Freediving Information

Freediving is any of various aquatic activities that share the practice of breath-hold underwater diving. Examples include breathhold spear fishing, freedive photography, apnea competitions and, to a degree, snorkeling. The activity that garners the most public attention is competitive apnea, an extreme sport, in which competitors attempt to attain great depths, times or distances on a single breath without the assistance of self-contained underwater breathing apparatus .

Freediving is a technique used with various aquatic activities. While in general all aquatic activities that include breath-hold diving might be classified as a part of freediving, some sports are more accepted than others. Examples of recognized freediving activities are competitive freediving, competitive spearfishing, freediving photography and mermaid shows. Less recognized examples of freediving include, but are not limited to, synchronised swimming, underwater rugby, underwater hockey, underwater hunting other than spearfishing, and snorkeling. The discussion remains whether freediving is only a synonym for breath-hold diving or whether it describes a specific group of underwater activities. Freediving is often strongly associated with competitive breath-hold diving or Competitive Apnea. The remainder of this article will discuss only competitive freediving as an athletic sport.

Competitive freediving is currently governed by two world associations: AIDA International and CMAS . Most types of competitive freediving have in common that it is an individual sport based on the best individual achievement. An exception to this rule is the bi-annual World Championship for Teams, held by AIDA, where the combined score of the team members makes up the team's total points. There are currently nine disciplines used by official governing bodies and a dozen disciplines that are only practiced locally. In this article, the recognized disciplines of AIDA and CMAS will be described. All disciplines can be done by both men and women and, while done outdoors, no differences in the environment between records are recognized any longer. The disciplines of AIDA can be done both in competition and as a record attempt, with the exception of Variable Weight and No limits, which are both done solely as record attempts.

Wikipedia, Freediving, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freediving (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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