By Johan Valentin / Photography: Marie-Nick Gagnon
What is freediving?
The goal of static freediving is simply to stay as long as possible underwater without breathing. In order to save air as much as possible, the freediver immerses or lets himself float while moving as little as possible, with the nose and mouth under water.
Dynamic freediving with fins
Dynamic freediving with fins or with a monofin consists of achieving the greatest possible horizontal distance in a pool, lake or sea.
Deep free diving in "constant weight"
Here, the freediver seeks to reach the greatest depth only with the force of his fins, by following a cable submerged vertically. He is not allowed to pull himself on this cable with his hands nor to use a “releasable ballast”, hence its name of “constant weight” (the freediver rises with the same weight as dives).
This is only a brief description of the three best known and most popular disciplines in freediving. There are many others such as variable weight, "no-limits", "free-apnea", etc. These disciplines are not, however, among those selected for the competitions.
The practice of freediving allows one to express his natural adaptive capacities, while opening the doors to the underwater world. Because it is practiced underwater, freediving offers us a state of weightlessness and limitless freedom of movement, and thus provides constantly renewed pleasure. In addition to providing a relaxing effect, sports apnea combines the practice of swimming with that of meditation. It is therefore a complete sport in its own right, which requires a certain self-control, listening to your body and constant work to improve your performance and therefore surpass yourself. The different disciplines thus allow the freediver to tame his own limits. However, the sole pleasure of getting in the water to feel this freedom remains the main objective of this sport, and that, all freedivers will tell you! No other underwater discipline can, like freediving, make you feel this feeling of freedom.
Freediving, for whom?
Because it can be practiced with few means, freediving is a sport for everyone. Much more than an elite, much more than the disciples of the "Big Blue", snorkeling is therefore aimed at Mr. and Mrs. everyone, without limitation of age or aquatic experience. You don't have to be an accomplished athlete to practice freediving. However, after a few sessions, the desire to go further joins the desire to improve your physical condition. It should also be noted that the physical qualities necessary for the practice of freediving also correspond to those of women to some extent: their flexibility, resistance, and fluidity are assets in favor of this activity.