Competitive Freediving Disciplines

These are some of the recognized categories:

A. Diving with constant weight (Constant Ballast)

The freediver descends and ascends using flippers and/or using his arms, without pulling on the rope and without any variation of his ballast; only allowed is the holding of the rope in one single hold (one hand or two) to stop the descent and start the ascent.

Diver descending in constant ballast

B. Diving with variable weight (Variable Ballast):

The freediver descends with the help of a sled and ascends using his/her own muscular strength arms and/or legs (either pulling or not on the rope).

C. No limits:

The freediver descends with the help of a ballast weight and ascends via a method of his own choice (balloons, etc.).

Mandy and Audry on a no-limits dive

D. Static Apnea:

The freediver makes the longest possible free dive, the body either in or on top of the water with the face in the water.

A Static Breath Hold

E. Horizontal circuits with fins (Dynamic):

The freediver moves along in a horizontal position under the water, his/her goal being the greatest distance thus covered.

Ken Parkin in Dynamic Apnea

F. Horizontal circuits without fins (Dynamic):

Same as Dynamic with fins only this circuit is completed without the use of fins.

G. Free Immersion diving:

The freediver dives to a depth, without propelling equipment, his/her goal being the depth reached (pulling or not on the rope for both the descent and the ascent).

Mandy Cruickshand on a Free Immersion Dive

Records exist for both men and women in all of these categories. Dynamic records are set in 25 or 50 meter pools. For depth freediving, records are set in either fresh or salt water conditions.