Free Diving Disciplines

Static Apnea (STA)

The free diver holds his/her breath for as long as possible with his/her mouth and nose submerged. Free divers generally float face down in the water.

Static apnea is the only discipline measuring the duration one can hold their breath. Performances can be done and recognized in a pool or open water (sea, lake, river, etc.) environment.

Dynamic Apnea With Fins (DYN)

The free diver swims in a horizontal position underwater attempting to cover the greatest possible distance. Any propulsion aids other than fins are prohibited.

Dynamic apnea with fins is the most typical of both disciplines measuring the distance in free diving, because of the specific means of propulsion: long fins or a monofin.

Performances are only recognized in swimming pools with a minimum length of 25 meters. The free diver swims no more than one meter (3.28 feet) underwater during the

Dynamic Apnea Without Fins (DNF)

The free diver swims in a horizontal position underwater attempting to cover the greatest possible distance. Any propulsion aids are prohibited.

Dynamic apnea without fins is the most natural of both disciplines measuring the distance for many free divers, because it doesn’t require any propulsion material, just a very good technique.

Performances are only recognized in swimming pools with a minimum length of 25 meters. The free diver swims no more than one meter (3.28 feet) underwater during the

Constant Weight (CWT)

The free diver descends and ascends kicking or by using his/her arms without pulling on the rope or changing or removing ballast. This must be completely unassisted. A single hold of the rope to stop the descent and start the ascent is allowed. This type of free diving is the truest form of free diving and the most respected category in the free diving community because of the physical element involved.

Constant weight and static apnea are two disciplines that are considered for international team competition.

Constant Weight Without Fins (CNF)

The free diver descends and ascends under water using only his own muscle strenght, without the use of propulsion equipment and without pulling on the rope.

Constant weight without fins is the most difficult sportive depth discipline, because of absolutely no propulsion material to go down in the water.

This category needs a perfect coordination between propulsion movements, equalization, technique and buoyancy.

Free Immersion (FIM)

The free diver must descend and ascend by pulling on a rope without the use of fins. Weight can be worn, but the free diver must return to the surface with the same amount of weight. Free immersion provides one of the purest sensations in the water because of power of each pull on the rope as you descend and ascend.

Variable Weight (VWT)

The free diver descends with the help of a ballast weight, such as a weighted sled with up to a third of their body weight and ascends using his/her own power by either kicking and/or pulling on the rope.

Variable weight is one of the depth disciplines using a weighted sled to descend. Older sleds were designed to carry the free diver down headfirst. The newer sleds are designed to carry the free diver down feet first.

No Limit (NLT)

The free diver descends on a weighted sled and returns to the surface using a lift bag or inflatable vest that is inflated by the free diver at depth. Upon arrival at depth, the free diver disconnects the lift bag portion of the sled from the weighted portion of the sled, and inflates the lift bag by opening a cylinder valve. The free diver’s descent rate is seven feet per second. No limit is the deepest category in free diving. It involves little physical exertion and takes an enormous amount of mental control. The free diver must be able to equalize quickly and easily as he/she descends. No limit free diving is the absolute depth discipline in the sport of free diving.