Discovering Freediving

What is that ?

Freediving is an aquatic sport in which the aim is to hold your breath while exploring the depths of the sea without the use of diving equipment (tanks). Apnea can be practiced anywhere, by anyone, and is as fascinating as it is impressive.


The first freediving competitions took place in the Mediterranean in the 40s and 50s, as divers sought to push their limits while competing against others. As popularity grew, rules and standards had to be drawn up to ensure the safety of participants and standardize the practice. 

Founded in 1992, the International Association for the Development of Apnea (AIDA) is the worldwide organization that promotes and regulates apnea. Its primary aim is to promote the development and safety of the sport worldwide. However, CMAS also plays an important role in organizing official competitions.

Different types of practice

Freediving encompasses several disciplines, each with its own characteristics and requirements:

- Static freediving: this involves holding your breath for as long as possible, remaining motionless on the surface of the water. The competitor's static apnea time is measured in seconds or minutes.

- Dynamic freediving with fins: here, freedivers must swim a predetermined distance using fins while holding their breath.

- Dynamic freediving without fins: unlike dynamic freediving with fins, this training is performed without the use of fins. Freedivers must swim using only the strength of their arms and legs.

- Constant weight diving: in this discipline, freedivers descend and ascend using vertical lines. They can use weights to help them descend and ascend more easily.

The next major events for freedivers will be :

  • World Para-apnea Championships in Lignano, November 2023
  • 30th AIDA World Championships in South Korea, June 2023

Here are some of the most impressive records set by renowned freedivers

  • Static apnea world record: the current static record is held by Aleix Segura Vendrell, a freediver with an incredible time of 24 minutes and 3 seconds. 
  • World record for dynamic freediving with fins: the current record for dynamic freediving with fins is held by Goran, a Croatian freediver, with an impressive distance of 281m.

World records in various freediving disciplines are constantly being broken, reflecting advances in breathing control and technique.

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