Free Diving Training
Free diving Training in Cabo San Lucas – AIDA courses, Coaching / intros
“Do not simply observe marine life , become marine life”!
Free diving, also known as Apnea, is an increasingly popular activity that consists of diving on a single breath of air, without relying on scuba or any breathing apparatus. No need to be a “super-athlete ” or competitive swimmer to practice and enjoy free diving , you just need to feel happy in the water, relaxation is the key. Recreational free diving is a very safe activity provided you stick ALWAYS to the buddy system.
Our instructors are teaching trough the AIDA education system (International Association for the Development of Apnea , one of the most recognized federations of freediving) . Click Here.
Anybody 18 years old, provided they have no medical issues, or making sure they have a physician written approval if have any medical condition (16+ years old with parents written consent).
By standards, AIDA 2 star, 3 star and 4 star courses have minimum performance requirements in static, dynamic, and constant weight disciplines. We try our best to help you meet these requirements and help you equalize your ears safely and gently to get the depth, but ultimately “passing” the course depends on your performance. But remember that the most important is not to get the card but to enjoy yourself and progress at your own pace. Anyway, you don’t need a card to keep freediving and keeping improving after your course !
Here in Manta we offer both AIDA courses and Intros and coaching sessions.
You don’t have to do an “official” course to freedive, coaching is available to everybody, from complete beginner (intro) to advanced freedivers desiring to improve their personal best. You would have a briefing at manta shop, and then go by boat to the blue water of the Pacific/Sea of Cortez .(or to a local site for intros)
Available AIDA courses:
1 Star free diver:
Course duration : 1 day or 2 half days. This course is designed for complete beginners desiring to improve their snorkeling and to give an introduction to the world of freediving. It includes theory, a static breath hold session in the pool, safety practice, equalization practice, duck dive practice and open water dive sessions at a local dive site to a maximum depth of 33ft.
2 star free diver:
Duration of the course: 3 days. This course is designed for people with good “aquacity”: people who are already divers or people who are very comfortable swimmers. Prerequisite: be able to swim 200m and to thread water for 10mn.
In this course you will learn to safely freedive with a buddy to a maximum depth of 66 ft (20m). It includes theory and exam, breathing session on land, a static breath hold session in the water, a dynamic session (swimming horizontally 40m/130ft in confined water environment), and 4 open water sessions diving in constant weight on the line.
It teaches relaxation, breathing for freediving, proper duck dive, streamlining and Finning technique, how to dive safely with a buddy as well as how to rescue your buddy in case of blackout. Passing the course depends on your performance and how cooperative are your Eustachian tubes with regards to equalization.
Day one (full day)
Day one of the AIDA course we go over theory and discuss correct breathing techniques. After the theory we pass through a couple hours of training in the pool to practice static breath holding and dynamic apnea. By the afternoon we start the open water session. During the open water section of day one we practice equalizing and diving.
Day two (Half Day)
On the Second day of the AIDA course you will practice diving deeper. We dive using lines and lanyards for safety so you can focus more on deep diving postures and relaxation techniques. The open water portion of the course will be in the Cabo San Lucas Marine Park and includes a short tour to the Lands End and to see the famous Cabo Arch.
Day three (Half Day)
On the third day of the AIDA course you will dive deeper to achieve you minimum depth requirement. An instructor will lead you on all dives and you will have the opportunity to snorkel and dive deeper without the use of a depth line or lanyard (optional).
3 star free diver:
Duration of the course: 3 days. Prerequisite: be an AIDA 2 star freediver or equivalent from another organization.
In this challenging course you will fine tune your diving techniques, improve your performances, learn more advanced equalization techniques, practice freefall and streamlining, practice a lot being a dive buddy, as well as the rescue techniques. This course includes theory, exam, a static and dynamic maximum performance session, as well as performing dynamic training tables designed to increase your CO2 /lactic acid tolerance. It also includes 4 open water sessions diving in constant weight to a maximum depth of 100ft (30m).
4 star free diver:
Prerequisite: student must show proof of recognized CPR, primary and secondary care training within the last 2 years(EFR courses are also available at Manta).
This master continues training beyond the 3 star course. It allows you -once certified- to assist instructors during courses, and allows you to take the instructor course. It will give you the tools to train yourself for competitive freediving and access much greater depth. It teaches advanced techniques such as “packing”, ”reverse packing”, FRC or “exhale dive” training, you will also practice variable weight dives and free immersion. The maximum depth during this course is 130ft (40m).
Duration: minimum 4 days, but we recommend to take an internship. Contact us for further details.
FAQ about free diving
-What type of fins do I need? Should I buy specific freediving fins before coming to Cabo?
Competitive and intermediate freedivers use “Monofin” or longer bi-fins (plastic or carbon fiber), but if you are not already an excellent freestyle swimmer, it is recommended that you start with classic snorkeling fins (full foot pocket). It will be easier to fine tune your fining technique with short fins, before trying with specific freediving fins. There is not retailer for freediving fins in Cabo, so if you are taking an advanced course, we highly recommend that you come to Cabo with your own freediving fins. Carbon fins (C4 ,Breier etc) are often excellent but quite expensive, so we recommend plastic fins for beginner/intermediate freedivers. Cressi “Gara” and Mares “Razor Pro“ offer very good value and can easily be purchased in the US or Europe.
-Do I need to be an athlete to start freediving?
Of course not: Just like you don’ t need to be already fit to start practicing jogging, you don‘t have to be a good freediver to start freediving. You will become a good freediver trough practice.
-Can I freedive, even if I am a smoker?
Of course! We all know that smoking is detrimental to our health and that your performance would be affected. But nevertheless, it is possible for a smoker to enjoy freediving, just as for any other sport! And it may give you motivation to stop smoking later.
-What equipment is available?
For your course we provide the Buoy, line and weights, and make sure that students have a low volume mask, snorkel, weight belt and wetsuit. The water temperature in Cabo ranges from 55ºF (13ºc) in May to 86ºF (31ºc) in October! We can give you a Shorty in summer or a 7mm scuba suit in winter/spring. It is certainly possible to learn freediving with a scuba suit, but you would benefit from more comfort and flexibility if you come with your own freediving wetsuit.