I’ll come back to this topic, but let me first ask, is it necessary to get lessons, go through a course, etc.? I am very comfortable in the water and a decent swimmer. Last month, I spent hours snorkeling in the ocean with my eight-year-old son. I found myself going down deep (10-15m) with little difficulty, popping my ears when the pressure got too great.
Saw lots of freedivers on Green Island. I guess it’s kind of a thing now in Taiwan.
I’m seriously considering buying a good mask, snorkel, and those long fins, and just teaching myself. All good? Are there some things I should watch out for?
A course is good if you want to extend your time underwater and/or the depth you get to (and do it safely, without risk of ear trauma or apnea problems). There are some techniques that you probably won’t get on your own, and instruction lets you try them more safely.
Freediving looks great but it seems to be a fairly high risk activity. I was acquainted with a champion free diver , but he died while trying to assist another free diver who got into difficulty. Just saying don’t push the boundaries too much !
I also suddenly saw some videos of free diving in Taiwan, it seems pretty new here. Usually you need clear water I think, of course currents in Taiwan might be a bit tricky.
Only a little freediving, more like you: out snorkelling and swim down for a minute or so.
Long fins do help, better to have some weight to keep your feet down a bit so the long fins work better at the surface (and let you dive without struggling).
Low volume mask so your face does not get too squashed. I use mine scuba diving as well. Mares Star, I think it is.
you should not get ear trauma from free diving like this (unlike scuba) because you’re staying with the same amount of air in your system the whole time, from surface to bottom and back up. But you can have equalising issues that lead to ear damage especially because you might ascend too fast, which is easy to do if you panic and feel like you’re out of breath.
I do a lot of scuba diving, haven’t done any freediving though. The risks should be the same. I would highly recommended taking a course. You already know about popping your ears, but as you go down make sure you are slowly exhaling air as you go. You never want to hold your breath because of the pressure difference at the surface and at depth.
In a class you will also learn some techniques for clearing your mask of water and some other safety stuff. I can’t really comment more on the class aspect because I have never taken a freediving one.
You don’t need to blow air out on descents in scuba or freedive, in scuba just breathe normal… In scuba, you don’t want to hold your breath on assents because air volume increases on assent. But with freediving you start at top with most volume and descend, compressing the air, but on assension, the volume just goes back to what it was at the beginning of the dive. No extra air was taken on the free dive, therefore no intake of compressed air, and no exploding lungs on assent.
Freediving started getting popular in my area about 3 or so years ago.
More for op, be very careful (safety above all else). Know your limits with regards to holding your breath. If possible do it with someone else, not alone. Work up to more depth slowly over time. Learn safety signals. Stay calm and efficient. Have fun.
Can anyone recommend a good brand for masks? It seems a split type of mask with the nose insert piece (sorry, I don’t know any of the jargon), so that you can plug your nose while popping your ears would be needed.
How about a good brand for the snorkel? Or do they usually sell these as a set (like they do when you buy cheaper stuff)?
And finally for the fins, I’m not sure I want to go full on freediving, super long fins yet. Fins I had years ago that I really liked fit snugly on my feet. They didn’t have that adjustable strap that goes behind the heel. I think I would like something like that. Any comments?