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Thread: Taking Padi Freedive 2

  1. #1
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    Taking Padi Freedive 2

    So I had the best night last night!

    There is no freediving certification in my province or any that are within driving distance. So a group of us flew in two instructors from AIDA who are giving us the PADI 2 freediving this week/weekend.

    Last night I learned so much, and now that I'm taking this course I really think so many mers could benefit from at least the pool portion if you aren't comfortable with the open water.

    You need to do a 2min breath hold and 40m distance on a breath to pass. But, I'll tell you, they train you for it. My merwrangler who has zero experience did 1:30 on his first breath hold static, and 2 on his second! THey teach you all kinds of amazing techniques so you can glide underwater using less energy. (I did 2.5 woo woo!)

    My mermaid team brought our monofins and got properly weighted and they taught us so many tricks for better form.

    They also said if you're hydrated but still getting footcramps, it's likely due to a small change you need to make in technique and it's more prevalent in people using monofins. When I started the course I kept getting foot cramps and then with some minor adjustments I totally stopped.

    Tonight we're doing the rescue freediving, and at the end our instructors are letting my team bring our tails so they can observe us and give us feedback on technique. We are also going to learn rescue techniques while IN tails. Also my doc crew is going to film it.

    The e-learning portion was awesome. I learned so many things that I didn't know.

    For instance, there's loads of info on freediving online but a lot of it contradicts. There's only been a few studies so only some information is backed by science.
    Did you know that the urge to breathe that you get isn't from lack of oxygen? The first bit is more your lizard brain, and then it's because of carbon build up, not lack of oxygen.

    It's been such an amazing experience so far, I can't suggest it enough. And most of our entire program has little to no training or experience, so don't be intimidated.

    Our instructors knew Mermaid Linden! Was so cool!

    Here's some pics:
    https://www.facebook.com/Halifaxmerm...46859852012131

  2. #2
    I really believe that all Mers should take at least a basic freeder course, If not the intermediate. Everything that we do directly correlates into freediving. I think people see freedivers as the "competition freediving" diving deep on a line, but there is so much more than that. Most freedivers just enjoy being underwater on a breath hold.

    For me, if you want to be comfortable in the water, look like a real mermaid, Stay underwater longer, and not die.... then you should take a freediving course. Infact, IMO I recommend doing a freediving course before you buy your first silicone tail.

  3. #3
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    I am halfway through the intermediate but I have to have a medical procedure before I am cleared to do the open water diving bit. looks like spring! Now that I've done it I totally agree with you. Should be an industry standard!

    there is an issue with it being seen mostly as competition and I think this is because groups like AIDA hang very much toward competition though they offer training to every one. We were talking about that with our instructors. They did PADI for us, but are also members of AIDA.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Broussard View Post
    I really believe that all Mers should take at least a basic freeder course, If not the intermediate. Everything that we do directly correlates into freediving. I think people see freedivers as the "competition freediving" diving deep on a line, but there is so much more than that. Most freedivers just enjoy being underwater on a breath hold.

    For me, if you want to be comfortable in the water, look like a real mermaid, Stay underwater longer, and not die.... then you should take a freediving course. Infact, IMO I recommend doing a freediving course before you buy your first silicone tail.
    Very true. Too much coverage of freediving focuses on the competitive side of things.

    How should we go about making it an industry standard, as Raina says? After all, it's unlikely that clients will ask or care about something like that.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Ransom View Post
    Very true. Too much coverage of freediving focuses on the competitive side of things.

    How should we go about making it an industry standard, as Raina says? After all, it's unlikely that clients will ask or care about something like that.
    I guess that is target dependent. I think that Aquariums and dive bars are already pretty safety aware, most requiring other certifications. It should be pretty easy for a community to tell them what they should be having.

    I think the best plan would be to:
    1st, create a Society of Professional mermaids (SMP) . Upon membership this would give out a Guide to professional mermaiding that would detail everything from Courses, to what to charge, places that hire to places that insure Mer business. A good society would be able to partner with Naui, SSI, AIDA or whoever to qualify specific mermaid courses.
    2nd step would be to convince the Aquariums, hotels, dive bars that quals are necessary for safety and assume step 3 goes to plan makes insuring a mermaid show cheaper.
    The 3rd step would be talking to insurance companies about proper qualifications
    4th step would be to market Courses to the beginner community In a fun manner.

    Just a quick thought. Probably has some holes in it. but I figure, while birthday parties don't care about who the mermaid did her certificate through, the mermaids business insurance should. Even if these steps created a moderate 15-30% of the industry being freediving qualified, it would help the community grow immensely

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ransom's Avatar
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    That's a great plan! Yup, insurance and safety are always behind the innovation curve. Let's hope they don't drop too far back.

    The freediving community takes great pains to keep things insured and safe, but it's an uphill struggle -- freediving is both inherently risky and very easy to enter, an insurer's nightmare. A partnership between a key insurer and an association would do a lot to keep things affordable.

  7. #7
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    I just made a video about the experience and why I think merfolk should take it



    It has honestly opened my mind and really empowered me. I wish I had the chance to take it years ago.

  8. #8
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    1st, create a Society of Professional mermaids (SMP) . Upon membership this would give out a Guide to professional mermaiding that would detail everything from Courses, to what to charge, places that hire to places that insure Mer business. A good society would be able to partner with Naui, SSI, AIDA or whoever to qualify specific mermaid courses.
    2nd step would be to convince the Aquariums, hotels, dive bars that quals are necessary for safety and assume step 3 goes to plan makes insuring a mermaid show cheaper.
    The 3rd step would be talking to insurance companies about proper qualifications
    4th step would be to market Courses to the beginner community In a fun manner.


    I've pretty much done most of this in my country. We have a much smaller mermaid base, mainly people recreation ally in pools. Few professionals. Our company is certainly the largest of working mermaids. I've also TRIED to do that by offering professional development courses from various industry experts at the mermaid conventions I have hosted (such as NC Mermania). I think there's a lot of standards not just swimming that need to be regulated in our industry. Working with kids for example. Mers need background checks and should be held to the same standards as any other professional working with kids (such as volunteers, teachers, etc)

    I worked with our governing water safety body to create regulations for allowing mers to recreationally swim in pools, and now am working with AIDA on the freediving end of it for mers in Canada.

    I don't know if the mer community will ever accept any kind of authority. I think it'll be tricky to establish one, let alone have anyone respect it. I have the advantage at least in Canada that the industry is small enough I know everyone and have been able to help facilitate insurance, training, and standards.

    I see mermaid performing very much as circus and fire performing. Standards tend to vary based on who you go through and there will always sadly be the outliers who don't care about any. AIDA is helping us make a province based (because each province has varying laws) safety standard at least.

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