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solo freediving

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.


Apr 5, 2001

Does anyone have thoughts on training for independent freediving, or equiptment that might be
recomended, e.g. spare air?


Doug Morgan,
Lantzville, B.C.

Hi Doug, good question. I know that we're all supposed to dive with a buddy, especially freediving, but I'm sure a lot of us end up solo diving simply because there aren't enough (or any, in my case)buddies around. Of course a Spare Air is not going to help with unexpected shallow blackout, but it might be useful if you got tangled or realised that you were not going to make it in time. I hope nobody takes this the wrong way, but carrying a spare air would turn it into scuba diving. It's not about risk-taking or foolishness, it's just that some of the purity would be removed for me. That being said, the way I stay safe is to dive well within my limitations when I'm alone.Usually.Knock on wood. Cheers, Erik;)
The two most important things you can bring with you when solo freediving are common sense and good judgement. Freedivers generally don't experience catastrophic equipment failure, so keeping yourself out of a dangerous situation should be your primary concern. Making rational decisions will go a long way in preventing a small problem from becoming a big one.
Solo Freediving is a choice

I have been watching this thread with great interest, and have a few thoughts on it myself.

With the possibility of SWB, I am more keenly aware of my bodily processes - almost to the point of being too careful. I remember freediving a few years back in Sharks Cove on the the island of Oahu by myself. I have to admit it was one of the most memrable experiences I have had to date while freediving.

I had taken my Nikonos II with me and was looking to photograph anything of interest. Next thing I know, I am swimming with a sea turtle. Just me and the turtle. I was able to swim with it for several minutes, surfacing and diving together.

Shot some excellent images as well, one which hangs on my wall. It was almost a spiritual experience, and I came away from that experience with a new appreciation of what solo freediving can be.

But I also was aware in the back of my mind that if anything happened, I was on my own. Good judgement is the key to safe solo freediving. I was in 90'+ viz, calm waters, and it was a shore dive. All of these factors led to the most enjoyable solo freedive I have had to date. Proper education and experience gave me the skills necessary to plan my dive safely.

I hope to meet that turtle again soon.

Safe diving to all who choose to solo...
Just a quick comment..
Solo freediving as most of you said can be done 'reasonably' safely in good conditions and with good judgement, I bet all freedivers do it at some point. My main comment is about the spare air, I wouldnt recommend it for two reasons, carrying it may encourage you to push that bit harder feeling safe in the knowledge that its there... but it may fail be lost or forgotton :duh or cause another problem, which is my second point, Embolism is somthing pretty unheard of in Freedivers, as we dont breath compressed air, unlike bubble blowers.. however say you were at depth, and had to or chose to take a second breath from your spare air, on ascent this and the other residual air in your lungs would expand; with possible deadly effect :waterwork as in effect you would have two lungfulls of compressed air in one lung (we have two lungs I know!!) waiting to expand.
Whether this would counter the possible lifesaving possibilitys of having a second breath when tangled in mono I dont know? Just my humble opinion.

Hey ickle, good points. Even a fdiver who does not panic can embolise in that situation. Exhaling as you ascend does not guarantee a safe ascent; there can still be an embolism, especially the speed that a fdiver ascends. But, I might wish I had that spare air if I was trapped in monoline! Erik:hmm

When I asked about the spare air I was remembering a time when I did a semi-emergency ascent into a set of pilings, that closed out as I surfaced jamming me into them just out of snorkel range. It was not a good memory. I was able to elongate my corrugated snorkel into the air pocket under the cement jetty and back out, but I didn't like it much.

Best wishes,

Doug Morgan,
Lantzville, B.C.
I do most of my diving alone and don´t know why all these books and instructors scold people for it. Its like skiing and climbing and all that stuff. It might turn out good to have a buddy along, but you dont always have that option...so you dont just stay home and wait for a call.
By the way, the objection to Spare Air that you might get nuts by relying on it...would that also hold for having a buddy with you?
I liked the idea of Spare Air fromt he beginning but have never used it. I was really pissed when a dive shop dewd told me I couldnt buy one without a PADIwack license. If I wanted to get an expensive license to breathe air, Id be a scuober.
But, I have to admit, it IS compressed air and therefore using it, even briefly, could lead to problems if you dont know what youre doing. I dont think embolism would be that probable, but there are other effects from breathing compressed air, including, I would think, possible residual effects on your next dive.
Since there were several mentions of shallow water black out in this thread, could I invite anybody who has actual first hand experience of such a thing to post in my thread on that subject?
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