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Freediving before Scuba

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bevan dewar

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2001
It usually seems to be advised that one not freedive AFTER scuba, but what of doing deep, repetitive freedives BEFORE scuba? Is it any less dangerous? Is there any rule of thumb to go by to prevent possible DCS? cheers
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No Good.

Hi Bevan.

Thanks for the Cyprus Video. It was the most awesome video i have seen yet. The Forgotten Origins video after your footage simply pales in comparison. The music really rocks too.

Considering that people can bend on freediving alone in extreme cases, i would have to say that it will certainly make scuba diving afterwards riskier.

I dont think there is any science to use as a guideline. Rather the adequate passage of time between the two. A day probably ?

Been discussing all this kind of thing rather a lot recently after getting bent.
Last night a discussion with a medic friend actually threw up the idea that scuba after freediving might reduce the risk of DCS from the freediving - in theory if you could do a shallow scuba dive with a long safety stop you might off gas what you had absorbed from the freediving before hand as well as the scuba...

so I see no reason why you should not scuba dive after freediving, just be sensible about both! what does being sensible mean? a decent surface interval between freedives ( depends on depth but 10 minutes is a good safe recommendation) and then scuba dive within tables/computer.

What Sam descriped is very much true incase you dive very shallow and you are already suffering from dcs , this with scuba. There is a certain depth where your body will start absorbing more nitrogen due to the amount of pressurized nitrogen in your lungs. In general if you have been dooing deep freedives i wouldnt recommend scuba diving.

This because if you have been dooing deep dives your body has absorbed certain amount of nitrogen because of pressurized gas i your lungs. So if you would go scuba diving your body would anyhow start absorbing more nitrogen. This happens even at quite shallow depths. One should note that for example pressure chamber is no use unless you already have dcs. Long surface intervals are the way to go.
Incase of DCS the pressure chamber is much more safe and controlled.

Feel free to correct me if im wrong..


Last edited:
Hi Bevan,
I agree with Sam that if you were to do shallow scuba dives, it's a bit like doing deco. I think that scuba after freediving should be fairly safe, unless you are really pushing a lot of deep freedives in a short space of time. (Or using a sled etc)

I've done quite a bit of freediving before and after scuba (my bad). Having said that I never did any freediving after deep scuba, or one that would put you in a high nitrogen group. It was mostly not real deep freediving either, not much over 20m. What I did do if I knew I would be freediving after, is an extra long safety(deco) stop. So instead of 3-5 minutes at 5m, I would do 15 or so.

I guess if you could calculate the nitrogen loading with freediving, and had some sort of table, then I see no reason you couldn't mix both. So you could treat the freediving the same as scuba, work out surface intervals, safety or deco stops etc. Of course no one has done this yet so the risk is if you get it wrong. :waterwork

If you want to add an extra safety margin - after your freediving you could put on your scuba gear and do a 15 or 20 minute safety stop at 5m or so?
(Work even better if you had nitrox). Then after another 2hours surface interval start your scuba. Add in some extra deco on that as well.

P.S. I don't recomend freediving after scuba, I'm just saying I've done it. :duh

Thanks all for the input. It seems all that can be done is longer surface intervals, 8-10 min or so. Not something I had ever considered doing before now. I'll be spending most of next year in Dahab, and with the chance to dive long and deep everyday I need a good plan and a bit of disipline. Not to keen to see the inside of an Egyptian hospital. I'm still left wondering how critical the number of dives/lenth of dive session is to the equation, Eric F's earlier table making no mention of that if remember correctly? Feeling better now,
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