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

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ 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!

PADI Certification

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Active Member
Aug 4, 2003
Anybody know why the PADI Freediver Distinct Specialty isn't listed on the PADI web site?
A PADI Speciality Course is not part of the primary courses listed. It is usually submitted for approval by PADI by an instructor that has a specific skill they want to impart. PADI then agree the course and allow a diver to be certified under the PADI banner.

The FreeDiver Speciality is only available in a small number of places by a small number of instructors.
Ah, gotcha. Makes sense.

Anybody know of an instructor who teaches it in the Mid-Atlantic region?
Nothing against the PADI course as I've never seen anyone who actually instructs it, but PADI is primarily a scuba certification agency.

If you want to learn how to freedive check out the performance freediving clinics in Miami.
Same for NAUI

The National Association of Underwater Instructors also has a freedive course. Like Padi, they are scuba oriented. Go to a freedive clinic like Kirk Krack's to learn to freeedive, like JMD said.
I don't know if I have the latest one but I have looked at the NAUI breathold manual, dated 1997. It is mostly talking about physiology but the training techniques and recomendations are a joke. From what I gather it's mostly taken from a training course from Pipin but draw some strange conclusions. One example is " the first breathold imersion of the day will be as long as the last breathold from the previous day"
ie if you did 3.00, 4.00 and 5.00 on day1, then on day2 you should start on 5.00 ?!

Some other really stupid stuff includes, don't do a static longer then 6 minutes.....Don't ever do more then 8 minutes total bottom time in one diving session. :duh

Setting a time or depth limit is just plain stupid, some people will blackout before even reaching 3.30, others can do 7, 8 or more cleanly. If the PADI stuff is anything like NAUI I wouldn't touch it with a 10ft pole.

There is the PADI Skindiver course, which has been arounf forever and is basically a snorkelling lesson with a little training to duck-dive, etc. If the course is called 'Freediver' or 'Freediving', it's as Stephan said- a custom course designed by a scuba instructor that PADI has authorized them to teach. That may be ok, as there are a few good PADI instructors that are good freedivers. I believe Sam in the UK for example teaches one, and it would be a good course as she is well versed and trained in actual freedive techniques.
If you find a PADI Freedive course, talk to the instructor and get an idea (and a hard copy outline) of what they know about freediving....do your research here on DB to back up the info given. Priority in a course should be safety, then safety, then a little more safety. ;)
Erik Y.
missed this thread before...

A "Distinctive" Specialty is a course that a PADI Instructor writes themselves on an area in which they have specific expertise. Each instructor writes their own so the course is not really a "PADI" course but it is approved by PADI and you get a PADI Specialty card afterwards - PADI do not supply any outline or teaching materials though - the instructor prepares them themselves and have them approved by their PADI Office.

I have Specialty Instructor Ratings for: Freediver. Advanced Freediver and now SETT Freediver (for HMS Dolphin courses). As far as I know there are about 10 PADI Instructors in the world offering similar courses.

If anyone is interested in seeing a copy of the outlines/materials please let me know. I have already passed them on to at least one PADI Instructor through this site who has also had them approved

  • Like
Reactions: Erik
I teach a PADI freediver course as well and am in the process of putting together an "Ice freediver" course for this winter.

My course falls in line somewhere between the AIDA 2 star and 3 star ratings.

Still, if you can get down to one of Kirk's PFD courses it will be worth every penny, and then some.;)

DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing


ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2024 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Ocean Advocacy and Diving Travel.

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