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Scuba Diving vs. Freediving: Which is Right for You?

Diving is an exciting way to explore the ocean. You might find wreckages, watch marine life, or enjoy the tranquility of the sea. Interestingly, your diving style might alter your experience of the underwater world. Today, we’re breaking down the differences between scuba diving and freediving. Aside from the obvious distinctions in equipment (i.e., tank or no tank), we’ll consider how diving differs between each one.

How is freediving different from scuba diving?

The primary difference between these two types of diving is the breathing method. Put simply, scuba divers use a tank for breathing underwater, while freedivers hold their breath. It’s important to note both require professional training to ensure your safety. 

Aside from their apparent differences, however, there are other points to consider if you choose between the two dives. 


For most, both diving styles aim to learn about the ocean. However, scuba divers have the advantage of longer diving sessions, thanks to their breathing tanks. While your depths may be limited depending on your certification, you can take your time exploring underwater. 

On the other hand, freedivers don’t have to carry lots of equipment, so they can move around more easily, glide through the water, and explore every crevice they find. Furthermore, people who train in freediving often describe it as limitless. By taking the proper precautions and training your body, you can push the boundaries.


Once in the water, you want to enjoy the adventure to the maximum. Freediving offers an uninterrupted experience as divers don’t need bulky equipment. While it’s essential to invest in quality gear, such as sustainable wetsuits and masks from places like agulhasocean.com, freediving offers a more immersive session. Moreover, without an oxygen tank, divers won’t have bubbles in their vision, which could disturb marine life. 

That said, your eyes need time to adjust when submerging yourself underwater. This is where scuba diving has the upper hand. Since your eyes have longer to adjust, scuba divers may get a clearer picture of their surroundings. For this reason, the underwater environment will look different for both divers. 


The most known distinction between scuba diving vs. freediving is self-awareness. Both diving experiences offer a unique way to explore the sea and calm the mind. Still, many people liken freediving to mindfulness practice. Since scuba divers focus on their external surroundings, their mind is still racing and excited. In contrast, to master freediving, you must train your mind and body to slow down to retain the breath. 

Many people describe freediving as an internal exploration. You direct your attention inwards, focusing on keeping yourself calm so you can hold your breath for longer. Freediving is similar to meditative practices and may increase your sense of self-awareness. 


Both sports can be sociable, but freediving gives you more opportunities to discuss each dive. Since you’re relying on holding your breath, the dives are much shorter than that of scuba divers. However, you get to talk about the dive with your friends each time you come for air. So, while scuba divers have people around them during the session, they may converse less than freedivers might. 

Closing thoughts 

In conclusion, scuba diving and freediving are unique and thrilling ways to explore the sea. Each offers its own set of advantages and challenges. While scuba diving allows for longer and deeper dives, freediving is more accessible and requires less equipment. Both activities offer an opportunity to connect with the underwater world in a personal and intimate way, and ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to personal preference. 

Whether it’s the freedom and simplicity of freediving or the convenience and safety of scuba diving, both allow you to escape the surface world and discover the deep’s beauty and mystery. It’s worth trying both to decide which one suits you best and find your own way of exploring the ocean.