Intermediate Freediver course


The PFA Intermediate Freediver course teaches competent and comfortable freedivers essential safety and problem management for breath-hold diving. It places special emphasis on proper technique development. This program also includes details on training and equipment for diving to depths up to 40 m/132 ft. The course covers:

  • Intermediate safety and buddy procedures
  • Proper ventilation for gas saturation and volume
  • Equipment for intermediate freediving
  • Psychological aspects of freediving
  • Detailed physics and physiology of freediving
  • Confined-water static apnea development
  • Open-water constant ballast development
  • Techniques for intermediate freediving

See the medical form.

Is this course for you?

  • You have basic experience in scuba, freediving, and/or spearfishing
  • You’re interested in freediving in the 25-40 m/80-132 ft range
  • You’d like to learn to hold your breath for over three minutes
  • You’re not sure of extended freediving physiology or the physics that affect you during your freedives and want to know the details
  • You want to learn how to safely deep dive
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If students 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 Intermediate Freediver certification, students must be able to:

  • Prepare gear without the instructor's help
  • Perform a 3:00 static breath hold in the pool with opportunity to increase to maximum capacity
  • Dive with proper technique to at least 25 m/82 ft 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-meter continuous swim without fins, snorkel, wetsuit, or flotation
  • Minimum of ten-minute tread/float

Confined Water

  • Minimum of four consecutive static breath-holds with no hypoxic symptoms achieving at least 3 minutes
  • Recovery breathing and coaching
  • Manage LMCs and blackouts both on the surface and underwater
  • Finding a blacked-out diver on surface
  • Six negative-pressure dives

Open water

  • Recovery breathing and coaching for buddy
  • Eight constant ballast dives reaching a minimum 25 m/82 ft using proper entrance and exit
  • Emergency rescue and problem management (rescue scenarios), surface and underwater including LMC, blackout at surface and underwater
  • Full mask flood and ascent from 10 m/33 ft
  • Eight free immersion dives to at least 25 m/82 ft
  • Weight belt removal and ascent from 10 m/33 ft


  • Classroom sessions
  • Two confined-water sessions
  • Three open-water sessions


  • Freediver course or equivalent experience with freediving, spearfishing, or scuba diving (general comfort in the water)
  • Basic freediving experience and can achieve depths anywhere from 6-30 m/20-99 ft with relative comfort
  • You have a breath-hold time of around one minute or longer
  • You can make a constant ballast (unassisted freedive) of 6 m/20 ft
  • Good health and fitness (see Medical Form)
  • 12 years of age with parent/guardian permission

Required equipment

  • 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


  • 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


upcoming courses

Registration and payment details

course schedule

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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