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Looks like I won't be freediving after all...

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jul 10, 2002
Well, I only joined this forum a few days ago, when I finally decided that I wanted to give freediving a go. But now, this seems like it is not actually going to be the case. As personally I want to actually stay alive, I'm not exactly keen on the idea of just trying to figure it out myself and jumping in to the water solo, so I decided I'd explore the possibilities of joining a club. Easier said than done, the only freediving club near me is infact quite a distance away, and with no transport of my own, getting there seemed like a remote possibility. But then there was light, someone from the club told me that there might be someone nearby that goes to the club willing to share transport! Great! But I was also informed that I needed current membership with the British Freediving Association to join the club. No problem I thought, so I went to print off the application form. But then I see that I must be over 18 to join the BFA. So here I find the brick wall blocking my path to safe freediving.

Ironically, in my quest to learn to freedive safely, I discover that my only option if I wish to continue is to dive in an unsafe manner, as the BFA are unwilling to accept young members due to the liability issues. Sure I see their point, but if I had an accident during a scuba dive the blame wouldn't fall on BSAC, so why would freediving be any different? As far as I can see, freediving and scuba are similar on the risk side, so why is it that to join the only freediving association in the UK I have to be 18, whereas children as young as 12 can do scuba?

Ah well, I guess now I'll just have to hang around here, read the stuff on breath hold techniques, and just work on dry statics.

I wouldn't say that you won't be freediving...

I would look at it from the perspective of "What Can I do to prepare myself to freedive?"

Instead of thinking that you have to do dry statics (which in my opinion isn't related to freediving anyways), I would look at developing a training program that will adapt you to freediving. Cardio with timed apnea is a great example. I utilize a Reebok Body Trec cardio machine at the gym and during the 30 minutes I am on it, I do 15 - 20 second breath holds with my heart rate up near 180 bpm. I perform this every 3 minutes. It has helped greatly my ability to withold a severe contraction while working under load. I do this 3 times a week.

I would also do lower body weight lifting in apnea as well. Seated leg press, quad extensions, hamdstring curls and calf extension. Lighter weights and more reps. This will adapt your leg muscles as well to work under load while in a state of apnea. I do this 2 days a week.

Since many consider (myself included) constant ballast the purest form of freediving, this general outline will help to put you in a place of cardio fitness and adaptation to working under load in a state of apnea.

Don't give up - just see this as a challange that needs to be overcome.

Dive safe...
Thanks for your encouragement.

If I can find anyone in my area that is willing to help me out, then all might not be lost. I'm determined now to get into freediving.

Providing I can have some freediving experience by february, then all will be fine, as I'll be able to work on my existing skills when on leave from the navy (providing of course that I actually pass the navy diver course!). My original worry was that if I had no experience by then, I simply wouldn't have the time to actually learn from the beginning, as I'd only have the occasional week off.

Thanks for your advice about the workout, currently waiting for my annual pass for the local swimming pool and gym, then I'll be working out then swimming quite a lot during the week. Also just started to cycle quite a lot, so hopefully that'll help too.

Also, I'd just like to say that from what I've experienced of this forum so far, everyone is extremely helpful and friendly, unlike many other forums that I have used in my time on the internet. Deeper Blue gets a huge thumbs up on both hands from me!

Ta for listening to my insane ranting!

Hi Matt,

sorry to hear about all that trouble.

To contact more UK-based freedivers, you might also want to try:
freediver (UK)
They have a very active guestbook and there is a page for finding buddies, too.
I don't know about your financial situation, but if you have some money left, you might also consider taking a weekend-course at the dive-tank in Gosport. (You can find the details if you follow the link "store").

I've been there last year and it was really a great experience.
By the way, my buddy on that occasion was a very nice young lady called Emma. (And she is a good freediver, too!).
As far as I know, she is living in Manchester. If you would like to contact her, Howard Jones (one of the makers of "freediver") should know her e-mail address.

Hope you'll find someone at least for pooltraining etc.


P.S.: How can you already be in the Navy, when you're not even 18, yet? :duh
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Thanks for the info!

Just looked at the dive tank thing, I presume you mean the Royal Navy submarine escape training tank. Looks cool, but £170 is out of reach for me currently (no job, might have to apply for a job at that local supermarket now, doh!). Just posted a message on the request a buddy page, so with a bit of luck there'll be someone willing to give me a bit of help getting going!

As for being in the navy, I'm not yet, but I can apply now, so soon I should be doing my entry tests and interview. Once I pass those, I have 3 years until they run out. All going well, I should be starting navy basic training soon after my 18th...

Thanks again,
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I am sorry to hear about that about brittish freediving club.. although I have run into simillar problems in many other freediving related "clubs".. they are not actually throwing people into this sport.. sadly.
I think that buddy request is the best way to learn the basics, and as you get on you hopefully learn your buddys limits and that makes the diving with him/her even safer..
But Matt if you happen to pass by Exeter someday..well say after October I'll be ready for diving anytime..
I dive solo in UK.. but here in Finland I have buddy! Thanks to my brother.
Hope you get on with diving safely!
If I'm ever near that part of the country, I'll be sure to pay you a visit. Still don't actually have a wetsuit yet (apart from a shorty that has a rip in the back, looking forward to doing some snorkelling in tshirt and shorts in Cornwall in a fortnight, the weather better be good!), and not sure when I'll be getting one suitable for British open water, but hopefully it's gonna be soon, I'll even get a job if I have to!

Now back to practising those statics, still only getting 1 minute 30s though, but should be able to fix that.

If you mean Emma Farrell, she has recently sent me an email in reply to a post made on the AIDA UK yahoo group, informing me that she's manchester based and if I need help I should contact her.

Also, had quite a few other people offering to take me out for dives, so things are looking up! Now all I need is the money to buy a wetsuit, and off I go!


I'm sorry, I'm not sure about her family name.

But if she's tall and slim and really good looking...
...she's the one :D :D :D

Please give her my best regards and enjoy yourself with your new-found freediving friends.

mat have you tried recreational spearfishing you get the same buzz but it's not about how deep there's houndreds of other skills to work on and to be honest it helps to have a buddy but that comes with time, first buy a snorkle and enjoy the beautifull underworld...i think i'm on the wrong site!!!!
I dont understand all the confusion and trouble ? Freediving is the most natural and safest way to dive ever concieved. If your one of those clowns that doesnt listen to your body and "dont know when to surface to get something like a little air" than maybe walking along a busy street is too dangerous for you !

Believe me, you'll know when its time to surface for air ! You do know when you get that feeling in your abdomen, then its time to start looking for a bathroom dont you ?

A little common sense with self preservation is every humans primordial instinct, I guess you think that you can just "jump in" and go down 200 feet the first time huh ? If this sounds reasonable to you and this was your goal, then our friend "Darwin" has a plan for you, you'll take yourself out before you have the chance to spoil the gene pool for your progeny !

Turn off the TV and turn on your brain man !
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