By Jean Marc Claes


In an earlier issue of ScubaBiz.Help magazine; we wrote an article on freediving and the fact that it is not “for free” diving.


Freediving warrants good business opportunities when you are ready for it!


As with all water activities, you, the business planner, need to have a sound business plan, do the correct marketing to find the right audience to take on the courses, and offer the right possibilities.


In this article, we got a closer look into the AIDA Instructor training through the eyes of instructor candidate Dina Drexler.


AIDA was founded in 1992 and is quite a unique freediving organization as it only teaches freediving courses and does not get involved in scuba activities at all.


The movie’ Big Blue’, dating from 1988 (soon to be covered in our Movie Corner by Ryan), brought the freediving world into the spotlight. However, at that time, no rules were really established on how to approve records or even how to maintain safety guidelines.


So, is freediving all about setting records? Let’s tune in on Dina Drexler and get some in-depth views on her achievement in becoming an AIDA freediving instructor.


Dina Drexler is a 23-year-old female from Austria who started freediving at the age of 19 in Dahab, Egypt. After discovering the beauty of the sea and the depths and the freedom you can achieve through a dive with breath holding, she decided to take it a step further.


Why not become a professional?

During Dina’s preparation for the instructor course, we followed and met with her in the Caribbean a few times, on different islands, as she is travelling by sailboat. After meeting up in Curaçao, we decided to meet again in Bonaire, where she is currently teaching freediving courses after passing the AIDA Instructor course.


Why did she choose AIDA?

AIDA is a non-profit organization that allows its members to teach anywhere in the world, and they do not need to be attached to a dive centre. Their instructors are able to just enjoy the freedom to teach.


Why did she take the course in Bonaire?

Upon a friend’s recommendation, Carlos Costa appeared to be the right person for her. In addition to his teaching, he is located in Bonaire and for her, being on a sailboat was an easy place to get to!


What is going to be next? What is the next step to take?

Currently, she wants to get more experience teaching the different courses. Experience is important, and that is what you need to become a good teacher.


Will she get into the competition level?

Maybe she is considering it, although she is not yet sure if she will like it. She likes the Variable Weight discipline, and Austria has no national record holder in that discipline yet, so that might be an opening for her. Dina is very competitive but is also quickly frustrated, so she needs to find a balance in this. A competition means performing at a given time and place, which can be frustrating if you can’t perform.


We asked her, Is freediving business a reality for you or still a dream?

It became a reality now, as of three weeks ago, after passing the instructor exam. “Now I can travel and teach worldwide and earn a living. It will not get me rich, but get me to places I want to go!”


Any advice on how to become successful with freediving?

Here are some of her pointers.

  • Relax!
  • Train yourself, relax and listen to your body!
  • Find out what you like.
  • Static is a very mental discipline.
  • Dynamic is more technical, learning to become perfect in fin techniques.
  • Free Immersion is all about the arms.
  • Find out by trying it all until you know what you like!


What disciplines did you train for, and what are your personal achievements so far?

  • Static: 4min
  • Dynamic: 90mtrs
  • Depth Free Immersion: -41mtr
  • Depth Constant Weight: -41mtr


Bonaire and freediving?

Bonaire organized a world competition just a few months ago. During the competition, Alexey Molchanov set a new world record in the Variable Weight category: -156 metres! Just imagine…


Below, we have provided some updates on current world freediving records:

  • Static: 11min 35sec (Mifsud Stéphane)
  • No Limit: -214mtr (Nitsch Herbert)
  • No fins, constant weight: -102mtr (Trubridge William)


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