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Freediving, skindiving and snorkling

Discussion in 'Snorkeling / Freediving' started by Nemrod, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

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    If this is all stupid just drown me--wink. I have always equated skindiving and free diving as being one and the same. I see these activities as a form of breathhold diving where the diver often leaves the surface well behind and remains at depth quite long--say a minute or more and only surfaces to rest and recharge. On the other hand I see snorkling as primarily a surface activity involving only shallow dives. Is the a correct ascertion or am I wrong.
    Also, when skindiving/freediving do most of you use snorkels. I don't use a snorkel and if I do I stuck it in my swimsuit or in a pocket on my diveskin suit. I find snorkels terribly aggravating for some reason. I like super small and low profile masks and full foot fins such as the Plana Plus (maybe I should not mention Force Fin Pros). I also use no flotation device other than towing a tube or a kayak (with a flag etc). I usually have my watch, a wrist depth guage and maybe a small knife on my arm or waist.

    How do you guys do it and what equipement is your favorite. N
     
  2. holdingmybreath

    holdingmybreath Barracuda

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    snorkeling, freediving, skin diving.. if you hold your breath and go 1 inch under the water you're doing all of the above.. call it what you want. I tend to say "breath hold diving" in conversation when referring to what I'm doing. I use a snorkel for a lot of dives.. but generally spit it out and let it hang on my deeper dives. long fins or a mono, good low volume masks, wetsuit, weights if I'm wearing a 5mm in fresh water, weights if I'm wearing a 1.5 mm in saltwater. most of the time now a 3mm in fresh water with no weights, but I'm afraid 5mm water is here now. for close to shore I pull a tube w/cover and have on/in it a 165' of rope on a floating spool, a hand held sonar depth finder, wieght for the drop line, extra weight for me, extra mask, mask defog, lights, a cheap underwater camera somtimes. I wear a mosquito, a D3, elios wetsuit, usually sporasub fins, somtimes cressi's, cressi, mares, or other low volume mask, 3mm or 4.5mm socks, 5 finger gloves or 3 finger mitts, rubber wieght belt if I'm using weights. just out for a day of "extreme snorkeling". ha
     
  3. freediver

    freediver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
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    I use the snorkel only during my breathe up. I can't stand the way it flutters as I am descending. I have a very low volume mask and if we are name dropping, it is a Sporasub Spartak. I also wear Sporasub long blades. I tow a buoy with me (it is actually a ski course buoy). I have in the past used a Stinger and a Mosquito and now just recently bought a Timex Helix depth and bottom timer (tells time too!) Got a fantastic deal! I am taking it to do some pool training this weekend so i will do a review next week.
     
  4. Frank O

    Frank O SoCal DIR

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    At some point it's probably just semantic. But usually "snorkeling" means you stay on the surface. I equate "freediving" and "skin diving" as meaning the same thing. Usually you wear a weight belt when you freedive or skin dive, and you don't when you snorkel.

    I wear a snorkel when freediving, but was taught to spit it out when I descend. The hunters like to do this because it avoids bubbling sounds that spook fish. The competitive freedivers like to do this because your airway is more protected in the event of a blackout if you don't have a snorkel in your mouth.

    Well, let's see -- when I freedive in Southern California I wear a 7mm one-piece wetsuit (but most freedivers prefer a two-piece 5mm suit here), along with either a weight harness or weight belt. Mask is an Omer Asia, Omer Abyss or Riffe Visio. Snorkel is a Riffe. Computer is a Suunto D3. If I wear a knife, I mount it on a bicep. Fins are either Riffe Silent Hunters (rebranded Omer Millenniums), or a monofin by Specialfins. I only tow a float/flag if required by a commercial boat I'm on. My favorite equipment, however, is my cameras. Also have been playing with a scooter this year.
     
  5. freediver

    freediver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Texas
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    Hey Frank, what kind of scooter do you have?
     
  6. holdingmybreath

    holdingmybreath Barracuda

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    Maybe freediving is going down & up the rope.. and snorkeling is staying on the surface with a snorkel.. and skin diving is kinda like snorkeling but going under the water.. so breath hold diving would be either skin diving or freediving.. and then there's scuba diving but that explains itself in it's name.
     
