Freediving FAQs 2019-04-03T10:48:35+00:00

Freediving FAQs

These are the questions we’re asked most often about our freediving courses. If you have a question that isn’t asnwered in our freediving FAQs, feel free to get in touch – we’ll do our best to answer it.

Being an activity-based business, we are regularly away from our office (and quite often underwater!) so we cannot always be instantly available to answer your queries. Also, even though we may appear active on our social media channels, queries submitted this way can quickly get lost.

If you wish to get in touch, we would prefer you send an email to info@gofreediving.co.uk or use our contact form (Both of these methods help with the high levels of efficiently and responsiveness we strive to achieve). We aim to reply within 24 hours (but often much sooner!) on week days. Please allow longer for queries submitted during weekends.

Yes, it is. The RAID Freediver Course is for people with zero experience of freediving. On our previous courses we’ve had people who’ve done some scuba diving or a little snorkelling, we’ve had experienced spearfishers and people who’ve never ventured deeper than the bottom of their local swimming pool. The pace of the course is set by you and we always teach to your ability. You can stick to shallow dives or, if you’re up for it, you can dive as deep as 20 metres – the depth limit for the RAID Freediver course.

If you want to learn freediving because you are (or wish to be) a spearfisher, this blog will be very useful.

If you want to learn freediving because you are a scuba diver and wish to improve your scuba diving skills, this blog will also be helpful.

If you’ve already done an AIDA or an SSI freediving course then you can come in at a higher level within the RAID freediving system, as it recognises prior learning. To do the RAID Advanced Freediver course you will need to have completed the SSI Level 1 or AIDA 2 star course. To do the RAID Master Freediver course you will need to have completed the SSI Level 2 course or the AIDA 3 star course.

Yes, you can. While it does help if you’re moderately fit and a non-smoker, it’s not crucial – the most important thing is to be able to relax in the water. As for your age, we’ve had many students in their fifties and sixties, and even on in her eighties. What’s more, multiple world record holder Annabel Briseno didn’t take up freediving until she was in her fifties, so age shouldn’t hold you back.
All that we require is that you complete our medical form – if you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions, you will need to get approval from your GP before you try freediving. Our blog on the health benefits of freediving may help you realise just how good freediving can be for you!

Your swimming costume, a towel, flip-flops (or similar) and warm clothes, together with a some course documents we will send in advance for signing and printing is virtually all you need to bring with you.
We’ll send you a full information pack when you book a place on one of our courses that contains a full list of everything you need, along with details on all other aspects of your course.

There are lots of lovely places to stay in the area, from high-end boutique hotels to camping sites. We’ll send you a list of our and other students’ favourites when you book. We would encourage you to book as far in advance as possible as accommodation quickly fills up. Glebe House, where we hold our pool sessions, offers a discount for double/twin rooms booked and if you’re coming alone but don’t mind sharing then let them know and they can put you in with another student. They also offer camping with a full English breakfast.

If when you book your course place for a specific date and we confirm it, your place on that course is guaranteed – whether your payment is a deposit or in full. If in exceptional circumstances, we are not able to run a course, you will be offered the opportunity to move your place to another date, or we will offer you a full refund.

If you book a course, but do not specify a date at the time of booking, we cannot guarantee every date will be available. For this reason, when booking either with a deposit or payment in full, we highly recommend selecting a date for your course.

If you book a course as a gift and do not specify a date for the recipient (this is very common) we would encourage you to tell the lucky recipient to get in touch as soon as possible so that we can co-ordinate with them and find the perfect date for their course.

The only other cost you will need to pay is an entry fee to Vobster Quay (the venue for your open water sessions) on day one and day two of your course. Their current entry fees can be found here.

Absolutely. You will see all of our course bookings allow you the option to select your purchase as a gift.  If you would like a printed version of the gift voucher to send to your recipient, please make a note in the notes section of your order. We usually email an information pack to the person coming on the course but we can wait to do that until after you’ve given them their present if you want to keep it a surprise.

Vobster does offer a small selection of vegetarian and vegan food. There is also selection of baked potatoes, paninis, flapjacks and herb teas, however if you feel that this would not suffice then we suggest you bring your own food just in case.

Children over the age of 14 can do the Try Freediving Course and the  RAID Freediver course (and can continue through the levels) with parental consent, although we always recommend that a parent take the course with them. We also offer private training for younger children and their parents, with the course content dependent on the age and needs of the child.

There are maximum depth limits for each freediving course we teach:

In reality, the average depth for most dives tends to be far less; for example, on our RAID Freediver courses the average tends to be around 14 metres.

All of our RAID freediving courses offer full RAID accreditation. This means that you will receive certification appropriate to the course you completed. The cost of your certification and card is included in the cost of your course and is valid indefinitely.

