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How to Become a PADI Freediver

You can teach yourself the basics of freediving, but having lessons from a Freediver Instructor will help you master the techniques needed for static and dynamic apnea.

The information in this section explains how to get the PADI® Freediver certification, what skills you will learn, the program limitations, and what kind of equipment you'll use.

Learning the Basics of Freediving Principles

Taking a freediving course is a way of exploring shallow water without having to learn scuba diving or join a snorkeling tour.

The basic skills of freediving focus on controlled and safe breath-hold techniques.

So, you would be practicing in a swimming pool or in a confined water site (e.g. a sheltered bay).

Even so, learning some of the vital freediving principles, and focusing on voluntary breath holding (described as a 'suspension of breathing') is the first step.

Note: Children who do not meet the minimum age requirement (fifteen) may choose to enroll in the PADI® Basic Freediver course instead.

Course Requirements

The objective for students in confined water (e.g. a swimming pool) is to achieve static apnea for a minimum of ninety (90) seconds and dynamic apnea for twenty five (25) metres (80 feet).

The objective for students in open water is to achieve a constant weight freedive of ten (10) metres (30 feet) - through three main phases:

  1. Knowledge development:
    1. Achieved through independent study via Freediver eLearning or classroom sessions (if online tuition is not available in a language you understand).
  2. Confined water session to learn about:
    1. Breathhold techniques
    2. Static and dynamic apnea
    3. Proper buddy procedures
  3. Open water sessions to practice:
    1. Free immersion freedives
    2. Constant weight freedives
    3. Proper buddy procedures

You don't need to have any previous experience at snorkeling, freediving, or skin diving. But, to enrol in the PADI Freediver course, you must:

Note: The PADI® Bubblemaker course is a program for kids (age 8) who want to learn how to scuba dive and start blowing bubbles underwater.

Equipment for Freedivers

Some gear is specifically designed for freediving. Even so, you may be able to use traditional snorkeling equipment if you already have your own set. The course teaches how to use:

Another section contains a comprehensive list of freediving equipment and accessories for beginners. You can also learn about some safety items that allow you to dive deeper - and for longer.

Ready to Get Started?

The PADI® Freediver eLearning mobile app is an interactive study tool that you can use at your own pace. You can use it to get the background information needed to freedive in a safe manner.

Furthermore, Freediver eLearning also includes all of the study materials required for the PADI Advanced Freediving and Master Freediving courses.

Related Information and Help Guides

Note: The short video presented by PADI® [1:01 seconds] spotlights the discipline and control needed to stay underwater while your breath allows it. Please contact us for further details.

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