Freediving Explained 2024

The benefits, styles, courses and world records

Freediving isn’t just a sport; it’s a plunge into a world of wonder and breath-taking apnea adventures. But before you embark on your aquatic odyssey, let’s unravel what Freediving is, the different disciplines, how it’s good for you and some of the deepest Freediving world records to date.

  1. What is Freediving
  2. Scuba diving vs. Freediving
  3. Is Freediving good for you?
  4. The different styles of Freediving (disciplines)
  5. Freediving Equipment
  6. Compare courses and certifications
  7. Competitive diving
  8. Freediving World Records

1. What is Freediving, Anyway?

It’s likely the most calm ‘extreme sport.’ And in all honesty, this classification doesn’t align with the experience of Freediving in the slightest.

It’s all about holding your breath (without breathing apparatus) and exploring submersion in the most blissful and calm state of being.

Freediving is a one-breath-wonder! It’s the fine-tuned mastery of your breath, your lungs, your mind and overall Freediving-specific techniques. 

In the words of Natalia Molchanova, Freediving is not only a sport, it’s a way to understand who we are”.

2. Scuba vs. Freediving

The very basic but essential difference.

Difference between scuba diving and freediving

3. Is Freediving Good for You?

This isn’t just a thrill-seeker’s dream; it’s an activity accessible to almost anyone. Broadly, if you can swim, you can learn to Freedive. It’s a great way to improve your lung capacity, enhance your fitness, and develop a strong mind-body connection. Plus, it’s eco-friendly and requires less equipment than other water activities making it the perfect travel adventure.

what is freediving

4. The different types of Freediving (disciplines)

Freediving courses provide a unique set of skills helping you to master your breath, your mind, and adapt your physiology to dive comfortably and safely; exploring the underwater world safely with trained dive buddies.


Refers to depth diving, where you train for depths along a line (submerged rope). 

what is freediving


These disciplines take place in the pool (or confined water) and include:

  • Static: remaining relaxed on the surface, with your face submerged, focusing on your breath-hold time
  • Dynamic: swimming a set distance underwater while maintaining your technique and position, increasing your distance over time

Diagram explaing Freediving pool disciplines of static breath hold, dynamic and no fins

5. Equipment 

Beyond your lungs, you’ll need a mask and snorkel, wetsuit, weight belt and weights, and nice long freediving fins; equipment is usually available for hire when attending a course. As you progress, you tend to accumulate specialised gear to optimise your performance and efficiency in the water.

A list and diagram of Freediving equipment for beginners

6. Compare Freediving Courses and Certifications

We contacted the leading organisations around the world to help you choose which Freediving agency, course and certification is right for you. Head to our Agency and Course Comparison here; whether you want to dive for fun or break world records.

7. Competitive Freediving

If you’re up for the ultimate challenge, competitive Freediving courses offer comprehensive specialised training for increased breath holds, distances and deep Freediving. These certifications are only offered by certain Agencies and operators, preparing you to explore depths, durations and distances that were once perceived to be beyond human limits.

Demonstration of world record freediving styles with Tania panez, maria zosa, amber bourke, alessia zecchini

8. Freediving World Records; AIDA females and males 2023

  • Static: Breath hold times of 9 min 02 sec by Natalia Molchanova and 11 min 35 sec by Stéphane Mifsud.
  • Dynamic without Fins: Distances of 213m (699ft) by Julia Kozerska and 250m (820ft) by Mateusz Malina.
  • Dynamic Bifin: Distances of 243m (797ft) by Magdalena Solich and 290m (951m)  by Mateusz Malina.
  • Dynamic: Distances of 277m (908ft) by Magdalena Solich-Talanda and 301m (987ft) by Guillaume Bourdila.
  • Constant Weight without Fins: Depths of 77m (253ft) by Kateryna Sadurska and 102m (335ft) by William Trubridge.
  • Free Immersion: Depths of 102m (335ft) by Fatima Korok and 127m (417ft) by Mateusz Malina.
  • Constant Weight Bifin: Depths of 109m by Alessia Zecchini  and Alenka Artnik (358ft) and 123m (404ft) by Alexey Molchanov.
  • Constant Weight: Depths of 123m by Alessia Zecchini (404ft) and 136m by Alexey Molchanov (446ft).

Take the Plunge

Freediving is a one-breath-wonder! It’s the fine-tuned mastery of your breathing, your physiology, you mind and overall technique. Simultaneously, you get to break free from the constraints of the surface world, slipping beneath the water to experience a sense of liberation that’s hard to express with words. It’s like a dance between you and another world, a place where time stands still.

Strap on those freediving fins and prepare for a journey to depths you won’t soon forget. 

Global adventures await! Find your nearest centre here.

The waters of the world are calling.

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