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Recreational Freediving Programs

Freediver

Intent

The SSI Freediver program provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge to safely participate in the recreational sport of freediving (breath-hold diving) autonomously with an equally- or more-qualified buddy, in environments and to a depth equivalent with their training.

Minimum Instructor Rating

An active status Freediving Instructor may conduct the Freediver program.

Student Prerequisites

  • Minimum age: 12 years old.

Duration

  • Recommended hours for completion: 16–20.

Depth Limitations

  • Maximum pool/confined water depth limit: 5 meters.
  • Minimum open water depth limit: 10 meters as outlined in the instructor manual.
  • Maximum open water depth limit: 20 meters.
  • Maximum open water depth limit for 12- to 14-year-olds: 12 meters.

In-Water Ratios

Pool

15 years and older:
  • The student-to-Instructor ratio is 8:1.
  • The ratio may increase to 12:2 with one (1) certified assistant.
12- through 14-years old:
  • The student-to-instructor ratio is 6:1.
  • The ratio may increase to 8:2 with one (1) certified assistant.

Confined Water

15 years and older:
  • The student-to-Instructor ratio is 6:1.
  • The ratio may increase to 8:2 with one (1) certified assistant.
12- through 14-years old:
  • The student-to-instructor ratio is 4:1.
  • The ratio may increase to 6:2 with one (1) certified assistant.

Open Water

  • The student-to-instructor ratio is 4:1.
  • The ratio may increase to 6:2 with one (1) certified assistant.

Minimum Supervision

  • An active status Freediving Assistant Instructor must directly supervise all academic and pool/confined water sessions.
  • An active status Freediving Instructor must directly supervise all open water sessions.

Proximity

  • Students must remain under the direct supervision of the instructor so that physical contact can be made within an appropriate time during any in-water training.

Requirements For Completion

  • Complete academic sessions and assessments as outlined in the instructor manual for Freediver.
  • Complete the program’s final exam.
  • Complete at least one (1) breathing session as outlined in the instructor manual for Freediver.
  • Complete at least two (2) pool/confined water sessions as outlined in the instructor manual for Freediver.
  • Complete at least two (2) open water sessions as outlined in the instructor manual for Freediver.

Sequence

  • Pool/confined water sessions may only be conducted after all requirements and evaluations for the related academic sessions are completed as outlined in the instructor manual for Freediver.
  • Open water sessions may only be conducted after the related academics sessions are completed, and after the related in-water skills are completed in the pool/confined water as outlined in the instructor manual for Freediver.

Certification

  • Certified Freedivers are qualified to freedive autonomously with an equally- or more-qualified buddy, in environments and to depths equivalent with their training.
  • After certification, all Junior Divers younger than 15 years must dive with a certified adult or dive professional.
Recommended depth limit based on certification:
  • Freediver | up to 25 meters
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