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freediving guide for non-swimmers in the philippines

Your Ultimate Beginner-friendly Freediving Guide for Non-Swimmers in the Philippines

If you’ve ever wanted to explore the underwater world but lack swimming skills, freediving could be the perfect solution. With the right techniques and gear, non-swimmers can experience the thrill of diving in the Philippines’ stunning marine environments. In this guide, I’ll share everything you need to know to get started with a beginner-friendly freediving guide for non-swimmers in the Philippines, from choosing the right location to essential equipment and tips for a successful dive as a newbie freediver myself.

What is Freediving?

Freediving is a water activity that involves diving underwater without the use of breathing equipment. The aim of freediving is to hold your breath and explore the underwater world. Freediving has become increasingly popular in travel communities in recent years, and Philippines is one of the top destinations for this activity.

Importance of Learning Freediving for Non-Swimmers

Freediving can be a beneficial activity for non-swimmers. It can help you overcome your fear of the water and improve your overall fitness level. Moreover, it allows you to explore the beautiful underwater world without needing complicated equipment.

  1. Improving Water Comfort: Freediving can help non-swimmers become more comfortable in the water by teaching them how to control their breath and relax their bodies. This can lead to increased confidence and enjoyment in aquatic activities.
  2. Building Strength and Endurance: Freediving requires a lot of physical strength and endurance, which can help non-swimmers build fitness and improve their overall health.
  3. Enhancing Safety: Learning proper freediving techniques and safety protocols can help non-swimmers become more knowledgeable and prepared for aquatic emergencies.
  4. Discovering a New Hobby: Freediving can be a fun and exciting hobby that allows non-swimmers to explore the beauty of the underwater world in a way that they may not have thought possible.

Why Freediving is Beginner-Friendly?

Freediving is an exhilarating activity that involves diving underwater without the use of breathing equipment. Unlike scuba diving, which requires extensive training and certification, freediving can be a beginner-friendly activity for non-swimmers. It doesn’t require complicated equipment, and the techniques can be learned quickly.

  1. Low-Impact Activity: Unlike some other water sports that can be high-impact and strenuous, freediving is a relatively low-impact activity that can be done by people of all ages and fitness levels. It involves slow and controlled movements, making it a gentle and easy-on-the-body way to exercise and explore the underwater world.
  2. Focus on Relaxation: Freediving requires a lot of mental focus and relaxation, which can be helpful for beginners who may feel nervous or anxious about diving underwater. The techniques used in freediving, such as deep breathing and meditation, can also be beneficial for reducing stress and promoting overall well-being.
  3. Slow and Steady Progression: Freediving is a skill that can be learned and improved over time, with a focus on slow and steady progression. Beginner freedivers can start with shallow dives and gradually work their way up to deeper dives as they gain experience and confidence. This makes freediving an accessible and manageable sport for beginners to learn and enjoy.

Basic Techniques for Non-Swimmers

If you’re a non-swimmer, the idea of freediving can be intimidating. However, basic techniques can be easily learned to help you enjoy the experience. The first thing to learn is how to hold your breath for an extended period. You can start by practicing holding your breath for short periods and gradually increasing the duration.

Next, you’ll need to learn how to equalize the pressure in your ears as you descend into the water. To do this, you’ll need to pinch your nose and blow gently. This action helps to open up the Eustachian tubes, which connect the middle ear to the back of your throat.

Here are some basic techniques that non-swimmers can learn to help them get started with freediving:

  1. Equalizing: Equalizing is the process of equalizing the pressure in the ears and sinuses as you descend into the water. This is important to prevent discomfort or even injury. One common technique is to hold your nose and gently blow while keeping your mouth closed.
  2. Duck Dive: The duck dive is the technique used to descend into the water and start your dive. It involves a forward motion with your arms while tucking your chin to your chest and bringing your legs up towards your body. This helps you to descend with ease and conserve your energy.
  3. Buoyancy Control: Buoyancy control is the ability to control your depth in the water by adjusting your body’s buoyancy. This can be done through different techniques, such as using a weight belt or adjusting the air in your lungs.
  4. Safety Procedures: It’s important to learn and follow proper safety procedures before and during any freediving activity. These include having a dive buddy, setting limits on the depth and duration of your dives, and having a rescue plan in case of an emergency.

