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Freediving in Las Vegas: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your First Set of Freediving Gear

Updated: Jan 11

Introduction:

Freediving is a thrilling underwater adventure that allows you to explore the mesmerizing world beneath the surface without the constraints of scuba equipment. In a surprising location like Las Vegas, where desert landscapes dominate the scenery, hidden aquatic treasures await those who are willing to plunge into the depths. For example, did you know that Lake Mead is an excellent place to train depth just a 30 minute drive away from Las Vegas? In addition, Lake Mohave and the Colorado River have incredible fresh water dive sites to explore for fun!


Your First Set of Freediving Gear:

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, choosing the right freediving gear is essential. In this guide, we'll walk you through the necessary and optional equipment to rent or purchase in order to get ready for your freediving course with Aquanauts Freediving.




Mask:

  • Low Volume: Look for a low-volume mask with a flexible silicone skirt that provides a good seal. As you dive deeper, it is essential to have a mask that accommodates the compression of the air in your mask at depth.

  • Clear Lenses: While mirrored lenses definitely look awesome, purchase a mask with clear lenses for your first dive mask. As eyes are essential to nonverbal communication underwater, clear lenses will help improve safety by ensuring that your instructor and freediving buddies can see your eyes while you dive.

  • Proper Fit: We definitely recommend that you try the mask on prior to taking a freediving course to ensure that it has a good seal on your face. To check if the mask is a good fit, we recommend the following:

    • Look towards the ceiling and set the mask on your face without using the mask strap. Have someone look to see if they can see gaps between the mask skirt and your face. If they can, try another mask.

    • Set the mask on your face without using the mask strap and suck in through your nose. Tilt your chin down. If you can keep the mask on your face without holding it with your hands, the mask may be a good fit.

    • Feel free to reach out to us to find a local dive shop to try masks on in person, or feel free to browse recommendations below:


Soft Snorkel:

  • Material: Choose a flexible and comfortable snorkel made from soft silicone.

  • Purge Valve: While it isn't a deal breaker if you have a snorkel with a purge valve, they aren't necessary and we recommend that you avoid purchasing snorkels with a purge valve. Below is the snorkel that we rent out to students in freediving courses:


Wetsuit:

Freediving-Specific Wetsuits: Be sure to purchase or rent a freediving-specific wetsuit with a hood that will keep you warm for up to 3 continuous hours in the water. Just as one would not use a golf club to play baseball or a basketball to play soccer, freediving is a unique sport with particular gear requirements. While it may be tempting to use a wetsuit that you already use for scuba diving or other water sports, you may have to purchase additional days of training if you get too cold to complete course requirements within the allotted 2-3 days of the course. Select a wetsuit appropriate for the water temperature, time of year, and your cold tolerance.


Wetsuit Thickness: Below are some guidelines for finding the right wetsuit. Aquanauts Freediving has an inventory of 5 mm freediving wetsuits available for rent or purchase. These wetsuits are appropriate for freediving courses scheduled between March and November. You are more than welcome to schedule a time to try on a wetsuit, and we will place an order once you find the perfect size for you!

  • December through February: If you plan to freedive during these months, purchase a 7 mm open cell freediving wetsuit. Water temperatures can be in the low 50's during these months at most dive sites.

  • March through April; October through November: Water temperatures in the spring begin may be warmer at the surface but can still be in the 50's at depth. We recommend a 5 mm open cell freediving wetsuit for these months. Remember that water temperatures below the Hoover Dam can still be quite chilly even in the summer, so a 7 mm wetsuit may still be appropriate if you get cold easily.

  • May through September: These are the warmest months in the water and a 5 mm wetsuit is generally suitable for the amount of time that you will be in the water for a freediving course. If you are a certified freediver and looking to train depth in Lake Mead, you may be able to comfortably dive in a 3 mm wetsuit if you have good cold tolerance.


Weight Belt:

Material: Decide between a rubber or silicone weight belt based on personal preference. Canvas weight belts used for scuba diving are not appropriate as they do not stretch and may interfere with your ability to take a full breath.



Weights:

How Much Weight: You will learn how to weight yourself properly in your freediving course. Many students taking a course in fresh water use between 4-12 pounds depending on the dive site, the buoyancy of their wetsuit, and their body composition. It is EXTREMELY important not to dive with too much weight as this can present a safety concern should you have a freediving emergency.

Increments: Consider purchasing weights in 1-2 pound increments.



Fins:

Material: While there are a wide range of options for freediving fins, a plastic fin is perfect for your first set! As you want to use your one breath of air efficiently for your dive, choose long-bladed fins for efficient propulsion and maneuverability.

Size: To ensure that you are able to wear your fins year-round, consider purchasing one size up from your normal shoe size. With the exception of the warmest summer months, we require students to use a 3-5 mm neoprene sock during courses to maintain body temperature. You'll want a fin that can accommodate the added thermal protection.



Neoprene Gloves and Socks:

Thickness: We require students to purchase at least 3 mm gloves and socks if they are taking a course between October and March. While 3 mm gloves are allow you the perfect balance between warmth and dexterity, 5 mm gloves and socks may be appropriate for the winter months, if you have poorer cold tolerance, or if you are diving below the Hoover Dam for longer periods of time. While we have listed options available online for purchase, dive shops in Las Vegas usually have these in stock and we are happy to provide recommendations.






Optional Gear:

Dive Computer:

While a dive computer is not required for a freediving course, you may want to consider purchasing one as you progress in your freediving journey. Dive watches can provide valuable information such as depth, dive time, water temperature, dive site location, and ascent and descent rates. You can also program some dive watches to have alarms to help you keep track of depth and bottom time.




Dive Buoy Setup and Dive Flags:

In many of the dive sites surrounding Las Vegas, freedivers share the water with boaters. It is highly recommended to invest in a dive buoy setup with flags for added safety and visibility. Attach a dive flag to the buoy to alert boaters and other watercraft to your presence.



Conclusion:

Freediving in Las Vegas offers a unique opportunity to explore underwater realms in an unexpected setting. By selecting the right freediving gear, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience beneath the surface. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced freediver, carefully choosing your equipment will enhance your adventures and allow you to discover the hidden wonders that lie beneath the waters of Las Vegas. Dive in, explore, and embrace the unexpected beauty that awaits you in the depths. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about purchasing your first set of freediving gear.


DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains affiliate links to products on Amazon. This means that if you click on these links and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. The affiliate links are provided to help keep the cost of freediving courses down. We only recommend products that we have personally used or actively see in the freediving community. However, please note that the decision to purchase any product is ultimately yours, and you are under no obligation to use the provided affiliate links. Your trust is important, and we want to be transparent about the financial relationship between this blog and the products or services mentioned. The commissions earned through affiliate links contribute to the time and effort invested in creating valuable content for you. If you have any questions or concerns about the affiliate links used in this blog post, please feel free to reach out. We appreciate your support and hope you find the recommended products helpful.

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