1/General questions:

What is the difference between Bluenery Academy and other freediving schools ? The very essence of Bluenery Academy comes from our team’s strong desire to offer a new learning approach, mostly based on experience and the unique connection between humans and water. 

I’m not very sporty, can I still try freediving ? Freediving can have an athletic purpose for those who wish to pursue it, but it’s first and foremost a well-being practice, accessible to everyone.
Bluenery Academy will guide you through your discovery process, and you will soon find that no matter your physical condition, you are a naturally-born freediver.
The only requirement is being able to swim. 

I’m not a very good swimmer and have little to no experience in swimming with fins, can I still take part in the beginner course ? Our programme is specifically crafted for beginners. Our instructors are here to guide you and show you how to use freediving equipment, including fins.   

Do I need any particular piece of equipment ?
You don’t have to worry about anything as we provide all the freediving equipment :
wetsuit, mask, snorkel and fins.  

I can’t hold my breath for more than 30 seconds.
Is it necessary to make decompression stops on the way back up to the surface ? I’m scared of running out of air. 
A toddler’s journey to walking begins with just a couple of hesitant steps, but as he gains more practice and confidence, he is able to walk longer and faster and eventually starts exploring freely.
Put yourself in the shoes of a toddler, and let us accompany you in your freediving journey, starting from your first steps, all the way to exploring freely.Without getting into too much detail, scuba diving and freediving are quite different, and there is no need to make decompression stops when freediving.
We are able to safely go back up to the surface as fast as we like.
Also, please know that you will learn and make progress at your own pace. Step by step you will be diving at 2 meters deep, 3 meters deep.
You will only go only as deep as you wish to go, with no pressure at all and under the constant supervision of your instructor. 

How deep do I have to go during the first lesson ? How long should I stay underwater ? Here at Bluenery Academy we don’t believe in fixing depth or time requirements.
Your instructor will adapt to your learning rhythm, as you gradually reconnect with water. 

Does the beginner course take place in a swimming pool or in open water ? All of our freediving courses take place in the sea, in the calm waters of the bay of Villefranche. The bay is an excellent spot, as it is sheltered from winds and currents, and has great underwater visibility.

How long is the open water session ? For beginners, the water session is 1.5 – 2 hours long, including the boat ride to the dive spot. This gives our students enough time for approximately 12 dives each.

I don’t feel comfortable underwater and darkness frightens me.
Will the instructor follow me at all times or will I dive alone ?
You will never dive alone. Your instructor accompanies you at all times, always ready to guide you and help during your practice. 

I’ve heard about dive sleds, and divers holding on to them to go up and down.
Will I be introduced to this practice ? 
This is an advanced form of freediving. It requires a lot of control and technique. Only advanced freedivers will be able to try this.

Can I go freediving if I have been partying the night before ?
We advise you not to go freediving if you feel tired or dehydrated.
Alcohol or any drug consumption is absolutely forbidden during freediving.  For your own safety, our staff will prevent you from participating in any course if you are showing signs of alcohol or drug use. 

Can I go scuba-diving and freediving on the same day ? You can freedive then scuba-dive but the opposite is not possible.
You must wait 12-24 hours after a scuba diving session (depending on the number of dives) before you can freedive. 

Can I take the plane after a freediving session ? You can freedive and then take a flight. However you must wait up to 12 – 24 hours after your flight to be able to freedive. 

I would like to try freediving in order to stay underwater longer, but I’m not very competitive and don’t intend to enter freediving competitions, is that okay ? We focus on pleasure rather than performance. You absolutely don’t have to compete.
However, by following our freediving courses, your breath-holds will improve. So if some day you are tempted to dive deeper and longer, we would be happy to provide further training. 

2/ Health related questions:  

I’m a smoker, does that mean I can’t try freediving ?
Freediving – and all of the breathing exercises that go hand in hand with this practice – is an excellent way to keep your lungs healthy and increase your lung capacity.It can help balance the negative effects of smoking. 

I’m overweight, does this mean I can’t practice freediving ? Definitely not, being overweight won’t stop you from freediving… water doesn’t discriminate between different body types. Every session starts with a series of stretches, relaxation and breathing exercises.
This will help warm up your muscles, relax the mind and prepare your lungs for the open water session. Freediving is a great way to stay healthy, both physically and mentally.

I’m naturally nervous and anxious… I’m scared of panicking in the water. Water and freediving are the perfect combination to help you calm down and release tension. Please know that you will never be alone. Your instructor will be with you at all times. 

I’m asthmatic, does this mean I can freedive ? Freediving can be soothing. Yogic breathing and relaxation techniques might even help treat asthma symptoms . However you will need your doctor’s approval, as we do ask all of our students to provide a valid medical certificate to practice freediving.  

I had Covid-19 and respiratory symptoms. Can I free-dive?  Your doctor will tell you if freediving is advised or not depending on your condition. We ask all of our students to provide a valid medical certificate before they can freedive with us.   

I have a heart condition. Can I freedive ? Your doctor will indicate if freediving is advised or not depending on your condition. We ask all of our students to provide a valid medical certificate before they can freedive with us.   

In the past, I had chronic sinusitis. It’s over now but I’m wondering whether freediving might be more complicated for me ? From our point of view, if you are able to clear your ears and equalize ear pressure when flying or at the mountains, then you shouldn’t have any problems while freediving. However, you must get your doctor’s approval.  

3/ Anxiety and fear of accidents:

I don’t feel comfortable underwater, especially when I think about depth.
I like being in the water… but I’m not sure about the sensations I might feel during a freediving session.
Freediving is mostly a mental practice. Your beginner course with Bluenery Academy allows you to become more familiar with the underwater world, and get used to these new sensations, and aquatic feelings at your own pace. Your technique and relaxation as well as your self-control will gradually improve.
Your progress will help you overcome your limiting beliefs, allowing you to fully appreciate your dives and your connection with water.

What accidents might happen during a beginner course ? I’m scared of running out of air, does this happen sometimes ?Your safety is our main concern. You won’t be running out of air. 
We will show you that everyone can hold their breath for several minutes without any risk, by learning the appropriate techniques. 

Is freediving a dangerous activity ? Freediving isn’t a dangerous activity. Accidents are caused by either overconfidence or negligence – when advanced freedivers don’t respect basic freediving rules : never freedive alone, being humble and patient, progress slowly, be in good physical and mental conditions and never freedive when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.