Raid Freediver class 15th – 16th Oct 2016
I saw a video on YouTube of an Australian couple spearfishing and I thought it looked really cool. And as I wanted to do some spearfishing I thought I’d better learn how to actually dive properly before mucking about with a gun. So I had a Google, and there were lots of good recommendations for Go Freediving so I booked the course the next day.
I’ve discovered that I perhaps need to eat a little bit differently before I dive and that I can go a lot further that I thought I’d be able to do There was a big difference between first and second day. And apparently I am really good at paperwork!
I liked best the Instructors. They were genuinely really friendly, a good mix, with lots of different ways of explaining things.
The benefits of doing the course with you is that Vobster is really easy to get to, the pool session was really relaxed, and you didn’t have to worry about bringing any kit. Communication was really good beforehand and everyone was really friendly
I would really recommend the course. Because you can probably do it from any level. We had someone who had never dived before to someone who was a professional in the film industry who was a professional scuba diver. We all got on and got where we wanted to be so would recommend it to anyone. – Ashley Martin
Freediving is something I’ve always wanted to do because I love being in the water. It is a whole other world and I’d love to explore it. And I’m interested in pushing myself to another limit. So holding my breath was one way of doing that.
I chose Go Freediving because of Emma. Genuinely. I looked up loads of other courses. And being in London I want to dive in a proper place with proper depth so I chose you.
I discovered how far you can push yourself when your body doesn’t want to be pushed. And when to listen to your body, too.
I liked everything. I liked how personal it was. I liked how much fun it was and everyone was great
The benefits of doing the course with you is your experience. When you said it took you a year to learn how to equalise I think that’s great because you’ve been there and you can understand it. It’s very personal, very relaxed. You’re not forced to do things you don’t want to. I didn’t feel under pressure to perform. I felt I was being pushed but not too much.
I would recommend this course because it’s great fun. Everyone is very knowledgeable. Everyone is very experienced and willing to help. – Sorcha Ince
I had already been in touch with some people including the wonderful Emma Farrell over the phone trying to get army freediving started and she had been very helpful with that, so I went with Go Freediving.
On the course I discovered that temperature and water clarity make a huge difference. It’s a lot more scary when you can’t see anything. I discovered that 30m is not so much of a barrier anymore. It’s well within reach and I’m probably a better freediver than I give myself credit for.
I liked most that I was allowed to push myself. I was allowed to have a bit of freedom to say what I wanted and do the things I wanted to get out of the course. I had a go with a monofin and for the record it was freaking awesome! Absolutely awesome. It’s a different technique but what I realise is that I have been practising the technique with bi-fins and so it is going to be an expensive Christmas this year I suspect.
The benefits of doing the advanced course with you is the fact you are able to get a good qualification that’s recognised around the world. The fact that it’s brilliant tuition – I’ve had absolutely wonderful instructors, and the wonderful location of Vobster is a real bonus.
I would recommend the course, because I think freediving is awesome and whoever teaches it well deserves to teach them as well. And I see the benefits of it in my day to day life and can only impress this on everyone I meet. – Charlie Bradford
Doing the course with you made me want me to continue this for ever. I don’t know any other sport or hobby I’ve ever done that forces you to get rid of all the crap from inside your head and totally concentrate on what you are doing. That makes me want to do it from now on.
I liked learning. The whole weekend I just wanted to dive, so today once we’d gone through all the techniques and learned everything and been taught everything and shown everything properly it was great to put everything into practice and dive and push yourself.
I got down to 19 metres. I read the max was 20 metres and I assumed that was what everyone done, but they tell me that’s not the norm so I was really pleased.
I wanted to do the course with you guys because there is the person called Emma Farrell who runs it and you want the real deal, not people who want to be the real deal. And you’ve been brilliant.
I’d definitely recommend the course. It’s well run. It’s nice. I’ve had a really, really good time. Nice people No-ones been too anal, everyone’s got the teaching across. Everything has been taught in a fun way. Great personalities. And Swedish people! – Aaron Keating
I’ve got a passion for water sports. I am a watersports instructor, kitesurfing, wakeboard surfing. I find each sport complements each other. I got into scuba diving and it was a case of ‘what’s the next step?’ and it would be really nice to ditch all that scuba diving equipment. The thought of just a weight belt, some fins, a snorkel and a mask I mean it seems to good to be true – and it’s cheaper.
I came across Go Freediving on Google. It was the most highly rated school. I’d done a lot of research and of course the chief, Emma she came across as an absolute legend on the phone and meeting her in person – brilliant!
I’ve done a little bit of spearfishing and leisurely snorkelling and stuff but now realise what a profession freediving is. It’s a special sport, it requires special skills and they are skills you can only be taught. Self learning is dangerous and you’ll only reach a certain point, whereas you get pushed on this course which is what I really liked.
I liked most learning something new. That’s the best thing. I’m quite lucky – I’ve done most sports but this was the hole I’ve been trying to fill.
The three benefits of doing this course with you are practising in a safe environment in a good location in country. Having great instructors with lots of knowledge.
I would recommend it to anyone, whether you want to achieve incredible goals or want to learn more about your body, the way you breathe, it’s got something for everyone and anyone can get something out of it.- Murray Smith
I was inspired to do the course by Dave Mellor talking about it non-stop and also some of the video footage of freediving I’ve seen on Facebook. Another reason really for me was that I wanted to be able to scuba dive in warmer climates and just duck dive down and look at coral reefs and tropical fish and so forth..
Doing the course, I discovered that the pressure affects you very quickly in terms of having to equalise. I didn’t think it would come into it that quickly. I thought you would be able to go down 5, 8, 10 metres before you had to equalise.
I loved the peacefulness you feel under the water the best, and the beauty when you stop and look around. Even in Vobster Quay where you look at leaves floating by and bubbles coming up from scuba divers beneath you there’s a beauty to it.
If I think about the benefits of doing a freediving course with you guys, one is being able to freedive on holidays, being able to appreciate some of the things I’ve wanted to do. I think, all my life I’ve wanted to scuba dive and I’ve been with girlfriends or wives who haven’t wanted to get involved for one reason or another. Another advantage is it’s close proximity to where I live. And the third advantage is having something to talk to Dave Mellor about!
I’d recommend this course to anyone who is adventurous and wants to try something different. – Reno la Bouchardiere
After completing the course, I’ve learned techniques, and about how to get over the mental barrier. Also I discovered that you are more capable than you think you are – that would be the main takeaway for me.
I liked most about the weekend that it was relaxed and easy going. It’s a bunch of friendly people in a nice environment, willing to help and go the extra mile.
I would definitely recommend the course! Just friendly people, nice environment and a good time! – Mason Kirkby
I had done scuba diving years ago, learnt here in the UK when I was younger, and freediving sort of appealed to me. David said that doing the course would probably make me realise how much longer you can stay underwater because I love swimming anyway. I find it very easy to be underwater, but it is staying underwater for long that makes it.
On the course I discovered that you can stay under water a hell of a lot longer than your brain tells you. One of the things I did this morning was going down pushing myself to go right down and then when I think I have to bob up really quickly, just going really slowly and seeing how much longer you’ve got. And then realising when you come back up that you’re not even gulping for air – so there must be so much more I can do.
Thinking about what I liked best about the course, I think it is the sense of achievement, which sounds a bit egotistical but that sort of pushing yourself and then achieving something just that little bit further. I am more than happy with what I have done. I came thinking ‘you know what? If I do five metres I’m happy with that. In the cold and having not done this before’ and I did ten metres – so I’m very happy with that. And I actually realised it’s not about going deep it’s about the control…. With more control, it’s more fun.
I would definitely liked to have been able to tick off all the requirements, but I can come back and do that. The benefits of doing the course with you is gaining experience from people such as yourself who I must say I have only just found out who you are and all the rest of it from other people in the shower room, so you kept that little secret! But gaining second hand experience and listening to what other people do and why they do it and how they do it actually mixed in with theory so there is technical, theory and experience and I think that is how people like to learn and they remember. I’ll probably remember some of your anecdotal stories more than some of the technical stuff. And Vobster is a fantastic place to dive in. When I learned to scuba it was in the middle of the sea… Here it was very much more gradual, I felt much more in control and where I thought I would have anxiety I actually didn’t have any…
I’d definitely recommend the course. It makes you think about risk – some of the things we learned, maybe we’ve taken for granted. And this is something this course gives you – information that will stick with you if you do other sports. This is what I would suggest to people, whatever sport they are doing. I’m in the water a lot and I want to be more comfortable and that’s something else this course gives you – understanding your buoyancy and things like that. – Julie Kirkby
RAID Freediver Course 24 – 25 Sept 2016
I discovered that it’s harder than I thought it would be! Because you guys make it look so easy! And it looks amazing, and then you try and it and think ‘actually my ears hurt!’ But I loved it, and I think that I’ve progressed and I feel like I can keep going and get better.
I liked coming here to Vobster. This is a really good place, and the instructors are very good, everyone’s really nice.
The benefits of doing the course with you is that you guys are really nice, the equipment’s really good, and coming to this location in particular is very nice. I feel like you covered pretty much everything. I don’t feel like I’m lacking any knowledge or there’s anything else I’d like to do. I feel like I’ve got a good starting point for my freediving career!
I would recommend this course because I think it’s a good first step into trying something new, and you can be an absolute novice and you’ll still get somewhere, and it’s just a nice thing to do. I don’t know who wouldn’t enjoy it, I don’t know what’s not to like! – Helen Cutts
I’m an open water swimmer, and I swim here, and I love swimming round the edge and seeing the wildlife and things. So it’s kind of a natural progression, and I’d had it in my mind as something I’d like to have a go at, but having done scuba and having had quite a few problems equalizing, I was a bit put off because I knew I’d have to equalize in order to freedive!
But having a chat with Hanli, she was emphasizing that there’s a lot of time and effort spent on learning to equalize properly and efficiently for freediving, and so I thought I’d give it a go, because it would be a great skill for recreation.
I discovered that I still have problems equalizing! But I’m now in a much much better position to know what I need to do to practice, and having had a nice experience of seeing more of what’s in Vobster, it is an incentive to keep working at the equalization techniques, and I know the rest of it will be fine.
I liked most the water time and that you were quickly into open water. It’s nice to have a bit of pool time but it’s nice to spend most of the course in the real environment, in open water. And it’s also very much at your own pace. Not feeling you have to do this, you have to do that. It’s what you can do on the day and that’s nice.
It’s orientated to your own level. The ratio of students to instructors is nice, so you always feel like there are plenty of people around and you’re not waiting ages in the queue as a student for the fifth person to do their bit. Having small number and a high ratio of instructors was good. You get that personalized instruction, and you’re not spending half your time waiting for everyone to have a go.
Also being affiliated with RAID and having the online tests and theory is a good thing. The resources you’ve got with the course, in terms of all your instructors, the variety of instructors is definitely an asset, and being able to use Vobster as well is really very nice training and learning environment. – Tania Reynolds
I was Scuba diving and it just didn’t feel right and I saw the TV programme you were on, Hidden Talent, and I thought ‘that looks interesting’ so I thought I’d give it a go! I’ve enjoyed myself on the course, everyone’s been great, it’s worked to my level.
I found the breath holding part of the course quite surprising because I could hold my breath far longer than I thought I could. Previously in a pool, maybe 30 seconds and I’d be up again, but I’ve managed 2.30, 2.45 and in the water it’s been fine, I haven’t struggled at all with it.
I loved learning something new, meeting some new people, it’s been good. I would say benefits of doing the course, it kind of changes your knowledge of what you can do, so to speak. Holding your breath for more than a couple of minutes is actually very surprising. The differences between scuba and freediving has been interesting too. When I trained to scuba dive it was like being pushed through the factory. There’s not much care in the process of it, you’re just pushed through as fast as you can and I didn’t enjoy it. It wasn’t fun. And that’s been true of a couple of scuba centres I’ve tried to be fair, but it’s the opposite with you.
The course has also taught me more about myself. I would recommend this course to other divers because it would benefit their breathing, that’s for certain. They’d use less gas. And again, it’s expanding your horizons I would say because I feel a lot better about myself being able to hold my breath as long as I could. That’s the thing that’s surprised me the most. – Charles Sear
I’ve always fancied doing freediving for years and years, but I used to smoke quite heavily, so I avoided doing it, but now I don’t smoke, I thought it was a good chance to give it a go and see how it went!
I discovered that it’s harder than it looks! But once you’ve got the techniques and remembering everything, it works. I liked most the first time I got to the wreck at the bottom and once everything was done, all the skills were done, going to visit the truck.
If I hadn’t have done the course I would have struggled to do any kind of freediving at all. The location is ideal for learning to freedive, the instructors were great. Just being able to come here and having it right there with fresh water, so you’re not getting things clogged up with salty water.
I would recommend this course because without taking it you’re not particularly safe under the water!- Paul Sedwell
I’ve been a keen snorkeler for years, and to train at my local club I need a qualification. And I was over in Iceland diving Silfra but they wouldn’t give me any weight as I didn’t have a qualification. I chose you because you had a good reputation on the web, and geography’s a big factor. You’re the closest to me in London.
I discovered that I like freediving, and that equalizing is more of an issue than I thought it was going to be! But I got there in the end
The course was very well run, very well organized. You are very meticulous about things which is fantastic, gives you reassurance. That’s the way I like things. That’s the way most people like things when there’s an element of risk. It’s very reassuring.
The resources here on the course were quite surprising because you had at least 2, 3 instructors around us the whole time which is fantastic, I didn’t expect that. Good group numbers as well, not too many people. You feel like you’re certainly getting your money’s worth, that you’re getting plenty of diving in. And convenience wise, it’s good facilities here at Vobster, well thought out locations, and it all appeared to work quite well.
I certainly would recommend the course. I’m very pleased with it, it’s been great! – Richard Tonge
Freediving class 10-11 September 2016
For me, I’d heard that freediving improved your air consumption when you Scuba dive, and I wanted to do that. And I wanted to be able to dive without the stream of bubbles, to do it unrestricted, to not have to get into a dry suit, strap 14 kilos of weight on yourself, and a tank. It’s a challenge as well, something new.
I discovered some slight trepidation, that you can lock away, like with scuba. And doing that whilst your diaphragm is trying to get you to breathe. But the fact that you can calm yourself down for a couple more moments before you come back up. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the sensation and the challenge of doing it.
I liked most about the weekend the instructors. They’re all very calm, very relaxed, and again, without harking back too much to scuba, some of the scuba instructors, have been pretty much ‘no no no!’ and they drag you off, ‘don’t do that, do this!’ But it’s much calmer here much more gentle. Even you! It was more ‘try this, think about that’, cycling through a variety of different things. Your instructors were brilliant.
Benefits of doing the course would be increased water confidence, ability to say I’ve now done that, tick that off. For me, also coming to Vobster. I’ve never been here before and it looks like a very nice place to scuba dive as well.
I would recommend this course to scuba divers and non scuba divers as well for the challenge to come and do something that pushes you mentally and physically. And this school specifically because you’re very relaxed, you’re very calm. Well organized, well structured. – Paul Mills
I tried snorkeling and I tried a bit of duck diving and I decided I needed to know how to do it properly. You came to Oxford to do the Try Freediving Course and I loved that so I decided to do my RAID freediver course with you.
I discovered that it’s not just as simple as getting in the water and going down. I can’t really equalise, but will come and I’ve learnt some great different techniques to try. The theory’s been brilliant. Although I haven’t got down to those depths, I understand it more and it is different to diving so it’s been well worth it. I’ve got something now to go away with and do.
