Difference between freediving and Scuba Diving

Do you want to know the Difference between free diving and scuba diving? Read this blog to know more about the major differences between free diving and scuba diving. Also, find the best scuba diving centre in Kerala

scuba diving in kerala

Scuba diving has caught the fancy of youngsters and adults all across the globe. People flock from different areas to try scuba diving, snorkelling, free diving etc.

Until a few years ago, scuba diving was not that preferred activity. But with the availability of the equipment, it has become one of the most preferred water activity. There is another reason for this craze of scuba diving. Earlier, people were scared of exploring the depths of the water because no formal training was provided to them. But with the advancement, nearly all the places that allow people the luxury of scuba diving are home to scuba diving centres where one can easily sign up for the formal training or a short course.

There are a large group of people who confuse scuba diving with freediving. Though they appear to be similar, there are some minute differences between the two.

What is free-diving?

Freediving also commonly referred to as skin diving is a form of an experiment or sport where divers usually plunge in the water and try holding their breath for as much time as possible. Here, divers do not have the luxury of using breathing equipment which enables them to breathe underwater.
There are certain limits that a diver has to face while freediving. These limits are described as follows:

  • Divers cannot remain underwater as long as they want to.

  • When divers plunge in the water, they are at the risk of releasing the breath when it becomes impossible to hold it any further. This restricts them from wandering in the depths and they have to remain near the surface if they are an amateur.

  • They cannot make use of breathing equipment.

  • They get exposed to high pressure which has physiological effects on their body. They are unable to hold their breath any longer once the pressure increases too much.

  • They have to continuously push their limits if they want to stay underwater for a longer duration.

Which activities fall under the category of free-diving?

Following activities fall under the category of free-diving:

  1. Under football

  2. Snorkelling

  3. Underwater target shooting

  4. Underwater rugby, etc.

What is scuba diving?

Scuba diving is a form of activity where divers take help of breathing equipment to survive underwater. This breathing equipment is known as scuba. In scuba diving, divers do not have to concern themselves with holding the breath as they already have breathing equipment that supplies them with oxygen. In India, Kerala is one of the best and the most famous places to enjoy scuba diving. Every year, millions of tourists visit Kerala to explore the amazing corals and marine flora and fauna of the region. If you are also planning to travel to Kerala, then you should try scuba diving in Kerala

What is the equipment used by scuba divers?

List of equipment used by scuba divers is as follows:

Breathing apparatus

It is a piece of equipment that is carried by the diver while going underwater. It gives them the luxury to breathe underwater without having to hold the breath.


Open circuit scuba makes it possible for the diver to inhale the gas for once and for all. They do not need to inhale the gas again and again.


Rebreathers are very different from the open circuit. They are relatively more expensive and a diver needs professional training before he is deemed eligible to use a rebreather underwater. It is so because a lot of potential risks are associated with the use of this equipment and if not used or maintained properly while the diver is underwater, it can become fatal or life-threatening.

Gas Mixtures

Some prefer using a mixture of gases while they are underwater. Nitrox is the most preferred gas mixture.

What are the risks associated with scuba diving?

The risks associated with scuba diving are as follows:

Decompression Sickness

While you are underwater, you may breathe compressed air. Breathing compressed air results in the absorption of nitrogen by your tissues. When you start coming out of the water, the pressure starts decreasing. The nitrogen present in your body tissues form bubbles and cause a lot on in your body. They can also damage certain body tissues.
To avoid depression sickness, you should maintain a steady speed while diving underwater and while coming to the surface. You should not exceed the prescribed limits if you do not have any formal training for the same.


Apart from decompression sickness, divers are also prone to the risk of drowning. Many divers get drowned while coming to the top of the surface. It happens either because the diver starts panicking or because of breathing apparatus or some other equipment malfunctions.
To prevent the incidences of drowning, a diver must be given proper training and the breathing apparatus and other equipment should be checked thoroughly.

Aquatic Life

Though this is unusual, divers also get attacked by aquatic animals. To avoid instances of getting attached, a diver should maintain a safe distance from the aquatic creatures and treat them and their surroundings with respect.

What is the difference between scuba diving and freediving?

The list of differences between scuba diving and freediving is as follows:

  1. Scuba divers do not take the formal training of holding their breath under the water. It's because they have a breathing apparatus to support them underwater. Freedivers, on the other hand, have to undergo the training where they are taught to hold their breath for as long as possible.

  2. Scuba divers dive underwater to explore the aquatic life. They aim to observe the aquatic life by being amidst the aquatic creatures. Marine life fascinates them. Freedivers on the other hand dive underwater to see how long they can hold their breath. It is like a game for them where they are expected to push their holding capacity each time. They challenge themselves and try to achieve a new target every single time.

  3. Scuba divers have to rely upon the use of equipment while this is not true for freedivers. Freedivers have the luxury to either use or not use the breathing apparatus and other similar equipment.

Where can you learn Snorkelling?

If you wish to learn Snorkeling, there's some good news. Many places give training for snorkeling in Kovalam. You can find several scuba diving centres in Kerala that are known for their team of professionals who give formal training in scuba diving.
Sign up yourself at a scuba diving centre and experience the thrill that it provides. Good luck!


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