Taking the Beginner Freediving Course!

Your First Step into a Dream World!

Beginner Courses are Super Fun and Rewarding!

This is what Emily, the owner of the academy, had to say about the beginner courses;

“Most of our students are somewhat nervous and don’t know what to expect, which is normal and fine. While they might not be super comfortable in the water, they are starting a course in an ‘extreme’ sport, so it’s not strange that some students are slightly nervous.

But then 🙂 The students arrive at the academy. We’ll get introduced, show them around the shop before we sit down, and explain what their days will look like. Then, just over an hour later, most students have breath holds of 2 minutes, while it is pretty common to have students with breath-hold times of well over 3 minutes.

And then again, somewhat later, the students dive comfortably in the pool and ocean. It’s incredibly rewarding for us to see students grow and surprise themselves. Teaching freediving is super fun!”

Emily Smiling

Taking a Basic or Beginner Freediving Course will Change Your Life!

Yeah, yeah, change my life?! Really? Well… It really can change your life! We have seen it over and over. When you take your first course, you will quickly discover that freediving differs from anything else you’ve done before.

Freediving is much more than just going up and down the line or learning how to dive comfortably along a reef. People often call freediving an extreme sport, but is it? Freediving is a mental ‘thing’… And the exact opposite of what you usually have to deal with in daily life: stress and anxiety. There is no room for failure in freediving; for fear and ego, the ocean will always win.

 

You are depriving yourself of one of the life essentials: oxygen!

This sounds horrible! Why would someone learn how to freedive? Why would you like to do a freediving course?

Because freediving can easily be one the most incredible things you’ll ever do in your life! Freediving is not just a sport or a technique to hold your breath longer.

Freediving teaches you to relax and not be absorbed by the clutter in your life. You will learn to approach life in a more calm and enjoyable way.

All our freediving courses are developed so that diving depth, distance, and breath-hold times increase slowly, safely, fun, and entertainingly.

This means that the courses are even more fun for those who are a little bit more nervous in the ocean. This means that those who are worried about their breath-hold times can make great progress, too. Not only will people who are a little less confident in the water have fun and learn lots of new skills, but they, too, can finish the course as certified freedivers.

In our dive center in Panglao, we teach courses for beginners to freediving instructors. We offer internships, and all of our programs and classes are taught by instructors certified by the world’s leading, most important, and globally recognized freediving agencies.

We always teach our freediving courses in small groups, a maximum of 3 students, while most of our classes are run with only two students at a time. If you come with a group of 4 or 5 friends, we’ll add a fully certified instructor to the group so each and every one of you gets the student-instructor attention they deserve.

Teaching in small groups results in more student-instructor one-on-one time, personal attention, and much practice time for each student, resulting in higher skills and knowledge levels and, eventually, higher passing rates.

The 2 Different Beginner Freediving Courses You Can Start With!

The ‘Introduction to Freediving’ and the ‘Beginner Freediving Course’!

Are you now ready to learn freediving?! Great! You will love your new water adventure and surely have a great time!

Now that you are ready to start freediving, you can choose which beginner freediving course you want to take. When time and budget are not a problem, we always recommend skipping the introduction day but immediately starting with the first real and official beginner course.

The first official beginner course is called the SSI Level 1 Freediver course, the AIDA 2 course, or the Molchanovs Wave 1 freediving course.

The SSI Freediver course, the AIDA 2, and the Molchanovs Wave 1 course will give you more in-depth knowledge about freediving than the one-day SSI Basic Freediving Course, the AIDA 1, or the Freedive Academy Introduction Day.

The official beginner course will take you more time; thus, you will have more practice time to develop your skills. From this Level 1 beginner course, you can immediately move to Level 2, which is called the Advanced Level, whereas from the Introduction or Basic Freediving Course, you still have to complete the official Beginner Freediving Course, Level 1, to move to the next level.

For now, if you want to start freediving, contact us for a beginner course. We will advise which course best fits your schedule, experience, and budget.