The thing I liked best about the course were the people, because I didn’t get on brilliantly, and I did get cross with myself, everybody here has offered advice and guidance, but they didn’t make you feel stupid, which I have seen in my diving life before, so I wouldn’t have come back today had I not felt comfortable with everybody here, and it was great that Zoe offered to do one-to-one with me. She didn’t have to and she did, and that’s why I think it’s special.
The benefits of doing the course with you is that you learn how to get better at freediving and you learn how to do it properly. And even if you can’t do it properly straight away, you learn how it should be like, and that you can do lots of things. Freediving isn’t just about going somewhere, going down deep and coming up again, there’s lots of other things to do, which I didn’t know about before I came on the course.
Absolutely I’d recommend this course, because I think people sometimes go out snorkeling and sometimes duck dive down and go as deep as they can without any knowledge whatsoever about what’s happening to them. Just that bit of knowledge, and the training, the notes and everything you sent, the practice breath holds beforehand, made a massive difference to the confidence levels of holding your breath as well, which you don’t get if you don’t do the course. – Valerie Huxtable
I wanted to do a freediving course because my brother said I was hopeless! I always go spearfishing with my brother and he goes spearfishing to 30 metres and I’m stuck on the surface. And I love the water so I thought I’d do the course.
I thought that freediving was all about training and being fit, and expanding your lungs, but it’s just about your body learning it can stay under water longer and doing all the things that it can do. It’s quite weird! Obviously training helps, but it’s a kind of inbuilt system that’s activated. And relaxation.
The weekend was all good. It was awesome!
Three benefits of doing the course with you guys, it will help with surfing, with wipe outs as I get older I can hold my breath longer! It’s going to help with spearfishing, and more confidence in the water really. – Anthony Crosskill
It’s been super fun. Anthony organized everything and I just tagged along, but it’s in line with what we enjoy doing so in terms of what we’ve learnt it’s been massive, but it’s the basics though, so now round two is on the cards!
I discovered that the way we’d been doing things is really different, I’d never done a course like this before, so you learn by just seeing your mates, and people around you, and that’s not necessarily the right way. The breathing techniques are totally different, and we understand why now, and you understand that it makes a massive difference.
The venue is great. I’ve never been to a place like this but it’s really cool. And I thought the way we dealt with dives and theory really gelled well together, and I think two days is a good stint at this. But I think for our group, we probably got to a level where we wanted to do more, but it’s a gradual process.
The benefits of doing the course would be I think if you enjoy freediving, it’s understanding it. That’s important. The concepts. And if you enjoy spearfishing, again, it gels well with that. And also being comfortable in the water. I mean, we’ve been brought up in the water so I feel super comfortable in it, but I feel that I have that I have that much more control now because you understand it that little bit much more. And then I think, there’s the ability to go past the mental block where you think you need to breathe but you don’t actually need to breathe, and I think I’m still processing that, there’s a definite barrier there.
I’d recommend the course because it’s a good way to understand the basics of freediving, and the facilities are great. It’s safe and you don’t have to worry about anything. – Conrad Rademan
Every year we go sailing in Sicily, Greece, Corfu, the whole of the Aegean, and Eric is obsessed with going down, and we have been doing it but obviously with no clue effectively. So this year for his birthday, we said, we can do a proper freediving course, so this year when we are sailing, when we are in a beautiful bay, then we can both go down and enjoy the freediving, in safety.
I discovered that I’m more able than I thought I was! I never thought I was going to go to twelve metres. It’s been brilliant, really really enjoyable.
I liked most first of all to learn the techniques, to learn the breathing techniques, and how to hold the breath, because that was the biggest mistake I had been making, leaving all the oxygen behind! I enjoyed to freedive with a buddy, and I now know the importance of doing it with a buddy. Before, when Eric was going down I was looking from up, but now realize that if there was a problem down there, I don’t know what I was going to do.
After doing this course I will enjoy more my summer holiday with my children, I can do more things with my son, and I think generally, also for safety, when you’re sailing, anything can happen, with the anchor, you can now just do your breathe up and just go.
I would recommend this course to people, the main reason is for the safety. Doing something with knowledge of what can happen and what you need to do when it happens. – Pierluigi Pezone
I learnt about safety and buddy techniques, like going down and meeting them, and the rescue methods and more techniques like finning properly.
I liked the diving most. Going down and I liked the place. Even though it’s a man made lake, there are shipwrecks and things, lots of fish. It was more exciting than I thought it would be.
The benefits are that I’m now going to be safer in open water, better technique of going down, finning, holding your breath, and what to do in case of an emergency, like buddying and stuff like that.
I would recommend the course to anyone who likes the sea because it’s interesting and it could be the start to a new thing you do. – Eric Pezone
I was brought up in the far east where the water temperature is lovely and I snorkelled all the time and didn’t realize it was a proper discipline with proper training until relatively recently, so I figured it would be good and appropriate to learn it properly.
I discovered loads of things doing the course actually! That a lot of my technique has been completely wrong, even things like a duck dive, that I’d done without realize there was a proper way of doing it. Breathing up, which I’d done without realizing there was a proper way of doing it, and a lot of stuff I’ve done, now looking back, was probably actually quite dangerous!
I liked the company best on the course. All the instructors are friendly, I got on well with the people here, it’s been really fun!
You get a formal certification, you have the confidence that you’re listening to someone who knows what they’re talking about. And you get contacts and links if you want to do it in this country and if you want to push it further you know where to come to.
I’d definitely recommend this course. If you’re doing it you want to make sure you’re doing it safely. If you’re interested in doing it better, deeper, longer, whatever then you’d want to hear from the people who know how. – Ben Rush
I’ve discovered that hyperventilation is bad, relaxation is super important. The buddy system, and how to actually do the buddy system. Dive rescues, and loads of other stuff!
I loved about the course the freedom to go freediving! Benefits of doing the course would definitely be the safety. That’s paramount. It’s a good set up at Vobster Quay here. And very friendly people!
I’d absolutely recommend the course. It covers all the bases! – Richard Mercardo
I wanted to come and do the course with you because it’s a clearly recognized team of people, because of you’re reputation, and I read your book and that I thought that looked like my gang of people, and the location.
I discovered I could do more that I thought! It’s passion, fantastic thing, the sense of freedom, how important a buddy is, how it’s all in your head. But my God, it’s like another world again, even though I scuba dive, its like ‘wow! That’s amazing all over again!’
The things I liked most about the course… the angel David I thought was quite good! This course, although it’s got good structure, and the pace goes fast, you don’t feel rushed and pressured, so people can learn at their own pace, and having a mixed group is great. You guys are very knowledgeable and professional, so any questions always get a sensible answer, so you feel very confident about the level of teaching you’re getting, and I think it’s very good value for money.
Benefits of doing the course would be self-confidence, another passion to explore, and just great fun!
I’d recommend this course absolutely a million fold! It’s that whole thing about professionalism but good fun. It’s all about the fun thing and not pushing someone beyond where they want to be. You know, being very safety conscious and all those good things. – Claire Kemp
Class 27th – 28th August 2016
I wanted to improve my breathing techniques and it’s always something I’ve fancied doing on holiday but you do the usual snorkelling and you manage to get down two or three metres and then you’re back up to the surface within seconds, which is no fun whatsoever, so I thought I’d learn how to do it properly.
I discovered that it’s all about relaxing. The more you can relax, the better your dives are going to be and you can just chill out and enjoy it more and it’s really really worth doing.
The specific thing I liked most about the weekend was the staff. Everybody is so relaxed, friendly, fun, you can see they all love what they’re doing, and taking the safety aspect to one side, as that’s obviously first and foremost, they want you to just get in the water and do the best you can within your own comfort zone.
Benefits of doing the course with you would be improving your breathing technique, which I can see helping students in the pool when I teach them scuba diving, because we have to get them to do half a length underwater and I can help them to relax more, just by using some of the techniques that I’ve been shown myself to help me relax more. And it just shows I can do something other than scuba diving as well. I can enjoy diving down and just looking at things just on a breath hold!
I’ve already recommended this course to a few people! I believe that if you’re going to doing something, you look for the instructor who has got the correct reputation for doing that. There are so many people out there teaching so many aspects of scuba diving, so many people offering freediving courses, and you know, what experience do they have behind them? If you’re going to do it, do it right, book with somebody who that’s what they do. And that’s what they’re about and everything. For us to come all the way down to Vobster Quay and do a freediving course, from Hull, it’s a long way. But in my eyes it was worth doing that to get the correct training. – Darren Hedges
I wanted to do the course for the usual reasons, it’s connected to a sport that I love, but a discipline that I’ve never tried, so I wanted to challenge myself and learn a little bit more about freediving but also because it gave me a great opportunity to have some time with my daughter, so it’s been a combination exercise and thoroughly enjoyable!
I’ve discovered that it’s remarkably technical, and it’s been said to me before, but I’d never got my head around it, but it’s something that you could really spend your whole life just focused on, there’s no end to it really.
Hitting that point where you start to see a progression of control in your reflex to breathe. You start to dominate that reflex and understand that you can really work magic with that reflex and control it effectively with the right training.
Benefits of doing the freediving course with you would be to find out about a new sport, to understand how that’s transferable into improving within that sport but also within looking at how it can be applied into scuba diving or health in general, so maybe three or four different areas where it just clicks a few little buttons that are there to be clicked with a lot of people I think.
I thought the instructors were great! Really energetic, totally in love with the sport, going through different levels of freediving in their own journeys with freediving, the tuition and the balance of the program was really really nice. I think the guys were very safety orientated, genuine and personable and everyone felt that they were very well looked after.
I would recommend this course to lots of people and there are lots of reasons why I would do that. It’s beautiful. It’s got a whole different hook to it than diving, but also it’s hugely important for divers to experience as well so it’s transferable into diving. But leaving the divers to one side, freediving as a sport has huge potential for people to feel and experience and that will benefit from it. – James Rogers
I’ve just done my open water course and loved that, but I’ve always been quite envious of freedivers! It’s always looked really cool to be honest! I’ve always thought ‘I will do that, I will do that’ and then finally my dad decided he would do it and so it was the perfect reason!
I‘ve learnt so much! All round, everthing about it, as I really didn’t know much, so I’ve discovered a different way of how to have fun in the water I suppose! It’s another cool thing to do!
I liked most coming here for the first time, and getting in the water. I liked the theory side, all going through that together, that was really cool, simple to understand, all the equipment’s great, the pool session was really cool, a great start before you jump in here, and then being here with all the lines, and you guys, lots of instructors!
I would recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in any watery kind of stuff because it’s been so much fun. It’s really good. It’s been really relaxed but you can still get quite serious with it if you want to but there’s no pressure so it’s all just great fun! – Tilly Pleydell-Rogers
I chose Go Freediving, because first of all it was the safety area and second, the website was friendlier and I got a more friendly vibe from it so those were the main two reasons.
I discovered that I need to keep pushing my limits and to escape the trap of my mind! And if you work hard with proper guidance you can achieve things you wouldn’t even dream of.
I liked most the team, we all worked as a unit. The support was excellent, the teaching was amazing and also being in the water all the time!
The benefit of coming to do a course with you is a professional and friendly team, excellent training conditions and a lot to learn about yourself!
I would definitely recommend this course, even to people who are quite afraid of going into the water, because the instructors make you feel safe which is key in this. I learned from personal experience, I was actually terrified today of starting the duck dive but everyone just put me at ease and took me step by step. – Jozsef Szavuj
I discovered that it’s bloody hard! It’s an awful lot harder than you think it’s going to be, not that I had an idea of what it was, because I didn’t!
I liked most that there were no tanks, minimal amount of kit, and freedom!
Benefits for me of doing the course is being able to pass the information onto people that are struggling to get down to the bottom of the pool for the lifeguarding courses, just generally being able to relax more when I’m diving, and just a nice weekend in total!
I would recommend this course because it’s a completely different idea to what people think freediving actually is, and it’s just fun! – Julie Hedges
Master Freediving Course July 2016
The course has really helped with headspace, relaxing and getting different people’s perspective on how they relax before, during and even after a dive, that’s really helped. And working on the techniques to do with frenzel and other equalization, that’s really really helped I think. That’s been my main point of improvement.
I’ve had a lot of one-on-one time, and that’s been really good. Spending a lot of time that is specific to me, especially today, going out and having a look at what I’m doing wrong, and being able to pin point the problems, so that’s been really good, definitely.
Benefits of doing the course would be equalisation, open up that whole new level of going deeper than what you were able to before. Relaxing again, so you can really enjoy the other stuff we’ve been doing, being on the wrecks longer. The stretches as well, it’s been good.
The dry training stuff was funny, and interesting. I’m not going to lie, the reverse packing stretches were horrible! But it’s good to do and better to do it here in a safe environment, the dry training, because you don’t always get the chance to get in the water and have that exposure to depth, so being able to have that extra training available, that’s been great, definitely. And like I’ve said, the big take away for me was the one-on-one time. There’s been so much time spent with us as individuals that that’s really helped.
I’d definitely recommend the course. It’s a really safe sport when it’s done properly and that’s the main thing. Anyone can jump in and get a snorkel and start holding their breath, but doing it properly here has really opened my eyes to how I should be doing it and how I should be watching out for other people who are around me, so I’d definitely recommend it to people. – Chris Rich
First and foremost I’ve enjoyed all the courses I’ve done with you. You’re a great course provider and then the idea of taking it to that more advanced stage was very exciting, and then having a really good buddy and knowing that he was going to be on the course, that was enticing as well, so the combination of your training, Chris as a buddy and the enticement of taking things to the next step, so it fell into place and it was better than I thought it would be, it was really really cool.
And the separation of the course worked out nicely I think. It was nice to get an understanding of the more advanced stuff and then have a little bit of time to take it in and think about it and get ready to use it for the final stage.
I discovered that there are so many facets to it. It’s opened my eyes even more. So I didn’t think I was any good at static, I thought I was much better at dynamic, and then I surprised myself and out-performed what I thought I’d do in static. It’s really fascinating. I feel like I’m doing different components in different areas, so I’m meditating in the static, and mindful of technique in the dynamic, but I know that if I kept pushing that, it would all fall into place subconsciously and I’d start going into a more meditative space, and so I’d be able to be more relaxed for a longer time. So doing the static, taking a hold to the point where your body really starts to fight and you want to breathe and then pushing that for a time that scares you a little bit, it’s quite fascinating because you’ve never felt like that but there’s still more time there. It’s a real discovery of what you could do, and your boundaries.
And there’s so many great people on the course. It’s fascinating to see. So I’ve got my own thing with static and it’s interesting to talk to other people and see what they’re thinking about and what they’re visualizing with their static. It opens your eyes to different ideas.
I thing I like best about the course is the overall vibe that you put in place. I think that’s such a big thing. The relaxed vibe, everyone’s enjoying themselves and it’s a good energy. The stretching has been great, that’s been a really important part, apart from the reverse packing stretches! But it does simulate depth and you can definitely see how, and it’s weird because 30 metres on the line, during the Advanced course seemed like a long long way, and then doing 33 metres yesterday on the Master course felt really quick. And it felt like the equalisation was quite comfortable, there weren’t any issues.
Benefits of doing the course with you would first and foremost safety, undoubtedly. Just being really mindful of relaxing, and if something goes wrong, just take it easy, be calm, think about it and then obviously the second thing is having rehearsed so many rescue scenarios, trying to get it to be second nature, and so you’re straight away into the correct body position and hold. Then you also feel much more relaxed being with a diver who’s gone through the same training and you’re both on the same page, so when you’re diving, you’re very relaxed.
