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About Freediving

What is freediving?

Freediving is often referred to as extreme snorkelling, however is really just the breath-hold part of snorkelling. It is a sport that is accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds, as minimal equipment is required; you just need water and a little willpower.

Learning to freedive opens up the underwater world to you for spearfishing, hunting & gathering, photography, and general scenic discovery. It is the best way to view coral reefs on your tropical island holidays and is excellent for low impact general fitness. It can assist endurance athletes to reduce their oxygen consumption in a similar way to altitude training.

Freediving is also a competitive sport. Competitive freedivers test the limits of their abilities in events based on time and distance in the pool and depth in open water. The world’s best are diving to depths greater than 120m and have static breath holds up to 11 minutes. Competitive freediving is as much a psychological game as it is physical. It is demanding and relaxing, frightening and peaceful, physical and meditative. Kiwis are generally pretty good at it.

In 2010 New Zealand had six freedivers with world number one or two rankings!

Freediving can be dangerous. Always ensure adequate training and safety. We recommend participating in a course to test your limits, learn of the dangers, how to stay safe and how to assist your buddy if required. Never dive alone and ensure that your buddy is trained to assist you should you need help.

Freediving disciplines

Static Apnea
breath hold time in the pool
Dynamic Apnea
distance swum in pool on a single breath, usually in a monofin
Dynamic without fins
distance swum in pool on a single breath without the use of fins
Constant weight
depth dived to and returned from on a single breath, usually in a monofin, the diver follows a rope but can not pull on it except for at the turn and must return to the surface with the same equipment they left with
Constant weight without fins
as above but without the use of fins
Free Immersion
depth dived without fins but the diver may pull on the rope
Variable Weight
non-competition event where the diver goes as deep as possible but may drop weight at the bottom for an easier descent and ascent
No Limits non-competition event where the diver rides a sled as deep as they can and then fills an air bag to ride back to the surface as seen on the film "The Big Blue"

Kathryn's Personal Bests

DNF: 165m 25/8/14 NR
DYN: 194m 22/8/09
STA: 7'40" 8/06/14 NR
CWT: -65m 10/4/08
CNF: -52m 7/4/09
FIM: -58m 5/9/09
(WR = world record, NR = national record)

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