COURSE PURPOSE

The AIDA Level IV course is an advanced freediving course, designed to continue a freediver’s training beyond the level of AIDA Level III Freediver. It aims to meet the needs of those freedivers who want to continue freediving beyond a recreational level.

Students will be familiarised with the techniques, knowledge and safety procedures for deep freediving, such as exhale diving and mouth fill equalising. Students will train these skills in the most common disciplines of freediving:

  • Static Apnea – breath hold with faced immersed in water
  • Dynamic Apnea – breathhold whilst travelling horizontally underwater
  • Free Immersion – the diver descends by pulling down on the line
  • Constant Weight – the diver descends and ascends using fins

Besides the in water skills, students will be introduced to full body stretching, lung stretching, cross training and diet that will benefit their freediving development.

This will be achieved through:

  • Knowledge Development – these will involve three theory sessions and an examination in the classroom
  • Stretching Session – this will involve full body and lung stretching for warm-up and regular exercise
  • Confined Water Sessions – these two sessions will involve static and dynamic practice in a pool to, an introduction to packing, improving rescue skills, planning an performing a dynamic training session and maximum performances
  • Open Water Sessions - you will learn new skills including, stretching, boat set up, exhale diving and the mouthful technique. You will also practice your rescue, duck dives, safety, budding and breathing skills

KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT

HOW IS THE KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT SESSION TAUGHT?

The knowledge development will take place in a classroom-like environment. It will be a minimum of 3 theory sessions with a duration of 2.5 hours per session depending on the number of questions you ask. The time to take the exam is NOT included in the minimum theory time mentioned above.

The knowledge development will be conducted using the AIDA Level IV Freediver Powerpoint slides. You will be provided with a hand-out of the slides to take away for future reference and to use to prepare for the exam (see below).

THE THEORY SESSIONS INCLUDE:

  • Physics – Dalton’s Law, Boyle’s law, Henry’s law, Decompression Sickness, Nitrogen Narcosis
  • Failure depth - what does it mean, how to increase VC and decrease RV
  • Exhale diving - FRC, how and when to use it, dangers of exhale diving
  • Mouth fill - how and when to use it and benefits
  • Packing - how and when to use it and risks
  • Fitness for Freediving - aerobic and anaerobic training, stretching, diet
  • Apnea Training - how to do breath hold training on land
  • Retrieval safety systems for freediving

HOW DO I PASS THE KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT SESSION?

You must pass the AIDA Level IV Freediver exam which has a passing score of 75%. Any missed questions will be explained to you and you will sign the bottom of the exam to indicate that this has taken place. If you do not pass the exam on first sitting, you may resit after 24 hours.

STRETCHING SESSION

SESSION OVERVIEW

The intent of this part of the course is to make sure that the student freediver knows how to do a full body stretch and lung stretching so that they can use these skills as preparation before a dive session or regularly to increase general flexibility and specifically chest flexibility. These sessions should be conducted in a suitable environment.

By the end of this session the student freediver will be able to:

  • Plan and perform a full body stretching suitable as preparation before a freediving session
  • Perform a lung stretching session including packing and reversed packing

HOW DO I PASS THE STRETCHING SESSION?

You pass this section of the course if you demonstrate you can plan and perform a full body and lung stretching session.

CONFINED WATER DIVES SESSIONS

This part of the course is indented to introduce students to packing during Static Apnea and to planning and performing a Dynamic Apnea training session. It also includes refresher of the student diver’s existing rescue skills.

Static Apnea

This session will be conducted in a swimming pool or similar confined water. After this session you will be able to:

  • Perform Lung Stretch - Perform a lung stretch as preparation
  • Coaching - Coach a buddy through a static session, including verbal guiding
  • Plan & Perform a Static Session - Safely perform a breath hold for at least 3 minutes 30 with a training buddy, including appropriate surfacing and recovery breathing
  • Rescue - Demonstrate the appropriate rescue technique for a buddy experiencing a loss of motor control or blackout during static training

How do I pass the static apena session?

You will have to successfully complete all of the requirements above including at least a 3 minutes 30 seconds breath hold.

Dynamic Apnea

This session will be conducted in a swimming pool or similar confined water. After this session you will be able to:

  • Perform Lung Stretch - Perform a lung stretch as preparation
  • Perform Training Sessions - Perform a dynamic training session that the student has constructed. Including for example: stretching, apnea swimming, technique training, dynamic CO2 tables with or without fins, swimming to release lactic acid
  • Buoyancy - Set the right buoyancy considering the different factors that will affect the performance: depth, wetsuit, use of packing, water salinity
  • Buddy - Act as a safety diver for a buddy performing a maximum dynamic
  • Rescue - Demonstrate the appropriate rescue technique for a freediver experiencing a loss of motor control or blackout during dynamic apnea
  • Swim Underwater For 70m – Safely demonstrate a dynamic apnea dive of at least 55m, with attention to breathe up, head and arm positioning, finning motion, turns, surfacing and recovery breathing

How do I pass the dynamic apena session?

You will have to successfully complete all of the requirements above including at least a 70m dynamic apnea swim.

