Apnea & Freediving Courses

Apnea & Freediving Courses in Ko Lanta, Thailand.

What is Apnea or Freediving?

Freediving is simple. A freediver relies on a single breath of air to explore the undersea world. Moving gracefully without wasting energy, a freediver can spend minutes underwater and experience the ocean as any other marine mammal does. Free from cumbersome equipment, a freediver can sneak up on a turtle, or glide to the bottom for a meeting with a manta ray.

To get started, all you need is a basic knowledge of freediving safety, a buddy to dive with, equipment and a few tips on technique. We offer freediving courses, from beginner level to instructor training, through A.I.D.A. – the most recognized and respected international freediving organization. Freediving on Lanta’s dive sites is an incredible experience not to be missed!

The key to freediving is learning how to relax underwater.

Recreational freediving runs the spectrum from snorkeling in shallow water, to making deep dives to see things beyond the range of recreational scuba diving. However, the motivations and activities for recreational freediving are much the same as for recreational scuba. The disadvantage, of course, is that your time on the bottom is limited.
There are several advantages, however, to exploring the underwater world without tanks:

  • Less equipment means you can get the diver to more locations
  • No bubbles means fish are less afraid of the diver
  • No regulator noise enables the diver to hear fish, boats and other sounds
  • Movement along the bottom is effortless due to reduced drag
  • You will visit another dimension where you can move around freely and become one with the sea

Along with the exploration of the underwater world comes the inner exploration of sensations and personal limits. Many people enjoy freediving for the feeling of sinking into the depths and floating back to the surface.

Others enjoy the sensation of their heart slowing down as the diving reflex takes hold, or enjoy performance based freediving as a challenge; competing in various disciplines.

Freediving Disciplines

What is the difference between recreational and competitive freediving?

Recreational Freediving:

  • Depths of 0-100 feet
  • Many repetitive dives between 30 sec to 2 minutes
  • Freedivers stay within their own limits
  • Freedivers rely on themselves and their buddy for safety
  • Freedivers interact with marine life, explore wrecks and structures, and explore terrain

Competitive Freediving:

  • Competitive freedivers test themselves for time, depth and distance underwater
  • Performances are more than double recreational time, depth and distance
  • Extensive safety arrangements are made, including safety SCUBA and freedivers
  • Freedivers test their limits
  • Freedivers at a higher risk of samba or blackout

For the purpose of competitive diving and record keeping, the disciplines of apnea are defined by A.I.D.A. as follows…

A. Static Apnea (STA)
This discipline consist of holding your breath for as long as possible while staying motionless. It sets high demands for the competitor’s concentration ability.

B. Dynamic Apnea without Fins (DNF)
A variation of the above, where the longest possible distance is achieved without the use of fins.

C. Dynamic Apnea with Fins (DYF)
This consist of the athlete making use of fins to swim the longest possible distance under water.

D. Free Immersion Apnea (FIM)
This discipline allows the competitor to pull along the measuring rope to his/her depth and back again.

E. Constant Weight Apnea (CWA)
This discipline is considered by insiders to be the original freediving discipline. The athlete makes use of traditional ABC-equipment to reach his/her depth. The discipline sets the highest demands to the freediver’s mental power, physique and technique.

F. Constant Weight Apnea without Fins (CWAF)
This discipline consists of swimming down and up along the rope as in classic constant weight, but without the use of fins and using breast strokes. This discipline has been called ‘the true human aquatic potential’.

G. Variable Weight Apnea (VWT)
In this discipline the diver makes use of a specially designed sled running along the measuring rope to achieve his/her depth. Historically, the sled has evolved from a simple weight attached to a noose, till today’s highly sophisticated, hydrodynamic sled leading the diver downward with high speed. The freediver traditionally makes use of the measuring rope to pull back to the surface.

H. No-Limits Apnea (NLT)
This has traditionally been the discipline to reach the deepest of all disciplines today. It is a further development of variable weight, where the athlete apart from the sled traditionally makes use of an inflatable balloon to return to the surface.

In each discipline, separate records are held by both men and women. There are no official subdivisions of any of these categories (eg. altitude, under ice, lake diving, etc…)

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