Paralenz is that it has built-in sensors that give the option of adding a depth and temperature overlay in your videos. It also creates a data log file that can be exported into a database. The latter has proved to be immensely helpful in ocean research and conservation work in getting accurate documentation of the dives and recordings.

True colors with no filters

DCC™ is short for depth color correction and is one of the biggest innovations in diving for quite a while! It is simply incredible to watch the depth controlled color correction work its magic, gradually adding the dissipating colors to the footage along the descent. It does not give that annoying red hue at shallow depths as you get with the traditional red filters, and best of all you don’t need an additional filter to get true colors straight out of the camera!

All your dives in one charge

Since the entirety of this camera is developed for diving, the battery is, of course, no exemption. It shows great performance even on dives in colder climates and delivers an astounding +2 hrs of recording in 4K, and +3hrs in 1080P. It will almost make a full recharge in a one-hour surface interval which is then enough to last through a nice long dive.

Dives are meant to be shared

When back on the boat it would be nice to look through and share your footage with your friends straight away right? Paralenz made an app for that! The Paralenz Dive App has a perfect interface for keeping a track over logged dives, to show how far into the dive and at what depths the footage was taken, and for sharing the best shots with friends and family.

The Paralenz beats anything else out there when it comes to filming with action cameras under water. Filters and housings are now a thing of the past and the divers finally have an action camera of their own. Add to that that the camera is developed by the dive community from the bottom up, and you will know why the Paralenz is the best underwater action camera for divers.

For more info and to buy head to

Source: deeperblue