Aida 1 Star 3m-10m depth
Aida 1 Star
No matter what your background in diving is, the Aida 1 star freediving course will open your mind to a whole new underwater experience.
You will learn the basic theory of freediving and how to prepare yourself for a breathold dive including breathing, duck dives, finning, dive theory, buddying, dive times, safety and rescue techniques. This course is ideal for those wishing to free dive around reefs or coastal areas in around 6m to 10m of water. Aida 1 star is not based around competitive disciplines and there are no depth or time requirements to meet.
We run our 1 star programs in a deep dive pool, inland lake or the sea with the expectation of everyone comfortably reaching depths of 6m and deeper.
Aida 2 Star Freediver, 10m-20m depth, 2min-2:45min Breath hold, 40m-55m dynmic
Aida 2 Star
This is probably the most challenging and rewarding of the Aida courses and an ideal starting point if you are already confident in the open water. The course builds a solid foundation of good technique and safety so that you can buddy with other Aida 2 star freedivers anywhere in the world. This course consists of two or more theory sessions, a dry breathing session, two or more pool sessions and three open water dive sessions.
Although the course contains some element of building competitive discipline performances the real goals are in teaching safety and enjoyment. In the UK we run our 2 star courses in 25m heated swimming pools and inland dive sites like Dosthill and Capenwray.
To gain the Aida 2 star freediver certification you will have to perform a 2 minute breath hold, swim 40m underwater horizontally with fins and dive to a depth of 16m in open water. These requirements are obtainable by the average person and most 2 star students are amazed by what they can achieve with a little coaching. If you are only interested in pool freediving then this section of the course can be done on its own. There is no pressure to pass all parts of the certification during the course, you can allways complete any outstanding requirements later.
Aida 3 Star Freediver, 20m-30m depth, 2:45min-3:30min Breath hold, 55m-70m dynmic
Aida 3 Star
Interested in going deeper and improving your technique? This course goes into the theory of freediving in more detail giving you a greater understanding of the physiology and techniques behind deeper diving. You will improve your freediving performance and advance your safety and rescue skills. This course consists of three theory sessions, two pool sessions and four open water sessions. Aida 3 star will show you how to improve your freediving performance and build a personalised training plan. At this level you will start to look at freefalling at depth and build on your relaxation and breath hold techniques.
To gain the Aida 3 star certification you will have to perform a 2 minute 45 second breath hold, swim for 55m horizontally underwater with fins and dive to 24 meters in the open water.
Aida 4 Star Freediver, 30m-38m depth, 3:30min-4:00min Breath hold, 70m-100m dynmic
Aida 4 Star
This course takes you to a whole new level in your freediving. Not only will you learn the latest techniques for deeper diving but you will learn much more about conditioning your body for Freediving. This course will push you to the limits of your Freediving abilities. The Aida 4 star is the highest level a recreational freediver can achieve.
Course content consists of three theory sessions, two pool sessions and four open water dive sessions.
To gain the Aida 4 star certification you will have to perform a 3 minute 30 second breath hold, swim 70 m underwater with fins and dive to 32 meters in the open water. Aida 4 star is a prerequisite for taking on the exceptionally tough demands of the Aida instructor course.
What Is Freediving ?
Freediving, or apnea as it is also now known, is the ancient art of diving on one breath of air. Humans possess physiological systems to allow them to breath hold dive to depth. Our heart rates slow, our oxygen consumption goes down, blood is drawn away from the limbs and into the core and our lung volume can reduce in size when compressed at depth. We can consciously control our breathing and even control our heart rate with training. Brain activity can be reduced through mediation as has been done for thousands of years by practitioners in the east. Regardless of the whys and hows it is a fact that we all have these abilities, we just need to wake them up and we become freedivers !
The media widely publicise record breaking death defying plunges into the abyss and the unspeakable demands this makes on the human body. Unfortunately this is the general perception of freediving even though very few people dive at this sort of level. Those that do are highly dedicated and train full time, but you really don't need to push the limits to enjoy freediving. The truth about freediving is you dont need to be an olympic athlete or have the figure of a supermodel!
We really believe that freediving is about being at peace in the water and enjoying the wonders that you will find there. That's not to say that we don't deep dive, we do, but we don't chase numbers just for the sake of it. We believe if you're not smiling when you surface from a dive then you're doing something wrong.
A person's style of diving reflects their personality and psyche, and as such everyone has a slightly different interpretation of what freediving is all about. For some it is about personal sporting challenge, others are interested in the deep meditation and spiritual side of things and some just like the freedom of swimming about with the fish and enjoying the wonders of the underwater world. At PureFreedive we like all of this, but foremost we value the human experience of our shared endeavours on this beautiful planet.
Never try any form of freediving without attending a recognised course. Never freedive alone and never ever hold your breath in the bath.
All our instructors are fully trained to the very high standards demanded by Aida. In addition we insist on all our instructors satisfying the instructor depth requirements without their fins, performing a 100m pool dynamic and having a comfortable, consistent 5 minute breath hold.
We also proudly all hold formal academic UK teaching qualifications, are certified in scuba to divemaser level or above
and are professionally active in one or more other adventure sports. In addition all staff are screened by a full HSE diving medical, are fully trained in first aid and rescue and hold professional insurance. We aim to be exceptional.
History Of Freediving
There is archaeological evidence of freediving at least three thousand years ago. This isn't surprising, put any child in a swimming pool and they will want to swim to the bottom. But then this isn't surprising either as we all spend the first nine months of our lives suspended in water. It does seem plausible that as long as man has been able to swim he has swam under water holding his breath.
There are records of enterprising chaps charging navies and shipping companies handsome sums for retrieving items from depth. In fact it is only in recent times that scuba divers managed to go deep enough to put these guys out of business. There are still freediving communities in the world, the Amas are Japenees and Korean female divers who still use traditional diving methods at least two thousand years old to harvest the sea.
Around 1950 the modern sport of freediving was formed and people have competed ever since. Techniques have changed and depths have increased as men and women have pushed back the boundaries of human achievement. Today freedivers have been to 126m with fins and a staggering 101m without fins. No limits sled divers have now been to 214m, thats 214m on one breath of air !
Today recreation freediving is growing fast. Scuba diving for fun has been with us since Jacques Cousteau invented modern open circuit scuba and opened up the oceans for exploration. Talk to freedives who also scuba and they will tell you the two are very different. The silent undersea world of the breath hold diver is a very different place and even seasoned tech divers are captivated by its appeal.
As children we are taught to behave and swim on the surface when the true wonders are below it. All it takes is a little knowledge and practice and a whole new world opens up. We want more people to gain the knowledge and ability to enjoy freediving as much as we do.