Freediver course


This program teaches fundamental freediving techniques. It allows you to comfortably enjoy the aquatic world to depths of up to 20 m/66 ft. You will also practice static apnea. This helps develop your breath-holding abilities and in-water comfort.

Your PFA Freediver course will cover fundamental topics such as:

  • Essential safety procedures for breath-holding at the Freediver level
  • Proper breathing techniques for freediving and snorkeling
  • Confined water skill development i.e., static apnea
  • Open water skill development i.e., techniques for depth diving
  • Equalization for depth diving
  • Equipment for freediving and snorkeling
  • The fundamental physics and physiology of freediving; understand what happens to your body at depth

Is this course for you?

It is if:

  • You’re interested in learning the fundamental techniques of freediving
  • You’re new to freediving
  • You typically dive in the shallows
  • You want to dive safely
  • You want to hold your breath longer
  • You want to dive deeper
Download and review the PFI medical form. If you say yes to any questions, you must get a doctor's approval to participate in the course. Contact us if you have questions about the medical form.


Students will practice several skills during the course and do so repeatedly. Some skills will be simulated, some actual. PFI standards require mastery of all skills, and attending all classroom, confined-water and open-water sessions.

If a student cannot do this, they may receive a certificate reflecting what they can accomplish. Some students take the course for the experience and not the certification. These students often participate in just the confined-water sessions. We are happy to accommodate students who wish to do so; however, we need to know this ahead of time.

To earn PFI Freediver certification, students must be able to:

  • Demonstrate adequate safe buddy skills, showing how to perform a rescue to PFI standards
  • Perform a minimum 1:30 static breath hold in the pool with the opportunity to increase to maximum capacity
  • Dive using proper technique to at least 10 m/33 ft with constant weight and free immersion using the PFI method of entrance and exit with proper recovery breathing


  • Attend all classroom teaching sessions
  • Stretching and equalizing workshops
  • CO2 and 02 workshops
  • Complete all quizzes and exams
  • Complete pre learning quiz before class
  • Pass final with 80 percent or more

Watermanship and stamina

  • Prepare freediving equipment without instructor assistance
  • Proper entry procedure (select best local option)
  • 200 m/655 ft continuous swim without fins, snorkel, wetsuit, or flotation
  • Minimum of ten-minute tread/float
  • 25 m/82 ft no-mask snorkel swim without surfacing
  • Snorkel blast clearing
  • Recovery breathing and coaching
  • Minimum of four consecutive static breath-holds with no hypoxic symptoms achieving at least 1:30
  • Recovery breathing and coaching for buddy

Open water

  • Recovery breathing and coaching (hook breathing)
  • Six target constant ballast dives reaching minimum 10 m/33 et
  • Four free immersion dives to a minimum depth of 10 m/33 ft
  • Emergency rescue and problem management (rescue scenarios)
  • Managing an LMC and blackout on surface and an underwater blackout
  • Self-emergency skills such as a mask flood and ascent, and weight belt removal and ascent


This course is taught by highly trained PFA Instructors at locations all over the world. It includes:

  • Classroom sessions
  • Two confined-water sessions
  • Two open-water sessions
The schedule and layout/order of these sessions vary slightly by location. The program typically runs over two to two-and-a-half days. Click the link on any course to find the exact schedule for that program.


  • Swimming or snorkeling experience
  • Good health and fitness (see Medical Form)
  • 10 years of age with parent/guardian permission

Required equipment

You can use basic snorkeling and scuba equipment; however, we highly recommended you use freediving-specific equipment this course. Students bring:

  • Mask, snorkel, fins
  • Full wetsuit (3 mm for warm water locations; 5-7 mm for cold water locations)
  • Rubber weight belt and a small number of weights
  • Timing device or freediving computer


PFA Freediver course prices vary by location, but start at $395. The tuition covers:

  • Personalized instruction from highly trained freediving specialists, including national and world record holders, or their trainers
  • A student-to-instructor ratio of no more than six:one
  • Student manual or eLearning
  • Classroom sessions with detailed knowledge development taught by freediving experts
  • Confined water sessions
  • Open water sessions
  • Hands-on experience with specialty freediving equipment
  • PFA t-shirt
  • Certification card
If the course location requires use of a dive boat, an additional boat fee may apply. This fee, if applicable, will be listed on specific course location pages.


See our upcoming courses page for more information on when and where courses are happening. You can also contact PFA directly if you don’t see a course which fits your schedule.

Registration and payment details

To secure your spot in a course, we need to receive your registration and either a 50 percent deposit or full payment. Any outstanding course balance is due by the start of the course. See our course schedule to register.

By registering for a course, you also receive:

  • Student Starter Kit
  • Access to online portal including training tips, email access, and private PFI diving community
  • Communication with staff/instructor to answer questions ahead of time
  • Access to e-learning/pre-learning course materials
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