The First Official Level or Course in Recreational Freediving

Learn How to Hold Your Breath and Dive Deep Safely and Comfortably!

The first real and official beginner courses are the SSI Freediver, the AIDA 2, and the Molchanovs Wave 1 freediving course.

This beginner course can be completed in 2 days, but we prefer to run the courses in 2,5 days with an extra free session on day 3 to finish the course requirements, search for some more depth, or have some fun on the training lines and our house reef Napaling.

In this incredible course, we will introduce you to the purest form of diving. With the help of our very experienced team and highly trained and super knowledgeable instructors, your freediving experience will surely be unforgettable.

You will get a taste of freediving and find out what it’s all about. We will teach you about safety procedures and pressure-related issues. We’ll discuss the breathing and breath-hold techniques used by freedivers. We’ll teach you different relaxation techniques, and we’ll teach you all of this via open water sessions, pool sessions, and classroom time.

When you pass all the course requirements, including a multiple-choice exam, you will receive a beautiful (digital) certificate. The freediving certificate comes with free bragging rights 🙂 You are now a freediver!

You have acquired the skills to freedive safely and comfortably to depths up to 20 meters. An entire new world has opened before you—an amazing underwater and lifestyle world!

The SSI Freediver Course, the AIDA 2, and the Molchanovs Wave 1 are official freediving courses – recognized globally, and only via these beginner courses can you progress to the Advanced Courses. After the one-day Basic Freediving Course, you still need to complete the official Beginner Course to progress to Advanced Level.

 

Price per person: $325

Be sure to contact us. Group or Package Discounts may apply.

The above price includes taxes, snorkelling fee, rental of freediving gear, use of the facility, study materials and certification fees.

Minimum 12 years old (with parent or guardian consent) and able to swim.

Be able to swim 100 meters without any swim or buoyancy aids.

If you have the time, combine your Beginner and Advanced courses! The Level 1 and 2 Combo is by far our most popular package and is guaranteed to be a lot of fun, excitement, and tons of deep diving!

With a level 2 course, you will learn advanced equalization techniques and more techniques to stay down longer and be more efficient underwater. This combo can be done in 6 or 7 days, but it would be better to have an additional day for a day’s rest between courses. If you don’t have 6 or 7 days in Panglao, that’s too bad. Then be sure to sign up for the advanced course later because you will miss some freediving essentials. In the meantime, you can combine your beginner course with, for example, extra coaching or an SSI Monofin or Nofins specialty course to take your freediving experience to a whole new level.

What you will learn during your beginner freediving course!

The course will last a minimum of 2 days – usually run the beginner freediving courses in 2,5 days, but we can be flexible and add additional coaching sessions when needed. Each beginner course has at least two pool sessions and at least two, but usually three, ocean sessions. But there is more than these in-water sessions. Knowledge is power, and magical things happen once you know what happens when you hold your breath, when you learn how to swim or fin efficiently, and how to save oxygen. You learn freediving in the pool and ocean, but the knowledge is learned in the classroom – and you will learn a lot!

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    How to hold your breath longer
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    Finning Technique
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    Equalising the Ears and Airspaces
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    Buddy System and Rescues
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    Diving down efficiently
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    Body Position While Diving
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    The Dangers of Freediving
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    Freediving Gear
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    How we Deal with Pressure
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    The Different Freediving Techniques
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    Body Stretching for Freedivers
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    Freediving Physiology

And keep in mind that our courses are ALWAYS personal, often one-on-one or with no more than 2 or 3 students with lots of student-instructor time!

 

We don’t just Teach Freediving. We Create Highly Skilled, Well-Trained, All-Round Technical Freedivers!

We teach beginner freediving courses in the following languages. If your language is not there, no worries. We always have international freedivers around, and we often work with translators.

Please get in touch with us today to book your course – we’ve seen it many, many times!

Taking a Beginner Freediving Course can be Life Changing!

