A modern sport, freediving began in about 1947, as a competition between Italian spear fishermen. Today there are 5 major disciplines in the sport. As of April 2007, the records, most of which have been ratified by A.I.D.A. stand at what is quoted below for each separate discipline.
The deepest, is ‘No Limits’, where the diver is pulled down by a weighted “sled” whose speed of descent he controls and his return to the surface is assisted by an inflatable air bag. The sled travels up and down a heavily weighted cable suspended from a boat.
The current A.I.D.A record stands at 183 m, although the outstanding world record by an independent, is currently held by Patrick Musimu, the first person in history, to have broken the 200m barrier.
This is the next deepest discipline and is where the diver descends with the aid of a sled along a cable, but in this case the weight of the sled is limited to 30 kg or 1/3 of the weight of the diver. He must ascend by his own unassisted efforts by either pulling on the line or finning up. The current AIDA record stands at 140 m.
‘CONSTANT WEIGHTS/ FIXED WEIGHTS
This is one of the most accessible to freedivers, as well as being one of the most athletic and physically demanding of all the disciplines. The diver equipped with a mask (or nose clip, both optional), wet suit, weight belt and monofin/ fins, swims down along a line, he is not allowed to assist himself by pulling on the line, either on descent or ascent, he must return to the surface with the same weights with which he submerged.
The current record stands at 111m
‘UNASSISTED CONSTANT WEIGHTS’ (no fins)
The freeediver swims down along a guide rope and returns to the surface with the same weight with which he left the surface. He is not allowed to assist himself by pulling on the line, either down or up. The only equipment permitted is a suit, weightbelt (if necessary), mask or fluid goggles and nose-clip. The swim style used to date has been breast-stroke.
The current A.I.D.A. record stands at 82m.
This was a discipline originally very popular in Cuba and South America, where freediving equipment was hard to obtain. The diver equipped with wet suit (optional), mask or nose clip (optional), weight belt (optional), but without fins, pulls himself down along a weighted line towards the bottom and returns to the surface the same way. If he wears a weight belt he must return to the surface without dropping it. The current world record registered by AIDA stands at 106m.
This is a non-depth discipline where a diver holds his breath (usually lying in a pool) with the face submerged, for the maximum possible time.
The current record is 9.08mins.
‘DYNMIC APNEA’ with fins and without fins
This is the maximum distance achieved horizontally in a swimming pool on a single breath.
The current A.I.D.A. records stand at 200m and 184m respectively.