Learning to Freedive

Learning to Freedive

Learn to Freedive – The PADI Freediver Course

The PADI Freediver Course is our beginner freediving course and the minimum requirement for attending our regular freedive meets. It is suitable for those who are completely new to freediving but are reasonably happy swimming. It also works well if you have done a bit of freediving or “extreme snorkelling” but do not have a qualification yet. It is widely recognised as an equivalent to AIDA 2 Star or SSI Level 1 Certification and is what you need to join us at Saltfree Meets.

PADI Freediver takes two days with a little bit of home study, conducted online before you join us.  At Saltfree, we offer the course to anyone aged 16 and above. You’ll need to be reasonably fit (not super fit, just able to sign off our Medical Form) and happy in the water.  You should be able to swim at least 200m with no swim aids.


The course includes: 

  • Online Study – Training materials that you read through at home to learn about:Types of Freediving, Freediving Equipment, Freediving Physiology, Impact of Depth and Pressure, Freediving Safety, Breathing Techniques and Freediving Skills. When you come to the course, we will review this with you, make sure you have understood everything and add some of our own tips and techniques.
  • Pool Training – In the swimming pool, we will work on Static Apnea, extending the time you can hold your breath, and Dynamic Apnea, developing your finning technique to allow you to swim further on one breath.  We will also introduce some skills to help you prepare for open water.
  • Open Water Training – For the PADI Freediver Course, we will take you through two sessions in the lake using the Saltfree Pontoon at NDAC in Chepstow.  We will work on helping you dive deeper and stay down longer, as well learning to be a good freedive buddy. Skills included are: Equalisation – helping you learn to equalise the pressure in your ears, sinuses and mask as you descend, Free Immersion – learning to pull yourself progressively deeper down the line and Constant Weight – duck diving and finning down a line to extend your depth and improve your technique. You will also learn safety techniques, rescues and buddying skills.

The price of the PADI Freediver Course is £345.  Our course prices include all entry fees, training materials, certification fees, and loan of all equipment EXCEPT a wetsuit (do check if you’re comparing prices as not everyone includes all of this!). If you do not have a full wetsuit that is suitable for UK water (5ml or thicker), you can hire one by finding a local dive shop on www.padi.com who should be able to rent you one for the weekend.

After the course, you should have enough knowledge and experience to train in similar conditions to around 16m with a qualified buddy. Once you’ve completed the course, you will be welcome at Saltfree meets to come and train in a more informal way and extend your performance.  We host meets at least once a month, from March to October and sometimes even in the winter.

In 2017, the PADI Freediver Course will run at Saltfree, Chepstow in April, 13-14 May, June, July, August and September.  We will set exact dates in early 2017. Please complete the Course Booking Form on this page and pay the deposit or full amount using the links below to secure your place. We only take a maximum of 4 students on each course so places do fill up early. If none of those dates work for you then get in touch and we’ll work something out. If you can get a group of 3-4 together we can do pretty much any weekend, and offer you a group discount.

Saltfree can take payment by Paypal or direct to our bank account. To be sent our bank details please just select that payment option on the Course Booking Form – otherwise use the links below. Deposits are non-refundable as we incur costs with booking facilities and allocating online training materials.

Payment Options

If you have any questions, do drop us an email.