Freediving disciplines and records
Constant Weight without fins (CNF)
is seen as the purest form of free diving and the most difficult.
The free diver must descend and ascend kicking with or without fins (bi-fins or mono fins) and completely unassisted. The diver can use a line as a reference but not grabing it for any help. The free diver may wear weight, but without dropping them (whatever is taken down must be returned to the surface). The descent is the easy part. To ascend, the diver needs 80% of his strength, using all the major muscles in his body when his or her Oxygen levels are at their lowest.
• Constant Weight No Fins Male Record: 101 m (331 ft) by William Trubridge (New Zealand)
• Constant Weight No Fins Female Record: 69 m (226 ft) by Natalia Molchanovia (Russia)
Free immersion (FIM)
This discipline is a variant of the constant weight without fins. The difference is that the free diver descends and ascends by pulling on the dive line.
Free immersion is enjoyable for new free divers because the techniques are simple and it's easy to control the speed with the help of the rope.
• Free Immersion Male World Record: 121 m (396 ft) by William Trubridge (New Zealand)
• Free Immersion Female World Record: 91 m (297 ft) by Natalia Molchanova (Russia)
Constant Weight with fins (CWT)
The free diver must descend and ascend kicking with bi-fins or mono fins and completely unassisted. Same rules than for the constant weight without fins.
• Constant Weight with Fins Male Record: 128 m (418 ft) by Alexey Molchanov (Russia)
• Constant Weight with Fins Female Record: 101 m (331 ft) by Natalia Molchanova (Russia)
Variable Weight (VWT)
To descend the free diver use a sled equal to a third of the diver body weight attached to a vertical rope. This device will pull the free diver in the depth in a fast speed. In doing so the diver can save some oxygen for the ascent. To ascend, the free diver uses his own power, either in kicking or pulling on the rope.
This discipline can be dangerous because the diver can go deeper that he can actually ascend. In this situation, the free diver can also experience some issues with equalization with descending too fast. For those reasons, there is no competition for the variable weight discipline and it's only for advanced free divers.
• Variable Weight Male World Record: 145 m (474 ft) by William Winram (Canada)
• Variable Weight Female World Record: 127 m (416 ft) by Natalia Molchanova (Russia)
No limits (NLT)
The deepest depth reached in free diving in vertical descend were in the No Limit discipline. The free diver descends with a heavy sled like for the variable weight but ascends with the help of a balloon or other lifting / buoyancy devices.
The free divers does not need to swim at all, hence he or she can reach extreme limits. In other words, the free diver is completely dependant of his equipment. For this reason, No limit competition is not allowed anymore. Now you will only see No Limits competition in the famous movie the "Big Blue"!
• No-Limits Male World Record: 214 m (702 ft) by Herbert Nitsch (Austria)
• No-Limits Female World Record: 160 m (525 ft) by Tania Streeter (USA)
Dynamic Apnea with fins (DYN)
This discipline is generally practiced in a pool in a horizontal direction with fins. The free diver has to hold his or her breath and swim the furthest distance as possible. It's a good way of training during low seasons, when the sea got bad conditions.
• Dynamic Apnea Male World Record w/ Fins: 281 m (918 ft) by Goran Colak (Croatia)
• Dynamic Apnea Female Record w/ Fins: 234 m (765 ft) by Natalia Molchanova (Russia)
Dynamic Apnea without fins (DYN)
This discipline is generally practiced in a pool in a horizontal direction with fins. It's a variant of Dynamic Apnea.
• Dynamic Apnea Male World Record No Fins: 225 m (735 ft) by Goran Colak (Croatian)
• Dynamic Apnea Female World Record No Fins: 182 m (535 ft) by Natalia Molchanova (Russia)
Static Apnea (STA)
The free diver holds his or her breath, face down, floating in a swimming pool. It's the only free diving discipline where the free diver is only judge on the time he can hold his breath. Most of the beginner in free diving will start with Static Apnea as it constitute a very good training for the other disciplines of free diving.
• Static Apnea Male World Record: 11 min 35 by Stephane Misfud (France)
• Static Apnea Female World Record: 9 min 02 by Natalia Molchanova (Russia)