There are many different types of Freediving Disciplines. Erin Magee tells you a little about each one of the disciplines and in particular, the discipline called Constant Ballast, which she currently holds the US Women’s National Record at 81m/269 feet.
Erin Magee is owner and head instructor of Pacific Coast Freediving. She currently holds the US Women’s National Record in a discipline called Constant Ballast at a depth of 81m/269 feet. She also broke the record five other times previously, but this is the current record.
The discipline called Constant Ballast or Constant Weight with fins is a discipline where the person is not changing their weight throughout the dive. If they are wearing weight, the weight goes down with the person and then back up with them to the surface; so the weight stays with them throughout the entire dive. Whether or not they are wearing weight, they cannot use any type of assistance from a flotation device. A monofin or a long blade bifin can be used to get down to depth and then back up.
There is also a discipline called Constant Weight and No Fins. It uses the same idea where you cannot change your weight throughout your dive but you are unable to use fins for this discipline. People use their arms and legs to stroke down to their depth and back up to the surface.
Free Immersion is yet another discipline of freediving. The person is allowed to use the assistance of a line to pull themselves down to their depth and also back up. They are not allowed to use fins.
There are also pool disciplines. Static Apnea is one of the major ones. This involves laying still, face down in the water, holding your breath for time.
There is also Dynamic Apnea with and without fins. You hold your breath, swim across the pool and back, with or without fins, as many times as you can on a single breath.
During all of these disciplines, there is a great deal of safety protocol being followed. During all of Erin’s record dives, which you can view on you tube, she has had at least three freediving safeties in the top column of the water and technical divers at depth and other safeties as well at the surface.
There are two other disciplines than the ones discussed where people do use assistance to get down to depth and back up. One is called No Limits Freediving. You use one breath and take a sled, which is a weighted apparatus that the diver holds onto and then once they reach the bottom, they take a lift bag or a flotation device that takes them back up to the surface. The current record for that discipline is 702 feet.
The other is Variable Ballast. The diver uses assistance to get down to depth, usually a sled or weight and on the way back up they either pull themselves back up with a line or kick themselves up to the surface. Often they will do both to get themselves back up.