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For more detailed information about Courses, Accommodation, Prices, etc. Please follow the below links.

Enjoy our Award Winning and World Class Freedive Academy!

Ever since our start in Panglao in 2015, the entire team has worked hard to make the Freedive Academy Panglao something special.

We moved to an incredible location and built an amazing facility perfect for teaching freediving. The facility has a private 25-meter pool and fully equipped classrooms, and we even developed the best equipment imaginable – just to teach the best possible freediving! We have an incredible Filopino support team and our instructor team is one—if not the—imost experienced instructor team in the world!

All of our hard work is starting to pay off. Our students are having a blast! Our guests are conquering fears, doing amazing breath holds, and setting new personal bests time after time—we’re so excited!

And for us, it’s getting sweater after sweater, too. We have become a world leader in freediving education with an incredible 8 highly respected travel and performance rewards! 

Travelers Choice Awards 2023

We hope to be part of your journey too. We love unforgettable moments!

If you want to know more, please check out    TripAdvisor,   Facebook, and   Google, and read more about the hearts we touched and fears we helped conquer.

Get Ready to Learn Freediving!

This is how it is to take a Beginner Freediving Course with us in Panglao!

Are you ready for a new adventure?! You will have so much fun! We would love it if you took your first freediving course with us in Panglao!

The Freedive Academy Panglao is located right smack on Napaling Drive, the only access road to the famous Napaling Reef – the reef wall with the massive drop off into the depths – the reason why Panglao has become the freedive capital of Asia – perhaps of the world! Napaling Reef is also the location of the famous sardine run of Bohol. When we get ready to leave the center for our diving, we follow Napaling Drive for about 300 meters, and then we immediately have access to our dive site Napaling. We don’t use a boat for training and courses; being able to dive directly from shore gives us incredible flexibility and convenience to run our courses.

Not only are our dive spot and house reef fantastic, but so are our Freedive Academy, accommodation, 25-meter pool, classrooms, and dive gear. We want to teach pure freediving at the highest level, and we do this with highly skilled and internationally recognized instructors.

 

If you want to learn real freediving and get a taste of the freediver lifestyle, you will love your course with us!

This is how it is to do a Beginner Freediving Course with Us!

Please note that this video was shot at our first location. We still dive at the same incredible Napaling Reef with the sardines but moved about 300 meters down the road to a brand-new and fully equipped dive center with bungalows and a two-lane 25-meter pool.

We teach beginner freediving courses in the following languages. If your language is not there, no worries. We always have international freedivers around, and we often work with translators.

Please contact us today to book your course or to have us answer any of your questions.

If you want a quick reply, please use the short form on this page.

For more detailed information about Courses, Accommodation, Prices, etc. Please follow the below links.

Classroom Training
Exam
dive centre Panglao Entrance

Explore Breath-hold Diving and Surprise Yourself!

It’s incredible what the human body is capable of. It’s pretty common for guests to come here, and in the first classroom session, we get them to hold their breath for 3 or 3:30 minutes. We have people diving down to 20 meters in the first session. Join us for your beginner freediver course, and you’ll be surprised by your capabilities!

Freediving SSI Level 1 Course
Molchanovs Wave 1 Certification
Freediving SSI Level 2 Course
Molchanovs Wave 2 Certification

Just fill in the form, and our support team, who are all freedivers too, will get back to you usually within hours – if they’re not diving 😉

Name*
Estimated Arrival Date*

Learning Freediving at our Dive Center in Panglao!

You will get to learn the Ins and Outs of an Amazing Sport!

You’ve already read that our dive center in Panglao is located right smack on the only access road to the famous Napaling Reef. We dive without a boat, directly from the shore, at any time, at the world-famous freediver playground with a massive drop-off, the sardine run, with regular sightings of whale sharks, mantas, and some of the biggest ocean dwellers.

