Between Freediving and Scuba Diving – Before the invention of wetsuits, oxygen tanks, fins, and various other diving equipment, humans who wanted to explore the oceans and the life in them had to be able to hold their breath for quite a long time. At that time, diving without equipment or freediving was done to find sponges.
Now, after various technologies have been discovered to facilitate ocean exploration, freediving is still popular. Why is freediving still an option when one can use an air tank and explore the sea for longer? Apart from the most striking differences, with or without a tank, what are the differences between freediving and scuba diving?
1. Scuba diving provides a better observation experience
Freediving, as the name implies, can move more freely than scuba divers. Without an air tank, freedivers can move faster to catch fish in the sea. Plus, because the freediver dives holding his breath, the fish will not be frightened by the air bubbles escaping from the mouth.
However, thanks to the air tank, scuba divers can linger underwater to observe life under the sea. This provides a distinct advantage for scuba divers. The reason is, the deeper the dive, the less sunlight penetrates the sea water. In the dark, the iris will enlarge to absorb more light. Freedivers don’t experience this because they don’t stay underwater long enough. So, coral reefs seen by freedivers and scuba divers can give a different impression.
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2. Scuba divers can explore further
Exploring the underwater landscape is one of the unparalleled pleasures of diving. Behind the shipwrecks and caves and sea valleys, there are various kinds of mysteries and the beauty of the sea. When it comes to the freedom to explore this part of the ocean, perhaps the scuba diver has the upper hand. Scuba divers can dive deeper and longer.
Even so, freedivers can be more agile under the sea. Depending on the ability to hold his breath, a freediver can explore underwater architecture freely. In addition, to be able to explore the sea, a freediver only needs a beginner freediver certification while a scuba diver must obtain a higher certificate to do the same activity.
3. Freedivers can socialize between dives
For safety reasons freediving must be done with a partner or companion. Even so, this provides added value in the aspect of sociability. The freediver usually spends only a few minutes underwater, then returns to the surface to chat with his partner about what he finds.
This cannot be done by scuba divers. Not only because they can’t talk underwater, but because the experience that a scuba diver experiences at one time, in the same location, is usually the same.
4. Focus vs. Contemplation
When scuba diving, a diver must be really focused. Depth, dive time, air supply, and various other things must be considered carefully. The scuba diver’s mind is constantly active, reacting to what it sees and feels.
This is somewhat different from freediving. The awareness that freedivers feel is usually focused inward. You could say, in this case, the scuba diver dives to see something while the freediver dives to find himself.
5. Challenges and achievements
In terms of challenges and achievements, scuba diving and freediving are also different. If one has mastered all the skills required for scuba diving, one could say the job is done. Now, he just needed to practice it in another dive site. Enjoy the experience of the skills he has honed.
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Unlike freediving. Freedivers have many ways to improve their skills and experience. This presents its own challenges for freedivers. In this aspect, there is a competitive side to freediving. Not competing with other divers, but competing with yourself. Freedivers usually struggle to break their own records of depth covered, duration in the water, and many other things.