  7. Frank O

    Frank O SoCal DIR

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    On Kirk Krack's advice, I got an Apollo/Dacor (it's made by Apollo, also sold by Dacor). Several of my scuba friends have Makos, but Kirk likes the handle placement on the Apollo for freediving -- it's easy to do barrel rolls, etc. I watched eBay for a long time, and finally ran across one that had never been in the water for a good price. Lots of fun to play around with.

    http://www.apollosportsusa.com/products-av1.html
     
  8. smile47

    smile47 Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: california
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    a snorkel is nice if your out in the water awhile,say 2 1/2 hours free-diving,spearfishing,etc.you can rest your head,relax and enjoy.without one,your going to be tired.
     
  9. covediver

    covediver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Alaska
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    For me

    snorkeling = $--surface swimming with fins, mask, snorkel usually borrowed, rented, or purchased from a big box store. No previous experience needed. For people who snorkel, submersion means that the snorkel become a straw. may use 'snorkeling vest' to compensate for lack of swimming ability/endurance. Advice on equipment comes from sales clerk.

    skin diving = $$-surface swimming with an occasional pike or feet first dive below the surface to get to a bottom less than 15 to 20 feet in depth. Done with mask, fins, snorkel, bc (maybe even a wetsuit) intended for scuba diving bought at a dive shop or borrowed from someone who is a scuba diver. Often done as a prerequisite to going on compressed air as part of a certification course and then seldom done again. Term is becoming arcane as it is often used synonomously with scuba diving by people who may or may not know beter. Only real skill required is how to hold your breath for a short period of time. Advice on equipment comes from scuba instructor.

    free diving = $$$-submersion to depths greater than 20 feet for longer periods using purposely designed or specialty mask, fins, timers, wetsuits and snorkel, with debate raging as to whether or not to use snorkel. Breath hold time and max depth a statistics freely offered even if no one asks. May require special training. Greater danger of shallow water blackout. Advice on equipment comes from practitioners.

    fin swimming--$ to $$-swimming above or underwater with mask and fins maybe a snorkel for a competitive or training purposes. Activities range from races to underwater combat (aka aquatholon). Advice on equipment comes from a coach.

    My equipment is a mix of two and three. scubapro low volume mask, finis monofins, da kine, T2, power plana swim fins, AB freediving fins, generic snorkel. Most of what I do is fin swimming.
     
  10. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    The term "skin diving" as it was first used in the 1950s, when it was coined, meant both breathhold and SCUBA diving. It was called "skin diving" to distinguish it from "standard diving" where the diver walked on the bottom wearing lead-soled boots, a canvas diving suit and a helmet with air supplied by hoses attached to an air pump on the surface. I have many books from the 1950s and 1960s where "skin diving" and "scuba diving" are used virtually interchangeably to describe diving with air tanks. As for the term "free diving", it's worth knowing too that the term derives from a translation of "plongée libre", which is how the French in the 1950s described "skin diving", i.e. breathhold or scuba diving over against standard helmet diving, where divers weren't free (a) because they were tied to the surface by air lines and (b) because they couldn't swim underwater on account of their lead boots.

    What I've written above covers, of course, the origin of words such as skin diving and free diving. Words do also develop, changing their meaning over the years, but it's always important to remember their original meaning, because, as you point out yourself, people change the meaning of words as much through ignorance as through necessity. Personally, I find the term "skin diving" a dated term, more associated with the vintage era (1940s-mid-1970s).

    There is an attempt here to define what the terms "snorkelling", "skin diving" and "free diving" mean:
    Skin-Diving, The Essential Foundation to SCUBA Diving - SCUBA KNOWTES
    I think it's very important, if we subscribe to this three-level system, to avoid suggestions that somehow snorkelling is a just beginner's activity. I've been a snorkeller for half a century and I'm happy with that term, just so long as people understand that I'm a very experienced snorkeller and that I never hanker after doing anything different when I'm in the sea, whether scuba or freediving. I don't consider myself a freediver at all, because that term has become synonymous with the wearing of long-bladed plastic bifins and monofins and the plumbing of great depths, neither of which interest me at all. As for "skin diving", in its apparent modern incarnation of breathhold diving, well, perhaps, especially as I prefer snorkelling with traditional full-foot rubber fins, oval masks, a simple J-shaped snorkel and a vintage-style valveless waist-entry two-piece drysuit.
     

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