You know that the Freedive Academy is an officially registered business and dive center, that our instructors are all trained and certified according to the latest global standards in safe and progressive freediving, and that the academy is fully equipped with its own private 25-meter pool, that all our classrooms have the needed tools like oximeters, spirometers and anatomical models to teach high-level freediving and that the freediving gear we use is all premium gear tested and inspected regularly.

You also understood that we only teach in small groups of a maximum of 2 or 3 students, so each student gets lots of one-on-one time with their instructor, personal attention, and practice time. This results in well-trained students and higher passing rates—even among those who are a little bit less confident swimmers or scared to go into the ocean. You are now ready to start your beginner freediving course!

The 3 Freediving Certification Agencies we work with;

When you take a freediving course, the course materials are usually not written or developed by the dive center but by so-called freediving agencies. There are quite a few different freediving agencies, and they all have somewhat different rules and regulations freediving centers must abide by. These rules and regulations are called training standards that are put in place for safe and progressive teaching. Breaking the standards of these agencies can lead to unsafe practices and can result in the instructor being banned from teaching courses for these agencies. Proper and professional dive centers will never break standards.

In Panglao, we offer freediving courses from the three leading freediving certification agencies: SSI, AIDA, and Molchanovs. SSI and AIDA are the most renowned, acknowledged, and oldest international training agencies for recreational freediving or breath-hold diving.

The scuba training agency SSI is the oldest organization, founded well over 50 years ago. They started teaching freediving almost 20 years ago and have the largest freediving center network in the world. The SSI freediving courses are recreational and easily accessible; SSI covers topics like marine wildlife, coral identification, and waves, tides, and currents.

AIDA International was the first organization to develop courses and has an incredibly rich history in freediving. They have been teaching and regulating competitive freediving since 1992. People still see AIDA as the classic freediving agency teaching technical and academic-based freediving, but we are also quite passionate and romantic about AIDA International. AIDA is also the agency that regulates most of the global freediving competitions.

The youngest freediving agency is Molchanovs. The Molchanovs Training Agency was founded by Natalia Molchanova and her son Alexey Molchanovs. Alexey officially opened our dive center in Panglao in 2015. Natalia is the most successful freediver who ever lived, known as the queen of freediving, with over 40 World Records and Championship wins. Alexey has over 30 World Records and Championship wins and is still going strong.

The Molchanov Education System is also a popular freediving agency since it’s ‘powered’ and supported by some of the best freedivers in the world. Their courses are about technical freediving. The courses are technical and all-around, meaning that you practice all different disciplines like bifins, no fins, a little bit of monofin, and free immersion, which is pulling up and down the line. Plus, after the course, you will get access to a mostly community website where Molchanovs offers mostly free training plans, exercises, and webinars for those keen to develop themselves further.

In the end, the agency you choose for your beginner freediving course matters little—the instructor and dive center matter most. You want to learn freediving from a highly skilled, professional, certified according to the highest global standards, and fun instructor – yes, fun! 🙂 We want you to have a great time here at the academy!

Instructor Training Centre

The Differences in the Beginner Courses of SSI, AIDA, and Molchanovs!

The price and the duration are the same for each agency’s beginner freediving course, but there are definitely some differences.

Below are all the performance requirements for the SSI Freediver Course, the course completion requirements for the AIDA 2 Beginner Course, and the course requirements for the Molchanovs Wave 1 Freediving Course.

Although not everyone will pass these course requirements, they are very well-doable for everyone. Problems like equalization or stress can happen. Please remember that our instructors are well-trained, calm, and professional, often making students surpass their expectations. You will be surprised by your capabilities. Breath holds of over 3 minutes and 15 to 20 meters dives during beginner courses are quite common.

Please note: because of the table this page is best viewed on tablet or desktop.

