Are there any benefits of SCUBA over freediving, for a good freediver. | DeeperBlue.com Forums
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Are there any benefits of SCUBA over freediving, for a good freediver.

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aquatic ape

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Aug 25, 2004
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Are there any benefits of SCUBA over freediving, for a good freediver.

It seems to me that once you have trained and get good at recreational freediving or spear fishing, that you can have total bottom times that are close to those of SCUBA. The biggest advantage that I see with SCUBA is that it is relatively easy to do. Are there other pros and cons of SCUBA and freediving? Everyone that I know that is into SCUBA does not understand my fascination and passion in pursuing the ability to freedive. The normal answer is why hold your breath when you can SCUBA. It is kind of hard to explain to them why SCUBA does not appeal to me, but freediving does. I guess they just don’t get it. I’m not knocking SCUBA; it just does not pull me into the water like freediving does.

Finally what are some total freediving bottom times for a single day of diving at 50 feet?
 

derelictp

Freediver
Oct 16, 2001
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I cant see any benefits, I agree totally with you.

If I do 1 hour of dives to 50ft my average total bottom time will 20min. (on approx 10-12 dives.)

I cant understand why not more people discover freediving...:confused:
 

mishu1984

Halla Waaaaallllaaa
Aug 15, 2002
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Well most people i know that freedive, got into it after they had tried scuba and didnt like all the gear and the bulkiness not to mention the constant annoying bubbles that absolutely drive me nuts. also many freedivers spearfish, and also many scuba divers and there is a whole debate about this.

also refer to this thread...it has many reasons why to freedive, plus why scuba when you can freedive ;)

http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=37261
 

tylerz

Well-Known Member
Jun 19, 2002
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Pros of SCUBA:

1. Allows concentrated attention on marine life, while freediving concentration can be broken due to the need to surface. Often the subject takes advantage of this break to disappear, or this occurs plainly due to visibility or recognition issues, that the freediver is subjected to on the return to surface and attempt to relocate the subject. SCUBA gives you the best chance to witness marine life that has the potential of being lost, for the lengthiest amount of time and varied acts it might go through.

2. Underwater photography/video can be prepared at depth giving more options of the type of photography/video you may employ.

3. Various underwater tasks can only be performed, or would not be efficiently viable, without SCUBA.

4. Under circumstances of danger, should one succumb to it (ie. tanglings/trappings, wounds, being predated upon, etc...), SCUBA allows for various strategies that involve time, towards dealing with the circumstances.

5. Ability to scan an underwater environment for macro life and small details with a simple inquisitiveness, whereas in freediving it takes much more mental control to allow yourself to do this. It is in our nature when holding our breath, to feel a sense of urgency and expectation to locate something. It is essential in freediving to train yourself to be satisfied with having a dive where you do not locate anything new and fascinating, otherwise you succumb to a sense of panic, which actually hinders/stops you from detecting details.

6. The less physically inclined/active can enjoy the SCUBA experience.


Pros of Freediving:

1. Almost no equipment required, means confidence in being only dependant upon your body. Equipment failures in SCUBA are more fatal and impacting than the minimal equipment employed in freediving.

2. Ability to travel light and explore locations without the need of a boat. One can fit all their equipment in a backpack and hike to desirable locations. Also implies the ability to camp and dive.

3. Ability to dive all day long without a dependancy on pre-planning oxygen requirements.

4. More inclined to dive regularly and at a moments notice. No monetary cost for diving, tends to mean a freediver is more likely to dive when they feel like doing so. A SCUBA diver will consider costs and thereby not be as free to dive. Also preparations for SCUBA are lengthy and cumbersome, which also may lead to a more specific requirement of being in the right mood.

5. The sense of belonging in the water. There is nothing comparable to free swimming and going where you wish just because you can and nobody can take that away from you, except through changes to your body. SCUBA is dependant upon equipment functioning and being available. Equipment to freedive is merely complimentary as opposed to necessary (I regularly recreationally dive no-fins, although I much prefer having a mask than without ;) ).

6. Is a physical activity that is likely to train your body and maintain a good level of fitness, if performed regularly. This is only minimally applicable to SCUBA under very specific circumstance.

7. Bubbles are not a distraction to marine life.

8. Salvage dives can be immediate and costless. The ability to immediately salvage those glasses that fall overboard.

9. No certification required. One can freedive any time, any where. SCUBA is dependant upon certification to acquire air. To be certified requires money and acceptance of your certification. What if you forget your certification identification?

10. Unlikely for a freediver to be exposed to decompression issues (although I have just returned from 3 sessions of 2 hours in a hyperbaric chamber), which also implicitly limits a SCUBA diver to a certain amount of dives and conditions in a day.



Well that is all that I can quickly roll out of my mind for now. I always say they are different activities for different interests. I only freedive because of the general interest and benefits I experience, but some pros of freediving will not be another's interests and therefore the pros experienced in SCUBA will be of more interest.
 
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tylerz

Well-Known Member
Jun 19, 2002
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Oh and I forgot the bottom time.

Depends how you work out bottom time.

A good day of recreational diving usually racks me up between 30-50 dives. So say 40 dives at an average of 1:10. When I dive recreationally I tend to descend slower than line diving. So, 20 seconds down, 15 seconds up. 35 seconds travel and 35 seconds at the depth.