I’d definitely recommend the course. It’s a great course, anyone who’s done the stepping stones before, don’t put a limit on yourself. You do the correct training and you’ll be amazed how much you can progress. It’s quite amazing. If you get proper coaching and you absorb it, the sky’s the limit really. Becoming more efficient and relaxed, there’s a massive jump to be made and it’s really rewarding. – David Collom
Course 13th – 14th Aug 2016
I needed a challenge. It’s been three years since I swum the channel and I needed a new challenge. I’d heard good reports of you, I know someone who did a course two years ago with you and then I did my Try Freediving course with you.
I discovered that you can do it! You might need to be patient but you can do it! And I did it! The people have been lovely, the whole experience, the people are fab, the location is fab, and just you guys having the patience and not pushing. That’s the thing. I hate being pushed and I wasn’t. It was brilliant, it was lovely.
The benefits of doing this course are that you learn a lot about yourself. You push your limits and meet new people. I would completely recommend this course. Because if you love the water for whatever reason, it’s a new discipline and people don’t tend to do this and it just opens doors. I’d definitely recommend it! – Beckie Spry
Your videos made me want to do the course. It just looked like everyone was having fun and I’d been a bit scared of doing the course but when I saw how much fun everyone was having, I thought, yeah, I’ll have some of that this summer.
I discovered the bench mark where I am, which is really really useful to then progress, because I didn’t really know where I was, so now I know where I am and what I need to do to progress.
The water was really warm which was helpful actually. I’d heard a lot about inland swimming being cold, but it’s been really warm and toasty which was cool. And I really like the fact that there’s no pressure to perform. Everyone gets to do what they’re capable of and what they feel comfortable with, which suited me down to the ground.
The benefits of doing the course with you here is a great facility, very picturesque as well as having all the things that you need. It’s really, really expert instruction, obviously, and lovely being able to work with like-minded people and meet new people.
I would recommend the course. There’s not many people who know about freediving, but whenever anyone asks me, I do say ‘there’s this really nice lady called Emma Farrell and she does really great courses’. – Karen Tyler-Croft
I’ve discovered lots of things on the course. I realized that equalization and stuff, it’s kind of like stuff I did anyway, diving down to the bottom of the pool and you kind of do it without knowing what you’re doing so it made a lot of sense. And I thought we’d just be diving in a dirty lake but Vobster is really clean and really cool. I don’t think it was easier than I thought it would be but it’s made me more confident. When you think about going snorkeling and stuff, and you think about going down, you kind of understand more about it now.
I liked best learning new skills and going deeper, and just now going round with Heather and we did a little tour of the lake. And we saw some fish and dove down a bit, and that was really fun, I really liked that.
Three benefits of doing the course with you would be that everyone’s lovely, it’s really safe and it’s fun and relaxed. Everything gets done but you’re allowed to have fun and it’s not really strict.
I would recommend the course because I think that anyone can kind of do this to make them enjoy the water more and if you’re going snorkeling and have this basic understanding, even of equalization, just having a basic understanding of that, just makes you go a little bit deeper and enjoy it more, and feel more safe. So, even if you don’t want to become a professional freediver, it’s something that anyone who goes on holiday can do, just to enjoy it a bit more. –Alicia Coyne
Class 2nd- 3rd August 2016
I read the book ‘The Deep’ and then came and did your Try Freediving course and then decided to do the two day course. I’d been trying to do a bit on my own and so I thought I’d better come and learn the safety side of things.
On the course I discovered lots about safety, which was really good, the proper techniques and really refining my own stuff and I’ll come back and do another course I’d imagine.
It was all very informative, it was very relaxed, it wasn’t intimidating at all, and I felt like I learnt a lot from the course and was able to progress my own freediving.
Benefits of doing the course with you would be learning how to be safe, learning the proper techniques, and how to make it easier for you to progress.
I would recommend the course just for the fact that there’s not a lot of getting out if you get to the bottom and can’t get back up. So learning all the safety stuff, because in relative terms you’re doing a high risk sport, so I’d recommend the course so people could enjoy the sport safely. – Ryan James
I’ve been freediving as an amateur for a long time, hyperventilating, doing all the things you shouldn’t do and then I thought, I should learn to do this properly so I don’t kill myself and so I thought I’d look it up. I decided to come to you because you’ve got the most professional website and it gives you more information about what you’re really doing, rather than it looking like some bloke’s just made it in his bedroom and is going to take you out and do stuff with you. It looks like you really have a plan and know what you’re doing. And that makes you feel more confident that you’re going to get something out of the training, rather than simply following some bloke around who thinks he knows a bit more about it than I do.
Probably the biggest revelation is discovering that I don’t need to hyperventilate to achieve exactly the same, which was what I was interested in and doubtful of. And actually I think it’s pretty identical but without hyperventilation which is good and nice to think I’m less likely to kill myself, which is good! And playing with long fins for the first time was good fun, and being able to push harder and easier which was nice.
The best thing about the course for me was I think playing with other people who want to do it, spending time with other freedivers, being in the water with other people who are clearly enjoying the same thing that I’ve done on my own for years, and no-one is really interested and so I’ve been doing it alone, because everyone else has just swum off, saying ‘come on! It’s boring just watching you going to the bottom and back.’ So it’s nice to be with people who are clearly sharing that passion.
Benefits of the course would be learning to breathe, that’s really cool and it’s a great venue. I was quite skeptical when I saw it, thinking ‘diving in a quarry in the middle of the west of England, this is going to be rubbish’, but it’s beautiful, it’s relatively good visibility, and having stuff to see and do under the water is a good thing. And another benefit would be that you’re clearly very safety focused.
Of course I’d recommend this course. It teaches you freediving. It does what it says on the tin! – Kieron White
I went through five or six websites looking for freediving courses and yours looked the best for a number of reasons. It looked more professional, and friendly, and easy to use and it wasn’t as far away from Birmingham as some of them.
I discovered lots of things on the course; that you can hold your breath for longer than and there’s a lot more to learn and a lot of fun to be had really!
I liked all of it. I liked playing in the water, I liked trying to push myself, I even enjoyed watching people go further from the top.
Three benefits of doing the course with you would be that you learn to do things safely, with the proper equipment and a professional teaching you.
I’d recommend this course because it’s a great location, great instructors and there’s lots of fun things to look at in the water. – Andy Tite
I liked the idea that you could descend down and it seemed so relaxing, and blue, and just that feeling of depth, without all the encumbering equipment of Scuba.
Originally I met you at Visions and I bought your book and read that and saw the romance of freediving and those wonderful pictures that are in there and so that’s why I wanted to take this course with you.
I discovered consciousness of breathing, and conserving air, and relaxing in the water, and not rushing things.
I liked most the breathing, the relaxation, and honing some of my skills, finning and just swimming in the water really and being part of the underwater environment.
Three benefits of doing the course would be knowing more about freediving, getting more skilled in freediving, and wanting to do some more, it you can call them benefits! Because it’s just really a door that’s been opened ajar.
I would definitely recommend the course, because of the depth that it goes into, and you being the instructor, it’s good instruction. It exceeded all my expectations and more! – Chris McTernan
Class 30th – 31st July 2016
I have wanted to try a freediving course for sometime as it looks both challenging and great fun. I heard about your Try Freediving course through Oxford Dive Centre, which I attended and really enjoyed. This course was the next step and I was really looking forward to trying some deeper water.On the course I discovered that swimming slower sends you further! It was great to put all the skills that we were taught into practise and find out how much more efficient you could be.The support from Zoe and Jorgen was fantastic. Once in the water they made sure I was safe and covered all the skills I had to learn at a good pace, but allowed me to do everything that I wanted to do and really explore the lake. It was also great to have instructors that were clearly very passionate about what they were teaching.Three benefits of doing the course with you is that you learn techniques that will enable you to go much further than you thought possible or would normally. You do this in a safe environment with very knowledgeable instructors and you have a fun and relaxing weekend.I certainly would recommend this course. Brilliant tuition, great sense of adventure whilst being so relaxed (!), and good fun. – Tim Frost
Jerome read Emma’s book One Breath and it made him want to try Freediving. And I followed!
On the course we discovered that freediving was a great way to relax. We also discovered that you can use one breath for quite longer than we originally thought. And that we could go down to 10m without breathing!!!! We were really not convinced of that before the week-end.We also discovered what a great diving centre Vobster Quay is.The thing we liked best about the course were our lovely instructors Zoe and Jorgen. It was great to hear about their two experiences of Freediving and made us realise that everyone is different. Three benefits about doing the course would be very friendly instructors, relaxing week-end, and exactly the right pace (packed week-end, but still relaxing). We definitely would definitely recommend the course, because it’s a great activity, a great venue and great instructors! – Anne-Laure and Jerome Bedouet
RAID Advanced Freediver Course 22-24 July 2016
I wanted to extend my possibilities to 30m and Emma Farrell and her Go Freediving team are remarkable. They impart knowledge, calm and a good sense of humour and all those things are absolutely necessary to being successful.
I discovered calm, discipline, my ability to stay under longer and be calmer through everything that I was taught was exemplified by everything that you guys do. So it made me go further than I thought I could, and made me realize that most of your limitations are in your mind, aside from all the knowledge and the things that you absolutely have to know to dive deeper.
The best thing about the diving itself was the sense of freefalling, which is absolutely magical. And doing it with people who make you feel really safe and calm makes it easier. It was just a joy.
Three benefits of doing the course would be how absolutely thorough you guys are because it’s not until you do the course that you realise the risks and all that knowledge really puts you in stead that nothing does go wrong. I wouldn’t recommend what we did to anyone who hasn’t taken the course.
Everything I’ve said already is a huge recommendation but it’s mostly the combination of incredible experience and knowledge from yourself and the team you have working for you and the pleasure it is to do it. It is a lot of work but it’s absolutely beautiful work to do. – Mark Karasick
Every single dive has been like a new learning experience in the sense that I’ve picked up something different, so not only are we going in more details with lanyards, ropes, theory and that aspect, but a lot of the body scanning, down at 25 metres, the whole new techniques of equalisation, the whole progressing of the diaphragm stretching. There’s just so much more and each time you go down you pick something else up, fine tuning as well as developing.
It’s nice to have different people’s input. I really enjoyed listening to Mark this morning, for him it’s all about the freefall, so learning the freefall, you don’t realize it’s something you have to learn, but God, there’s a whole aspect to that as well. So that was really great. I think the whole fine-tuning of it makes you so much more aware. You’ve got really great staff, really great tutors.
Benefits of doing this course with you would be the relaxation skills, safety skills, and more comfort in the water, more ease and peace.
I loved the diaphragm stretching because it’s going to give me something to focus on, that reverse packing, that’s going to be great, because that’s going to be a whole new project for me. I can’t do that at all so I really look forward to practicing it.
Of course I would recommend this course! When you do the first course, you thought you learnt so much then, but it’s amazing how much there is that you will learn on this second one. So much more, this is refreshing knowledge as well but taking it one stage further. – Nic Wood
Class 23rd – 24th July 2016
I have always loved the sea, wanted to get in it, I tried scuba diving but thought freediving looked much better, and my wife got me a course for a Christmas present a year and a half ago and I suddenly thought, if I don’t book it now, when? So I got on the internet and yours looked the best so I came here!
It’s been incredible. I was thinking about it on the way here today about, how when I first thought about a freediving course I thought I had to do it in the sea, but it’s been brilliant here, it’s been great!
I’ve discovered the sport, I’ve loved it and I really really want to do it again, I’m amazed at how having contractions didn’t panic me. Fighting the urge to breathe and staying relaxed on the way up, so being able to keep that control has been really good. Massively.
This weekend has been incredibly nurturing. That’s what I liked most. It was! It was lovely! I really really enjoyed it. It feels like some doors have been opened. It was great!
Benefits of doing the course with you would be fun, comfort, and I use comfort instead of safe because you can be safe without being comfortable, and building, I feel ready now to take the next step. And also I’m aware that I need more experience before moving on to the advanced course, to consolidate. And to gain more experience and awareness.
I would recommend this course and I’d recommend it for all the reasons that I’ve said. Over and above, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone, try something new and all those things. I find it hard to envisage anyone coming on this and not getting a lot out of it. From unforeseen areas as well as foreseen ones
Heather and David have been brilliant, really relaxing. It felt incredibly nurturing and it felt fine, all good. And so in fact one of the biggest things I would say is about going at your own pace, and that is good and fine. I’ve always been quite competitive and driven and everything else and just going at your own pace and not worrying about anything else, the calmness I felt, looking down, seeing a rope going into darkness, just holding it, ever so gently between two fingers, and you’re aware of people going round, but I’m just thinking about my belly breaths, and the calmness, I started to close my eyes, and I thought, I got a whole world of shit going on elsewhere at the moment, and none of it mattered. – Mark Cusak
I wanted to come on the course to learn a new skill. I’d done the Try Freediving Course and wanted to take it deeper. It seemed like a natural progression, to relax more in the water and learn new skills.
I discovered that you should just keep trying, just keep going. I loved overcoming the initial equalisation problems. I didn’t realise that would be so much of a stumbling block.
Benefits of doing the course would be being more competent in the water, safer. And the freedom as well, knowing you had the skills if you wanted to take it further.
I’ve been surfing for maybe ten years, through all different conditions and I’ve learnt so much through that. And I think doing this course was a big part of the natural progression. Confidence in the water and overcoming a barrier.
I’d absolutely recommend the course to anyone. It’s the progression more than anything, and it’s opened a door into a greater world. It’s the start of a journey. – Tom Lloyd
I discovered that mind over matter is very key. It’s important to stay relaxed and you can push yourself further than you anticipated.
I liked most that I did get to push myself further than I would be able to because initially I didn’t think I would even stick with it. So I’ve feel I’ve really achieved by going to 9 metres, so I got a great sense of achievement today.
Three benefits of doing this course would be the instructors, they’re very competent and very clear. They’re very patient and they give very constructive advice. It’s very relaxed the way you go through all of the theory, and having a small group as well. It’s a good location, and it was nearby for us.
I would recommend this course because I’ve had really good clear tuition, it’s been a very relaxed weekend, I didn’t feel that I’ve been pushed any further than I wanted to go but I was encouraged at the same time. – Lois Garland
Class 9th -10th July 2016
Freediving is something I’d been reading about for a very very long time and I’ve finally got round to giving it a go. I’d read about Emma and done a good search on the internet and you were highly highly recommended, and I’ve been following you for a long time. So I finally make the jump!
I discovered that I’m actually able to do it, there’s no mystical secret, it’s just getting used to it and giving it a go and I surprised myself today with some of those dives. It was just lovely, I really enjoyed it a lot.
I enjoyed the most the last couple of hours where we chilling out, you see something, go down and have a look, very relaxed, no pressure. It’s was great, the sun was shining, what more could you want!
The benefits of the course would be that you learn to freedive, it’s a fantastic couple of days, I’d highly recommend it and you’re learning these skills, doing it safely, with the right people, it’s a completely relaxed environment, perfect for learning.
I’d recommend this course to anyone! It’s been fantastic! – Tony Hawkins
I saw people freediving when I was on a scuba diving trip in Egypt and it looked much cooler than what I was doing so I figured I should get into it after a while, and it took me a year but here I am!
I discovered that it’s remarkably doable! Just takes some effort and some mental adjustments but you can certainly achieve depth.
