Updated: Aug 8
Know how to Swim
While Freediving doesn’t use many traditional swimming techniques, it is best to know how to swim and be comfortable in the water. Knowing how to swim will keep you far from panic when in the water, especially when something happens like getting some water in your snorkel. If you don’t know how to swim or don't have a lot of confidence in the water, ask your instructor for advice on finding lessons or attending a Water Confidence Class.
Study the course materials
Once you are enrolled in a class, you will have access to SSI’s online course materials. This can be completed on Mobile or Desktop and varies on the complexity of the class. Usually, it will include videos and several sections of information with a review at the end of each chapter. It is best to go through the section reviews before the class because those will be the most important information and be the same questions on the test.
Hold your breath and relax
Lay or sit in a comfortable place, allow yourself a couple of minutes to fully relax your body, then take a deep breath, start your timer, and hold it. Keep note of this time because in your class you will do a couple of timed breath holds and you can see how it improves throughout your training. Practicing this at home before you come to class should give you an idea of your breath-hold capability and increase your confidence before hitting the water. I personally practice breath holds while playing video games or watching TV to keep my mind off of the breath-hold itself.
Avoid Drinking the Night Before
One of the key components of making a dive is the ability to properly equalize your eardrums. When we are dehydrated, the tubes in our eardrums become difficult to manipulate and sometimes can keep us from diving altogether. Hydration is always important and I usually drink a hydration solution like Pedialyte in the mornings before my dive sessions to ensure that I won't have any troubles with my equalization.
Stretch and Rest
Freediving is a taxing activity, from finning to the effects of pressure on your body. You should have a good night's rest before diving and it is always advisable to get a good stretch in. I like to go for a little walk to allow my muscles to relax in the morning. This serves a twofold purpose; one being that you are preparing your body for physical activity, second is that any tension in your body is going to keep you from relaxing fully before any breath holds and dives, limiting the amount of time you can hold your breath.
You are about to embark on a fun and interesting journey to discover not only the underwater world but yourself. I am always shocked at how quickly our bodies adapt to the underwater environment and the amazing effects of the mammalian dive reflex!