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Freediver Friendly Pools

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2004
I'd be interterested in hearing what approaches people have taken to ensuring the public pools they train in are freediver friendly.

In Sydney it is a constant challenge of education and compromise to ensure we can use public pools and often it means moving from pool to pool and back again when enough time has passed that they will tolerate us again... for a little while.

Has anyone had some real wins at difficult pools and now enjoy the benefits of a "Freediver Friendly" public pool?

At the pool I use there is an understanding that you can use fins as long as there are no people sharing the lane with you. Their concern is that you hurt someone with your fins while swimming past them.

So if I'm in the water with fins and someone jumps into my lane I have to take my fins off. It's apretty decent arrangement as usually another lane opens up some time later and you can just shift there.

If there are more several people training with fins they like us to come from 8 to 10 pm, when there are fewer people. I train around 1:00 PM to 4:pM when there are not so many swimmers. Perhaps you can ask your pool manager, (go to the top) and ask when are there least people and then commit yourself to taking off your equipment if someone needs to share your lane. This will sound reasonable from your part and hopefully the manager will be flexible enough to accept.


Andy-comunication is good talk to the guy that is in charge of the pool and tell them what are you doing and the equipment you need to use for this - don't feel bad be patience

and you will find the right person - the right pool -that will help you - with your freediving

rule always changing and something men make their own rules that doesn't make sense - but be patience-

In my case as you can see me in this forum I pray to God for everything even when I get into the pool I do this in my mind
I believed that God gave us grace and favor before people
and he open doors -

I've just found a pool up on the central coast that is happy to have freedivers.
They are empty from 7pm so have a pool to yourself ;) Unlike sydney pools that are packed at night.

Maybe if you have enough freedivers they will give you a dedicated "fin" lane
ADR, in Madrid, the same rule as Adrian commented is aplying. You have to observe which pool have empty lanes at which times and go there. If anyone takes the lane, you just practice 'no fins'. So maybe those who excel in 'no fins' are because of this! :D
It is also a good excuse for grouping up for freediving. I mean:
Take an empty lane. Then, two/three/four of you freedivers, move to that lane just to make it appear the busiest lane for swimmers to join :) . We have been taking this approach lately.. and hey..it works! We can train relatively relaxes for about 2 hours. Another trick. Now In the summer (at least in the North hemisphere) outdoor pools are all covered with crowds of people. No one goes to indoor pools, but they are still open. So.. go to indoor pools :)

Cheers and happy training!!

The pictures I post is a private pool- I found out that all around I lived there were plenty of private indoor and out door pool so I didn't have acces to all of them - so I deceived take a look at this- and I meet a guy that live there and I put them to film me doing dinamic not fins- he was amazed when he saw my - and he says you have not problem come here whenever you want and I will fim you-

also is one of the out door pool that I like because of the nice wiew in the back - you can see manhattan island -

I go use 2 different indoor pool for training in one is deeper and the watter is always cold for me- and the other one is very warm and not too deep- but I like the second one-
Finding a freediver friendly pool can indeed be a challenge.

In the public pool closest to where I live, freediving is not allowed. People have asked them every now and then, and they used to allow it first, but lately have reversed their policy. Even if you try and persuade them to train on off-hours the answer is still no. Period.

I have found you can still train if you are discrete about it.

Don't bring any equipment except your swimming goggles and then when the pool is not very busy, find a an empty lane and practice no fins dynamics. If you think someone is going take the lane when you are under, then just practice pushoffs from the wall instead... or do dynamic by swimming on the surface (you look like everone else there... they can't tell wether you breathe or not). There are ways to get a little training in if you are creative.
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It has been somewhat of a challenge here in Ottawa to find public pools that are tolerant of freedivers. Many of the pools won't allow it because they're afraid someone is going to drown.

We've been fortunate enough to have the support of some local dive shops. These dive shops have pools booked a couple nights a week and have allowed us to train while they teach their scuba classes. While this has been good for static training, it's often difficult to train dynamic when the pool is filled with scuba divers. These pools aren't very big.

We've recently been speaking with a public pool manager that is open to having us train, static or dynamic, but not during public swim times. So, we'll be able to train there but have to pay a small fee to rent the pool lanes.

I would suggest being up front and patient with any pool managers you're speaking with. Many of them are misinformed and if you're able to educate them a little you may have better luck finding a pool.

If you do find a pool, be sure to take the time and educate those who watch you. If you're training during public swims you will undoubtedly find both children and adults interested in what you're doing. If you take the time to tell them how to do it safely, then we'll have more freedivers amongst us rather than drowning victims.

Good luck finding a pool.

That has been my experience Jason. I have found that people are fascinated with how long you can hold your breath, or how far you can swim underwater during dynamics. They ask you some questions, you do a little sales pitch, teach them safety, and you have a new freediver, and a new buddy! I think I have recruited two new freedivers in the last month.