The instructors were the best! I found that I was able to get to depth and hold my breath and it was really a cathartic feeling!
Vobster Quay is a very nice place to learn to freediving, there’s a real sense of being free and everyone’s very friendly. You have instructors like David who is very knowledgeable, and it’s very relaxed. There’s no real pressure to achieve anything and you just kind of get there in your own time.
I would definitely recommend the course. From what I’ve seen, it’s one of the better courses and we all passed! – Killian Walley
I’d been on holiday with you in six years ago and I was in Sardinia last week snorkeling and I thought ‘Way hey! I’m going to go and do the freediving thing again!’
I discovered that I’m unfitter than when I first learnt to freedive! I loved all of it, it’s all good, I enjoyed it all because it’s all really useful isn’t it? I loved being in the water and doing all of it.
You’re all very nice. I’d recommend this course because you’re both brilliant! – Mark Backwell
RAID Freediving Course 25th – 26th June 2016
I like snorkeling, and when I go on holiday, I like to look at the fish. I tried to do it without any training, and it’s didn’t work really well so I thought I may as well do it the proper way, and get the training, and I found out about Go Freediving from Iain and Tom who I met here at Vobster, looking really good in their wetsuits, so they told me about you, I found you online and booked on.
One of the reasons I decided to do the course, is I’m a scuba diver, and one of my worst nightmares is finding myself at depth with no air, so I thought ‘right! So I’m going to pay money to do exactly that!’
And what I discovered is that it’s completely different to what I was expecting and I could go much further than I thought I could. I discovered the importance of relaxation, and I think it’s going to help me, not just in freediving, but in other areas of my life as well. And it was a lot of fun!
I really liked the content of the course, how it was run. I didn’t feel rushed, I didn’t feel out of my depth at any time. I really liked the instructors, all of the instructors were brilliant! And you get to dive Vobster in a wetsuit, how amazing is that? It’s a really good course, I really enjoyed it.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the course! – Natalia Paliakova
I wanted to do a freediving course because I wanted to learn how to do it safely, because I’ve been swimming and diving here for a while, and sometimes at the end of my swims, I dive down and look at the fishies, I really wanted to learn the correct way, with buddying and rescue skills, to make it more safe and enjoyable and also to maybe progress a little more depth, a little more time, and have the confidence to know I have the training to do that safely and correctly.
And I wanted to do it with you because you’re amazing! You’ve got a really good reputation, you’ve been here a while, you’ve been doing it a long time, and in the diving and swimming and everything circles, you’re the person to do it with.
I discovered that it’s important to do relaxation, to be completely relaxed. When I did the first few dives, I was pulling myself down a bit energetically, and back up and it was all very rushed. I learnt that that’s wasteful and you just need to relax in order firstly to be enjoyable, and secondly to be able to stay a bit longer and go a bit deeper.
Three benefits of doing the course would be safety, doing the buddy skills and rescuing, that’s the most important thing for me. Another benefit would be improving your freediving, so you can go a bit deeper and stay a bit longer, and meeting a bunch of really great people actually, that you can go diving with in the future.
I’d certainly recommend this course. It’s really, really worth doing, if you’re planning on doing any freediving whatsoever, it’s a really good idea to learn how to do it in a relaxed way, safely, and for it to be enjoyable. I’ve really enjoyed myself, it’s been a great weekend. I’ve done more than I even thought I’d be able to do. – Naomi Sharp
I’d been spearfishing but I wasn’t seeing an improvement, so I wanted to come on the course to be taught the correct way for safety drills and my breathing. Equalising was a problem of mine, that’s why I wasn’t progressing, so being taught in the right manner, and obviously with the breathing preparation before and after the dive really.
I wanted to come on this course because of your name. You’re world recognized, and I’ve had quite a few friends come on the course with you, and obviously highly recommend you on the forums and online.
I learnt pretty much everything really, I was very familiar with all the kit anyway, but I learnt relaxing before the dive, before taking in the big breath and away I go. Having experienced instructors behind your back is quite a big confidence thing for me, knowing that I’m in a safe environment around me really.
Benefits, being taught the professional way really, second, if you’re making an error, being taught how to adjust the problem, how to improve. And the safety drills actually, being taught safety procedures, particularly the buddy system.
The last dive session of the day really stood out for me, when we went off to the other side of the lake and had a play about. It was a lot more relaxed, dropping down different lines and seeing different features on the bottom.
I would recommend the course, I didn’t think I’d be getting down to the ten metre mark, I thought I was really going to struggle, but after being taught the correct way I managed to achieve that, so if I can achieve something I thought I was going to struggle with, so new people could come, give it a go and do well in it. – Stuart MacDonald
I wanted to learn to freedive after seeing the Big Blue and various things on the telly, then I found your site, came on the Try Freediving Course, started coming to the Friday night pool club and really enjoyed it. So I thought I’d better get round to doing it properly so came and did the two day course, and it’s been really good!
It was pretty straightforward, the way it was taught. Everything was clear and easy to follow, easy to work up to, and over the two days there was plenty of time to sort it out, get your technique right and nail every bit.
The benefits of doing the course with you, would be a friendly bunch, good location, and it’s just a really nice thing to do! I’m really glad I did it. I’ve achieved something over this weekend. I enjoyed myself very much!
I’d definitely recommend the course. Everybody that was teaching, the variety of instructors, they were all really good. It was all really chilled and relaxed and easy to get on with. It was really clear, just took you through really well.
There was no pressure, I could learn at my own pace. If you didn’t do it then you could always come back on a members day, and it’s a friendly bunch, no pressure, which means you’re more likely to get there. It’s really good, I really enjoyed it. It’s well worth doing! – Peter Keogan
I was away diving in Honduras and someone told me about freediving and it was always something I wanted to do and they said how far you could go in a weekend and I thought ‘wow’! So that was it really and ever since then I’d been planning to do it.
There were quite a few dates for the course and that was the really appealing thing about it, that there were lots of dates to pick from
I realised how relaxing it was, I knew how much I was going to enjoy it, that it was something I really wanted to do, and it absolutely was. I discovered that I’m actually quite hooked on it already. It’s mentally challenging and I thought it would be but when you’re actually doing it you realise that it is. I learnt a lot actually and it makes you look and think how far you could go with it.
What I liked most about the weekend was probably two things really, one that it was really fun, and I really enjoyed it. When I left there I felt buoyed up by the company and the people around me, I thought it was a very positive course, full of fun, that was great. And the other thing was the fact that you could get to that depth was really exciting, that you could get to 10 metres and you’ve done it, that’s ‘wow’!
It was relaxed, it was fun, it was confidence inspiring, that was really great about it. The fact that I can go to Poole and practice locally and train every week, I think that’s amazing, that’s really fabulous. And the other thing is that you’ve got Vobster, you’ve got that resource, which is great and you can go practice there, so you really feel that you can advance with it, it’s not like Scuba diving where you think you’re going to have to wait till next time you’re on holiday or anything.
It was confidence inspiring, casual and fun. It was a bit nerve wracking when you were talking about it, but when you got in the water, everybody, all of the instructors were just really supportive and it was just fun. And there was humour there, it was enjoyable. The level of it was great, I came out really buoyed up, I felt quite charged and buoyed up which was lovely. – Sharon Cheatle
I’m very into photography, so I love the underwater pictures of free divers; they’re just beautiful in the water with the long fins, and as I work as a photographer, the idea of actually taking those photographs is far more exciting to me and just an excuse to go underwater with camera and photograph a fish, so when I met Mark for lunch one day and he had just finished a dive session, and he’s one of those people that are so great so you come away from talking to him full of positivity and he was saying how wonderful free diving was and we talked about the diving reflex, body and scientifically I find that absolutely fascinating. So he said: “You should give it a go!”. And I just started running last year, like endurance running, doing, sort of, 30 miles, 40 miles. And the idea of giving things a go sorts of appeals to me at the moment, so I’m especially enthusiastic, it was exciting talking to Mark, he was probably the reason why I booked it, as opposed to wanting to – I want to, but I could have probably put that off for another six months.
Then I went to your Try Freediving Course and, again, I just find science absolutely fascinating to read. I like the idea as well, that it’s quite an extreme sport, without any of the adrenaline or the activity or the bravado so instead of being like really, you know, all these mud running events and leaping through fire it’s like the same extreme but with completely the opposite attitude and I find the idea rather than like sprinting to death and the most relaxed you’ll ever be, but you might just win a competition really odd, it’s like the wrong way around, for a sport, it doesn’t make any sense to me.
I really wanted to give it a go, it looks cool and it’s probably a reason why all of you guys are friendly and chilled out, there’s a nice community, and I’m curious that it might be a good community to join, maybe without the arrogance of triathletes or anything like that, I get the impression and certainly diving and meeting Mark and Billy and certainly you guys. Everyone wants everyone else to succeed and if that means you dive five meters that is success, theres no like: “Oh jeez I was diving with K and she’s such a loser”. There isn’t that attitude. I really like that.
I had great fun on the course. I did a scuba course, whenever it was, fifteen years ago, and that was amazing, seeing all the fish and the beautiful water, but all this kit, I’d much rather grab a pair of fins and a snorkel and just go.
I discovered there’s more to it than I thought. I think I had high expectations, and I just really wanted to be the best freediver that you’ve ever seen and you would think I was amazing. I think the challenge of not being comfortable and at times it was actually fun you know feeling a little unsure, so kind of just get over that and it becomes easier, so I think that was the coolest thing.
I have a lot to learn and I actually cant wait to learn and do it again. So I’m pleased that I wasn’t 100 percent acing everything and because now I wanna learn more and improve and I know it will be tricky and fun.
The benefits of doing the course are personal, like purely selfish benefits, from the running point of view, I read lots of magazines and they all talk about like VO2, max or whatever and I kinda think whatever, I can’t be bothered to train, and now I think if I train to make my body more efficient for running then I would also be better at free diving and the two I think would go hand in hand.
I’ve met a really nice group of people, some of which I’m pretty sure I’ll meet at the pool again and, hopefully, in October I’d go to the red sea with some of you, and being sort of old person I am, it’s very important to meet a community of people where you think: “these guys are cool”. I think it’s a cool thing to do and perhaps when you’re a bit older and not twenty anymore you suddenly find a new crowd of friends who live on your door step and there’s a shared interest. Doing it with you guys, and I also felt like this on the Try Freediving course, I 100% trusted you guys . If I pushed myself a little bit further, that you guys weren’t going to let me die, not that if anything were to happen you wouldn’t rescue me, but more that you weren’t going to allow me to go anywhere near any danger or would put me into danger. Personality wise, because you all seem so normal and friendly and fun, and there was a lot of time taken to explain in the classroom, and this clearly builds up trust ad you’re suddenly thinking ‘you know, I can do this, because they wouldn’t let me do it if it was in any way dangerous.
I would absolutely recommend this course because if anyone wanted to do anything to do with sport or fitness or something that might make them consider or think about their lifestyle, you know, lots of people say ‘I don’t want to join a gym’, or they’re worried about their weight, but it seems to be a sport that it doesn’t mater what size you are, or whether you’ve been to the gym every day or never, you could start freediving and be good. And then you could start seeing real improvements, and then from that, I guess from a self confidence point of view, that would be a very important thing. From the social aspect it’s been really good fun, even if you just wanted to do the course from a social aspect, then you did something cool and had a really great weekend. And it’s confidence boosting. Some of those things are scary, and you kind of have to get a grip and trust yourself, and it’s like, ‘my sinuses are blocked, I’ve got a headache, I’m underwater, I’m obviously going to die’ and then you just can take a moment, and just tell yourself that the pain is because your sinuses are blocked, and there are scientific reasons, and you’re not going to die, and then it becomes calm again, and I think in a sort of holistic and spiritual way, these are good things, and maybe you’ll go to your board meeting and think ‘You know, I’ve just dived to 12 metres,’ so if I can do that, then having a conversation with my boss, or having this meeting is really no big deal. And if you can’t think of any better reason, when you tell people ‘oh yeah, I was freediving at the weekend’, that’s pretty f**king cool! And so that’s a good thing to say! You get a lot of bragging rights.
So thank you Emma, it’s been an absolutely brilliant weekend, and all the instructors are absolutely lovely, it’s a really nice bunch of people to be around. – Katherine Wood
Class 11th -12th June 2016
The course was a birthday present but the experience with you guys has been brilliant, right from dealing with you, to the booking, through to today and yesterday, it’s been really really good.
The biggest takeaway has been the breathing. Before when I was snorkeling, I’d be bobbing along and just stick my head out of the water, grab a breath and then plummet down and then come up and go ‘huuuuuhhhhh’ and now I know what I’ve got to do, be more controlled.
Benefits of doing this course I think would be technique, with bigger fins, definitely, how to follow a line down which was a bit of challenge at the start because you’re constantly looking at where you’re going, not at the line, and I guess breathing again has been the real revelation. Yesterday when you showed it to us first, about completely exhaling, and doing like a proper exhale as opposed to just a short ‘huh’, and then go, makes such a huge difference. You could really feel how to use your whole lungs, without a shadow of a doubt.
I’d definitely recommend the course, I don’t think many people know the intricacies of freediving properly, I certainly didn’t. I guess I thought it was almost snorkeling with big fins. And then when you come to do it, you realize it’s nothing like that at all, it’s totally different.
That’s the other thing, I don’t know if all courses are like this but having Zoe, Jorgen and yourself, it almost felt like a one-to-one. I had the impression the course might be more of you and it would be dive, twiddle…… Dive, twiddle….. But it was almost like dive, what do you want to do next? You need to do this, what do you want to do next? And you’re constantly doing stuff and that was really really good. Thank you very much! – Nick Willson
I started freediving about five years ago, I’d always wanted to do it since I knew about it. I started a course in London with a different outfit, but didn’t finish it and we were always moving around, and work and stuff, so I always wanted to get back to it.
Then we moved to Portsmouth and I saw your club in Poole. So I went down there and loved it, so I thought, right, the next thing to do is get back on the training bit and thought let’s go back to basics. I like these guys, I like the style, the biggest thing compared with some other people and groups is that there’s no egos. People are very very good, but there’s no big egos and that is my pet hate in life and so from that, I thought the best thing to do was sign up for a course, go back to basics, get your foundations right again, and so it’s hopefully it’s onwards and upwards, or onwards and downwards!
Having done it before, and known the skills before, looking back, the biggest thing that I didn’t realize, was how little you actually have to do in the preparation to dive. Because I’d been through the whole ‘blowing out the candles’ bit and everything else, and I felt quite exhausted before I’d even gone under the water to be perfectly honest, and sometimes it’s an actual strain. Of course it’s a bit of a physical strain when you take a massive breath because it’s not normal, but you can’t avoid that if you want to take a big breath. But the fact, that actually there’s nothing to it! All you have to do is breathe normally but try to relax more, then breathe out and breathe in! That’s kind of it really. I know there’s technique to it, but that’s kind of it and that was so refreshing. And what was really really good and confirmed that, was you pointing out the amount of oxygen you’ve already got, so why on earth, even if you didn’t get any more in, you can get quite a way on that without trying anything else, so that was a significant part of this weekend. And obviously refining the skills and everything else, and what I was finding, and very significantly, was trying to concentrate on my banana body, and my equalizing and my streamlining, and I was going down on the last few dives we did, and getting towards the plane and thinking ‘it’s a bit harder than it needs to be’, but once I got there I took a second out and just stayed there and thought ‘this is alright now’. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. And everyone, whether very experienced divers, or instructors, or newbies, were such a great bunch really.