Skills Requirements

  • Minimum Age
  • Swim Non-Stop
  • Dynamic Bi Fins (DYNB)
  • Dynamic Arm Stroke Only
  • Static Breath Hold
  • Constant Weight Bi Fins (CWTB)
  • Free Immersion
    (Pulling Up and Down)
  • CWTB Buddying
  • CWTB Rescue
  • Arm Stroke Only Ascent
  • Mask Removal Ascent

Molchanovs
Wave 1

  • 16years
  • 200mtr.
  • 30mtr.
  • ---
  • 1:30min.
  • 12 - 20mtr.
  • 12 - 20mtr.
  • 6 - 10mtr.
  • 6 - 10mtr.
  • ---
  • ---

SSI Level 1

  • 12years
  • 100mtr.
  • 30mtr.
  • 15mtr.
  • ---
  • 10 - 20mtr.
  • ---
  • ---
  • 10mtr.
  • 10mtr.
  • 10mtr.

AIDA 2

  • 16years
  • 200mtr.
  • 40mtr.
  • ---
  • 2min.
  • 12 - 20mtr.
  • ---
  • 5 - 10mtr.
  • 5mtr.
  • ---
  • ---

Please get in touch with us today to book your course – we’ve seen it many, many times!

Taking a Beginner Freediving Course can be Life Changing!

If you want a quick reply, please use the short form on this page.

For more detailed information about Courses, Accommodation, Prices, etc. Please follow the below links.

Yoga Class
Beginner Course
Passing the Course

Explore Breath-hold Diving and Surprise Yourself!

It’s incredible what the human body is capable of. It’s pretty common for guests to come here, and in the first classroom session, we get them to hold their breath for 3 or 3:30 minutes. We have people diving down to 20 meters in the first session. Join us for any recreational level, and you’ll be surprised by your capabilities!

Freediving SSI Level 1 Course
Molchanovs Wave 1 Certification
Freediving SSI Level 2 Course
Molchanovs Wave 2 Certification

Just fill in the form, and our support team, who are all freedivers too, will get back to you usually within hours – if they’re not diving 😉

Name*
Estimated Arrival Date*

The One-Day Introduction to Freediving

The Basic Freediving Course is a Great Introduction to a New Adventure!

You want to start or learn how to freedive, but budget or time are limitations. No problem. The Freedive Academy Introduction to Freediving, the SSI Basic Freediving Course, or the AIDA 1 course is a great start, too. Unlike the recommended official Level 1 or Beginner Course, which takes 2 or 2,5 days and is more expensive, the introduction is only a one-day course.

During this one-day event, you’ll learn breath-holding, the safety and buddy systems, you will learn about freediving physiology, freediving gear, and much more. In 1 pool session and 1 open water session on the line and the reef, we’ll teach you basic freediving skills like proper finning and efficiently diving down. The one-day program is limited to a depth of -10 meters.

The Basic Freediving Course is a lot of fun and a great activity for you and your friends and family to do together!

Course Overview Introduction to Freediving

The Introduction to Freediving Beginner Courses SSI Basic and AIDA 1!

Do you want to get a taste of what it is like to dive on a single breath?! Great, the SSI Basic Freediving course, the AIDA 1, or the Freedive Academy Introduction Day is an excellent way to start in the big blue. The Basic Freediving course is a one-day introduction course and is a lot of fun! During this day, you will have a pool session in the morning, and in the afternoon, we’ll take you diving into the ocean.

We’ll discuss breathing and breath-hold techniques, safety procedures, and equalization techniques in the classroom, and we’ll work on your skills in the pool. In the afternoon session, you have the option to dive with us along our fantastic house reef – one of the most beautiful coral walls of the island, or you can train on the line as the freedivers usually do.

Please note: The one-day introduction course really is an introduction to freediving. If you want to develop your skills further, have the time and financial means, and like to be challenged, we highly recommend starting with the proper SSI Level 1, Molchanovs Wave 1, or AIDA 2 course. Then, after this course, you can proceed with the intermediate level, the SSI Level 2, Molchanovs Wave 2, or AIDA 3.

