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Scuba versus freediving - you tell me!

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.


New Member
Nov 7, 2002
Guys - I did my Open Water certification a few weeks ago and loved it.

I initially thought freediving was more for competition purposes, but it seems as if freediving offers and results in just as amazing marine experiences as scuba!

- would love to hear your pros and cons!
Like yourself I do scuba. I got into freediving when someone on the uk.rec.scuba newsgroup asked if anyone knew of any freediving clubs in the UK, or of any online guides or whatever. At first I just decided to help him out by looking for some stuff. I found this site, had a bit of a look through the articles and forums, and got hooked on the idea. I find it a great way to relax, a way of getting in the water without having to keep checking gauges all the time. When I'm in the right mood, static apnea is extremely relaxing, and I love the feeling of swimming freely in the water. Plus it's great for showing off in the swimming pool!

Matt (we appear to have very similar usernames!) Brown
Scuba v Freediving

Good question?
I have been scuba diving for two years now and I just love it.
It's a freedom from the outside world that I can't find anywhere else. But I have to say that freediving does have an appeal to it, which I would very much like to explore. One problem, well two if you take into my other half who is non-diving and frets if I am late back from a dive. Plus were the hell do you start from.
I did ask the question on how you get into it and Pekka ( a very nice man from Exeter ) did kind of put me on the right track. Which are these forums right here.
If you get anywhere give us an e-mail and let me know.
I too had the problem of how to get into it. I've had to cope with the problem of only being 17, and so cannot get BFA membership, and so cannot join the only freediving club in the northwest. Luckily someone studying at uni in Manchester who also visits these forums sent me some private messages, and so we went doing some statics last night. Now I have someone I can do some training with, I'll hopefully start getting into it a bit more seriously.

Thanks for your thoughts you two!

I recognise some of the positives and negatives that both of you have posted;

- loving the feeling of just diving into the sea without any restrictive gear

- how best to get into freediving & does the UK really lend itself to so (I live in London...)

- having a girlfriend who just shakes her head when I talk about diving in the North Sea this time of year

...etc, etc, etc

Narked (yes - very similar user-name!) - I had a look at your online diary; keep it up as it's a great motivator for budding freedivers with helpful links, and

Sharky - I'll definitely let you know if I get somewhere with the freediving!
Ah well as you're in London you might have a bit more luck finding people to help get you started. Make sure you have a look at the AIDA UK yahoo group, maybe post a message to ask if there's anyone in London that could help you get started.

Matt - I joined the group earlier after using the link from OneBreath - seems like a whole gang from DeeperBlue are members and should be able to help me out.

Question - have you already got special weights (read about neckweights) when you practise?
Nope, I haven't got any specialist stuff yet. I use my scuba fins, scuba mask and my snorkelling weight belt. Should really get some proper freediving stuff.

Good to see that my little site is being useful!

I reckon scuba and free diving (or breath hold) whatever you want to call it can only complement each other.

God forbid any of you have an out of air experience when scuba diving but should it happen to you being able to breath hold for extended time can only benefit the situation. If you have to surface you will, slowly letting out air as you go. If you have to get to an alternate air source on your buddy you will. But most of all panic will be the furthest thing from your mind as you will have a fair idea how long you've got to sort the problem (and 2 or 3 minutes is a very long time)

I mainly do scuba but have practiced and practiced breath holding. I not good at free diving by anyone's standards but having had a jammed SPG showing plenty of air when in reality there was very little (it goes very quickly at depth) and being able to think my way out of the situation, calmly in a little time was very good. I think all scuba training agencies should teach a bit of free diving at the open water stage. I reckon it could easily save lives.

Any thoughts?
Hi Stuart ,
A lot of scuba agencies have incorporated some freediving in the OW course , but as optional exercises .
It is a good idea , however in practice it often results in students with iffy ears running into problems ; screwing up their training schedule .
For this reason I personally don't do it .
Abriapnea, I hear what you're saying,

I reckon that it should be highly recommended at a more advanced level of diving if it causes difficulty at open water stages. I am told by some ancient crusty old divers that when scuba was developing most people taking part were already very accomplished spear fishers or free divers. Then again that was before the advent of SPG's and being out of air was normal & expected on most dives!

I'll keep practising anyway.

What's it like out in Thailand right now. I ask for two reasons, first I've never been and second, It's bloody awful in the UK right now with winter finally kicking in big style!

Don't feel bad Stuart , it's almost midwinter here too .
Outside temperatures are around 30 Celcius ; water temp a bonechilling 29 C. rofl
Jesus, you're so unlucky - really!

Wish I was there - well I,ve booked a flight to Sharm el Sheikh for January! Just a week but enought to get rid of the winter blues

Hey Stuart & Abri,

I can see where you are both coming from - certainly think the extra few minutes gained by holding one's breath to sort out any difficulties when doing scuba, would be a vital skill in scuba-training.

However - like Abri said - it would probably put a lot of students off...and that isn't good for business.

Stuart - seeing that you are based in the UK (based in London myself) - I wanted to buy myself a Mares Isotherm T wetsuit and take my girlfriend for some snorkelling/freediving in the icy waters of the UK: any good spots you can recommend, or would that be plain suicide this time of year?

:duh :duh :duh
Apparently a lot of the people on the AIDA UK list go up to Dorothea in Wales regularly, although that's possibly a bit far as you're in London. It's nice and deep (>90m) in places, but also quite shallow in others. They go up there all year round, so if you've got a decent wetsuit the temperature shouldn't be too much of a problem.

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