Choosing the Right Location for Freediving

Choosing the right location for freediving is crucial, this is why I spent time gathering information to come up with a freediving guide for non-swimmers in the Philippines. Look for locations that are known for their calm waters, shallow depths, and easy accessibility. Some of the best locations in the Philippines for beginner freediving include Moalboal, Puerto Galera, and Apo Island.

Here are the factors in considering a good location for freediving:

  1. Access to Shallow Water: For beginners, it’s important to choose a location with easy access to shallow water. This allows them to practice their skills and build their confidence in a safe and controlled environment.
  2. Visibility: Good visibility is important for a safe and enjoyable freediving experience. Clear water allows divers to see their surroundings and potential hazards, enhancing the overall experience.
  3. Water Temperature: The water temperature can have a big impact on the comfort and safety of freedivers. Beginners should choose a location with water that is comfortable for them to dive in, typically around 25-30°C (77-86°F).
  4. Marine Life: Choosing a location with diverse and interesting marine life can enhance the overall experience of freediving. However, beginners should choose a location with marine life that is not aggressive or dangerous.
  5. Currents and Tides: Beginners should choose a location with calm and predictable currents and tides. This helps to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience and reduces the risk of getting caught in a strong current.
  6. Accessibility and Facilities: It’s important to choose a location that is easily accessible and has facilities such as restrooms, changing areas, and parking. This makes the experience more comfortable and convenient.

Essential Freediving Equipment for Non-Swimmers

As a non-swimmer, investing in essential freediving equipment is necessary. This includes a wetsuit, a mask, fins, and a weight belt. The wetsuit will keep you warm in the water, while the mask will help you see underwater. Fins and a weight belt will help you control your buoyancy. It’s important to choose high-quality equipment that fits properly and is appropriate for your level of experience and the conditions you will be diving in.

Here is the list of essential freediving equipment for non-swimmers:

  1. Mask: A well-fitting mask is essential for freediving as it allows you to see clearly underwater, equalize your ears, and prevent water from entering your nose and sinuses. Look for a mask with a low volume, which requires less air to equalize, and a soft silicone skirt for a comfortable fit.
  2. Fins: Fins help you move efficiently through the water, conserve energy, and control your movements. Choose fins that are comfortable, fit well, and have a long blade for maximum propulsion.
  3. Wetsuit: A wetsuit is essential for freediving as it helps you stay warm and protected in the water. Choose a wetsuit that is snug but not too tight, with a thickness appropriate for the water temperature.
  4. Weight Belt: A weight belt is necessary to help you achieve neutral buoyancy, allowing you to control your depth and conserve energy. Choose a weight belt that is adjustable and comfortable, and add or remove weights as needed to achieve the right buoyancy.
  5. Freediving Computer or Timing Device: A freediving computer or timing device helps you keep track of your dive time, depth, and other important parameters. This information is critical for ensuring a safe and enjoyable freediving experience.
  6. Snorkel: A snorkel is not strictly necessary for freediving, but can be helpful for conserving energy and allowing you to breathe more efficiently on the surface between dives. Choose a snorkel with a comfortable mouthpiece and a flexible tube that can be easily removed.

Moreover, you may also want to consider investing in additional equipment such as a weight vest, gloves, and a hood, depending on your needs and preferences.

What to Expect During a Beginner-Friendly Freediving Course?

A beginner-friendly freediving course typically lasts for two to three days. The course will cover the basics of freediving, including safety procedures, equipment use, and diving techniques. You’ll also learn how to hold your breath for extended periods and how to equalize the pressure in your ears as you dive.