I’d certainly recommend the course, because everyone is allowed to go at your own pace. Of course you’re pushed a little bit because you want to reach a standard, if you don’t reach it, it doesn’t matter because you can come back and finish it, it’s very professional but taught in a very friendly way. You won’t let us get away with anything though mind which is good, in the nicest possible way. And it’s relaxed and fun! And you come away thinking, I think I got that right, or maybe I got it wrong but I know how to get it right and so you can’t ask for much more than that really. –Mark Card
Davina McCall made me do this course. I saw her swimming with sperm whales and she learnt to freedive. And I thought, if she can do it… It looks amazing! I don’t have much time off work and it’s less demanding than scuba diving and cheaper and less kit. And I knew Vobster, so it was familiar, a good facility. And I wanted to get relaxed, and get the skills for my body so when I went abroad I can do more and take more photos.
I discovered it’s harder than I thought! I didn’t think, that being in a head down position would affect my body that way. I did a lot of breath training before the course and it really helped when I had equalisation issues. And reading through the course materials beforehand helped me relax.
The benefits of doing the course with you would be the professional approach, good information, good training, good instructors, the whole thing for was good really, and even with the problems I was having, there was never any pressure, you were never pushing me too fast too quick. And this paid off. This morning I didn’t think I would even get anywhere close to passing, but then I did!
I’d definitely recommend the course! I’ve had a really good experience. Even if someone thinks they are a bit too far away, I’d say ‘look, I’ve met these people, I’ve trained with them, they’ve been fantastic, everything’s been really well organised and it’s been fun as well as educational at the same time’ so that’s why I’d recommend you. – Martin Palmer
Class 28th – 29th May 2016
That was my best weekend ever!
I live far away so it takes me three hours to get here, but the instructors here are qualified, they have good experience, they have written books, and this organisation, RAID has a huge reputation.
I was doing spearfishing and I know nothing about safety so the huge reason to come here is about learning the safety with people who have experience and to know how to hold my breath safely and correctly. And also to learn how to help other people, who may have problems when they dive, and to learn to extend my breath hold and get good advice.
I liked all the people around me, the instructor is lovely, so I want to do the other courses, I want to be an instructor!
This is what you will learn on this course. Firstly you will reach your goals to get deeper safely and so you will get a good instructor and do better if you listen and follow the instructor. Secondly I would say, I have never tried to go deep in cold water so this is a new experience for me. Thirdly, I want to dive with one of the best divers and this is it! I’ve talked to them, I’ve been with them two days and it’s cool!
Of course I’d recommend the course. The people are qualified, you will get every information about freediving and you will be in touch with them, so they will answer any questions that you may ask.
Thank you! – Ramzi Laugaly
‘I learned loads! Everything seems to have changed! The breathe up, the recovery breaths, my weight-belt, has always been around my waist. And now it’s round my hips. What a difference! Snug as a bug! I feel like that was so much, it was like wow! The whole breathing up thing, it’s not even breathing up, it’s just relaxing, just relaxing. And that makes perfect sense. It just puts a whole new spin on it all.
I loved the new leaning. The new concept to it, and coming into open water, having a play, that’s what I love. For me the benefits of doing the course are safety, learning how to deal with that, learning more about breath control, breathing down, to enhance spearfishing, and I guess it’s more body understanding, physiology, it’s always nice to have more understanding about the body.
I would definitely recommend the course and I’m even thinking about my friend’s little girl, she loves swimming, loves being in the water and she’s up for spearfishing, she went last year, and I’d recommend it to her because she’d learn so much at a young age about how to be safe in the water, how to get the best out of it and you’d be really good with kids. – Nic Wood
For me mainly there was a barrier of equalisation. I was expecting it but probably not to happen so quickly, maybe at four five metres, not at 1-2 metres! But everything else was as I expected it to be.
The benefits of doing a course with you is your experience, your easy going approach to it, and it’s safe. I’d recommend this course for those reasons, easy going, fun, you learn lots and it’s safe! – Marc Bolwell
‘I’ve always loved being underwater and I started to get the idea that I wasn’t being as safe as I should be. I saw videos and the more I watched the videos and the more I read up on freediving, I thought ‘I’m going to kill myself if I carry on doing the things that I’m doing!’ So I thought I’d better do a course.
I particularly wanted to do the RAID one because of the online aspect and everything and because I had heard of you. I tend to move around quite a lot so I don’t do with keeping a lot of manuals and books and things so as much as I can put online or on the cloud. I prefer to have not so much stuff so I liked the idea that it could be updated, and I’d heard really good reviews about it as well.
I absolutely loved the course and I absolutely have to move down here! I really surprised myself because I’m such a contradiction. I really love being in the water but things that shouldn’t be under the water really freak me out! But when I saw the plane under the water I was amazed, and then I saw the boat and I couldn’t believe that I could look at a boat that was under the water and not on the surface of the water and not freak out!
I loved how friendly everyone was and how if you had a problem it was no big deal and it would be easy to overcome and nobody got stressed out., everything was explained so clearly and so easily you could just get it. I loved all of it!
I liked the way everything was explained so well about the equipment we well as it is so different from scuba equipment, I also liked the explanation of the physiology, the diagrams that Dennis drew were brilliant, it made what I had learnt in the manuals stick in my head and I also liked the fact you were really closely buddied. If you ever might have got into trouble there would always be someone to help you out.
I’d definitely recommend the course, it’s certainly very safe, I never felt unsafe at any point at all and the instructors are really friendly and knowledgeable. I’ve just really enjoyed it, it’s been an absolutely amazing experience!’ – Karen van Wyk
I didn’t think that in one session I could achieve such a breath hold, that I could go that far for the first time. The technique was brilliant, definitely. I love the relaxed atmosphere and the fact that you made it accessible to everyone, I really liked that.
There was no judgment, you did good, not good, everyone could have an evolution, and the fact that you didn’t tell us the time, you didn’t know you could challenge yourself, you helped us a lot.
And I really liked the group, there was no-one cocky. It was fun, definitely fun, definitely challenging, and I loved the community, it’s a group, that’s what I like, the buddying and stuff like that. I would definitely recommend the course because it’s quality, pure quality and really good fun, really well taught. Just do it! – Delphine Brise
‘I saw Emma teaching Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to freedive on an episode of River Cottage and I loved it. Throughout it looked really fun, something that I could potentially be good at as I like being under the water and I like swimming.
On the course I discovered that I could hold my breath for a lot longer than I thought I could and I really enjoyed wearing the fins, that feeling of speed through the water. A whippet, that was the phrase David used!
I thought the way the course was taught was really clear and really easy to understand. I liked the small group, it felt really personal and it was so much fun, really sociable and a good experience.
I’d definitely recommend the course because it’s really fun and everyone can do it. I definitely want to carry on in the future!’ – Adele Cross
‘Before booking the course there was a kind of fear, fear of the unknown. I have tried Scuba diving and things happened and so I thought this would be the same with freediving but it wasn’t. I really like the water and I love snorkeling .
I discovered that I could hold my breath a lot longer than I thought I could! I love the way you felt really safe, and there was a lot of people there who already knew a lot about freediving so you felt several pairs of eyes on you in a good way.
The course boosts your confidence, it’s fun and it’s a good way to spend a Saturday! It seems so easy, obviously it’s not easy but it feels very accessible. If anyone is thinking of coming, don’t listen to your friends who think you’re mad. Just go for it!’ – Viviane Bernhard
I was quite surprised at how long I could hold my breath, it was good, a good experience, a really good experience in different ways, being in the water again, remembering why I liked it so much.
Everyone was really friendly like. David was stood out there beforehand and we were chatting and stuff and he was talking to you and there was no us and them, we just all mixed in.
I liked learning to be more relaxed in the water, there’s not a lot to be scared of. It helps you challenge yourself in a nice safe environment. I’d definitely recommend the course because it was a great experience and people have to try it. If people are interested in snorkeling and want to take it a little further then definitely do it. I’ve had a fantastic day, really enjoyed it and I really look forward to coming again.’ – Mike Smith
‘I learnt to Scuba in 1980 and I’ve done snorkeling and nobody ever taught me what you need to do to get under water and without knowledge your instant reaction is to duck dive down and you get to a few metres and you think ‘I can hold my breath for about ten seconds’ and its then time to come up again. It’s nice to learn the techniques, to be able to relax and enjoy it. The trouble before was you were always doing it wrong. Confidence is the main thing I got out of the course.
I like all of it. I think being in a small group helps and having lots of experienced people around you helps and the fact that you’re not rushed through anything. I’d rather do a few things well than do lots of things badly
I think the benefits of doing the course would be to surprise yourself, how good you can be as most people think they can’t hold their breath for 15 seconds. To build confidence in the water and to look at techniques that make you more efficient in the water. Years ago I did a helicopter escape course and it was amazing the marines that were panicking, but then you watched how long they were underwater and the last person out was only under for 15 seconds and I thought, everyone in this room must be able to hold their breath for 15 seconds, that’s all it takes.’ – Simon Nash
‘I completed both my basic and advanced Freediving courses this year and have thoroughly enjoyed them both. Emma instructs in a friendly and professional manner making the courses extremely informative yet fun and relaxed at the same time.
Over the courses I have learnt a tremendous amount and developed my freediving skills significantly. I’ll definitely be continuing next year when it gets warmer!’ – Nathan Carter
Throughout the Course both Emma and David were enthusiastic about the joys of Freediving and their enthusiasm for the sport kept the motivation high for everyone.
From start to finish we were all made to feel important as individuals rather than just a group going through the motions and when in the pool and out on the water Emma and David remembered everyone’s experience and tailored the teaching and diving as appropriate – pushing those who were experienced to get that little bit deeper or swim for longer whilst encouraging those with little or no experience (like me) to just get comfortable with being 20 or more feet under the surface with nothing more than the air in our lungs.
Despite having difficulty with equalising “head down” I still managed to make some very relaxed and enjoyable dives to below 20 feet and simply hang in the water and then rise gently to the surface, a very Zen like experience, thanks to the trust built up over the Course in Emma and David that they would not have me do anything I could not do.
Thanks to Emma and David I have found a new and lasting enjoyment of being under the water and am looking forward to Freediving for longer and deeper. I have gone from someone who felt they were out of place under the surface to feeling like a welcome guest in a calm and happy home. – Kerr Temba
‘The two day introductory course at Vobster was fantastic: Emma is an expert, enthusiastic instructor, getting the mixture of challenge and reassurance just right. Everything is delivered with a great passion for the sport and introducing others to it – and she is ably assisted by her team.
I swam to 18m on Day 2 and came away hoping this is just the beginning of the underwater life.
The best thing I’ve done with a weekend in the UK for quite a while.’ – Chris Francis
“An unforgettable experience. I found the course after I saw Emma Farrell on TV. Vobster seems to be one of the top all around dive facility in the country, with deep waters and interesting wrecks to see at the bottom. The course was both fun and professional.
I had reservations about swimming in cold water however the freediving wetsuits were amazing at keeping you warm.
I just wished I had been freediving longer. Thank you Emma!” – Harrison Bent
Emma I though what you achieved with me on the level 1 course was nothing short of a miracle, I would like to start this testimonial off by stating that I am not your average free diving student, being very overweight, over fifty and a type 2 diabetic. I felt that you quickly put as all at ease, it did not matter what your gender, shape or size was, you greeted everyone in an enthusiastic manner accompanied with a warm kind smile which melted away the nerves or apprehensiveness that I had and quickly built up my confidence to face the new challenge that lay before me.
The location, accommodation, pool and classroom for our initial pool introduction was excellent and close to Vobster Quay to carry out the practical work. The knowledge, enthusiasm and skills of all the instructors really put me at ease, you all made sure I was fully prepared for the next task or challenge which I had to achieve either in the pool or down in Vobster Quay.
I really enjoyed my time with you and I learnt so much with the pinnacle of the weekend for me being able to freedive down the wall and swim out and out and out before coming up to the surface I was like a child I just wanted to have another go and another go I really didn’t want it to end. having that confidence to free dive without the aid of the line just to go out and enjoy yourself was a truly brilliant experience.
I was fortunate that I came on the course with a “goal” a new challenge for me to go to Gibraltar to free dive and photograph Pilot Whales in the wild which to a degree I achieved.
Many, many thanks to you and your team I hope that I can get down in the new year to sharpen my skills. – Colin Bryce
People take up freediving for any number of reasons but two that should sit on all our lists are pleasure and safety. For anyone dispensing with either of these Emma is not the person to help you because I have rarely felt safer in the water and after swimming with sting rays, tuna, on sunken wrecks and with wild dolphins – all with Emma – it’s impossible not to have a great time in the sea.
Freediving also teaches you a great deal about yourself, the way you think and how much of an ego you have. For me, a static four minute breath hold came easily but diving to depth, a little less so. However nothing is forced by Emma and each person goes at their own pace, albeit within the boundaries of her firm safety zones.
The instruction is precise and consistent and you’re swiftly equipped with all the knowledge you need to begin to look after yourself. More than that, the instruction is delivered in such a way that you’re instinctively looking out for others as well. I’ve found the care, consideration and camaraderie of all the groups under her tutelage to be very high indeed. Leave your ego at home and trust Emma – you’ll meet some really cool people have a lot of fun. – Paul Duffy
I would like to say the whole experience of the level one course was credit to you guys in your relaxed but thoroughly professional attitude and approach to the art of freediving.
I personally got a huge amount out of the course mentally and physically.
I will definitely be booking for the advanced course. Many thanks – Andrew Clements
“I don’t think you guys realise how much you give to people. I just want to make sure you know that YOU (you and David and the whole gang) have already made a huge impact on my life.
I might sound silly to say this after 2 weekends but trust me… now I that know what I was missing from my life and even I won’t have the chance to join you any time soon at least I have something to look forward to.
Special thanks for this to all of you (is it special thanks at all if you thank more than 3 people????)!!!” – Nora Galgozy
Emma is extremely good with nervous students, very calm and relaxed.
I never imagined I would achieve what I did and she helped me release my ‘mental block.’ – Britta Schaedler
Confident teaching put me at ease. Good mix of theory and practical.
Overall very enjoyable!
“I learnt a lot more than I expected and that there is a lot more to freediving than going as deep as you can on one breath.”
“I love freediving, I love the lack of equipment, the lack of over-complication.
Excellent, lovely teachers in an amazing environment.”
I’d always had a slightly romantic idea of freediving and dreamt of being comfortable under the water for extended periods of time. When my wife gave me the course for my birthday I was really excited but a little nervous, being a complete novice. Having two trainers with different approaches meant that you learnt a lot more and were put completely at ease with safety being number 1 and having fun a close second.
I’m now totally hooked and can’t wait for the Summer to get down to bigger depths and practice my breath hold techniques even more. A great course! – Iain Thurgar
“Thanks for the weekend – fantastic, addictive and so so different!”
I loved the calmness of the instructors, their good humour, laid back approach and professionalism!
There was such a relaxed atmosphere on the course. We discussed about other topics and this helped to get a bigger picture of the freediving world
I have been Freediving/Spearfishing since 1997. I attended Go Freediving at the beginning of last year to do the freediver course to try and improve the reverse equalization problems and my bottom time.
By the end of the first weekend I had gone deeper than ever before, my equalization problems were gone and I can now hold my breath for over 5 minutes!!
I liked the extremely high quality of instructors and friendliness in their delivery of training.
It was a really fantastic weekend and i learnt so much, managed to get to 9 metres which is better than the 5 i was at. Massive thanks to all the fantastic instructers on the course, really impressed with the way the whole course was run.
