Star boost at LUX*
All the instructors at Euro-Divers’ LUX* Maldives resort in Ari Atoll are PADI Advanced Free Dive instructors and Euro-Divers says the number of qualifications during its recent Underwater Festival showed that “freediving is becoming very popular”.
The Free Dive course includes many breathing and relaxation techniques, after which it says most students have doubled their breath-holding time.
This is followed by duck-dive and fin-kicking, with some theory taught between the in-water training. There are no classroom sessions. Minimum age is 10.
The Advanced course is about advanced breathing techniques and includes two open-water/ controlled environment freedives focusing on safety, buddy teams, fin-kicking, equalisation, relaxation in open water, duck-diving and how to use the surface buoy and line. Minimum age is 15.
Both courses can be finished in one day and each costs US $180, including certification.
www.euro-divers.com

Emperor Apnea
Red Sea dive centre Emperor Divers Hamata has introduced breath-hold diving in what it describes as perfect conditions for the sport – ”year-round tropical crystal-clear waters, technicolour coral gardens and marvellous marine life combined with Hamata’s tranquil and peaceful sanctuary”.
Based at the Zabargad Berenice Resort, the centre caters for beginners as well as experienced freedivers through Alessandro Pinna, an APNEA Academy Freediving Instructor who can teach to the equivalent of 3* SSI or AIDA.
Diving can take place on the house reef; from a dive-boat accessing the nearby Fury Shoals; on the 65m wreck of the Hamada on its side at 15m, or at Hamata’s spinner dolphin hang-out Sha’ab Sataya.
Courses range from 200 euros for the entry-level AA/SSI/AIDA First Level through 230 euros for Second Level to 320 euros for the advanced Third Level course. A single training dive costs 38 euros.
www.emperordivers.com

NoTanx, no sweat
“Having taught breathing and relaxation techniques for 15 years, I’ve seen the amazing improvements for thousands of scuba divers,” says Marcus Greatwood of London trainers NoTanx. “But practising and perfecting these skills in open water can lift your diving experience to a new level.”
NoTanx’ latest all-inclusive trip to Marsa Alam in Egypt runs from 12-24 September and, with its Open Water course, costs £1224. Formal training fits beside reef-diving, skills development and the chance to try cave-freediving and sled (No Limits). Everything is said to be geared towards enjoying the ocean – from optional sunrise yoga to a “Desert Freedive Cinema”.
Courses are open to all levels. The one-day Foundation Course in the UK is required (held on the first Saturday of each month) at a cost of £139.
www.notanx.com