After, for example, the SSI Basic Freediving course, you still need to complete the SSI Level 1 Course to progress to the next level.

On this page, you will find an overview of the different freediving agencies and different levels and how they match each other.

 

Price per person: $135 without certification

Price per person: $175 with SSI Basic or AIDA 1 certification

Be sure to contact us. Group or Package Discounts may apply.

The above price includes taxes, snorkelling fee, rental of freediving gear, use of the facility, study materials and certification fees.

Be 10 years of age or older (with parent or guardian consent).

Be able to swim a distance of 25 meters without any swim or buoyancy aids.

The Basic Freediving Course introduces you to the world of freediving. If, after this, you want to continue with your Molchanovs Wave 1, the SSI Level 1 or AIDA 2, you’ll get a nice discount on the second-course price since we’ll make this course day part of your Level 1 freediving course. This discount only applies to the Freedive Academy programs and if the course continues directly after the introduction day.

Please get in touch with us today to book your Introduction to Freediving!

Let us Surprise You! Start Holding Your Breath! We’ll Have Fun!

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For more detailed information about Courses, Accommodation, Prices, etc. Please follow the below links.

Roping Workshop
Stretching Diagram
Static Coaching

Explore Breath-hold Diving and Amaze Yourself!

It’s incredible what the human body is capable of. It’s pretty common for guests to come here, and in the first classroom session, we get them to hold their breath for 3 or 3:30 minutes. We have people diving down to 20 meters in the first session. Join us for any recreational level, and you’ll be surprised by your capabilities!

Freediving SSI Level 1 Course
Molchanovs Wave 1 Certification
Freediving SSI Level 2 Course
Molchanovs Wave 2 Certification

Just fill in the form, and our support team, who are all freedivers too will get back to you usually within hours – if they’re not diving 😉

Name*
Estimated Arrival Date*

Doing More with the Beginner Freediving Course!

It is a lot of fun combining your course with a freediving specialty!

People freedive for different reasons. Some people like to learn freediving for the sport, some for the freedom of not using any breathing apparatus, and some for the photos, friendships, and social side of freediving.

Usually, students book a pool-side bungalow with us for 4 or 5 days, and then after their course, they still want to learn more. When this happens, we can offer great freediving packages with a freediving course, a specialty or coaching, accommodation, airport pickup and dropoff, and even motorbike rental to travel around the island freely.

When students are staying 6 or 7 days with us, we highly recommend doing our most popular package, the Level 1 and 2 combo – this is awesome and serious freediving 🙂 But when you don’t have the time or want to take it a bit slower, joining a nofins, monofin, or training techniques specialty is also a lot of fun. If you like some photos of your new skills, we can organize a photo shoot with our professional in-house underwater photographer and even combine it with a mermaid course. Look at some of our options to make your stay with us even more exciting.

 

Freediving Specialities and Workshops

Taking your Freediving to the Next Level!

There are workshops and specialty programs available for each level of freediving.

Basic Speciality Programs:

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    Coral Identification
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    Fish Identification
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    Marine Ecology
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    Night & Limited Visibility
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    Photo & Video
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    Sea Turle Ecology

Pool & Level 1:

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    Free Immersion
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    Monofin
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    No Fins Freediving
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    Scooter / DPV Diving
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    Training Tables
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    Wreck Diving

Level 2 & Level 3:

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    Variable Weight
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    Competion Freediver
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    Competition Safety

Workshops:

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    Mouthfill Equalisation
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    Trainingplans
Monofin Speciality Course
Marine Ecology Speciality Course
Fish Identification Speciality Course
Photo & Video Speciality Course
Scooter Speciality Course
Night Diving Speciality Course

We teach all freediving specialties in English and some in German, French, Chinese, and Philippine languages. However, we teach the Specialty Instructor courses only in English and Dutch.

English and Dutch Flag
If you want a quick reply, please use the short form on this page.

For more detailed information about Courses, Accommodation, Prices, etc. Please follow the below links.