Learn To Free Dive On Koh Tao

I used to wind surf. It was great fun. Being out in the warm sun, occasionally getting dumped into the cool river or ocean, skipping along the water. The only problem was that feeling of freedom lumbers you with a small mountain of equipment. Before you could get to the fun part you needed to load everything onto you car. The board, the mast, the sail, the boom plus an assortment of bits and pieces. Then you drive to your destination, unpack and assemble it all. After you're done you pack it up, drive home, unpack it all, clean it all, repack it and put it away. It's a lot of work. And windsurfing gear isn't cheap.

Part of the reason I've never been keen to learn to scuba dive is that I have a feeling its going to be very similar. Lots of gear to lug around and lots of expense.

There is an alternative that seems like it has many of the pleasures of scuba diving without quite so many down sides. It's called “free diving”. It's concept is incredibly simple. Instead of using a bunch of equipment to allow you to stay underwater, you simply hold your breath. I'm not making this up.

Here's a video that demonstrates how far people are able to go with this.

While the concept is simple there is a lot of training involved if you're to do it safely. Free diving comes with a fairly obvious set of inherent risks. Drowning being the most obvious. Formal training is advisable so you can minimize those risks.

Among the legions of scuba diving schools on Koh Tao there are a number of people running free diving courses. The courses typically run for two or three days and include a lot of safety training, theory and practice sessions combined with some slightly more unusual skills like meditation and Pranayamas (yoga of breathing).

Sadly, I haven't actually done one of these courses to learn to free dive myself. When we were on Koh Tao I wasn't in the best health. I will at some point now that I've finally stopped coughing 🙂

As always, your life is your own, but if you find yourself at a loose end on the islands consider learning to free dive on Koh Tao. It could be a viable alternative to learning to scuba dive and, if you can scuba dive already, apparently the free diving training is helpful for you to. As I haven't done a course I'm not in any position to recommend anyone in particular so I'll leave you to do your own googling. Have fun!

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