If you have taken the course but not yet completed the performance requirements then you can come back to one of our club weekends and continue your development with a buddy that we will provide for you. When you feel ready to be signed off with your skills then you can pay £60 for a day with an instructor as part of any of our RAID Freediver Courses (must be booked in advance) and complete your missing skills.
All our instructors are RAID certified freediving instructors. Emma Farrell is the only RAID, SSI and AIDA Instructor Trainer in the UK and her team of instructors have many years of experience under their respective weight belts.

We pride ourselves on our safety record and your safety and comfort is our number one concern. We have a first aid and oxygen kit on standby at all times and our instructors are first aid and CPR trained. We monitor all your dives and whenever you dive on the freediving platform at Vobster Quay you will be using a freediving lanyard.

When you book a place on one of our courses we’ll send you full joining instructions that will also contain suggested preparations, which include advice on diet, breath holding and stretching. This is completely voluntary – the most important thing is to come to the course well rested, healthy and relaxed!

If you want some extra reading, our blog offers a wealth of information, from yoga and breathing to diet and equalisation tips! Just use the search field to find a topic that interests you.

Our courses are very popular and spaces fill very quickly. As soon as a course is fully booked it will be updated accordingly on our website, so you can be confident that when you book your place will be guaranteed.

If a course is not marked FULLY BOOKED, you are able to book and pay in full for a place with as little as just a day’s notice. You would still be required to complete the course work, submit your kit requirements and complete our medical form prior to attending, so please allow 1 – 3 hours of study and preparation the day before if you book last minute.

For safety reasons, if you are not able to complete the theory section of the course (which includes a short knowledge check)  prior to the start of the course, you will not be allowed to enter the water.

Yes – Our  midweek RAID Freediver courses are very popular! These are advertised on our RAID freediver Course page together with our weekend RAID courses and offer exactly the same course programme as our weekend course.

You can find out why our mid week courses are so popular, here.

We also offer private tuition for individuals, groups, professional athletes, businesses or any other organisations. These are custom-made packages, so if you are interested we recommend getting in touch at info@gofreediving.co.uk

If you would like to find out more about the benefits of private tuition, click here.

No, all deposits are non-refundable. However, for a small administrative rescheduling fee, we can arrange for you to come on a different date or you can transfer your deposit to someone else you know.

Yes, provided there is space on the course you’d like to attend. Please note the following terms and conditions relating to rescheduling a course:

If you wish to reschedule a course (including but not limited to Try Freediving, RAID,
Freediving specialty courses) and do so more than one calendar month in advance of the first
day of your course start date an administrative fee of £50 will be applied and payable at the
time of the reschedule

If a company or individual reschedules a specific course between 15 AND 28 days prior to
the first day of your course start date an administrative fee of £100 will be applied and
payable at the time of the reschedule.

A company or individual cannot reschedule a course less THAN 14 DAYS from the start date
of class and will be charged the full course fee.

The water temperature at Vobster Quay varies considerably depending on the time of year and the weather over the preceding 12 months. The warmest we have ever recorded on the surface was 24 degrees and it is always cold at depth. Whatever the temperature, because freediving is about lying on the surface relaxing before a dive, you can get cold if you do not have a sufficiently thick or well-fitting wetsuit.

You can always monitor the water temperature at Vobster which is displayed on their home page, but remember their surface temperature will always be warmer than depth temperature.

For insurance purposes, we only accept freedivers if they have completed a recognised course. To enrol on the RAID Advanced Freediver course, you must already be certified as either a RAID Freediver, SSI Level 1 freediver, AIDA 2 star freediver, PFI Intermediate freediver, PADI Freediver speciality or an Apnea Academy level 2 freediver.

If you want to come to one of our training days then you must have the qualifications listed above or be waiting to complete the performance requirements.

The training standards and performance requirements of the RAID Courses are very similar to the SSI and AIDA ones. For example, the maximum depth limits of the RAID courses match those of the SSI and AIDA ones. We offer RAID courses due to the extremely high standard of their student materials, prompt certification and support given to students on their freediving journey.

Yes, we teach all levels of SSI and AIDA courses upon request.

Your RAID freediving qualification is recognised worldwide so your freediving experiences are limitless. If you want to freedive in the UK and abroad then you will usually need at least the RAID Freediver course certification. If you take your freediving to the next level and become an instructor then there are already jobs advertised for RAID freediving instructors around the world.

Unless stated otherwise, you will have at least two instructors on your course. They’ll be picked from our team depending on their availability.

Everyone has their own unique reasons for taking a freediving course and many people don’t even realise what an impact it will have on their lives until afterwards! Your experience will be your own but many students have remarked on how the course has improved different aspects of their lives, from their health to their confidence, as well as giving them an incredible new hobby.

No. The bends or decompression sickness only affects divers breathing compressed air, divers who mix freediving and scuba diving, or extreme freedivers. You will learn about this on the course but you will not get the bends on any freediving course you do with us.

You don’t need to be terribly confident to do a freediving course as we’re there to guide and encourage you to take things at your own pace. We never push our students unless they need us to and we work very closely with each individual to make sure they feel secure and safe. If you’re concerned then please let us know in advance and we will make sure that you are very close to an instructor at all times.