Scuba Diving vs. Freediving

Tanks or No Tanks?

Tanks or No Tanks?

I’ve always considered water to be my favorite element. I enjoy being in the water so much that I almost automatically jump in when I see it. Whether it be in a pool, in the lake or in the sea, I’d rather spend more time wet than dry. I’ve been swimming since I was a little kid but as I grew older, I realized that there’s more to the ocean than just the surface I was swimming in. I wanted to venture to parts I’ve never been before so I had myself certified by PADI(Professional Association of Diving Instructors) as an Open Water Scuba Diver 2 years ago. Since then, I’ve never stopped exploring the deep. Always going for a dive everytime I get the chance(and the money). From my hometown to the provinces nearby and even in other places outside the country like Gili Trawangan, an island off Bali, I’m constantly curious about the lies beneath the surface of the sea. And if there’s one thing I can tell you about Scuba Diving it’s that it’s a completely different world out there. And it’s a splendid one, a Utopia!

Recently, I was introduced to Freediving. For those of you who don’t know, Freediving is diving as deep as you can in one breath and without the aid of air tanks as opposed to Scuba Diving. I must admit I was hesitant at first because it would defeat the purpose of Scuba diving which is to stay underwater as long as possible. But after a few Freediving sessions, I realized that there’s more to Freediving than just exploring the depths of the sea. It has become a way for me to explore my limits and then challenge them.

I personally wouldn’t prefer one over the other because they both serve different purposes for me. Scuba diving is for exploring the beauty of the deep while Freediving is to challenge myself. But based on my experiences in Scuba Diving and Freediving, I came up with a list of similarities and differences between the two. It might just help you come up with a decision on which one you’d wanna venture to…

Scuba Diving Freediving
Equipment BCD(Buoyancy Compensating Device), Regulator, Air Tank, Fins, Mask, Snorkel, Weights Fins, Mask, Snorkel, Weights
Special Skill Self Confidence and Experience Breath Hold
Duration Underwater 30minutes to 1hour 30seconds(Beginners) – Up to 10mins(Pros)
Depth 60ft/18m(Open Water) 15-50ft/4.5-15m(beginners)
Common Risk/Danger Decompression Sickness(Bends) Blackout
Certification Required Preferred
Classification Recreation Sport
Companion Dive Master Dive Buddy
Cost Per Dive About PhP1000 – 2000($25-$45) Free – PhP300($7)


Have you decided yet? I’m guessing you haven’t. I’ve been in that dilemma too and here’s the deal. Comparing these two just wouldn’t be fair. It would be like comparing Bob Marley to The Beatles. They both make great music but in different genres. Or like comparing Michael Jordan to Lionel Messi. They’re both the best players but in different sports. There’s always that line between Scuba Divers and Freedivers but the truth is that the ocean is too big for anyone of us and the only way to enjoy it is to learn how to coexist not just with the animals that live in it but also with fellow divers. Whether you’re a Scuba diver or a Freediver, let’s explore all different shades of blue together.


COEXIST by Doi of The Travelling Feet


So if you still haven’t made up your mind whether you want to Freedive or to Scuba Dive, please drop the thought. You’re wasting your time. Just clear your mind, jump in the water and ENJOY.




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  1. Lakbay Diva says:

    i’d prefer freediving over scuba diving because of it’s total control with the self as well as it’s cheaper. well, actually cheap is the main reason hahaha… but i’ll be getting a scuba diving license as soon as i get the dada.

  2. doi says:

    I would prefer freediving because it’s cheap and more challenging than scuba diving. I also find scuba diving to be more dangerous than freediving. 😉

  3. Nurse-issistic Traveller says:

    Exactly! The price is always a major issue but it’s well worth it for 40 minutes underwater

  4. Cille says:

    I prefer to learn how to swim hehheheh naks Ayn ikaw na! Your free diving pic? Astig!

  5. Jammy says:

    I enjoy doing both. I grew up having the ocean as my playground, and I dive as deep as I can since I was little (no fins, no weights, just one breathe). I am super glad I quit smoking because I can stay a little longer underwater again. But time is not enough to explore and appreciate the majestic beauty underwater, so scuba diving once in awhile should be amerzing. Happy diving sailors!

  6. I have always been curious about free diving but I can honestly say that I’ve never thought about actually trying it! Maybe I will have to now..!

    • Nurse-issistic Traveller says:

      You should try it Colleen. I never thought I’d enjoy it that much and I think you would too…Enjoy and most of all, stay safe!

  7. I can’t wait to try freediving on October!!

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