As far as access to a pool goes. I am currently a lifeguard at the country club pool in my area. On top of that my cousin is the pool director. I have no problems, she let's me do whatever I want.
:t I'm so lucky.

I have a great relationship with my local YMCA.

They let me use any kind of fin, or monofin, that I want. I've only done statics there once, when I dragged Ted along, and didn't have a problem. I don't usually have a buddy with me so never train statics in the pool.

I will go out of my way to take off my monofin if the pool gets crowded. I also answer any questions and let people try most any piece of gear that I have along with me. This builds up the good will with the rest of the patrons, and the guards.

I have even brought in the video camera to film the Master's team praciticing for a big meet. The instant feed back the get from watching themsleves swim underwater is good for them, and builds up even more good will between the staff and myself- plus, it's something to do in the middle of a Wisconsin snow storm.:D

It might also help that my daughter and I have been through a few sets of infant swim classes and know most of the pool staff as a result. I also work one day a week in the nursery, to pay for my family membership, and have met even more staff members as a result.:cool:

I think that the more up-front you are with the people in charge, the more accomodating they will be with you- as long as you don't cause a big hassle by taking up too much room or blacking out in the middle of a geriatric water aerobic's class.;)

Just my experience.....


Many of the pools won't allow it because they're afraid someone is going to drown.

does anybody can say to you when to breath or don't hold your breath-?-- I think this pool save guard or the manager have to be educated in what really is freediving-

freediving is not for practicing in- a baseball camp-- we need water and the perfect place is the sea or a pool-

also there is no many different from the kind of training swimmer does and what we does for freediving -- they also need to learn how to breath and how to hold their breath in the stroke when is necesary -that's part of their training

About me I can say that I go to 2 different pool one of the pool almost all the life guard and manager even the simmer trainer are Believers - and they they like to see me doing my dinamic -and hearing all the different freediving history I tell them -only in the summer people go there- in winter- just a few simmers use the pool at certain time - I pay to enter this pool 3 dollars per day- or 70 dollars in a year- that is the bad side jaja

there in the pool I use my fins - my wet suit- and sometime I take my underwater camera with my triple in water-I put this on the botton of the pool- to Take pictures myself- the only problem with this pool is that the water is always cold -

now the other pool I go is the one that i like most--is not too deep as the other one- but there only in summer people go there- the rest of the year only me and 2 old guy go there for swimming-- and most of the time - the pool is empty -I mean empty of people- not of water jaja- Oh the admision is free- this is the good news

also there is plenty of pool private pool very close to my house that is not easys to enter there- only for people that live there "This is the part of Capitalism that I didn't like" jaja but one day walking near my house I saw a private pool that I liked to go there-it has a very nice view to ny -located by the hudson river-
the best place for taking pictures and video- so I took my equipment and when there and say to the guy there that I want to take a video me doing dinamic not fins and that I was a freedivers at the begining the guy dind't understand me-nor even knew what I was talking about it- but there were another guy with him hearing the corversation -- and he say ok- I will give him my pass -- so I start doing my dinamic not fins-- and put this guy to record the all seccion with the digital camera- after he saw me swimming only 50 meters he say daniel-this is amazing - there is not problem for you to come here and use this pool - come whenever you want and my myself will take the video for you -

lets see if I can post pictures from this pools

On the first issue, that would be true. but, it is really our job as freedivers that need to educate the community. Even thought freediving has been around for centuries, your local community really has no clue to what you are doing.
With free diving, I also do some monofin swimming training. One of the category entitles us to use a small air tank to do 500m under water in less than 4m 30s. I had to spend some times talking with the community pool manager, and after about 2 hrs of chatting, he had a much greater understanding of what it was about. Now, I can train both freeding (as long as I have somebody watching me. Their caviat, they wanted me to provided my own life guard. Praise God, my fiancy (now wife) happened to be a ER nurse, so I recruited her in being their.
Sometimes, we have to be willing to bend a little to accomodate the local community pools. Not hard.

Im all for honesty folks.... but seriously.....
Can anyone really come into the pool area, point underwater and say "that person is free diving, make them stop"
Can anyone actualy say "that person is freediving"
most people dont know the diference anyway.
Lots of people swim underwater. LOTS OF PEOPLE
The pool hours are posted on a sign - usualy.
But has anyone EVER seen a sign that told you how long you could swim on each side of the surface?

- Pool hours: 6:00 am - 10:30 pm mon-fri
4 hours above water / 26 minutes below
No litering
No food or glass bottles
no holding your head underwater for more than 5 min
no holding ANYONE ELSES head underwater for more than 1.67 seconds
no making bubbles with any part of your anatomy
no having fun
no smoking underwater
no blinking
no evolving into dolphins or other sea life during pool hours
mermaids must wear aproved skirts
out of body experiences will not be tolerated at this establishment!
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A friend of mine told me he got kicked out of the pool just a few days ago for doing 1:30-2:00 static down there.
So yes, there are freediver unfriendly pools.
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