This course is designed to be an introduction to freediving for the complete beginner. It aims to help the student to develop basic skills, knowledge and safety procedures necessary to enjoy freediving safely within the limits of their experience. This course is not aimed towards competitive freediving but for recreational freediving only. Therefore the main focus in the course is freediving without a dive line and without dividing the skills into different competitive disciplines. The dives can be combinations of horizontal and vertical swimming. To conduct an AIDA Level I Freediver course, the following knowledge development, breath hold exercise and water session are to be included:
- Static Apnea – breath hold with faced immersed in water;
- Constant Weight – the diver descends and ascends using fins.
This will be achieved through:
- Knowledge Development – this will involve theory sessions and an examination in the classroom;
- Confined Water Sessions – this will involve static sessions in a pool to teach breathing, relaxation, finning and safety techniques.
HOW IS THE KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT SESSION TAUGHT?
The knowledge development will take place in a classroom-like environment. It will consist of one theory sessions with a minimum duration of 2 hours depending on the number of questions you ask. The knowledge development will be conducted using the AIDA Level I Freediver Powerpoint slides.
THE THEORY SESSIONS INCLUDE:
- Equipment for freediving – introduction to basic freediving equipment– mask, snorkel, fins...
- Breathing for freediving - before a dive and on recovery, correct breathing and avoidance of hyperventilation;
- Equalisation – the need to equalise and basic equalisation techniques;
- Safety for freediving - avoiding and reacting to blackout and loss of motor control;
- Freediving and Scuba Diving - combining the two safely;
- Key rules to remember for freediving safely.
HOW DO I PASS THE KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT SESSION?
There is no exam for the AIDA Level I Freediver theory you just have to demonstrate and understanding of the points above.
This session will be conducted in a swimming pool or similar confined water. After this session you should be able to:
- Demonstrate abdominal breathing and appropriate breathing techniques in preparation for a breath;
- Demonstrate appropriate recovery and breathing techniques at the end of a breath hold, including;
- Demonstrate how to train safely and effectively for static apnea with a training buddy;
- Do short breath holds to experience both relaxation and contractions;
- Demonstrate the appropriate rescue technique for a training buddy experiencing a loss of motor control or blackout.
HOW DO I PASS THE STATIC APNEA SESSION
You will have to successfully complete all of the requirements above.
This session will be conducted in a swimming pool or similar confined water.
After this session you should be able to:
- Demonstrate how to prepare and don equipment for pool training;
- Demonstrate appropriate breathing techniques in preparation for a breath hold dive;
- Demonstrate appropriate recovery and breathing techniques at the end of a breath hold dive;
- Demonstrate appropriate duck dives;
- Demonstrate appropriate finning style and technique with regard to body positioning, movement and position relative to depth and sides of a pool or bottom;
- Demonstrate how to train safely and effectively with a training buddy;
- Supervise a buddy from the surface as they perform a freedive;
- Demonstrate the appropriate rescue technique of a buddy experiencing a loss of motor control or blackout.
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.
These items are available for hire from Freediving UAE and included in the basic course cost.
The AIDA Level I 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 six students per instructor (6:1) and the sessions will be conducted in one day.
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.
The price for the AIDA Level I Freediver Course with Freediving UAE is 500 AED. This includes pool access, guide line, weights, lanyard, mask and 6 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 also includes insurance for the duration of the course.
To enroll in the AIDA Level I Freediver Course, an individual must:
- Be 18 years of age or older (16 years with parent or guardian consent);
- Be able to swim at least 100m non stop;
- Have completed the AIDA Medical Form;
- Have completed the Liability Release.
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 I diver. Students will receive their full certification from AIDA within 2 months. This will be administrated by Freediving UAE.