With the PADI Freediving programme coming up to its first Birthday it is fantastic to see how many people have decided to join PADI just for this option. These divers are not SCUBA Divers nor are they likely to ever be, however when you can dive to 40 meters on a training course or hold your breath over 3 1/2 minutes why should they?
It is time to get serious about freediving as it is one of the fastest-growing dive-industry segments. PADI EMEA is very proud to have helped launch along with Divesangha and O.M.E.R, Bristol’s first ever international pool freediving competition! The Bristol Blue Freediving Competition on Sunday 27th of November here in sunny Bristol join us live http://www2.padi.com/blog/2016/11/22/bbfc/ . I have been speaking with one of the team and they are expecting personal bests and records to be broken. Hearing figures like 8 min breath hold has the EFR IT in me worried but the freediver in me competitively jealous. I managed just under 3 minutes during my training and that was just from one day’s training.
If you haven’t guessed it the PADI Freediver courses provide you with new business opportunities and a pipeline to younger customers. If your Dive Centre is not offering Freediving then you do need to ask yourself why not? Freediving itself might not be for you, nor your current student or club divers (have you ever asked them if they are interested), but one of the constant questions I get asked is how do I get more business. If you have honestly tried all of the advice and guidance from your PADI regional manager and still need more custom then what have you to loose?
When researching freediving online I have seen it described as the new Yoga and there an undeniable benefit of personal fitness that serious divers maintain. If you take to the sport then you will no doubt find the benefits stacking up (which in turn could help with the HSE Medical).
Health benefits to one side and looking at the bottom line, most manufacturers have a fantastic range of equipment that will get those that need the new and shiny gadget twitching. There is a certain set of Carbon fibre fins and mask have my credit card fearing for its limits. But you don’t necessarily have to fork out to start with you can use your current Scuba mask and fins to get started. Think also there are dedicated trips that you can take your new team on. I know a Centre who just organised a Seal Snorkeling and Freediving trip and it filled up with Scuba divers who fancied a break from the norm. Great!
With most Freediving instructors charging more for per student on a course than the average open water course, even if you only teach one or two students per course the figures stack up. The PADI Freediver manual is in a word visually stunning and has been written by a global team of experts. once you have downloaded the course it will have you engrossed in your tablet for hours, the nice thing about the course materials is that it is 3 manuals in one. That’s right, freediver, advanced freediver and master freediver in one beautiful product. It comes with the first PIC.
I talked a lot earlier about record breaking and Personal Bests, well freediving is a sport and therefore it has that side to it. In Scuba if you want to be competitive then you can always have a good hover off. But Freediving is not all extreme as a Basic Freediver (pool based and a fantastic winter training tool), you will gain the training and discipline needed to stay safe during breath-hold dives. Afterwards, you can continue your education and progress to new depths.
If you would like to join the ranks then the process is straight forward and there are numerous undersea journal articles and training bulletins to help. However, you can also ask your training team within the PADI Office or get in touch with your Regional Manager. With your new skills as an instructor you can really bring alive the snorkelling and duck diving skills within confined training.