Going from snorkelling to freediving? Still thinking in doing the big jump?
Purpose of this article
If you are reading this article, it is because you may be thinking of becoming a freediver but still not sure, or maybe because you want to get more out of your snorkelling during your trips. Well here is Matt answering some common doubts.
Already snorkelling the world?
Okay so, you’re a confident snorkeller who eagerly dives down to 2-3m to explore the great Ocean. You often head out on a friend’s boat or with a tour operator to get your fix of Turtles, sharks, Stingrays, and an array of Beautifully coloured Coral. Scuba diving seems a little complicated and you don’t really want to spend the 2 months’ worth of wages to buy equipment for something you “might” like, especially when you already spent money on fins, mask and snorkel. However, the inner merman/mermaid explorer inside you is yearning to expand and add more to your ocean adventures. So, where does this leave you?
Most people get introduced to a basic level of Freediving by Snorkelling, in hope of trying to get closer to the Marine life but lack the correct techniques and knowledge to stay down for longer periods of time and dive deep safely. However, a question we often get as instructors is “Who can Freedive?”. The answer is Simple: Anyone!
The underwater journey
Freediving was something I’d never heard of 6 years ago and would’ve certainly said that you were crazy if you told me what I’d be doing today. When I was first introduced to freediving on my travels to Australia, I had in fact already completed a lot of Scuba diving courses, so I was comfortable in the ocean.
However, when someone said that they wanted to take air away from me; underwater; whilst diving deep; well, I laughed and nervously dismissed it thinking that no one in their right mind would want to do that.
I’ve Been living in Australia for around 4 years working as a Freediving/Scuba diving instructor and now co running OceanSense Freediving on the Sunshine Coast. As like most English people here, I spend most of my time sunburnt and just happy that it’s not raining everyday (picture the classic English cliché). During my time here, I have gone on somewhat of a journey of personal growth which has taken me all over Australia and into a world I never thought was possible. That world is Freediving.
Now, if you are anything like I was, you might be asking yourself “What exactly is Freediving”- and no, it’s not scuba diving with no price tag (we do often get those enquiries :D).
To put it simple, freediving is breath hold diving. The art of diving under water on one breath without the need for scuba tanks or any other breathing apparatus.
Now you may also be thinking “That sounds too dangerous, and I can’t do it”. Which is exactly what I thought.
Now, a fact about me: I was always scared of the ocean back home. We would go on family holidays, and I wouldn’t go in the ocean, in fear that a giant great white was waiting for me. This fear is made even more irrational by the fact we used to holiday mainly in England. I also often joke with my students about the time I cancelled my snorkelling trip in Egypt the night before because I was too scared. Kicking myself now of course with knowing that Egypt is one of the top diving spots in the world.
Ok, enough of the “this is your life” story. The point I’m trying to make is that if a scared boy from England who never wanted to go into the ocean can completely 180 to now teaching others to do the same, then anyone can.
One thing I have learnt over the years is that Freediving attracts all different kinds of people from all ages. We teach everyone from snorkelers to scuba divers, spearos, (spear fishermen) to surfers, yogis, meditators and really anyone looking to get more comfortable in the water. It also attracts active and healthy people who want to escape the land and enjoy the ocean without all the cost of expensive equipment. It’s made for people who want to have more personal interactions with marine life without thousands of bubbles of air scaring all the fish away.
Freediving is of course, the most natural way to explore the ocean and something we have been doing for thousands of years.
Over the years, Freediving has become one of the worlds fastest growing sports and recreational past time for people. It is away to relax, unwind and escape the everyday grind and stress of the modern world. It will teach you lessons that will stay with you throughout your everyday life and truly benefit your mental and physical fitness, and in this day and age with the busy world, who doesn’t need that?
So if Freediving is something you have been thinking about doing, but maybe you’re a little hesitant for some reason. Take a step forward, you never know what doors it will open and where it will take you. Your body and mind will thank you.