A comparison of freediving and scuba diving


The key key differences between scuba and freediving are shown below. The comparison shows that each has significant advantages.       

Scuba Diving

Do not have to hold your breath

Easier to take photographs of stills

Cannot surface rapidly

Limited  bottom time depending on depth

Decompressions are required on deeper dives

Cumbersome equipment

Relatively high cost

Noisy bubbles spook cautious fish

Shallow water blackout cannot occur (unless air runs out prior to reaching the surface)

Do not have to be as fit as for freediving less fitness acquired than in freediving

May not spearfish on scuba


Must hold your breath

Less time to get photographs of stills

Can surface at the rate your wish to*

Limited bottom time, but many visits to the bottom may be made

No decompressions required

Streamline, light equipment

Relatively low cost

Stealthy, you can readily attract cautious fish and other sea creatures

Shallow water blackout can occur

Must be fairly fit and freediving tends to increase your fitness

May spearfish with a permit


* This means that before you decide to dive an area you can do a spot dive in about two minutes to check the viz, even if it is 30 m deep, before you all descend and find there is only two meters of viz and the water is ice cold without single fish in sight.