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bolts

New Member
Jun 1, 2004
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Hello all! Been a lurker for the longest time, and figured I'd post...finally. :)

I don't SCUBA dive, and don't freedive, but would love to try both. Freediving seems to be more accessable, in terms of initial cost, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

I suppose my questions are:

1) Specific to the Ottawa region, is it easy to find a diving buddy and where are some good freediving spots in Ottawa or the surrounding region (i.e., a few hours drive or so??)

2) How much does it cost to get outfitted properly and trained for freediving? Does anyone have any suggestions as to locations for training?

3) If people had a choice between SCUBA and freediving, which would you choose? I just want to find out what it's like to dive, with or without air, so I'm just looking for some input here!

4) I've read some postings and articles about some pretty extreme preparations and training for freediving. Although I consider myself to be reasonably fit, I don't feel like training hardcore in order to enjoy freediving. For example, I lift weights, cycle and blade frequently, and enjoy doing these things. What sort of commitment does recreational freediving take? I won't be setting any world records anytime soon. :t

Thanks all!

Cheers! :D
 

chojan

Well-Known Member
Feb 22, 2004
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Hi there -- Welcome to the forums!

I think I can try to answer a couple of your questions:

  • I know that there are a number of active freedivers in the Ottawa region. Subscribe to the freedivecanada Yahoo group. Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/freedivecanada/
  • In terms of getting equipment, it isn't that expensive (compared to some other sports), but it is quite dependent on two things: whether you get talked into the top-end gear :) and whether you buy mail-order! For me, I bought most of my gear locally and it cost around C$1400 for decent gear, including everything (but no training costs). My freediving page lists some of the equipment I purchased and what I thought: http://www.impulseadventure.com/freedive/. Since then, I have made some more purchases, but only after I felt that I might be able to see and make the most of the difference.
  • As for training, I think it is essential that you get proper training. It can be a dangerous sport, so having any education that helps from a safety point of view is imperative. Then of course, you get a great deal of technique training which will help you advance your depth / distance / time much faster than without. I took the Performance Freediving (http://www.performancefreediving.com) clinic in Vancouver and can't say enough good things about it. It's worth having a look to see if they have any upcoming clinics nearby.
  • I have had my SCUBA open-water & advanced for over ten years, and used to dive quite regularly. To be honest, the freediving seems to offer a completely different experience. One of the biggest elements in freediving that I don't get in SCUBA is the free and natural learn-your-body experience you get. It becomes a very unique challenge, and has its own rewards. I imagine that I still will SCUBA dive when I get a chance to visit great dive spots (with lots of life), but I will probably freedive much more often.
  • The training ended up being more involved than I had expected (in terms of a time-committment), but part of that is that I am interested in competing in addition to recreational diving. But, if you are only interested in the recreational side, then you will still probably want to train regularly so that you get to open up more of the underwater world for you the next time you jump in!

Have fun and make the most of it!
 
Last edited:

Bill

Baron of Breathold
Oct 17, 2001
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Bolts
Are you aware of the competition in Ottawa June 18-20. I think the contact is
<[email protected]>
Might be a chance to learn a little and meet some of the doers.
Aloha
Bill
 

bolts

New Member
Jun 1, 2004
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chojan,

I wouldn't DREAM of trying freediving without proper instruction first. That would just be silly.... :duh BTW, nice ride you got there on your website! :D I'm into racing, big time.

Bill,

Yup, I'm aware of it and was considering checking it out. Might feel strange watching these guys and gals doing their thing, as I'm not sure it's a spectator sport, and I'm kinda shy anyways. :eek: But curiousity may get the best of me.
 

chojan

Well-Known Member
Feb 22, 2004
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I agree -- I think it would be a great idea to go along to the ERC and watch. It isn't much of a spectator sport, but it is interesting seeing how different people prepare. There is only so much one learns from a course -- the rest comes from numerous people experimenting with different philosophies and techniques.

And of course you'll meet many people who will not only inspire you in the future, but who will have lots of tips to help get you started.
 

ADR

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2004
655
62
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Bolts,

On the question to Freedive or Scuba the answer is simple.....

DO BOTH!!!

They are both great and so different that it isn't even worth making a comparison. You will get hardliners in both camps but find great people and great experiences from each activity.

As Bill said, try to get along to the comp and introduce yourself...If you are shy then talk to one of the ladies....generally they are not as scary! :D

You are about to enter in to something that will change the way you view the world and bring you lots of good times.

Andy
 

bolts

New Member
Jun 1, 2004
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5
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Thanks for the input everyone. :) MUCH appreciated.

I guess one of my concerns now that I think about it more is the up-front committment, equipment wise. I want to try out freediving, but before I blow X dollars on something, I want to know if I want to persue it further. I guess what I want to know is, is there a way to try out some kind of freediving before I go blow a ton of cash on equipment and extensive training?

Any suggestsions??

Thanks again! :D
 

ramstam

New Member
May 9, 2003
227
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I would suggest finding a local dive shop and talking to the people that hang out there. The shops in my area have free
" discover scuba" classes and I bet if you wanted you could just as easily do a discover snorkeling. You should, in my opionion,
snorkel before you dive. Even if it is only for a half a day.
Ask about local snorkeling trips, they usually include the gear you need. Otherwise take a trip to somewhere tropical and really
live it up. I learned in Catalina when I was 7 and because the conditions were so good and I had such a good time I'm still at it.
It seems to be important to have the first few times be good experiences, so take your time and don't let things like getting
the wetsuit on and off ruin it.
 
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