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Looking to Participate in Your First Freediving Competition? Check Out This Guide!

We've started to get questions from freedivers looking to participate in their first freediving competition. In this blog post, we answer the top five questions freedivers want to know.

is competitive freediving dangerous?

While it is never a good idea to push past your current capabilities and training, a freediving competition is probably one of the safer places to perform maximal dive attempts. Competition organizers work to ensure that an experienced and dedicated safety team is trained to recognize if an athlete is in distress, and they have emergency protocols and an experienced medical team to assist in case of an emergency. It is standard for competition organizers to ask athletes what their personal bests are in disciplines they plan to compete in and when the personal best was achieved. If an athlete makes a competition announcement that greatly exceeds their personal best, the organizers will check in with the athlete to ensure that he or she is attempting a safe and reasonable performance dive.

I'm nervous about joining in a competition for the first time because I'm not a deep diver. What are competitions like for new athletes?

If you are worried about competition nerves, don't be! It's perfectly normal for freedivers to feel the competition jitters sometime in their freediving career. With practice, nerves can be managed to set you up for a strong performance in competition. Not only are freediving competitions an excellent way to meet freedivers from other parts of the US or other countries, but you have the opportunity to meet freedivers of all experience levels in a supportive and friendly environment! Competitions are an excellent way to learn skills from more seasoned freedivers to improve your own freediving practice. Even if you don't consider yourself a deep diver, the experience is empowering and educational. If you decide to compete regularly, you'll see the same people at other competitions and get to reunite with friends!

What freediving disciplines are there to compete in?

There are both pool and depth competitions, and you can read more about specific disciplines below.

*While records are usually broken using a monofin due to efficiency, competition rules allow the athlete to perform in the DYN and CWT disciplines in either a monofin or bifins. To view the US national records and rankings, click the buttons below to lead you to the websites of the respective agencies. To view current national and international rankings for AIDA, go to the AIDA website. You can select the discipline, country, continent, gender, and year to get specific results.

How can i prepare for my first freediving competition?

  1. Register to become a member of the national chapter for the agency you would like to compete in, pay all dues, and make sure your registration is active. In this US, this would be the US Freediving Federation (CMAS) or USA Freediving (AIDA). For AIDA, you can request that your status be set to active by emailing

  2. Register with the competition organizer, pay all fees, and stay tuned to any updates from the organizers to help you through the competition registration process.

  3. Get a medical form signed by your doctor clearing you to dive. The competition organizer will send you the required forms as the competition date gets closer. While a competition doctor may be able to clear you to dive and sign the forms when you arrive, it may be easier to get these forms taken care of by your primary doctor before you travel.

  4. Read the agency rules and become familiar with how each discipline will be judged. It is important to practice your dives how you would perform them in competition, including following all competition rules for your start, your dive, and your surface protocol. While we've given some pointers in this post, click the buttons below for links to the complete competition rules for AIDA and CMAS.

  5. Consider getting a coach for training and competition. A coach will be familiar with competition rules, assist you in avoiding common competition mistakes, and help you set up a training plan that will help you best achieve your competition goals. If you don't have a coach during the competition, consider asking a more experienced freediver to be your coach for your competition performances. Many freedivers are more than willing to help a fellow athlete out!

Bifins dive during the CMAS Freediving Depth World Championships
Bifins dive during the CMAS Freediving Depth World Championships 2023. Photo by Mitch Brown.

where can i find a good competition to join for my first time?

There are a variety of amazing competitions coming up in 2024, and below are some competitions that are good for first time competitors to participate in.

We hope that you enjoyed this blog post. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or shoot us a message. Information surrounding competitions can change quickly, so please reach out if you have any information that you think should go in this article! Check back as we'll be updating this post with competitions we hear of. If you think you might want to get into competitive freediving and want to embark on your freediving journey, feel free to reach out to us for freediving courses in Las Vegas. We look forward to offering freediving courses for the season starting in April 2024. If you don't live in Las Vegas but are interested in organizing a course near you, feel free to reach out! Learn more on our website or on Instagram.

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