SaltFree Divers offer freediving courses, freedive training meets, one to one coaching and training facilities suitable for all levels from beginner to instructor. We are based at The National Diving and Activity Centre, a beautiful flooded quarry in Chepstow, near Bristol.
Our purpose-built freediving platform is the largest of its kind in the UK, possibly in the world, fully equipped for safety and comfort. We have very clean water, clear visibility, four training lines that can all be set at your target depth, counterweighted lines for safety, a fishfinder to watch divers underwater and 77m of depth for you to grow into. Whether you want to learn to dive deeper, hold your breath longer or perfect your underwater swimming technique, SaltFree is the perfect location for Constant Weight and Free Immersion training.
SaltFree Pontoon at the NDAC
SaltFree Pontoon at the NDAC
Breathing Up on the Line
Freediver breathes up
AIDA Instructors at SaltFree
Trout at NDAC, Chepstow
Freediving with Trout
Busy day on the Saltfree Pontoon
Freediving with Seals in Cornwall
Celebrating a Personal Best
SaltFree was founded in 2003 and is run by Samphire Amps (nee Kirby) who wrote many of the original freedive courses for AIDA and was a major contributor to developing the PADI Freediving Programmes. Sam is one of the most experienced AIDA Instructor Trainers, a qualified teacher, a PADI Course Director and a former Captain of the UK Freedive Team. Sam has also worked extensively with the media including teaching Steve Backshall to freedive for “Live and Deadly”, introducing Dr Alice Roberts to breath holding for “Don’t Die Young” and helping Dr Michael Mosley illustrate how the lungs develop for Countdown to Life. Sam and the Saltfree team have also worked with Royal Navy crews to help develop freediving skills.
If you would like to learn to freedive from scratch, or have done some diving but don’t have a qualification yet – visit our Freedive Courses page to find out how to get started. Our PADI Freediver beginner course only takes a weekend.
If you already hold a freedive qualification and would like to come and train with us, our Freedive Meets page explains how that works. If you’d like to progress your diving, we run courses all the way up to AIDA Instructor level. Visit our Freedive Courses page for info on that.
If you’ve got any other queries – drop SaltFree a mail.
“I spent a day training with Sam in glorious south coast seas last summer. We managed to do lots of exercises, a fair few extended exploratory swim-throughs, and the day culminated with a 20m max dive. Sam was relaxed, good company and a terrific teacher, I’d recommend her to anyone.”–Steve Backshall, BBC Live and Deadly – Freedive Cornwall Training Day
“Thanks to everyone, especially Sam, for making the course last weekend so relaxed and friendly. Can’t wait for the next time.” –Graham, Beginner Course
“Just a quick line to thank you for a fantastic weekend. It was a great course and I gained a huge amount from it. Hannah was brilliant, friendly and professional as an instructor. She made me feel that I was in good hands and was safe to dive deeper than I would otherwise have done.” –James, Beginner Course
“My students were amazed. Their level of enjoyment and consequently ours was much higher due to the quality of the equipment and the clarity of the site and water. We also did a session on the various sunk items: container swim through, metal tube, helicopter, plane, armed tank – good to have fun as well!”
Jean-Fabrice, AIDA Instructor
“Rebecca is an excellent instructor…. Everyone felt calm and relaxed with her style (which is exactly what’s needed in freediving!)!”– Neil, Beginner Course
“Doing the 4* has really helped with my technique. Sam is extremely knowledgable and was able to answer every question, even going into detail using medical textbooks! Almost immediately after completing the course I did my first 40m dive. There’s no way I would have been able to do this before the course; it’s helped me overcome a barrier and I’m quite excited about the possiblities for the future.” – Pete Barnes, AIDA 4 Star
‘I started Freediving by doing my AIDA 2* course with Sam at Saltfree in 2005. Since then I have become a competitive freediver on the International freediving circuit, and completed an AIDA Instructor course with Saltfree. Saltfree has given me a fantastic space to learn and develop my freediving. If I were going to do it all again from the beginning I wouldn’t change anything about my freediving education with Saltfree”– Liv Philip, UK Record Holder and UK Team Freediver
“80m deep, great set up, awesome safety equipment / people, and a pontoon so big you can jog laps to keep warm in the winter! There is nowhere like the emerald green depths of Chepstow.” – Tim Money, UK Team Freediver
“I have just completed my beginner course with Saltfree and it was an amazing introduction to the world of Freediving. Everything was very professionally setup and run but also very friendly and relaxed, perfect for starting my Freediving adventure” – Dan Edgar, Beginner Course
“A fantastic way to spend a weekend, being educated, inspired and welcomed to the challenging world of freediving. Reaching that plate’s a great feeling!”– Rich Minshaw, Beginner Course