The Art of Holding Your Breath: Understanding the Various Forms of Freediving

The Art of Holding Your Breath: Understanding the Various Forms of Freediving

Freediving, or breath-hold diving, is a sport that allows divers to go underwater without the need for hefty equipment. Divers train to hold their breath for long periods so they can explore the ocean without surfacing for air. This opens up a new world of possibilities for divers, who can now go deeper and further. However, not all freediving is the same.

There are different types of freediving, each with its unique characteristics and challenges. In this article, we’ll discover the different types. From the exhilarating challenge of constant weight diving to the peaceful tranquillity of free immersion, we will delve into the world of freediving and discover how this captivating sport can be enjoyed.

6 Common types of freediving

There are several different types of freedives, each with its own challenges. The type of dives you try will vary with your experience level and training. Let’s look at some of the most common types of freediving:

Static Apnea

A static apnea dive is where the diver holds their breath and stays floating on the water’s surface without moving. This type of dive aims to see how long the diver can hold their breath.

Dynamic Apnea

A dynamic apnea dive is where the diver swims horizontally underwater while holding their breath. This type of dive tests the diver’s endurance and swimming ability.

Constant Weight (CWT)

On these dives, the diver descends and ascends using only their fins. CWT doesn’t utilise the assistance of a buoyancy control device (BCD). The diver carries the same weight throughout the dive, making it challenging to maintain neutral buoyancy.

Free Immersion (FIM)

The diver descends and ascends using only their fins and a rope during a free immersion dive. The diver pulls themselves down and up the rope without the assistance of a BCD.

Variable Weight (VWT)

A variable weight dive uses a BCD and a rope. The diver pulls themselves down and up the rope, using a weight system to adjust their buoyancy.

No Limit (NLT)

Similar to VWT dives, a no-limit dive utilises a BCD and a rope to help the diver ascend and descend. The diver can use any method to descend and ascend, including a weight system, fins, or propulsion device.

While these are the most common types of freedivers, there are many variations and other types of dives. For example, alternative freediving methods include spearfishing, competitive freediving, freediving photography, and freediving with a mono fin.

How to choose freediving equipment?

Whatever freediving you do, it’s crucial to get the right equipment. Freedivers require minimal equipment, such as fins, a mask, a wet or dry suit, and weights, to name a few. When shopping for diving equipment, your primary concern should be comfort and safety. Suppose your fins or suit are causing you discomfort. After hours in the sea, this can turn into pain, disrupting your diving abilities.

Beyond comfort, you may want to find a sustainable equipment specialist such as They combine usability with style, sustainable materials, and top performance. It’s essential to find reliable brands before investing in freediving gear.

Why do people learn to freedive?

There are several reasons why people learn to freedive. One of the main reasons is to try a more sustainable diving experience. Freediving allows divers to explore the ocean without needing heavy equipment, making it a more environmentally friendly and low-impact way to dive.

Freediving also offers benefits for mental and physical wellness. The sport’s meditative and peaceful nature can help reduce stress and improve self-confidence. Moreover, the physical act of diving and holding one’s breath may improve lung function and cardiovascular fitness.

Finally, people also learn to freedive to challenge themselves. Freediving requires a great deal of discipline, focus, and mental control. That’s why, the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing a dive is incredibly rewarding. In all, freediving offers the opportunity to explore the underwater world in a way that is impossible with traditional diving methods, making it a unique and exciting adventure for many people.

Closing thoughts

In conclusion, freediving is a captivating sport that allows divers to push themselves to new limits. Different types of freediving will suit different skill sets, and it’s vital to attend proper training before venturing into freediving.

Whether diving for environmental sustainability, mental and physical wellness or to challenge yourself, freediving offers an exciting way to explore the underwater world. With the right equipment and training, you’ll be able to dive deeper, stay longer, and explore more. So, take the plunge and discover the beauty of the ocean with freediving.

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