Freediving in the Red Sea

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If you get into the techniques of snorkeling, and see the fun in the challenge in trying to push yourself deeper, or stay for longer time below the surface. Then you should perhaps become a freediver.

40-50 years ago there was not a clear distinction between doing snorkeling and freediving. Freediving means underwater swimming without the use of an artificial breathing apparatus. However, especially since the movie The Big Blue (Le Grand Bleu) came out in the 1988, it boosted Freediving as a discipline in itself. The movie inspired many young people to jump into the water. And since then freediving has taken off as a sports discipline.

You do not need to be a freediving specialist to be a good snorkeler. I know many people who have spent hours in the water and never been deeper than to 5-6 meters depth. And when snorkeling in the Red Sea you do not need to dive a all. But if you are able to get 2-4 meters down it can be fun to get closer to some of the fish, and it is easier to see some of the species that usually hide underneath the edges, e.g. Sixstriped soapfish.

When you are in the water alone or with your family, you should never push yourself near your limits. But there is no harm in doing some dives within your comfort zone. Personally, I find ok to go to around 7-9 meters and stay down for 45-60 seconds. If there is something I really want to see, then I sometimes go down to 12-14 meters. But never deeper than that.

Once, together with a buddy that worked as an instructor in the Freediving center in Hotel Sharm Club I went down along the line to 28 meters. But that required focus on the technique and you don’t do it because you want to enjoy the marine life. You do it because it is fun in itself to try to push your limits.

Because freediving has gained such a following, even the diving industry is taking it serious. PADI launched its Freediver programme in November 2015, where you can learn the basics of freediving. It can be a nice supplement to your snorkeling activity.

 

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It is great fun snorkeling in the Red Sea. But if you want to go deep, you can train freediving. There are a few places in Egypt – e.g. in Sharm, where they specialise in this training, so you can do it together with an instructor. Never push your breathholding when you are alone…