For most of the watersports that you will want to undertake, there’s one thing that you will need to get a significant command over- diving. If you can’t dive and swim at an acceptable level then it’s doubtful that you will enjoy watersports like scuba diving and spearfishing to their full extent.
One of the most important things you should remember is that when you are underwater, you want to be as safe as possible. While a lot of safety can be had by buying the right equipment and knowing how to use it, the best kind of security comes from the knowledge that you know what you are doing.
Think of it like driving a Ferrari. Wouldn’t you want to have a good grasp on your driving skills before you take an expensive super car out for a spin? Not to mention the fact that when you know that you can drive well, you will be able to push the car to its limits and really enjoy what it has to offer.
This also stands true for watersports where you can greatly enhance your experience by ensuring that you have a good handle on the basic skills needed to such activities. One of the best ways to prepare yourself for them is by learning how to free dive. You’d be surprised how it is not really as difficult as it seems at first.
What is freediving?
Freediving is as close as you can come to swimming like a fish. It’s the ability to go underwater and rely on nothing else but your ability to breathe properly. There are no oxygen cylinders involved here, it’s about swimming, diving or staying sub merged under water on a single breath of air. Sounds amazing doesn’t it? The best part is that with proper training and practice, anyone can do this on their own. As mentioned above, free diving is the basic need for intense activities such as spearfishing.
A lot of people wonder why they can’t just take an oxygen tank on their back and use that or why they even need to go deep underwater. There are a few reasons why you will want to do that.
First of all, it frees you from carrying all that extra equipment, allowing you to move more freely, quite akin to the aquatic life that is around you. Freediving allows you to navigate the depths of great oceans without the need to carry heavy, clumsy diving equipment. That results in a much more personal experience than you would have otherwise.
The second biggest reason why more and more people are turning towards freediving is that it allows for a very intense, exhilarating experience. Sure you could spend 45 minutes to an hour underwater when you are scuba diving, but the 2 or 3 minutes you will spend underwater when freediving will be much more intense and memorable than the former. Not to mention the fact that you will feel a sense of accomplishment that you were manage to transcend to such depths while relying only on your breath.
Many freedivers compare freediving to the experience of skydiving as it provides a moment when you are truly in tune with the natural environment surrounding you. For others, being able to interact with the underwater world is a relaxing adventure of its own.
Freediving also allows you to challenge your physical limits, maintain fitness and loose those calories. It’s a leisure activity that keeps you fit. Once you get good at it and learn to control your breathing and your heart rate, you feel better not just physically but also mentally. It provides you a sense of focus and a sense of liberation.
What do I need for freediving?
In terms of equipment you really do need very little in order to start freediving. The first thing you need is a wetsuit that can protect you from cold water and reduce drag to make swimming underwater easier. The most important part about choosing a wetsuit is to choose the right thickness that is warm enough for your particular climatic conditions.
Secondly you would need a mask to ensure that you are able to view things without any hindrance. Light works differently underwater and the deeper you go, the dimmer the things become. A mask allows you to see the underwater world in all its beauty.
You can buy gloves if you want to swim in cold conditions or fins if you feel the need for them, but they are not necessary for everyone.