When it comes to exploring a new challenge like freediving, it’s wise to know a few tips and tricks to get you started. We reached out to PADI Freediver Instructor Trainer and World Champion freediver, Mandy Sumner to get her expert advice for those ready to experience the peace of the underwater world on a single breath.
As told by Mandy Sumner
1. Never Dive Alone
This is the number one and most important rule in freediving, or any time you’re in the water for that matter. The buddy system is very important and should never be disregarded. It’s essential to watch out for each other, to learn to be aware of the safety of each other, in every dive shallow or deep, and of course everything is always more fun to share with someone or a group of people! You will learn the reasons for never diving alone in the PADI Freediver course.
2. Take the PADI Freediver course
You will learn what your body has the capability for, and of course the safety aspect of the sport, which is indispensable. Taking a course will introduce you to the basic elements of the sport in a step by step manner which will build your confidence in freediving.
Relaxation is the key to freediving. Deep, slow, calm breaths help lower your heart rate so your body will conserve oxygen.
Every tense muscle uses heaps of oxygen and energy. You will learn how to relax your body through different breathing and relaxation techniques in freediving courses and clinics.
Some exercises are borrowed from yoga practices, so you may already recognize some of them.
A good way to prepare for your dives is with the use of visualization.
Visualize happy things and peaceful surroundings and your mind will automatically relax your body and lower your heart rate.
Visualization can be used pre dive as well as during your dive. For me, when I am competing, I will visualize step by step how I want my dive to go before I even get in the water. When I am in my dive, if I find myself getting tense, I say a little mantra or sing a song in my head, and that helps me relax again. Different things work for different people, but some type of visualization will help before and during your dives.
Remember, freediving is for everyone! You don’t need to be an athlete to enjoy freediving.
The sport is more about relaxation, mind set and technique, than it is about strength – and these are just some of the skills you will develop throughout the PADI Freediver course.
Visit PADI.com to learn more.