Expert free diver Camilla Argent talks us through this extreme sport.
What attracted you to free diving?
I free dive because you get to be completely in the moment. It’s really still, accepting and peaceful – such an antithesis to our often demanding, competitive modern life. When you are in open water without equipment it is like an adventure, it’s exciting. You’re in this whole new world, it’s like going to space except it’s right on your doorstep.
Is free diving growing increasingly popular in Abu Dhabi?
Yes, it is. Not only do more people want to passively explore the underwater world, they also want to explore themselves and push their limits.
Can you be taught to be a free diver or do you have to be a natural?
You can be taught; in fact it helps if it feels unnatural. If you can equalise, or reduce the air pressure in your ears, by just wiggling your jaw or swallowing and not using your hands, there is a risk of going too deep, too quickly, which can be incredibly dangerous. Limiting factors such as the urge to breathe or the fear of going too deep ensure you will increase your depth incrementally.
What attributes do you need to be good at free diving?
It’s important to be comfortable in open water. You should be able to swim at least 200 meters and have a basic level of physical fitness. Free diving requires patience and the ability to relax.
What is the best aspect of the sport?
Free diving with friends. The sport also allows you to discover yourself and understand your limits.
Is free diving dangerous?
No, not if you get the proper training by attending the AIDA 2 course I help run.
Are the waters around Abu Dhabi good for free diving?
Yes; the waters are warm all year round. Anywhere where it is warm with good visibility and no current is ideal. Dhab in Egypt is a popular free diving location.
What type of courses does FreedivingUAE offer?
FreedivingUAE offers AIDA – the Worldwide Federation for breath-hold diving – courses because we believe it sets the international standard in free diving education. The AIDA educational ladder supports your development as a free diver all the way from beginner to instructor level. You can enter the AIDA education ladder at Level I or Level II depending on how comfortable you feel in the water.
The AIDA education ladder is not just about achieving depth or time but building the right attitude and attention for safe and controlled free diving.
Passing the Level II course or having an equivalent qualification from another free diving agency will enable you to attend our monthly trips which will help you improve the techniques needed for deeper and safer dives.
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