How To Choose The Right Freediving Course?
Freediving is one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world now. Some organisations like PADI, AIDA, SSI, Molchanovs, Apnea Total offer freediving courses.
There must be some questions that pop up from your mind. What do they all stand for? Which one is the best organisation to choose for a freediving course? Can I change between organisations as I do different level courses?
In this article, we will talk about these questions, and we hope we answered your questions. 🤓
Before we start, let's talk about the behaviour that we all (or most people) have had at the beginning of their freediving journey. 😅 For instance, choosing the cheapest and providing the best option among the organisations that offer freediving courses. Like many freedivers, we have a limited budget, and the priority is always to get as much time freediving for as little money as possible. But after going through the above organisations, 🤔 we realised that the most important rule when choosing a freediving course is to assure that you get an excellent instructor.
Most of the courses have a similar outline and structure. Therefore, this comes down to the most prominent factor in delivering the information and supporting you throughout the course.
✏️ How can you then ensure that you get a good and trustworthy instructor? 🧐
Firstly, we can take a peek at the different organisations' requirements. Check what it takes to become an instructor for the organisation. The deeper or harder requirements the organisation has for the instructor candidate, the more you can be sure that your instructor has gone through a lot of own training and deep diving. He or she has probably also experienced many setbacks and came up with ways to overcome them, which will make them able to explain better and help you go deeper or overcome a particular barrier. You will also make sure that your instructor has a genuine passion for freediving, which is probably an essential quality for an instructor.
The depth requirements for freediving instructors are as follows (Deepest first):
1️⃣ Molchanovs - WAVE 3 instructor - 52 meters, WAVE 2 - 42 meters. 2️⃣ AIDA - 40 meters. 3️⃣ SSI - 40 meters, SSI level 3 is 50 meters 4️⃣ Apnea Total - 40 meters 5️⃣ PADI - 40 meters, or 20 meters if already are scuba diving instructor.
✏️ How much does a freediving course cost? 🧐
Freediving course prices vary from school to school and can go anywhere from USD 180 to USD 600. It doesn't differ much depending on the organisation. The school or instructor will set their price regardless of the organisation they're teaching. The prices are usually higher in big cities and developed countries where the school and instructor have to pay more tax and have more expenses.
✏️ What do the different organisations stand for? 🧐
1️⃣ Molchanovs - Made by the best freediver in history, Nathalia Molchanova. By freedivers, for freedivers. This organisation is all about teaching you the right way from the beginning. If you want to learn from the best instructors and make sure that your instructor is trustworthy and has a real passion for freediving, this organisation is for you. What's so different with the molchanovs system is that you can continue your training and follow a website's training schedule and be part of the molchanovs community.
2️⃣ AIDA - Association Internationale pours le Développement de l'Apnée, Here you get a right course for your money. A safe and reliable course where you learn the right basics. Also, an organisation which only teaches freediving.
3️⃣ SSI - Scuba Schools International, A very accessible school you can find in most places. As for the name, it can be a bit misleading at first. But even though they started with scuba diving teaching, now they've been in the freediving business for long and are also a safe bet to choose and is widely spread and have good recognition.
4️⃣ Apnea Total - This organisation has a very easygoing and fun attitude towards freediving education and is usually very affordable. Here you won't have any theory tests or long theory sessions. Instead, most of the course will involve diving both on the line and snorkelling around the reef but usually no pool session.
5️⃣ PADI - Maybe the most well-known organisation of the above. You can find a school teaching PADI pretty much everywhere you go, so it's accessible and has many instructors around the world. But the downside is that some of the instructors are scuba diving instructors and have little or almost no freediving experience. This is because they've made it so easy for PADI scuba diving instructors to crossover to freediving without much training (They only have to dive to 20 meters). So here you have to be extra careful to make sure you get a legitimate freediving instructor!
✏️ Possible to switch around from the different courses? 🧐
For example, do a level 1 with SSI, and then do WAVE 2 with Molchanovs?
Yes, in most cases you can, and this has been possible in all the organisations. It's totally up to your instructor, and if he or she feels that you are ready or not. We (AndRasa Studio) let people join our course from different organisations if we feel that they're ready for that.
Besides, the number of students in the course is one of the things we need to take note. According to the rules, it's not allowed for the instructor to have more than 4 students in the course. If there are more, the instructor needs an assistant to help out.
In our course, we try to avoid a class of more than 3 people when teaching. So that everyone gets the right amount of attention and the time of freediving that student paid for.
In conclusion, when you are looking for a freediving course on the web or walk into the next freediving shop. You may ask who your instructor will be, what experience they have, and what organisation the course will be taught.
Lastly, we can't say which is the best or the worst; it is a question of preference and what you're looking for. We hope this article has made it easier for you to decide which of the different organisations to choose from.
Make sure to visit Freedive AndRasa if you want to enrol on a Molchanovs freediving course: https://www.andrasastudio/freedive
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