“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” 

Maya Angelou

Freediving is about inward power, discipline and control. If you’ve always wanted to enter the underwater world quietly, on your own terms, staying as long as your breath allows, then freediving is for you. Take your first step towards discovering why freediving is becoming a popular way to explore beneath the waves

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The PADI Basic Freediver course is a subset of the PADI Freediver course. It’s a great first step for developing solid freediving skills.


You learn basic freediving principles and focus on practicing breathhold techniques in a pool or confined water site.

Freediving is about inward power, discipline and control. If you’ve always wanted to enter the underwater world quietly, on your own terms, staying as long as your breath allows, then freediving is for you.


Taking the PADI Freediver course is your first step toward discovering why freediving is becoming a popular way to explore beneath the waves.

Achieving a new freediving time or reaching a new depth is an incredible feeling. It satisfies that very personal desire to do your best and be proud of what you can accomplish.


The PADI Advanced Freediver course is designed to fulfill that personal need to refine and improve your freediving skills, allowing you to progress slowly while learning how your body performs during apnea.

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If you’re an advanced freediver who wants to learn how to fine-tune your lifestyle and training so that you can approach elite freediving levels, then the PADI Master Freediver course is for you.


Through focused sessions, you’ll bring your static apnea, dynamic apnea, free immersion and constant weight skills to the next level.


If you’re an avid freediver, you likely spend a lot of time thinking about freediving, talking about freediving and sharing the details of your latest freediving adventures.


Becoming a PADI Freediver Instructor lets you take your passion for freediving to the next level and allows you to do what you enjoy as a profession.

Frequently asked questions

How is freediving different from snorkeling or skin diving?

Snorkeling is the casual act of putting on a mask and snorkel and looking below while floating. Snorkelers may not have any training and generally spend most of the time on the surface. Skin diving takes snorkeling a step further by adding short dives underwater. Skin divers may have training that teaches skills, such as efficient dives and snorkel-clearing. Freediving uses advanced breathing techniques and diving skills to increase depth and time underwater. Through training, freedivers learn to conserve oxygen during breathholding while practicing different freediving disciplines, such as static apnea, dynamic apnea, free immersion and constant weight freedives

How do I learn to freedive?

The PADI Freediver course contains three phases – knowledge development, confined water sessions and open water sessions. During knowledge development you learn about how your body reacts to breathholding and how water pressure affects you as you dive down. You also learn about freediving equipment, important safety rules and buddy procedures. In confined water, such as a swimming pool, you learn breathing techniques, then practice breathholds while floating (static apnea) and while swimming (dynamic apnea). You also practice basic rescue techniques and learn your role as a buddy. During open water sessions, you practice diving down while breathholding, either by pulling yourself along a line (free immersion) or duck diving head first while following a line (constant weight). You learn to gradually increase your depths by relaxing and enjoying each dive. Rescue practice is another key part of the open water sessions.

How long does it take to get certified as a Freediver?

The PADI Freediver course is flexible and performance based, which means that your PADI dive shop and PADI Freediver Instructor can offer a wide variety of schedules, organized according to how fast you progress. Knowledge development is handled through independent study with the PADI Freediver TouchTM – an interactive tablet based app. You pace yourself as you work through each topic, then complete an overall Knowledge Review & final exam. There are at least three water sessions that will likely be scheduled on separate days. So, your training may take two to three days or longer. The recommended course duration is 15 hours. During confined and open water sessions, your PADI Freediver Instructor will focus on helping you become a confident and comfortable freediver, not on how long it takes. You earn your certification based on demonstrating you know what you need to know and can do what you need to do. This means that you progress at your own pace – faster or slower depending upon the time you need – to become a competent freediver.

What are the requirements for learning to freedive?

The minimum age is 15 years old for the PADI Freediver course and 12 years old for the PADI Basic Freediver certification. The PADI Basic Freediver is a subset program on the PADI Freediver course that only includes knowledge development and a confined water session. All student divers complete a PADI Freediver Medical History Form that asks about medical conditions that could be a problem while freediving. If none of these apply, sign the form and you’re ready to start. If any of these apply to you, your doctor must, as a safety precaution, assess the condition as it relates to freediving and sign a medical form that confirms you’re fit to dive. In some areas, local laws require all students to consult with a physician before entering the course. Your PADI Freediver Instructor will have you demonstrate basic water skills to be sure you’re comfortable in the water. This is a 200-metre/yard swim or 300-metre/yard swim using a mask, fins and snorkel without stopping. There is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want. Any individual who can meet the performance requirements of the course qualifies for certification. There are many adaptive techniques that allow individuals with physical challenges to meet these requirements

What are the different PADI Freediver certification levels?

PADI Basic Freediver course - A subset of the PADI Freediver course, which includes the knowledge and confined water skills portion of the Freediver course, but excludes the Open water training. PADI Freediver course – Develops the knowledge and skills for basic static apnea, dynamic apnea, free immersion and constant weight freedives to depths between 10-16 metres/30-55 feet. PADI Advanced Freediver course – Expands knowledge and skills, and with further development in static apnea, dynamic apnea, free immersion and constant weight freedives to depths between 20-24 metres/65-80 feet. PADI Master Freediver course – Continues knowledge and skill development with further development in static apnea, dynamic apnea, free immersion and constant weight freedives to depths between 27-40 metres/90-130 feet.

How much do freediving lessons cost?

Compared with other popular adventure sports and outdoor activities, learning to freedive isn’t expensive. For example, you can expect to pay about the same as you would for: i. a full day of surfing lessons. ii. a weekend of rock climbing lessons.
iii. a weekend of kayaking lessons. iv. a weekend of fly-fishing lessons. v. about three hours of private golf lessons. vi. about three hours of private water skiing lessons. vii. one amazing night out at the pub!
See each specific course for details of pricing and what is included in the price.

What gear will I need to freedive?

Choosing and using your freediving gear is part of the fun. Get in touch and we will help you find the right mask, snorkel, wet suit, fins and weight system that are specifically designed for freediving.

Why should I choose Scuba Course UK for my freediving courses?

All of our PADI Freediving programs are conducted by one of the UK's most experienced and leading freediving educators. Steve Millard is both an AIDA Freediving Instructor Trainer and a PADI Master Freediving Instructor with over two decades of experience, teaching and coaching freediving.

My ears hurt when I go to the bottom of a swimming pool or when I dive down snorkeling. Will that prevent me from becoming a freediver?

No, assuming you have no irregularities in your ears and sinuses. The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing in on your ear drums. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to adjust for pressure changes in our ears – you just need to learn how. If you have no difficulties adjusting to air pressure during flying, you'll probably experience no problem learning to adjust to water pressure while freediving.

Will a history of ear troubles, diabetes, asthma, allergies or smoking preclude someone from freediving?

Not necessarily. Any condition that affects the ears, sinuses, respiratory or heart function, or may alter consciousness is a concern, but only a doctor can assess a person’s individual risk. Doctors can consult with the Divers Alert Network (DAN) as necessary when assessing fitness to dive. Download the PADI Freediver Medical History Form to take to your doctor

What are the most common injuries or sicknesses associated with freediving?

Sunburn, seasickness and dehydration, all of which are preventable, are the most common problems freedivers face. Injuries caused by not equalizing ears do occur, but these can be avoided by using proper technique and returning to the surface if your ears are not equalizing easily.

I am currently certified as a freediver through another organization. How can I become a PADI Freediver?

As a freediver certified through another training organization, you can enroll in the next higher level in the PADI Freediver system after a skills and knowledge assessment by a PADI Freediver Instructor. The level you can enroll into depends on your current certification.