Bottom time calculated as time at the depth you wish to explore: 35x40=1400s=23min.

Bottom time calculated as time underwater: 70x40=2800=46min
 

Adrian

Deeper Blue Beachcomber
Supporter
Nov 23, 2002
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Nice exposition Tyler,

Another pro for SCUBA:

As newly certified in scuba I found to my surprise that the larger fish here get much closer to you on scuba than when freediving. I think it's because they have learnt to consider bulky and noisy shapes as "safe" while swift silent and streamlined equates to spearos and predators.

I find that both freediving and scuba are both very enjoyable.

Adrian
 

aquatic ape

New Member
Aug 25, 2004
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Originally posted by mishu1984
Well most people i know that freedive, got into it after they had tried scuba and didnt like all the gear and the bulkiness not to mention the constant annoying bubbles that absolutely drive me nuts. also many freedivers spearfish, and also many scuba divers and there is a whole debate about this.

also refer to this thread...it has many reasons why to freedive, plus why scuba when you can freedive ;)

http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=37261

mishu1984,

It is funny that you chose that thread. Just before posting this question, I had just posted reasons for my recent infatuation with freediving, due to a life time love of the sea on that thread. It is awesome to have so many people to relate to that also understand this love for the sea. I believe that if I SCUBA I am a foreigner, where as if I am freediving I belong there, and that is what I want to feel.
BTW everyone Thanks for the replies.

Luke
 

mishu1984

Halla Waaaaallllaaa
Aug 15, 2002
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well Luke dont be to quick to exclude scuba divers from the group. both ascuba and freedivers benefit from each other. just imagine the amount of freediving fatalities there would be if there were no standby scuba divers placed on certain depths during competitions...
also both scuba and freedivers have one thing in common: a passion for the sea and its creatures. we both benefit from each other in many ways.
also many spearos use scuba gear (myself included) to scout for fish and gain a better understanding of the behavior of each species. i have always had the belief that those that truly enjoy spearfishing and being in the marine environment have a greater understanding and respect for the ecosystem and are among those who fight the most and the hardest for the preservation of it. just imagine how crappy it would be to freedive in the Red Sea if it were void of marine life, or the great lenghts that you would have to go to to spear a spanish mackrel if they were almost extinct, or the enourmous amount of stings from jellyfish if we allowed for shark fisheries to remain uncontrolled..

anyways im going to get off my soap box ;)
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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Some sites are just too unsafe to freedive comparing to scuba.
1) If you have a lot of boat trafic - in some places they consider a buoy with a diving flag as a target rather than something to keep distance with.
2) Bad visibility and current on recreational freedivng makes it hard to keep with normal safety measures. It really sucks to constantly come up from a 25m+ dives and see that your buddy is 20m away from you with his head in the water still looking for you (and vise versa).
3) Some wrecks and caves are just too long and complicated to be done safely in freediving.
4) No matter how good a freediver you are. There's always a depth in which some guy with tanks can play in while you can't. Though it's the same with a guy with some more tanks and submersibles etc. Not a really good reason, but it is still a benefit.
5) Easier to get a ride to dive sites if you're doing scuba. :(
6) You can collect a nice pile of cards and equipment to inflate your ego if you're into that sort of thing. :)
7) It's easier.

Deficit: It's not freediving. :)
 

tylerz

Well-Known Member
Jun 19, 2002
733
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Thanks Adrian, I am glad you appreciated it!

Michael, it is not certain that I had DCS, however, I had potential symptoms after a day of unusual diving activity and speaking with the doctors at the hyperbaric chamber, they concluded that the dive profile roughly correlated (taking extra precautions in guessing at how to correlate freediving to SCUBA) to a dive requiring decompression. To play it safe they strongly recommended treatment. I will post the details soon on a thread.

However, I am ok and my body regularly gives me new problems to deal with, so it may just be one of these gifts as opposed to DCS. ;) Thanks for asking!

Cheers,

Tyler
 
Last edited:

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
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Originally posted by DeepThought

5) Easier to get a ride to dive sites if you're doing scuba. :(

Maybe it's just me, but I've always found it easy and cheap to get out on dive boats as a "snorkeler" ;)
They usually say, "Oh we have a snorkelling trip you will like", which is some lame 1 metre deep pond for people wearing life jackets, and I say, "No, I'd like to come out on your 2 tank deep wreck dive"...... "No, I wont need tanks or lead"...."yes, snorkelling, that's right"....."sure, 5$ would be fine, thanks"
:D
The I wait until I get out on the site before pulling out the mono, etc.
Cheers,
Erik Y.
 

derelictp

Freediver
Oct 16, 2001
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They usually say, "Oh we have a snorkelling trip you will like", which is some lame 1 metre deep pond for people wearing life jackets, and I say, "No, I'd like to come out on your 2 tank deep wreck dive"...... "No, I wont need tanks or lead"...."yes, snorkelling, that's right"....."sure, 5$ would be fine, thanks"

Erik,

Same situation that I use to be in when I'm on vacation.

One time in Mexico I even got free rides after my first 2 tank snorkeling trip.:D
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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But in some other places they are well aware of that "infamous dangerous extreme" sport known as freediving and don't wanna risk law suits and insurace problems or do anything which is out of the ordinary. And I don't like trying to deceive them if I know that they would'nt allow me on other wise.

Though I did get a few free rides here and there. :)
 
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