Will be back next year to do the skills at Vobster and hopefully complete this course.
Really good instructors – fun, friendly and knowledgeable. A really fun course for pretty much anyone.
Great instructors and a great location for a relaxing weekend in and around the water.
“This course redefined my limits. Not only measurable limits such as depth and time, but mostly mental limits. It’s a giant leap if you can ‘focus away’ your urge to breathe.”
Kees van der Giessen
I would have struggled booking the course had you not given me such financial leeway and support, letting me pay in instalments as I’m 110% pleased I booked. If you are given the right teacher you can achieve anything. The time that was invested by both instructors in terms of equalizing was amazing and knowing there was no pressure to achieve, that I could come back at any time and complete my skills made it much more enjoyable.
I liked most being able to progress with depth. I couldn’t equalize at all before the course so I came onto the weekend expecting to gain some freediving skills but not expecting to do all the requirements. However going a little bit deeper each time and learning how to equalize my own ears and how that felt like, became more and more enjoyable.
I met some lovely people on the course and will be able to dive with a buddy in the future and make new friends. I also feel more confident that I could go anywhere in the world and know how to be safe, how to dive safely and progress safely.
I think everyone should take up freediving. Anything that brings you closer to nature and more in touch with the natural world is a step in the right direction. It gets you very present and grounded, there’s no thinking about anything else that’s going on. – Iain Pennington
I decided last year to book the advanced course because of the stage I was at and how I was freediving. On the course I discovered that I need to slow down and take my time, that everything doesn’t need to be a rush. I learned to dive deeper, better and accomplish more goals.
I liked most the openness of everyone, you could ask any question that you wanted. Everyone’s friendly, everything works. I would definitely recommend the course, because it’s the right way to learn something , the safe way of doing something, not just doing something and not really understanding it. – Jonathan Davies
I come from Qatar and I wanted to do the course in England. I wanted to do it the cold because if I’m good in cold, I can do it in the winter in my country.
Actually, for the other courses, people they just tell me do this do this, but on this course it’s different, they can see your mistake and they will not push you more than your limits and they will say do like this. Not like a friend say ‘it’s okay’. It’s better to take a course not to take a chance. Most of the time I’m hearing about freediving and it’s all black out black out but now I know the different way to do it.
You have many options at Vobster, platform, plane, boat. For me it encourages you to go down and see it. Not like ‘here is 10m and there is nothing’. Here for practice it is better for someone to see something. When he told me there is a plane there it made me want to go and see it.
I like the number of the people, small group, most of the time it was just focus on me and Iain. Small numbers are nice. Timing is also nice. And it is nice actually to have everything online, the manual for six months. Most of the time you have mobile, tablet, you have access to it and the instructors also answer any general questions. They have knowledge. It is better to recommend the course to someone who doesn’t try freediving before so they get it right from the beginning, not like me! – Nayef Al-Remaihi
Freediving Holidays Testimonials
I decided to book this trip because of the combination of being able to scuba dive and try freediving and do some yoga and generally be relaxed and chill out.
I didn’t appreciate that with freediving you can keep doing it for longer, so I kind of perceived that you wouldn’t see as much doing that as you would doing scuba, but you can!
And I think with things you have seen actually it depends more where you are, the time and place and so I don’t think scuba divers have seen more than freedivers. It just depends on where people have been. And I have been anxious about some of the scuba dives and thinking about things, and the yoga and relaxation actually is quite useful. So when we were doing the static breath holds I was just singing to myself because I got bored looking at the sand. And then when we did Thistlegorm this morning I was like ‘Oh that was quite relaxing’ so I just thought of some songs and sang to myself when I was diving.
I’ve liked everything. I liked to try freediving – I’d like to do more of that. And I like conquering my fears on Thistlegorm this morning.
The benefits of this trip is integrating different things and learning about different things. I think my impression of doing a liveaboard ……… when you’re on a dive boat just with scuba divers it’s very regimented and dive heavy, so if you don’t actually want to do a dive it’s almost like ‘why not?’ On this trip there have been scuba divers who haven’t dived and people have just gone at different times. And it’s really nice because you guys have got less kit so there is more room on deck for the rest of us!
I thought the freediving course was good. I’d like to do more of the dynamic stuff and practice with different kit. I knew I could hold my breath for quite a long time, but didn’t expect to do it for nearly two and a half minutes! I’d like to do more of the dynamic – I guess it’s about going on another course.
I would recommend this holiday because even if you’re not interested in freediving, the scuba diving is still good. – Lynne Dixon
I wanted to spend a lot of time freediving because normally I only get the chance to practice one or two times a year so it is nice to be able to spend the whole week diving a couple of times a day.
I chose you because obviously you are the best instructor in the UK, I knew that the diving would be absolutely safe and well organised and I knew it would be very relaxing.
I’ve learned how to fin better – it’s definitely improved. I’ve not really pushed myself on any depth but that wasn’t really what I wanted to achieve, it was about becoming more comfortable in the water and just a few technique improvements.
It was good to be able to have lots of different opportunities to dive, different types of diving, so you could go depth, reefs, snorkeling, wrecks – lots of variety. There were great buddies, lots of different buddies to dive with so you get to see different styles.
The benefits of this holiday are improving technique, relaxing and making new friends.
It’s been great and would recommend this holiday for all reasons I’ve mentioned. Anyone who wants to freedive it is a great opportunity to get in the water and see some really cool stuff. – Paul Grew
Helen booked the holiday. She said we’re going to go to the Red Sea, and I said yeah! There was this Red Sea Relaxed holiday and I thought yes, we don’t want to go anywhere too deep as we haven’t dived for a long time, just wanted a few shallow dives and see some fish and chill out, so this sounded ideal.
We got what we expected out this trip which was the relaxing holiday we wanted. Compared to other dive holidays I’ve been on I do like the idea of the open deck policy. You can take yourself off and there is a little bit more. It’s not quite so military, you’re not belled dinner or belled dive. You can say, actually I don’t fancy it right now, I’ll jump in in half an hour’s time. It’s a nice option to have.
I enjoyed the try freediving course. We do snorkeling at home where we dive down and a lot of people around us do spearfishing so it was nice to get some techniques that will help us do that a little bit better.
The benefits of this trip are that you can try something different – the freediving was good, the yoga was good, and just being able to go in when you want is nice – Adam Knight
I booked this holiday because it was a relaxed itinerary – Adam has practically rebuilt a house over the last few years, and I have a horribly stressful job. We’ve been on scuba travel tours before but they are pretty full on with divers and we just wanted something that was a little bit more chilled out and not so rushed. The itinerary looked good, and the fact it was a little more chilled out, and also we do a lot of snorkelling at home so we thought it might be nice to do the try freediving course, which would be useful, so they were the main reasons.
This trip has made me realise I have lost my passion for scuba diving. I’ve been really fortunate to dive in some brilliant locations and I have ear problems so I do have to push through the pain and I get really frustrated, but once I’ve cleared 5 – 6 metres I’m fine, but to me the diving has not been as good as I’d hoped, so I haven’t wanted to push myself through that pain to go down, but for me it’s just been really nice to get away. I really enjoyed snorkelling around the lagoon I enjoyed the try freediving course and enjoyed the dynamic – it was an enjoyable experience, but I’m not very good at keeping still and I’m not good at switching off so I found the static hard.
The open deck policy is good, because you don’t have that ‘if you don’t dive now, you don’t dive at all’ so there aren’t 20 of you jumping off the boat at the same time and it’s a crowded house, so that is a definite benefit. A good idea. You here, you’ve got the offer of a freediving course, do it! Even if you are not interested in it, even if you’re a diver it is still a useful tip to have. Certainly where we snorkel, the rescue scenarios has been useful even in our very safe couple of metres snorkeling at the edge of the coast that actually if something went wrong you know what to do. And it’s been lovely to be away and been in the sun.
I would recommend this trip to people who have never done a liveaboard before because it is a bit more relaxed, but for people who just want to dive, dive, dive I probably wouldn’t. – Helen Knight
I love freediving, I love being in the water and I wanted to do a liveaboard. I wanted a diving holiday and this popped up and was absolutely perfect and meant I could do both scuba diving and freediving.
I’ve had a really good time – really enjoyed it. The thing I liked most was that first dive when we saw the dolphins! And then when me and Russ snorkeled back and found the Giannis D we kind of just stumbled across it. That was awesome! I thought it was just going to be reef but it was all these massive wrecks. It was really cool!
The benefits of this holiday is that you get to see loads, travel about, meet new people and have a good laugh and obviously do loads of really good diving. Thistlegorm was really good for scuba, but the freediving is so much better for the reefs – you get to see so much more. Anything from the surface to 20 metres you could do if for three hours if you are freediving, but with scuba diving you’re maybe limited to forty minutes and that’s you. Freediving you can find so much more, explore more.
The food’s been really good. I was pleasantly surprised. It’s been spot on. And the crew were really good, really accommodating. I think they’ve been really good.
I would definitely recommend this trip because it’s been great! You’ve been great, the crew’s been really good, the brief’s have been really good, so every time you jump in the water I’ve been fairly confident I know exactly what I’m doing. – Brad Roerides
I came on this holiday because I thought it was going to be fun. I enjoy freediving and the Red Sea is supposed to be one of the best places.
I think this trip has given me new experiences in different conditions and different places, so more experience and more practice.
I think the first day was the best when we were at the Carnatic wreck and saw the dolphins. That was the best! I went to the Giannis D the following day that was good, and The Thistlegorm was really good. They were the three that were the best for me.
The benefits of coming on this liveaboard is that It was a new experience, you see new places, meet new people, practice freediving. It’s a change of scenery a chance to relax.
The yoga in the morning was really good. I need to stretch my chest more so that was really good, and you did new stretches which I hadn’t done before, which was really good. I didn’t stay awake long enough to finish the yoga nidra though!
I would recommend this trip because if you like freediving or diving you get to do it every day. – Henry Sage
I chose to come on this trip because of my previous experience on the other trip in May, you were running so I knew what it was all about. It was my cup of tea and all the other divers that were coming along.
The thing I liked most about the trip was how flexible it was. It was relaxing. There was no pressure to do anything.
Three benefits of the holiday are that I’ve been able to the majority of my advanced course in warm water and nice water. Getting back into yoga on the boat as the sun rose was really good. It was nice – and a really good way to start the day. And doing the reverse packing.
I would recommend this holiday because it’s relaxed, you do a lot but there’s no pressure and you’re here with the best instructor. – Dan Butler
I’ve been on a liveaboard before and it was amazing. It took me a while to come back because I’ve been doing too many other things, children, life, stuff…
I’ve discovered that it was more relaxing this time without doing the courses. I’ve really enjoyed spending plenty of time out on the reef. Giannis D was really good I liked the Carnatic, that was really cool. Anything with a good swim through that looks like a wreck really. And the reef inside the lagoon was really pretty.
Three benefits of coming on this course you meet new people, you get to dive in new places and it’s nice being on a liveaboard – it’s very relaxed.
I’d recommend this holiday because I think even if people don’t freedive it’s accessible whether you want to go down to 30 metres or just want to snorkel. – Russell Thornton
I came on this holiday because I wanted to freedive and I’ve been before.
The benefits of this trip is that you can dive off the boat, so you are right there. It’s on your doorstep, and the reefs, and you are with like minded people
I would recommend the trip to people who want to spend a week on a boat. I think that is important because if you don’t want to be on the boat there is nothing to do, but if you want to dive and freedive it is the best place to do it.
I always suffer with seasickness, so I always feel seasick the first day, but I would say to anyone who might be worried about it, get on the tablets, it really helps. So get the right tablets that work for you. You are not going to feel sick all week, it’s just for the first day. You shouldn’t let it put you off, you should try it. – Jana Middleton
I came in May and it was really good fun and I fancied a bit of sun and a bit of diving and time to practice and I thought this would be a good opportunity.
On this trip I’ve discovered thoracic stretching! I don’t think we covered that on the previous course but because I’ve been doing more yoga this time I’ve discovered that is helping with my breath hold, and I’ve discovered a new technique for breath hold which I was really struggling with. And I’ve discovered my new fins are amazing!
The highlight of the week for me was the dolphins on the Carnatic. That was just incredible. We were freediving on the Carnatic, the dolphins were with the divers, but as soon as they saw us they left the divers and came to play with us, stayed for several minutes, came really close. It was just lovely. An incredible experience.
The benefits of this trip are sustained freediving over a whole week, rather than weekend at Vobster, so you’re getting used to going in the water and practicing skills, I’m pretty certain my duck dive has improved over this holiday and my finning technique is improving. And it is really relaxing – a really relaxing holiday. You can do what you want, you can duck in and out when you want.
I’ve really enjoyed the yoga. I’ve done every session this time and I think it has really helped me. And yoga nidra, well, I just went off in my own little world!
I would absolutely recommend this trip because I think it is a relaxing trip, a chance to meet like-minded people, a chance to maybe find a new buddy and it’s great to see some of the amazing sights of the Red Sea, which you wouldn’t normally get to see on a normal scuba diving trip as they would not have the facilities for this type of diving. – Pash Baker
I came on this trip because I wanted to freedive and I didn’t want to do it on my own and not just train on a rope. I’m not particularly keen on line diving on it’s own, but I like the recreational part, but knowing that I could do that as well was a draw.
Being able to do recreational diving but also have people who are aware of it, knowledgeable, being able to train with them, all of it adds to it.
I discovered that I enjoy scuba still, and I can do stuff with scuba diving like wreck diving. And I discovered that I actually do like line diving which was new because I never liked it – but now it’s kind of fun to do. I also discovered I really need to train on a regular basis.
I did one liveaboard before and after 3 days I couldn’t wait to go back, but this one I think was the right intensity – I could stay another week! If someone wants to learn freediving it’s a great way to do it.
In any case, I just wanted to say thank you SO MUCH for the entire trip – I have thoroughly enjoyed it, and consider it one of the better trips, well – ever, frankly – The beautiful setting, the fact that we had additional activities apart from diving, and the relaxed pace helped me truly disconnect from all the everyday troubles… I mean, what more can one ask for, really? – Tom Kotecki
I had a couple of heart attacks before Christmas and that knocked my confidence. I like to think I am fully recovered, so this is a treat to myself to relax but also pushing myself a little bit out of boundaries to prove I can still do things like this – and it’s been very successful!
I’ve done a Liveaboard before and thought it would be relaxing and good for me, having done a level in the past I thought I would come along for good old fashioned relaxation without doing any courses.
The things I liked most was to be deep underwater and still be in control and to not hurry to the surface is the big thing. For me personally there is no wifi – It’s a holiday, so it’s getting away from all that. And you get a suntan – and the fishes, the dolphins and the colours. Everything! – Tim Edwards
My plan was to do scuba dives, then I found you guys and did both, so killed two birds with one stone. I want to experience new things and wanted to try the freediving – the whole experience of freediving.
The highlight for me was that I did my longest dive, and floating opposite the bridge was an amazing experience, and swimming with dolphins was incredible.
I’ve done yoga nidra before and it was absolutely brilliant, very relaxing. I highly recommend to anyone that goes on these trips to get up in the mornings and attend the yoga sessions.
I loved spending time on the boat with like minded people, relaxing, the scenery, discovering new things and relax, relax, relax! I would recommend this trip to anyone and would recommend they try the freediving because it clears your mind. – Sebastian Hamerki
Also this time I think it was about the relaxation. Sometimes when you do a photography course on top of a scuba diving course it can be a bit full on. And I did like the yoga and learning about something new that’s entertaining and educational.