OPEN WATER DIVE SESSIONS

Four dive sessions over two days will be conducted in open water with a fixed line to be used as a point of reference for you. You will be secured to the line via a lanyard. You will be given adequate time for debriefing, rest and relaxation and briefing between the dives. In open water the maximum depth of the freedives will be limited to 38 meters.

Open Water Dive Session 1 – Stretch, Boat Setup, Exhale Dives, Mouth Fill & Safety

After open water session 1 you will be able to:

  • Stretch - Perform a warm-up stretch of about 20 minutes
  • Boat Setup - Prepare the set-up necessary for an OW dive session: student must be confident in handling bottom weight and ropes, tie safe knots, set precise depths
  • Exhale Diving - Understand the mechanism of exhale dives and practice them
  • Mouth Fill - Understand the mechanism of the Mouth fill technique and practice it together with exhale dives
  • Safety - Remove one fin at the depth of 20m and swim back with only one fin

Open Water Dive Session 2 – Stretch, Setup, Mouth Fill, Exhale Dives, Rescue

After open water session 2 you will be able to:

  • Stretch - Perform a lung stretch as preparation for the dive session
  • Set-up - Prepare the set-up necessary for an OW dive session
  • Mouth Fill - Use the mouth fill technique in combination with exhale dives
  • Rescue - Rescue a blacked out freediver from 20m
  • Safety - Ascend from 20m with no mask

Open Water Dive Session 3 – Stretch, Setup, Stamina Test, Packing & Mouth Fill

After open water session 3 you will be able to:

  • Stretch - Perform a full body stretch or a lung stretch as preparation for the dive session
  • Set Up - Prepare the set-up necessary for an OW dive session
  • Stamina Test - Perform a 20m dive four times with 2 min recovery between each dive
  • Packing - Perform a dive using the packing technique in combination with a Mouth fill performed at around 20m

Open Water Dive Session 4 - Warm Up & Maximum Performance

After open water session 4 you will be able to:

  • Stretch - Perform a full body or a lung stretch as preparation for the dive session
  • Set Up - Prepare the set-up necessary for an OW dive session
  • Warm Up - Plan an OW dive session with exhale dives as part of the warm-up, followed by a target dive
  • Maximum Performance - Perform a Constant Weight dive to a depth of at least 32m (maximum 38m) with fins safely with a training buddy using the mouth fill technique
  • Rescue - Rescue a BO freediver from 15m using only one bi fin as propulsion

How do I pass the open water sessions?

You will have to successfully complete all of the requirements outlined in the open water sessions above.

EQUIPMENT

To take the course students will need the following equipment:

  • Low volume (smaller than a scuba mask), clear lensed and flexible mask
  • Long, full footed fins
  • Rigid snorkel
  • Close fitting wetsuit with integrated hood and no zips
  • Rubber weightbelt

You could also use a nose clip and goggles if you wish.

These items are available for hire from FreedivingUAE in addition to the basic course cost.

Australia

I went from maybe 40 seconds in the first class session and reached the 2 minutes [in the second session] so I was pretty stoked.

INSTRUCTOR SUPERVISION

The AIDA Level IV Freediver course will be conducted by an Active AIDA Instructor with current Cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR and First Aid training (completed within the last two years). The instructor will carry liability insurance for teaching freediving in the UAE.

The maximum student diver-to-instructor ratio in confined water is eight students per instructor (8:1). The maximum student diver-to-instructor ratio for open water training dives is four students per instructor (4:1). This may rise to six students per instructor (6:1) when the instructor is assisted by another freediver qualified to at least AIDA Level IV.

PRICE

The price for the AIDA Level IV Freediver Course with FreedivingUAE is 3440 AED for members. The membership fee is 500 AED.

This includes boat hire, pool access, guide line, weights, lanyard, dive centre access and a minimum of 18.5 hours of instruction by a qualified AIDA instructor. The price also includes processing of the certification (refer to Post Course Certification section below).

The price does not include the hire of mask, fins, snorkel, weight belt and wet suit. Also the price does not include any hotel costs if the open water session needs to be held in Korfakkan due to poor weather in Abu Dhabi.

COURSE PREREQUISITES

To enroll in the AIDA Level IV Freediver course, an individual must:

  • Have complered the AIDA Level III Freediver Course or equivalent
  • Be 18 years of age or older (16 years with parent or guardian consent)
  • Be able to swim at least 200m non-stop without fins and at least 300m non-stop with mask, fins and snorkel

Before commencing any in-water training, the following forms must be completed, (for students aged under 18 years, both must be co-signed by a parent or guardian):

  • AIDA Medical Form – this must be completed in full with students marking YES or NO to each of the medical conditions listed. If the student answers YES to any condition, they must seek medical approval before taking part in any in-water activity. The physician must sign the form to indicate this approval. Whether or not the student then is then accepted onto the course is left at the discretion of the instructor.
  • AIDA Liability Release Form or local equivalent

POST COURSE CERTIFICATION

Freedivers who meet all the requirements outlined above will be certified as an AIDA Level IV Freediver. Students will receive their full certification from AIDA within 2 months. This will be administrated by FreedivingUAE.