Wednesday, October 16, 2019
  • Welcome to the Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 40,000+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 496,000+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,300+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

Locating a pool in San Francisco that permits apnea training.


Mar 29, 2013
San Francisco
Hi all.
I'm fairly new to free diving and I'm really starting to love it.
I'm also a padi divemaster. I'm trying to locate a swimming pool in the San Francisco Bay Area that will allow me to partake in apnea training.
Everywhere I call to inquire about this has told me no so I was hoping that one of you guys might know.
Thanks in advance for any help.

  • Like
Reactions: Kars


Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2003
The Netherlands
Hi Pauly,

I'm not in your area, but maybe a few questions and ideas might work for you as well.

In short I think you did approach the pools in the wrong way. Just put yourself in their shoes, and think of the ideal customer to a pool. Think insurance, think reputation, think numbers, think money, think hyper sexualised culture, think normals. Now I think you'll see that any pool would much rather decline a freediver from coming to their pool.

Next time you call a remote(r) pool, don't tell your name, ask for when the quiet hours are, and how many and what types the normally expect. With the pool size in mind you can estimate the space you may have.
Then just show up with your friend, incognito, say hi to the lifeguard, and start with some regular swimming for warm ups. Leave the (big/long) fins at home, only have a triathlon like suit if you need it. You can bring a small neck weight, but it should look very small and invisible. (Wait with all the toys until you know the lifeguard is at ease with your underwater swimming. It's a delicate situation)

The idea is to easy yourself in gradually, earn the staff's trust, make friends with the other swimmers, be seen as a noble, welcome and honoured human being. The Chinese proverb goes: He who treads softly, travels far.

Personally I've made the mistake of chatting up against the lifeguard, telling him how safe and proficient I am, and sharing endeavours that in the layman's ear sound superhuman and extreme. - Avoid triggering their fears.

Instead listen, empathise, and ask for permission when you feel you can stretch the rules another tiny bit.

Make sure your swims look easy and fun, and your goals are just to have fun and learn to swim better, relax better and be more streamlined. All this improves your scuba experience (..), I'm you understand. Don't call it freediving it's just scuba or snorkel practice.

I hope this helps, please report back how your experience was :)

Love, Courage and water,



New Member
Oct 9, 2019
San Francisco, CA
Hey Pauly, I know this is an older post but if you're still looking to to find a pool for some apnea training we play a sport called Underwater Rugby which is basically free diving as a contact sport. Many of our players go on spearfishing trips on the side. We'd welcome all of you to come try out the sport - there are often players of all level at practice! You can learn more about us here: Feel free to message me if you have any questions and hope to see you in the water!

Tim - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing


ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2019 limited. is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Spearfishing and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.