I would recommend it to someone who wants to try freediving or who was a freediver. I would recommend it to someone who want to relax and take it easy on a trip – Jan and Keith Bushe
I liked the idea of being relaxed.and for me the holiday, the relaxation and the chance to dive and see the sights I haven’t seen for 20 plus years I thought was hugely attractive. So I couldn’t resist it.
I loved the diving – it was really relaxing and enjoyable. There were small numbers, and far less divers in the water than before. The freediving course was very enjoyable. Also to observe the freedivers. I watched you lot and it looked really hard work! I can see it is quite a challenge, but I can see the fun of it.
This trip makes you get relaxed and it is quite refreshing, so for me I will go back stronger than I left. That is the key part for me. There is also something very different about doing resort diving where they help you into your wetsuit rather than diving at a club. – Phil Chaundy
I have really surprised myself on this holiday. I did not think I would be doing the things I have been doing. Not in a million years. I think my deepest ever skin dive would have been bottom of a pool, 3 metres.
There has been some really colourful characters on board. I always like meeting new people, but it’s just been really relaxed and it’s been nice learning new things. I’ve learned a bit about yoga – which helped me go to sleep at night. It just put me in that state of calm. And learning to freedive – which was amazing!
I would definitely recommend this trip because it is a very different thing from anything that is out there. There is nobody else offering this. It’s completely different from all the other scuba-diving trips. – Pash Baker
If you are interested in freediving or scuba diving it is the best place to do it. It’s very easy, it’s just at hand, so no long distances to travel to do it and you are truly looked after.
I would recommend it to anybody who is interested in freediving or scuba diving but they need to be able to have fun and take it seriously as well. – Jana Middleton
I was interested in scuba trips and yoga trips and this trip came up. I’d seen freediving on the website, but I didn’t really know anything about it, but seeing people freediving on the reef and on the boat yesterday, it looked amazing. It made me realise that I’d really quite like to try freediving.
I liked that it was really chilled out and there was a range of things. I didn’t want to go on a scuba diving holiday that was four or five dives a day and there isn’t a day that is different.
I enjoyed the yoga. It’s a bit more chilled out than my usual which was kind of perfect for this type of trip. – Elaine Murphy
There wasn’t one particular thing that made this trip – it was a bit of everything really. The dolphins were great. The diving every day was brilliant. It’s a nice relaxed way to do it. Nice to meet people. It gives you the opportunity to swim with dolphins in amazing water and with an amazing instructor and a great dive team as well – and crew. Everyone has been so friendly, so helpful. Great, pretty clean, organised. Setting up the lines, has been done immediately when we go anywhere. Nothing was ever too much trouble.
I liked that I could push myself a bit more than expected and you can push yourself to dive every day. It’s always good to achieve a goal which was to try and get down to the bottom on the line – which was a first and I did. – Dan Butler
Back in January when I was looking for a freediving course online I came across Go Freediving. I did a bit of reading and then I decided to book this trip and I got what I set out to achieve which was to get some feedback from an expert on my techniques in general, improving my health and I also got certified!
I also did something that I had never done before – going on a line. It was something I had always wanted to do, but never had the chance, so really liked that.
The yoga is something I was preparing for. I have been doing yoga for the last 6 months, once a week. I am more interested in the whole breathing technique rather than the stretching. Overall, it was definitely a good experience. I would recommend it because the dives are very well organised and the dive masters are very experienced. So it is good if you want to scuba dive, do a freediving course and at the same time want the benefit of a break or holiday – and some sun – you get to dive in the most beautiful place – the Red Sea. – Claudio Scandura
Cost might have prevented me coming on this holiday but I decided life was too short so I booked it! I discovered that the diversity of the marine life is better than I’ve experienced elsewhere. The benefits of doing a holiday with you are the instructors – as usual. You guys really make it!
The benefits of doing this trip I think are the range of options that you get within the time available. You cram a lot into the time available and there is a good balance between doing skills and enjoying the marine life. I guess you’re coming on holiday with a group of likeminded people who share your passion for the marine environment.
I’d recommend a holiday with Go Freediving for the quality of the instruction, the friendliness and dedication of the instructors, the fact that you are amongst friends and that you are taken to places where you can enjoy a combination of challenging yourself physically, but also putting those skills to the test whilst enjoying the environment and the marine life. – Ali McConnell
If I couldn’t have had a single room, I might not have booked. Another variable was not being able to get a direct flight and the potential for weirdos as I was travelling by myself, however I spoke to Georgie at Scuba Travel and she was very reassuring and she said ‘I’ll introduce you to Emma’. I quite enjoyed our banter and chat and when Emma described the other bonkers friends coming, it sealed the deal as it was very reassuring and also I could have my own room.
On the holiday I discovered that freediving is for everyone and it need not be competitive. I am very competitive and I was worried about me being competitive as a beginner. There were huge varieties of people on the trip, from all walks of life, but we all have a very strong thing in common. And you make good friends because of it.
The thing I liked most about the holiday were the people. The way that a mix of different types of people can all come together and become good friends through a shared interest and hobby. I also found the yogo very rewarding and I hadn’t ever done that. I wanted to do it and now I’m going to carry on yoga. I’ve had a bad back for two years and now I’m fine. My mum’s been telling me to do yoga and I thought it’s for women and kids, not manly type people, but it helps everything! I found I was more flexible, I was calmer, I was better at freediving and my back pain has gone, and I was alright at it.
The benefits of doing this holiday is meeting a community of people that I can go freediving and spearfishing with – it’s the most relaxed I’ve been in years and it is absolutely a trip you can do as an individual. This is a holiday you can do by yourself and you’re guaranteed to make friends whilst it’s completely acceptable to spend time by yourself. I found Emma and David’s instruction second to none. The encouragement, the balance between telling-offs and encouragement was judged perfectly for the individual. I need lots of telling off and discreet encouragement!
I’d absolutely recommend this holiday to many of my immediate friends, particularly those that lack hobbies and pastimes. There are lots of people who get past uni and into careers and they lack a pastime that they can do. – David Philipson
The holiday was a really good mix between recreational and line diving. For the recreational freediving there was a good variety between the different things – Manta, whale sharks, reef diving. Apparently there’s a lot more life in the sea than in Egypt! The only comparison is the Egypt trip last year, so it was nice to have a land-based trip as it was a bit different. The benefits of this trip is that it is a very relaxing holiday, a good trip to go on. I would recommend this trip for the reasons above and because there are people with many different ability levels. It’s good for everyone. – Simon Stich
The thought of paying that much money on holiday where you’d be with a bunch of people you’d just met whilst having a family back home who may not want to come was tricky. It was only resolved by the fact we’ve decided to take a long break as a family in the new year.
I discovered that holidaying with a bunch of strange people can be fun. It’s a good bunch. I knew the Maldives was nice and I learned a lot of theory again which was great. The benefits of this trip are the sheer number of hours of diving. They were long, good dive sessions. Really full-on twice a day. If you were scuba diving you did 40 minute dives either side of lunch, but some of these were 2 – 3 hours – which is the freedom you get with freediving.
I’d definitely recommend the holiday. You can get away from it all, relax, and see amazing underwater life. Being under the water is what I love. I liked the yoga part of it as well. It’s a big attraction that you do the yoga in the morning. – Giles Hall
I wanted to book so I could progress my depth, see marine life, dive in warm water and enjoy paradise. I discovered that I can physically go down deeper than I thought I could! I discovered a lot of species. I never dived with sharks in my life before. Manta Rays, all those coloured fish. A really amazing experience all round. Personally, with the club members it was just fantastic. For me it was the evolution between day one and day six of diving and how much I improved.
As soon as I was in the water freediving I was very happy. Everything was good, the location, marine life, variety and food.
Yes, I would recommend this holiday for anyone who loves diving freely in the water and seeing amazing animals! –Delphine Brise
I was glad that I could do the two weeks extra in Sri Lanka after the Maldives holiday as it was quite a long way to come just for a week.
Inwardly, in the past I’d often felt awkward in a group as it took me back to feelings of being at school as I felt a misfit, but this time I felt totally comfortable with everyone. I felt so at ease and it was really nice. I discovered how much I enjoyed the actual practice of the freediving and getting my duck dive up to scratch and getting as deep as possible. I’d been looking forward to seeing the coral reefs and Mantas, but I’d forgotten how much I’d enjoyed the sport side of it as well.
I liked most of all the Manta ray! I felt such awe for this wonderful creature that was wild and just appeared and I was able to swim with for several minutes. It was one of those experiences that will stay with me forever. I was glad I didn’t have a camera and not have to bother about that and just be in the moment with it. I came very near to the thing – less than a foot and a half away from me at one point and it was just beautiful. The turtle was pretty good, too!
The benefits of doing this holiday is that it’s a wonderful way to have some exercise without noticing. You see the Manta and you swim after it and you don’t think ‘gosh, I’m exerting myself’ you just go for it. The breathing discipline I find makes me feel good physically. It has real benefits psychologically. I somehow felt much more awake and alive doing that. It was very therapeutic. I also love the fruit bats in the palm trees – we had some lovely sightings of them.
I’d definitely recommend the trip to anybody interested in wildlife and exploring and adventure and getting to know a nice bunch of friendly people, having a bit of winter sunshine and trying a new sport. – Elena Brebner
I’ve never been to the Maldives. My mum has been here, but I want to go everywhere, anyway. The sealife was as expected as it had been bigged up a lot before I came. And I saw my Manta – which is what I came for. My own freediving has improved too. I’ve started to get my head in the right place because that is the only issue. And, the instructors are very good, very patient and calming. I’d been on holiday with you guys before and I know I’d enjoyed that.
The best thing for me was having a great roommate, the Manta and the turtle – that was pretty awesome! It was in such shallow water. That’s one of the good things about this place for both abilities. When you go to the reefs with the big drop-off, you’ve got the depth for people who want to go deep and the shallows for people like me. It’s perfect for the whole spectrum.
The benefits of going on holiday with you is that II know you’re really safe – that’s important. I know the instructors are good and patient and that I trust you to have planned everything really well. You’ll take us somewhere that won’t be a complete bloody shambles. I’d definitely recommend this holiday because I’ve enjoyed it! – Mandy Gore
Money could be an issue but the novelty of the experience made me book, and because of course the confidence that it would have been a great experience because of previous holidays with you.
I discovered it was a good opportunity to explore diving and freediving opportunities in the Maldives. It was a very positive impression because it’s suitable for different levels of freedivers and the diversity of the diving opportunities with good conditions to practice freediving.
Reef diving was the best part for me because it’s a unique experience and the reef was in good condition.
The benefits of this trip is the possibility to do yoga, that synergy with freediving activity. The short duration of the trip because it’s in busy periods it can be an issue with work, and overall the destination. The location is good for diving too. The instructors are fabulous!
I’d recommend the trip because it’s a complementary approach to see parts of the reef in a different way, as opposed to traditional scuba diving. – Roberto de Lisa
I wanted to book at the first possible moment because you mooted it about 18 months ago and I was on the starting block. Oh yeah, It’s a new part of the world for me. I wanted to see new parts of the world. Variety is the spice of life.
The biggest discovery I think was for me was the fascinating look at what wildlife has made it to the Maldives in terms of migration, and what hasn’t – the scarcity of insects. No small song birds for instance. The giant fruit bat has absolutely delighted me! The ocean life, the fish very much like the red sea. Seeing a new ecology and a new place, and some new creatures like Manta Rays and the biologist in me has said it’s really fantastic. I’ve got my fix of new biology.
The specific thing I liked best was the reef – calm, low currents, warm waters, good visibility and fantastic fish and other stuff. A full blown tropical reef and you can swim calmly through a tropical aquarium, it’s the tops. And the Manta as well. Today has been the day!
I’ve got back into freediving after two years of being completely rusty. It was great fun getting confidence back, seeing a new part of the world, meeting some interesting new people. I always find that there are lots of people I can get on with, that’s always good.
Absolutely, I would recommend this holiday! Of course I would! Fun, skills, good people, exploring. Instructors are brilliant. I have to say, I haven’t met David and he’s a super instructor. All are brilliant. I would not hesitate to recommend if someone wanted to learn to freedive. I would go with your company. I’m always recommending you! – Paul Syms
I booked because Emma told me to come and I also won £100 at the summer party – which was very nice, and contributed to an additional spend on the holiday in a single room supplement.
I enjoyed myself. It was a wholly positive experience to be able to mix with like-minded people within a positive environment.
All the dive trips, I thought, were good. The diving was amazing, basically!
The benefits of this trip are safety, safety, safety – in that order, and within that I actually got to 20m with no weight so it was better that I didn’t wear it. All the work is done for you in one organised trip and being able to advance your freediving skills.
I’d recommend this trip for the great freediving experience, without a doubt. – Robert Zollo
The fact that the package was originating from the UK was a potential problem for me because I live in the US. Anxieties still exist about holidaying in Egypt and so I wanted the ATOL insurance. This meant I incurred two flight costs; the first to get me to the UK, and the second as a part of the package.
This kind of holiday tends to draw adventurous and open minded people to it. Each brings different a background and a different set of abilities, and all that variety is welcomed. There are many facets to freediving and almost everyone will find their super power, but also their kryptonite, with each varying from person to person.
It’s a very supportive group amongst which to find oneself, with even a beginner and their super power able and willing to help a more advanced diver with their kryptonite. Diving with people of different abilities brings so much more to the experience, and gives you the opportunity to relive and reinforce important landmarks on your own diving journey; difficulties, successes, and ah-ha moments. It’s wonderful to have this blend of people.
The thing I liked best was the student instructor ratio. It’s a lot of money to spend and then find that you have next to no time with the instructor. I felt like I had all the time I wanted from the instructors, and more. The other benefits are the crew knowledge of the environment, instructor quality and the attitude of anyone who wants to come on a holiday like this. Even if you come with a group of complete strangers you know you will find yourself in a group of open-minded people who want to learn more about themselves and the world. – Paul Duffy
I looked on the internet and there were several liveaboards, but none freediving, and I saw other freediving things but it was not a liveaboard, and finally I saw that this holiday was the best quality liveaboard and trip and that was the most important thing for me
Coming on the holiday I discovered a new sport and wonderful people. I discovered a new kind of travelling. The liveaboard is the first time I travelled with people I don’t know and I was a bit worried about that before leaving but finally it was a good surprise.
I improved in freediving, it made me very happy and I could see dolphins. It was an amazing experience. A dream come true. It was really a dream. It looked unreal. I could see all the details of the dolphins very close and I tried to keep all the information I could.
Of course I would recommend the holiday! Because to anybody, to discover something new and also to make the people more relaxed, doing yoga and freediving. I discovered the yoga and it was a really nice surprise. I was excited about that before leaving and it made me more relaxed. I liked it. I would like to continue doing this sport and to come for the next trip! – Florian Burghardt
The holiday dates were not the dates that I wanted to come on but I wanted to come on a freediving and yoga holiday and I wanted a liveaboard. I live in France and the exchange rate was unfavorable but I wanted to do freediving and yoga and when you want to do something you have to be prepared to pay for it. It was right up my street.
What I really discovered is that it is not like scuba diving. With scuba diving you’re looking around you but in freediving you’re looking into yourself so its totally different. When you’re going down on the line you could be anywhere because it is you looking into yourself. You trying to surpass what you thought were your limits. I really discovered that freediving is about you and you.
I think we were a good team and had fun. There was a good mix of people and the seriousness of the training. It wasn’t laid back. The professionalism of the training and especially the safety orientated stuff.
