Quite often future students ask, how they can prepare for freediving course, which they would like to start in a couple of weeks (or even months).
Of course, if you just heard that freediving exists and you want to try it immediately – just sign up for a course. During the course, the instructor will explain everything you need to know and help you to do all the requirements.
Check out which requirements you need to pass to become a PADI Freediver
But some people always prefer to be one step ahead and well prepared before they start something.
For them, number 1 recommendation – spend some time in advance training your swimming skills. Yes, we have fitness requirements in PADI freediving course. But no worries, it is just basic swimming (200 meters without fins or 300 with fins) and can be performed in any style (also without time limit). If you know, that you cannot meet this requirement, then it is 100% better to train swimming skills before. In some organizations, though there are no requirements for swimming at all. Which seems extremely strange.
But even if you know that you are pretty good at swimming, it would be better if you go to the local pool, or even better the sea, to practice. Because more time future freedivers spend in water before the course, the more confidence they gain. Thus in such simple cases as leaking mask or water coming into snorkel students feel less stress. The whole course will be more smooth and you may feel more relaxed if such small details will not disturb you. So the 1st thing you can do before freediving course – remove stress by regular swimming (with fins even better).
The next thing which we recommend to work on is Frenzel equalization. If you tried scuba or freediving before, you know how and why to equalize. If you are looking for some explanation on how to work on equalization, check this youtube video. Besides, let me know in comments if you have some questions about it.
Indeed equalization in freediving is probably the key point. Even scuba instructors sometimes are facing challenges with Frenzel equalization, because diving head first in vertical position differs a lot from diving feet first. In this concern, it would be useful to spend some time practicing it in advance.
What else can be done if you have a few months ahead before the freediving course? You can do some stretching exercises. Stretching is beneficial for freediving, however, it is easy to pass the 1st level without any stretching at all. But if you are going to do advanced or master course, stretching will be super valuable and will help to make the course much safer and enjoyable.
The 4th thing on which it is better to focus is relaxation breathing. There are plenty of breathing technics for different purposes. You need to focus on relaxation breathing for freediving (here is the link on basic relaxation breathing routine).
Also, so many people ask what they can read before starting freediving. My answer is always the same – just read a freediving manual. I don’t know about other organizations but in PADI we can provide students with the freediving manual in advance, where you can find theoretical aspects and practical advice.
I hope this information was useful.
And if you have further questions, or maybe, want me to cover some precise topics in next articles – feel free to let me know in comments.