Can Anyone Learn To Freedive?

Can Anyone Learn To Freedive?

Yes! Anyone can learn how to Freedive and it is easy to get started! One great thing about Freediving is that you do not need any past experience in Snorkelling or Scuba Diving! You just need to be adventurous and want to try something new!

Most people think that Freediving is an intense sport. For some…it is! However, for most Freedivers, it is a fun, relaxed and great way to enjoy the ocean. 

Everyone can take part in Freediving! But with that said, each person will however have different physical and mental limits! 

Therefore, just like any sport, some people might be more naturally talented at Freediving than others, but training and equal opportunity is open to everyone!

So you are probably wondering, can you learn how to Freedive? Where and how can you get involved? In this article we will discuss:

  • How Can You Learn To Freedive?
  • Why Should You Try Freediving?
  • Can Your Health Prevent You From Freediving?
  • Health And Safety.
  • Tips For Beginners

How Can You Learn To Freedive?

The best way to learn how to Freedive is by completing a Freediving course! There are many out there, with many different organisations. 

For some types of Freediving, such as exploration diving, you do not need any specialist equipment other than possibly a mask and a pair of fins! Therefore it is possible to teach yourself how to Freedive. However, specialist training is highly recommended!

Freediving is not as easy as grabbing a mask and a pair of fins

By completing a Freediving course, you can be directed through special exercises, tips and techniques on how to perform at your best!

AIDA is the International Association of Freediving, containing a long list of AIDA Freediving courses, with instructors all over the world! For example, AIDA1 is the first course available, up to multiple AIDA Instructor courses. 

Another example of Freediving courses is the PADI Freediver. This course does not require any previous experience, so anyone above the age of 15 can take part! 

For 12 years and over, the PADI Basic Freediver course is available, and the PADI Skin Diver Course for 8 years and above! 

Another Diving Organisation, SSI, also offers a range of Freediving Courses from Freediving Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. 

As you can see, there are many Freediving courses to choose from! No matter where you are in the world, there are instructors out there who cannot wait to teach you!

The opportunities are endless!

Freediver swimming above a school of fish towards the surface

Why Should You Try Freediving?

Many people enjoy Freediving because it is relaxing and allows you to explore the underwater world. This sport is also physically and mentally challenging, allowing Freedivers to push themselves to their limits. 

Freediving is exciting because you completely rely on one singular breath. Whenever we enter a body of water, we automatically want to hold our breath and dive under! It is a natural instinct!

Now imagine you could practice and train your body to be able to hold your breath for longer, diving down deeper and exploring the beautiful underwater world!

Totally awesome, right?

We asked five Freedivers why they love this sport. Three responded with ‘feeling more connected to the ocean and marine life’, and experiencing the underwater world in a ‘new light’.

the two other Freedivers enjoy pushing themselves both physically and mentally, feeling surprised with their abilities after every dive!

Holding your breath and submerging far below the surface might seem quite scary at first! But pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and overcoming your fears is incredibly empowering!

“Freediving is not only a sport, it’s a way to understand who we are.” – Natalia Molchanova

You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it!

Can Your Health Prevent You From Freediving?

There are not many medical issues that will prevent you from Freediving. However, severe respiratory and circulatory health conditions could potentially cause underwater issues, so be sure to see a doctor before enrolling on a course or going for a Freedive. 

Similar to Scuba Diving and other sports, before starting a Freediving course, you will be required to complete a medical statement. 

No need to panic! This is a simple piece of paper to state you do not have any pre-existing health conditions. If you do, do not worry, you might still be able to Freedive. However, you will need to get checked over and given the all-clear from a medical professional!

It is likely that you can still Freedive if you have Asthma. However, it depends on the symptoms you experience and how well they can be controlled.

Before completing a Freedive or Freediving course, consult your doctor to receive professional medical advice. 

Freediver swimming on her back with mask and snorkel underwater

Health And Safety

Freediving is a very safe sport, but only when practised responsibly. Of course, like most sports, there are a few risks. The biggest is blackouts. 

As mentioned above, students are required to fill out a medical form before completing a course. This is totally normal and just to check you have no medical issues which could potentially cause problems underwater. 

So the biggest risk of Freediving is a blackout. But what exactly is a blackout?