For me also I got a good suntan, and learned to discover myself, and a new way of diving. I’ve been scuba diving for 17 years and it’s totally different. And I didn’t want to go spearfishing either because I’m a vegetarian. In France, people associate freediving with spearfishing so I couldn’t find anything equivalent in France.
I would definitely recommend this holiday. Because it is a refreshing experience and it is different way of living in the red sea, a red sea experience. – Tim Bausor
“When I decide to do something, I usually do it. This holiday concept was completely new for me so I didn’t know what to expect. When booking it I hoped to fulfill a dream, push my limits and experience a new challenge on an active holiday. I had been to the red sea before so I already knew the sea was beautiful!
I had done a bit of yoga many years ago and was really looking forward to this. Doing yoga on the top deck in the middle of the Red Sea was awesome. I really liked being “forced” to take the time to think about something other than work.So it was also a good way of being conscious about my work-life balance.
I was also happy to realize I could dive to the 15-20 meters zone. I didn’t quite believe it. On the first day, I even thought, “There is really no way I can dive so deep on this first trip”. But each day saw an incremental improvement and a boost tomy confidence.
I ended up diving to 19.6m! I felt secure at all times in a top professional environment. The team ofinstructors was really competent. I really felt, that “I’m not doing something unsafe” . I never ever felt I was being pressured on anything, which I also appreciated very much. The cherry on the cake happened one of the last days when we swam amongst 50 to 70 wild dolphins. Having had all the freediving training made the encounter even more exciting.
I would definitely recommend this holiday to anyone keen on trying freediving for fun or for the sport. The size of the ship was good. It was a very nice group of people with different backgrounds. Initially I thought that sharing a room could be a problem, I had even bought some ear-plugs just in case. My roommate was perfect.
No hassle and no snoring! The combination of yoga and learning breathing techniques was a real plus to this freediving experience. And most importantly, if one wanted to go even further down, one could but the instructors would always adapt to one’s level. No-one ever forcing one another.
I think it was better for me to start freediving on a liveaboard in a sea with good visibility. Had I tried it in the lake I might not have pursued. Good visibility and warm water do without any doubt add to the comfort of this great experience!” – Patrick Hulsen
I’ve been struggling for many years with my equalisation and sinuses however I overcame it significantly on my previous freediving trip so I figured, warmer waters, more relaxing environment and I figured it would work.
I discovered that Emma Farrell is still a great freediving instructor and liveaboards are cool! And that being a member of Go Freediving gets you loads of free cool stuff! The best thing for me was gaining an official qualification, that was my primary aim. The dolphins are also up there but it is a different scale.
Other benefits would be meeting other freedivers from all over the world. That has to be a biggie, and all the experiences and knowledge that you gain from that. Also meeting other freediving instructors as they all have their own spins on techniques and they teach what they learnt so being taught by different instructors gives you different perspectives as they all approach it in different ways.
I’d recommend this trip even to non divers! It’s the best environment to learn how to freedive and being on a liveaboard it means you are saturated by freediving. The best way to learn anything is to immerse yourself in it. Jump in at the deep end! – Tom Elliott
I was worried about going on holiday to Egypt, whether it was a safe place to come or not, but I went on the foreign office website and it said that the airport and tourist area was safe and secure.
I didn’t have any preconceptions before coming on the holiday so it all worked out a lot better than I thought. I came into it completely open minded. In the past I’ve done cruises which is a completely different thing. I loved the company, the yoga, the food, and I liked experiencing something different. It was all new I guess.
I also liked the fact there are enough instructors, you feel like you get enough instruction. There are people all at different levels, which is also interesting. It’s really nice to meet interesting people. I’d definitely recommend it because it’s much more active than just going on a cruise and eating too much! The only other thing to add is how wonderful it was to swim with the dolphins, unforgettable! – Sarah Bernard
My only slight concern before booking the holiday was if it was alright to come and dive without doing a course, so I phoned Emma and asked her I’m not looking to do a new course, is it okay if I just dive and she said ‘Yes! But you’ll be limited to your freediving qualification, which is 20 metres’ but that was totally within my range of exploration. I’m not looking to push rapidly ahead.
On the holiday I discovered how varied the same depth can be on different days for different reasons, and talking to various people including Paul was really helpful because quite a few of things I was experiencing was what they had also gone through and that was really helpful. Having previously only got to 20m once, it was really useful to progress there several times over the holiday, moving from not sure when I can get there again to yes, that’s in my range now.
I find it quite difficult to dive several times a day and I need to take time out, and so I took rest when I needed to and then dipped back into the program when I was ready with no problems.
The dolphin diving was amazing of course, that was really unique, and speaking to other people training to whatever level was always really useful. It’s really useful to meet people that you haven’t met before with different experiences. And benefitting from the boat and crew, from their knowledge of dive sites to visit places you wouldn’t have known about and different conditions. Also specifically having input from different teachers, which is one of the main reasons why I was seeking to come with you because I wanted to experience what different teachers had to say and that was very important to me and even in this one trip there are three instructors so that’s really good.
I’d recommend this holiday to different people for different reasons, from a holiday to seeing different sites in the red sea, dolphins and other wildlife as well. If you like being on the sea constantly whilst training, it’s a great way to do it. And I suppose it’s an ongoing training thing so even when you are not diving you are learning from people which you might not necessarily get if you’re based in a resort you might go off and do different things, so here everyone’s together.
For me the holiday was ideal, I mainly wanted to practice depth and also for me, not able to dive every day continuously to be able to get a balance to do that as much as I can. I felt really well accommodated, for what I needed to do which was great. When you were checking out my skills at the beginning. This was the first time I’ve dived since I qualified and it made me feel better about my skills when I got the okay from you. – Pranath Fernando
We wouldn’t have come if it hadn’t have been for the fact that Zoe and Jorgen were on the trip because if we hadn’t have had our arms twisted then we wouldn’t have tried freediving so it is thanks to them that we were part of the party. And what a nice bunch of people this lot is!
I’ve discovered an interesting contrast between free diving and scuba diving and how frustrating it is to be a beginner again. I suppose I characterize it by saying freediving is the mirror image of scuba, you almost do the opposite, its like you go down head first, and scuba you breathe and freediving you don’t. Scuba you tend to go head up and a number of scuba habits don’t work well for freediving and vice versa.
There are a lot of things I liked. I liked the company, the boat and food were excellent, the red sea, the reefs were just lovely and I was really pleased that I did what I set out to do, somewhat to my surprise. I’m going to be interested to see if the approach to breathing as a freediver is beneficial to me with my scuba diving, I think it might be. Also I got rest and relaxation, and lovely to spend time with Zoe and Jorgen and to see them in a different context, plus I got a bit of a sunshine and sun tan which both make you feel good. – David Saunders
The political situation, the general instability in the middle east and the slightly random nature of Egyptian politics was a concern, but we were going as part of an organized tour, part of scuba travel, and Go Freediving is an organisation that I know well and has a good reputation and we wouldn’t go into an area that was dangerous. Tornado Marine is also well known, does well on trip advisor and in diving magazines.
I discovered some wonderful people, and that a liveaboard is really good fun, a nice thing to do. You don’t feel trapped on a boat. The food was much much better than I had anticipated, and you can do more than you think you can.
The best thing was the company. A group of interesting people from different nationalities and ages with a zest for life so I would say that was the factor that brought everyone together. Everyone was very positive, there was no moaning about anything. I didn’t hear one person moan all holiday.
The holiday was very healthy and restful and all the yoga was lovely, really lovely. I would recommend this holiday to someone who had previous experience of any water sport because it was an adventure, something you need to try, something that would test your limits and you would have fun. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who has a mobility problem would find the holiday a trial rather than a pleasure as there are lots of stairs and although there are lots of great crew members to help you, you need to be able to touch your toes to put your fins on! – Elizabeth Saunders
I decided to do the advanced course mostly because you got me so hooked on the last one! I had such a good time, fabulous instructors, as always, just such a good laugh, everyone’s so buoyant and it’s just having fun!
On the advanced course I discovered how much more I could do. How much more my body could do if it had the right training and encouragement. That blew me away Friday night. 3 minutes 20 seconds is like ‘holy crap! I never knew I could do that! Wow! That’s really cool!’ And I’m sure there’s loads more I could do. And that feeling of being a little more comfortable, going a little bit further, doing a little bit more. And it’s about having the right people with you, so you know you’re safe in what you’re doing. I’m totally hooked!
I liked most about the course the confidence and feeling more relaxed. Knowing your body can do more, and feeling secure, so you can enjoy it and just unplug when you’re down there and just enjoy the experience of being free around that moment. So all those tools and techniques to get you to that point and get your body to that point so you’re completely chilled out.
Benefits of doing the course would be breathing better for sure, everything is much more flexible, definitely. Confidence again, because it’s all in your head with this and then it’s the fun thing, that’s what I’m addicted to! The diaphragm stretches were hilarious! I didn’t realise that you can turn your body inside out which is clearly what you did when you were demonstrating! It was hilarious!
Of course I would recommend the advanced course! Because it just helps you get that much more confident and go that much further. So even if you’re going shallow, or whatever. Being able to hold your breath that much longer, feeling that much more comfortable is much more enjoyable experience. It takes you to the next level of excitement. – Claire Kemp
I really enjoyed the last course I did with you guys and I have aspirations of becoming an instructor in freediving, so that’s the impetus, but I just wanted to get back in the water and see how much further I could go so that’s why I signed up to do the advanced freediving course.
I discovered that 26 metres isn’t actually that scary, and with just a little bit of practice, you can do a lot more than you think you can. I came into it thinking that fourteen metres might be difficult to get beyond, but a few techniques and pointers, and relaxing and understanding that it’s all fine, it’s great!
I really liked the instructors. They’re very relaxed and make everyone feel at ease. And it seems like every ability/disability is catered for. Everyone’s going to have some issues with something, and to get everyone levelling up together is a difficult thing to balance. I’m a Scuba instructor myself, and I know how difficult that can be, but with such a physiological sport, that’s all the more impressive I think.
For me, it is all about relaxation and about focusing on something else, and it also about seeing what else your body can do. The quality of the instructors is brilliant. It’s exactly what I think a sport like this needs. I think also if you can do it in cold water then you can do it anywhere, and you guys have a really good set-up. Everything’s been in the same area. You’ve got the pool at Glebe House, and the pool in Midsomer Norton, and then Vobster, so it’s all nicely packed together.
I would recommend the course to anyone. It isn’t really about physical stamina, it’s more about just focusing on something else and relaxing into it and not trying. I think the other thing I like is no-one’s in any hurry to get to any particular arbitrary goal, and that’s true of the instructors and the students. Taking it incrementally, nice and slowly, and not trying to trying to go from zero to sixty in one weekend. – Tim Woodley
We did a course with Umberto Pelizarri earlier this year and I wanted to continue that in the UK but I needed an official qualification, and I found you! And it was great to start directly with the advanced course so we could capitalize on what we’d learnt with Umberto and not start right at the beginning.
I discovered a different technique of the recovery breathing and pushing the static was great, and also buddying and safety, that was what we didn’t learn with Umberto and that is really important on this course.
It was great to have so many instructors. And to have the theory and practice, theory and practice. Benefits of doing the course with you would be the materials online so it could sink in before, and to study, and then we can go back to it later. And then to meet you! I’ve got your book and it needs a signature! And also to meet other freedivers, and network and hopefully continue freediving here at Vobster or elsewhere in the UK. – Adeline Perroux
Adeline signed up for the course and said ‘do you want to do it?’ We like to do activities together, and it’s good to share the experience and do the course together and we both enjoyed doing this course and previous ones.
I discovered that it’s much more difficult in cold water! I’ve learnt loads of new techniques from all the different instructors and these things all add up to improving my overall ability.
I liked most of all the instructors. Very affable and friendly people that share the love and the enthusiasm of something that we enjoy. That’s one of the best things for me.
Benefits of doing the course with you would be the materials, they’re really good. Location, really nice, and I’m now better at freediving!
Yes I’d recommend this course, because I think it would be really good for someone in the UK who wanted to get into freediving, and to meet people who freedive, and to learn about the sort of skills you need to dive in the UK. It’s going to make my spearfishing a lot better. That’s going to work really well for me. This course would be really good for spearfishers in particular I think.
I wanted to do the advanced freediving course to further my skills safely and having seen the expertise that was on hand and available from the first course I presumed that was going to proceed on the second course which it did and more so. And I had personal targets and goals, which I ticked off as well. I like a challenge!
On the advanced course I discovered specific techniques to diving at greater depth that I wasn’t aware of, I had no idea of certain things, and I learnt a lot about my body to be honest, a hell of a lot.
I liked most about the course relaxing into freefall and listening to my heart! If that doesn’t sound too out of it! That was the biggest thing for me definitely.
Three benefits of doing the course would be one, to progress safely, two, you learn about your limits, and three it opens up even more horizons and more possibilities to your further adventures in diving.
I’ve enjoyed myself immensely, it’s been absolutely immense! Fantastic! I’d highly recommend this course. A really good set of people working here with you, highly knowledgeable, patience beyond! A very very approachable team and willing to answer any ridiculous question that you throw up! – Nick Kenny
I discovered on the course that there’s a lot more to it. At the basic level you learn it on the beginners course, but going back over those basics again reaffirms it and helps you be a better freediver when you’re going about it. The efficiency, the buoyancy, every aspect of it really, even the preparation and the mind space. There’s a lot to learn on it.
I think it’s more relaxed for me being in the water now, going in, even just on Saturday morning, I think I feel a lot more relaxed. Zoe’s really helped with getting into that right mindset, the techniques again, going through with you, the buoyancy stuff, trying to slow it down just before you reach the freefall aspect, then going hard on the way up, and then slowing it down and stop at the end as you come up, that’s really helped. And actually with Jorgen as well, learning about my freak of nature hands free ability, he actually went through what was going on and that’s quite interesting to understand what’s actually happening there. There have definitely been a few benefits from doing the course.
I would definitely recommend the course, it’s definitely relaxed me, and it’s made me a lot more efficient, so that’s going to lead to more bottom time and better results really with freediving, so yes, definitely recommend it. – Chris Rich
I decided to do the course because it had been a while since formal dive training, and over the years I’ve preferred freediving to scuba and then I enjoyed the training I did with you in 2011 I think it was, so I thought I’ll get in contact and it seemed like the sensible step was to see if I could take it to the next level.
I discovered that I find it much easier to dive when I can see things and be distracted by things or with people, or dive alongside people, whereas diving deeper but in the sort of static mind frame I found quite difficult and it might have been fatigue adding to that, but I did notice there was a weak spot in being able to internalize and stay super relaxed. But doing the rescues, and stuff, had no problem with that, I really enjoyed the depth and found it really engaging, certainly liked every time I was doing the buddying, I found that really cool.
Despite the fatigue it finished on a real high, diving as a massive group, it was just awesome. Visually it was just great.
A massive benefit of doing the advanced course would be progressing the understanding of the dangers and how to dive safely, really reinforcing the fundamental principles you get in the first course, but obviously taking it a step further and really refining the techniques and how to buddy and all the protocol and how to meet the diver and how to hold then and the rescue scenarios, getting to a level where it’s second nature, making diving safer and more enjoyable really.
I’d definitely recommend this course, because it’s a very niche sport and there’s only a handful of providers, and I think you’ve definitely got to go with the provider that is true to freediving, which I think is basically about creating a relaxing environment, and I was super relaxed! – David Collom