Freediving: A Beginner’s Guide

For well-trained freedivers, every time they go into the water will be a pleasurable experience. Without using a mechanical breathing apparatus, they are truly free to flow effortlessly into the ocean. Now, if you want to start  freediving, here is a beginner’s guide for you:

  • Get the right equipment for practice.

While you need a flexible snorkel, specialized fins and a close-fitting mask when going deep, you can practice with just a basic snorkel set and scuba fins.

  • Find a place to practice.

Depending on which is most accessible to you, you can practice in the ocean, lake or a pool as long as it has clear water and calm conditions, and is safe and comfortable for you.

  • Learn how to equalize.

As you dive into deeper waters, the airspaces inside your body and your equipment will be subject to increasing pressure that can be harmful. This is why you need to learn how to equalize, which is done during descent only or preventatively when you notice any discomfort. You can do this by blowing small amounts of air into your mask through your nose as you descend.

  • Be knowledgeable about ventilation.

Ventilation is the act of supplying your body with as much oxygen as possible before descending. This involves increasing lung capacity, achieving optimal breath-up intervals and purging carbon dioxide. As a beginner, you should hyperventilate for no longer than about 10 seconds to purge your body of excessive carbon dioxide.

  • Learn how to relax before you dive.

You should be totally relaxed before diving to ensure your muscles will have all the oxygen needed for the dive. Start by achieving your body’s resting heart rate and then floating to rest for several minutes. When breathing up, take deep and slow breaths and exhale completely after each breath. Ask your instructor how to practice different breath-up rituals.

  • Take a deep breath and then dive.

Take a final deep breath and then dive following the hyperventilation interval.

Your freediving capabilities will greatly depend on your physical conditioning and psychological state. Take small steps to ensure your safety, and you will find this activity truly enjoyable!

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