  1. Classroom Instruction: The course will typically begin with some classroom instruction, where you will learn about the basics of freediving, including safety procedures, equipment, techniques, and physiology. You may also learn about the effects of pressure and depth on the body, and how to prevent and manage potential risks and hazards.
  2. Breathing and Relaxation Techniques: One of the key components of freediving is breath control and relaxation. During the course, you will learn breathing techniques to help you conserve oxygen and control your buoyancy, as well as relaxation techniques to help you stay calm and focused.
  3. Pool or Confined Water Sessions: After the classroom instruction, you will typically move on to pool or confined water sessions, where you will practice and develop your skills in a controlled and safe environment. These sessions will typically focus on techniques such as equalization, buoyancy control, and duck diving.
  4. Open Water Dives: Once you have mastered the basics in the pool or confined water, you will move on to open water dives. During these dives, you will practice the skills you have learned in a real-world environment, under the guidance of a certified instructor. You may also have the opportunity to explore local marine life and dive sites.
  5. Equipment: During the course, you will typically learn about the different types of equipment used in freediving, including masks, fins, wetsuits, weight belts, and dive computers. You may also have the opportunity to try different types of equipment to see what works best for you.

Top Freediving Destinations for Non-Swimmers in the Philippines

The Philippines is home to some of the best freediving destinations in the world. Here are some of the top destinations for non-swimmers:

  1. Moalboal, Cebu: Moalboal is a popular destination for freediving, with a variety of dive sites that are suitable for beginners and non-swimmers. The Pescador Island Marine Park is a must-visit spot, with its diverse marine life and clear waters.
  2. Apo Island, Negros Oriental: Apo Island is a marine sanctuary known for its pristine coral reefs and abundant marine life. It offers a variety of dive sites suitable for beginners, including the Marine Sanctuary and Coconut Point.
  3. El Nido, Palawan: El Nido is known for its stunning limestone cliffs and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular destination for snorkeling and diving. The Bacuit Bay Marine Park offers a variety of dive sites, including shallow reefs that are suitable for beginners.
  4. Anilao, Batangas: Anilao is a popular destination for underwater photography and macro diving, with a variety of dive sites that are suitable for all levels. It is known for its diverse marine life and colorful corals.
  5. Coron, Palawan: Coron is famous for its World War II shipwrecks, making it a popular destination for wreck diving. It also offers a variety of shallow reefs and marine life, making it a great destination for beginners and non-swimmers.

These are just a few of the many great freediving destinations in the Philippines. It’s important to choose a location that suits your level of experience and interests and to always dive with a certified instructor and follow proper safety procedures.

Why Try Freediving in the Philippines?

Freediving is a beginner-friendly activity that non-swimmers can enjoy. With the Philippines offering some of the best locations for freediving in the world, it’s an excellent place to start your freediving journey. With its crystal-clear waters, diverse marine life, and calm conditions, you’ll surely have an unforgettable experience. So why not give freediving a try in the Philippines? You won’t regret it!

Book a Freediving Intro Course now!

If you’re interested in trying freediving as a non-swimmer in the Philippines, now is the time to book your course or plan your trip. With its warm waters, diverse marine life, and beginner-friendly locations, the Philippines is the perfect destination for your first freediving experience. So what are you waiting for? Book your course or plan your trip today!

Freediving School/CampLocationDurationPrice (in PHP)
Camp Freedive PHBatangas2 days3,900
Seazoned PhilippinesBatangas/Manila*1 day2,800*
Maximum FreedivingBatangas2 days3,950
Sea Diver PHBatangas1 day/2 days1,500/3,500
Freedive Project PHBatangas1 day2,350

Note: Prices are subject to change and are only estimates. It’s best to check directly with the school/camp for the latest prices and availability. Some packages already include accommodation, gear rental, and food. Certification is not offered for intro classes, as they are meant to provide a basic understanding of freediving and its techniques.

Kevin del Prado

Kevin is currently working as a Business Analyst. Interests also include traveling, watching movies, outdoor activities, and photography. He graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering.

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