Level 3 – Freediving Deep Diving course
13500 THB (appx $375 USD)
Duration: 4 days (9am-4pm)
Max depth: 40 meters
Up to 5min breath hold
Includes: Pictures, equipment, SSI Cert.
In your SSI Level 3 you will learn the relation between Freediving and Henry’s law, partial pressure with the Dalton’s law, risks of decompression sickness for freedivers and Nitrogen narcosis. As a diver descends to depth the increasing water pressure causes an increase in overall oxygen pressure, even as oxygen is being consumed. However, during ascent with water pressure and oxygen pressure decreasing, and oxygen supplies running low at the end of the dive, freediver blackout can come on quickly with little or no warning. The diver will experience the greatest decrease in oxygen pressure at about 10meters below the surface and shallower. After the diver inhales air at the surface, it takes about 20 heartbeats or 30 seconds for the fresh oxygen to travel to the brain. Until this circuit is complete, the diver continues to be in danger of blackout even though he is breathing and may have even signaled to his buddy that he is “okay.” Your instructor will focus on safety procedures, competition set ups and rules and high understanding of Freediving risks as you descent deeper and deeper in the Blue.
There is no equalisation technique in freediving which is more talked about, strived towards, or mis-understood than mouthfill. For many people it proves to be a nightmare to learn… With Blue Immersion it doesn’t have to. The mouthful technique, was developed by Eric Fattah who was looking for an efficient way to dive below the residual volume (30-40meters in average). It is a very important technique that is essential for any freediver that wishes to comfortably dive below depths of 30m and also minimise the risk of lung or trachea squeezes. It is an advanced technique that allows a gradual equalisation by pushing air directly from the cheeks and mouth into the middle ear without having to use the diaphragm or lungs. It is quite tricky to learn in theory, but when broken down step-by-step and by perfecting the dry exercises before you practice in the water, you will find it to be a comfortable technique that will push your freediving depth to the next level. Your instructor will demonstrate many exercices with balloons to help you getting control of your soft palate and epiglottis which are not muscles but soft tissues and cartilage. Unlike muscles which we can control and feel, soft tissues are feelingless and controlled by the subconscience. Blue Immersion instructors are highly trained and experienced with Freediving equalisation skills ! Our unique training methods will give you all the knowledge and tools to understand and master mouthfill equalisation. The lung volume is decreased during deep dives and even if you train hard to increase your depth using Frenzel, you will soon reach a limit. Deep freediver simply do not use Frenzel anymore because of the higher risk of lung injury.
Exhale dives or FRC Dives:
Functional Residual Capacity (FRC) is the volume of air present in the lungs at the end of passive expiration. At FRC, the opposing elastic recoil forces of the lungs and chest wall are in equilibrium and there is no exertion by the diaphragm or other respiratory muscles. During your SSI Level 3 you will learn how to freedive after a passive expiration, it’s a whole new experience ! Every time you go under you try to get as much air in your lungs as possible. The more air the more oxygen in reserve on the way down. In exhale diving we do it a little bit different. Before we go down we actually exhale. We go down with only half of our lung capacity. This may sound crazy but it is a great way to train for depth ! Your lung volume decreases with increasing pressure. Starting with only half of your lung capacity means you will reach your residual capacity at shallower depths. You will feel pressure that you normally only get to experience at deeper dives. Wrong knowledge and practice of exhale dives expose you to the possibility of a lung squeeze. On an exhale dive, not only are great depths simulated, but are reached at greater speed which may not give you enough time for blood-shift to happen in full degree. Be very conservative with depth and have a regular thoracic stretching program in place! Remember that the more flexible your chest is, the less likely you are to experience squeeze. This is also why all exhale dives in Freediving are done using mouthfill. Your instructor will give you a very high quality training with many tips to dive on exhale safely: Use the line to pull down on (free immersion) so you have total control of your descent, and swim up in constant weight with your arms down to avoid micro-squeezes.
In Level 2 you were introduced to empty lung stretching. The famous pictures in which you see a Freediver letting disappear his guts by sucking in his diaphragm. Empty lung stretching is very important in Freediving. It stretches our diaphragm which prepares us for the pressure we experience at depth. A flexible diaphragm makes contractions also easier to handle. The contractions feel ‘softer’ after your diaphragm gets more flexible. To bring empty lung stretching to the next level, we teach you a technique called Reverse Packing. Even after a full active exhale there is still air left in the lungs. By Reverse Packing you can push even more air out, or more accurate, suck more air out. This way you will increase the stretch of the diaphragm, making the stretch more intense. Your diaphragm will be more flexible than ever, which will allow you to go deeper and feel more confortable during freedives.
From the outside Freediving at first looks like a very individualistic sport. Besides, during the descend to the bottom of the ocean you are on your own. But as with many individualistic sports there are coaches in the background preparing the athlete for high performance. This is also the case in Freediving. The number one rule in Freediving: ‘Never dive alone’ means more than just having a buddy that keeps you company. The buddy is also a coach. A coach that will help you through the mental struggles in static apnea and dynamics. But he is also the one who gives feedback after every dive you make. How to improve your technique, how to help with equalization issues, etc. In Level 3 we teach you the basics of coaching in Freediving during a static apnea. You will be the coach while another student holds his breath. This will give you confidence for coaching your buddies in the future.
Dynamic apnea is holding your breath and swimming horizontally for as long as possible. It is perfect training for streamlining and finning technique because efficiency is key for great results. It is also a great way to build up CO2 tolerance whilst swimming. As a stand alone discipline it is very competitive with Goran Colak (Croatia) and Natalie Molchanova (Russia) holding the records of 281m and 231m respectfully. In Level 3 we will be pushing ourselves further than the pervious levels. You will learn perfect technique and also different training techniques to improve Dynamic tables and Static Dynamic. Dynamic Tables are the same as CO2 tables learned in level 2, although instead of holding your breath dry, you will be swimming dynamic. Static Dynamic is an exercise where you perform static apnea until you experience your first contraction, and then perform dynamic, this will help you become comfortable during the latter stages of your dynamic.
Constant weight / Free immersion up to 40meters
Many freedivers become interested in the sport after hearing about competitive freediving, seeing beautiful photos of freedivers enjoying the freedom and beauty of deep, blue water. Some get their inspiration from movies such as The Big Blue or Ocean Men: Extreme Dive. Whatever the inspiration for beginning, some freedivers enjoy the experience so much that they move into the world of competitive freediving. The SSI Level 3 will introduce you to new competitive techniques and coaching skills. How deep can you go? Chances are that you want to go deeper. During the last days of the course we will take the boat out a little further than usual. All the techniques you learned in Level 3 come together here. Mouthfill equalization, FRC diving and advanced stretching will prepare you to go to 40m and beyond! We will do this in the disciplines you are familiar with: Free Immersion (FIM),Constant Weight (CWT) and Constant Weight No fins (CNF) for the highly passionate students !