First Time Freediver
Blog by Lucy Crow
When I was first given the opportunity to go free diving I was quite nervous that I wouldn’t be very good at it because it was just so different from scuba diving. I didn’t know how I felt about going underwater with no air and no diving equipment on to use as my life support.
Anyway, I was up for the challenge and thought that I would give it a go. Turns out that it was one of the best experiences of my life.
First, like all PADI Courses we had to do some online learning, this was to give us the basic knowledge of free diving and introduce us to a few different skills and safe aspects that we would need to know. To our surprise, it was very much like our Open water scuba diving theory.
After taking the online exams we were all very happy to say that we passed.
Leaving on the Tuesday night to travel to Portland and stay in Dive Beyond’s bunkhouse, we were all sharing how we felt about the experience we were to have the next day. We all defiantly had mix emotions about how it would be, but wanted to attempt the challenge.
The next morning, we woke up all rearing to go. We made it to dive beyond, had an introduction to Free Diving by Richard Summerset and we were shown all the equipment that we would be using. This was so very different to the Scuba Diving equipment that we were used to. The fins were double the length and the masks were made to have as little air space in as possible. This meant that equalising was easier.
We then all went to the pool, and put our wetsuits on to meet at pool side. First, we did some YOGA techniques that would lower our pulse and help us to relax enough to comfortably hold our breath. This was an effective technique and I could feel how comfortable I was when I got in the water.
We were demonstrated the Static Apnoea (holding your breath), at this point I was certain that I was never going to make it to a minute and a half (which was the performance requirement). We separated in to groups and had our first try at the static apnoea. To my surprise, with my first go at holding my breath I made it to 45 seconds. I could see the goal in reach.
After taking turns and trying it three times each I made it to just under 2 minutes. I was so impressed with myself and really enjoyed the challenge. After everyone had finished with the static apnoea, we moved on to the dynamic apnoea. This again, was a challenge but great fun.
We had to swim a length of the pool underwater holding our breath. When I first looked at this I didn’t think that it looked that hard. But I must say that it was quite difficult. Using your energy to kick while holding your breath seemed difficult. After a few attempts I managed to complete this.
After this experience, I would recommend free diving to anyone. It was such an amazing experience and I hope that in the near future I can move on to the next step and eventually go to the instructor level.