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Freediving in Dahab
What is freediving?
Freediving is the collective term used to describe a number of underwater activities. Some are recreational, some are competitive and some, such as spear fishing, are purely for survival; yet the commonality of all of these pursuits is that they occur beneath the surface of the water, and on a single lung full of air. This article details free diving in Egypt, freediving disciplines and techniques, courses, and resources.
In recent years Egypt has become a centre for ‘Apnea’ (derived from the Greek word ‘Apnoea’ meaning ‘without breathing’), the competitive extreme sport through which freedivers compete for the attainment of the greatest depth, distance, or time spent underwater.
But you needn’t be a finely tuned, aquatic athlete to enjoy freediving, and resorts such as Dahab now make freediving accessible to the wider world. Freediving is a fantastic alternative to snorkelling and scuba, a great way to enjoy the world below the surface, challenge yourself both physically and mentally, and experience total relaxation beneath the waves.
Constant Weight – Divers descend using their own muscle strength either with (CWT) or without fins (CNF), the most common discipline for depth competition.
Dynamic – Divers travel horizontally in order to cover the greatest distance possible either with (DYN) or without fins. (DNF). Performances take place in swimming pools and are considerably safer for old swimmers.
Static Apnea (STA) – Divers hold their breath for the greatest time possible while statically emerged in water. This is the only freedive discipline where divers compete for time rather than depth or distance.
Free Immersion (FIM) – Divers descend without the use of fins or propulsion equipment but instead by pulling on a rope.
Variable Weight (VWT) – Divers descend using a weight, ballast or sled to propel them to great depths. Ascent is reliant on the divers own strength, using the arms to reach the surface.
No Limit (NLT) – As in VWT, divers descend with the use of a weight or sled, and ascend using a method of choice such as balloons or inflatable vests. NLT is the ultimate depth focused discipline allowing divers to reach the greatest depths.
Freediving Courses in Dahab
AIDA is the international association for the development of freediving. Established in 1992 it regulates, designs and promotes freediving education and awards
AIDA recognises the following freediving courses which are operated by several outfitters in Dahab. All AIDA courses come with suggested guidelines for what you will be able to achieve post course in terms of Constant Weight Apnea (CWT), Static Apnea (STA), and Dynamic Apnea (DYN).
All prices are guidelines only.
AIDA 1* - The very basics of freediving suitable for students with no experience and including sessions both in the pool and open water. (200-250€ including equipment)
CWT: 8M (Deep diving)
STA: 1m15 (Static breath hold)
DYN: 25M (Horizontal freedive)
AIDA 2* - Also for beginners, but suitable for those with previous diving experience and/or feel comfortable in the water. Typically taught over three days and including sessions both in the water and the classroom. (200-250€ including equipment)
CWT: 16M (Deep diving)
STA: 2m (Static breath hold)
DYN: 40M (Horizontal freedive)
Read more about the AIDA 2 Star Course
AIDA 3* - More advanced concepts and techniques for intermediate freedivers. Also taught over three days, the three star certification deals with greater depths, pressures and equalization techniques. (200-250€ including equipment)
CWT: 24M (Deep diving)
STA: 2m45 (Static breath hold)
DYN: 55M (Horizontal freedive)
AIDA 4* - This is an advanced certification typically taught over 4 days. In addition to learning more sophisticated freediving techniques, students learn how to plan, organise and deliver freediving events and training session. Upon completion of the course, students may act as assistants to AIDA instructors. (300-350€ including Equipment)
CWT: 32M (Deep diving)
STA: 3m30s (Static breath hold)
DYN: 70M (Horizontal freedive)
Taster courses – Some outfitters also offer non certified taster sessions (1 day) for beginners who are already comfortable in the water but do no want to commit to a 3 day course. (60-65€ including equipment).