A blackout, sometimes known as a shallow water blackout, is when your blood’s oxygen level drops below a certain point. Your brain detects this drop in oxygen, causing you to lose consciousness. 

This sounds bad, but it is very uncommon and avoidable!

In an unlikely circumstance that you were to experience a blackout, you would need to be rescued immediately. Your Freediving buddy (who should be watching over you) will commence the rescue procedure!

Another possible injury you should be aware of is a lung squeeze. This is the rupturing of lung tissue during the dive. It is caused by the increase in pressure, causing the lung tissue to become stressed and rupture. 

There are a few actions a Freediver can take to reduce the risk of suffering from a lung squeeze. These include, not descending too fast, conducting a thorough warm-up before the dive, and ensuring the turn at the bottom is done correctly and smoothly.

Free Immersion Freediving is a great way to warm up! Without wearing fins, Freedivers pull themselves down a dive line, practising equalisation and warming their lungs up for deeper depths to come!

Tips For Beginners

Some important tips for beginner Freedivers:

  • Have Fun
  • Never Dive Alone
  • Focus On Your Breath
  • Equalise

Have Fun!

After safety, having fun is always the most important. Enjoy the beautiful ocean, the silence and peace!

Whether you are surrounded by marine life, exploring a coral reef or submerged in the blue, the underwater world is like nothing else.

Freediving gives you the ability to feel truly weightless and free.

As our ears are not able to pick up the direction of sound underwater (due to sound travelling four times faster underwater than in air), Freediving is very quiet and brings a calming sense of solitude. Freedivers often love this feeling, as it can be considered a form of mediating.

Yes, Freediving is challenging. And yes, I am sure you’ll push yourself out of your comfort zone…but remember, to always have fun!

Never Dive Alone

An unwritten Freediving rule is to never dive alone! You should always dive with an experienced Freediver, to ensure safety. 

Freediving is a relatively safe sport, but some accidents can happen! As mentioned above, there are small risks of blackouts and other first-aid issues.

This is why you should always Freedive with a buddy. Not because it is much more fun and enjoyable to dive with a friend, but so you have someone with you at all times.

Your responsible dive buddy should be watching over you while you Freedive, then recover on the surface afterwards.

Focus On Your Breath

It is crucial to spend time on the surface to breathe, preparing your body before the dive. Freediving requires complete utilisation of your lung capacity.

Specialised Freediving training will teach you how to focus on the surface and put your mind at ease. Reaching a state of relaxation will calm your mind and lower your heart rate.

Once you get better at the preparation on the surface, you’ll find yourself being able to dive deeper and for longer!


You must actively equalise your ears as you submerge. You can do this by pinching your nose and exhaling through your nose, just like you would do on a plane!

But why do you need to equalise?

While you float on the surface of the water, your body is experiencing 1 Bar of Atmospheric pressure. This feels normal to us, as it is what we experience all day.

However, as your sink down below the surface, the water is exerting pressure against your body. With every 10m of depth, an extra 1 Bar is added. 

Yep, that’s right! From the surface to 10m, the pressure doubles! This pressure can be felt in our ears. Thankfully, it is very easy to equalise this air space, using the method mentioned above. 

During Free Immersion diving, which is where the Freediver pulls themselves down a line, it can become difficult and inconvenient to pinch your nose to equalise. 

Many Freedivers wear a nose clip, to keep their nose pinched and their hands-free!

Don’t Forget Your Dive Insurance!

Before you go out on any dive trip or holiday, it is essential to make sure you have insurance that covers you if something goes wrong. Check out our dive insurance article for more information.

Or go straight to these dive insurance company websites:


Diver Alert Network (DAN)

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Final Thoughts

Freediving is available for everyone to get involved in! Whether you want to challenge yourself to reach maximum depths or have leisurely shallow dives along a coral reef, there is something for us all!

If you have any existing medical conditions, this should not be a deal-breaker, but make sure to get checked out by a doctor beforehand!

To start Freediving, courses are recommended, to ensure you are trained by a professional and minimise the risk of accidents happening. 

So what are you waiting for?

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Bethany Nyquist

Bethany is a writer, an Environmental Scientist and Dive Master, exploring the underwater world. Practising Underwater Photography, Bethany aims to raise awareness for and help protect marine life.

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