A freediving computer is a specialist diving watch and is a useful investment that fulfills many functions, from safety to helping you train. Some scuba dive computers have freediving modes, too.
Features to look out for:
- The computer should have a surface interval time. This registers the time you spend on the surface in between dives. It is very useful to keep an eye on this to make sure that you are fully rested in between dives and minimize the already small risk of decompression sickness.
- Current depth – The computer measures depth so that you can see how deep you are and, usefully, check at which point you become neutrally buoyant.
- Maximum depth – If you are simply doing a depth dive then the computer will register the max depth you reach, so there’s no need to distract yourself by constantly checking your wrist.
- Depth alarms – A depth alarm is useful if you’re using mouth-fill equalization or are diving on a line deeper than the depth you want to dive to. Often the alarms are quiet, so freedivers will wear them in their hoods.
- Water temperature – Useful to record in your logbook so you can chart temperatures at dive sites throughout the year, how that impacted on your performance and also make a note of what thickness of suit you needed.
- Current time – Seemingly self-explanatory, but it’s important you keep track of how long you have been in the water for.
- Dive time – Measures the duration of each dive.
- Stopwatch and countdown timer – to count down for a dive, to time a diver under the water and plan when to dive if you’re buddying them them. Also handy for use in the pool when training.
Equipment for Freediving – Buoy and line
For depth freediving you will need a line, which can be secured to the side of a boat, from a platform, or from a buoy. Even if you are freediving recreationally, it is advisable to have a buoy so that you can store drinking water, have something to rest on and increase your visibility to water traffic.
Desirable features in a buoy:
- Is sufficiently buoyant to support the weight of the line and at least one diver.
- Has a hand hold for resting divers.
- Is decorated in colors signifying ‘diver down’ or has a ‘diver down’ flag attached.
- Has room to store equipment for freediving and drinking water
Desirable features in a line:
- Between 8 and 15mm in diameter for strength.
- Should be white or another color highly visible in water.
- Clear markings for depth measurement and easily adjustable.
- Has a weight and bottom plate to avoid any risk of entanglement and to keep it as vertical as possible.
Setting up a buoy and line for freediving should always be done with an instructor for the first time, as this will ensure you have it set up correctly for safety and ease of use.
Other equipment for freediving
- Nose clip – For the pool or hands-free equalization during depth disciplines.
- Fluid goggles – Used in depth disciplines in conjunction with the nose clip, they feature corrective lenses filled with water, improving your vision underwater.
Buying the best Freediving Equipment
Go Freediving sells everything you need to be a freediver, from fins, to lanyards, to buoys and beyond! The equipment we sell is what our instructors use so we know it is the best. You can buy any equipment on one of our courses or club days.
Written by Emma Farrell
The Beginner’s Guide to Freediving is written by Emma Farrell. She is one of the world’s leading freediving instructors and has been teaching freediving since 2003. She is the author of the book ‘One Breath, a Reflection on Freediving’, has written courses that are taught worldwide, taught gold medal winning Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and has appeared numerous times on television teaching everyone from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to Ellie Simmonds how to freedive.
Read more about Emma here.
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Learn more about Freediving
Read the previous chapter of The Beginner’s Guide to Freediving – ‘Do I need to do a Freediving Course (and who offers courses)’ here now
Read the next chapter of The Beginner’s Guide to Freediving – ‘Safety for Freediving’ here now
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