SSI Freedive Level 1


Learn to Freedive at the POOR KNIGHTS ISLANDS!

If you’ve always wanted to  experience unparalleled adventure whilst using the purest form of diving and experience the wonders of our oceans then this is where it starts.

Once you master your skills in the pool you will then spend a day on our Charter to the Poor Knights Islands where you will practice your skills and discover the magic of the Poor Knights Islands marine reserve. 

Freediving exposes us to like minded people and so you can make new friends, both human and aquatic when you learn with us.

Once you are able to trust and understand the theory of what the human body is capable of when freediving, the fear of running out of air subsides and you are able to find peace and see what your amazing body is capable of.

The course provides the essential information and skills to enable you to explore the aquatic world in silence with your buddies down to 20 metres.

We cover both the theory and practical of equipment choice, equalisation, relaxation, breathing, conserving oxygen, in-water safety and rescue scenarios, finning, streamlining and depth training.  

Everyone improves and everyone grows on this course, whether you are an absolute beginner or have been freediving for awhile.

The key to this sport is all about conserving your oxygen, as well as improving your finning technique, awareness and your all-important breath hold.  Plus it’s heaps of FUN!

To enroll in a Freediver Level 1 course you must be 12 years old or older, have adequate swimming skills and need to be in good physical health.

No prior experience with snorkeling, skin diving or freediving is required.

During the course, you will learn to use a low volume mask, snorkel, freedive fins, a wetsuit and a weight belt. 

Using gear designed specifically for freediving is best and you will learn why on the course, so let us help you choose the right gear for you.

  • Our Freedive instructors are passionate about the ocean and freediving.
  • We have our own indoor on-site heated training pool and changing facilities with showers.  We may also go to another local pool for some of the training.
  • We have our own charter boat that runs to the Poor Knights Marine Reserve.
  • We train in small groups with a max of 8 students per instructor
  • Location in central Whangarei with a full retail store.
  • PLUS we offer all of our students a discount on all dive equipment bought from us during your course.

What to expect on your course

The SSI Freediver Level 1 course consists of three main phases. The first is Knowledge Development, which covers everything you need to know about basic techniques, terminology and safety procedures in freediving.  You’ll be given access to an online module which is yours to keep and work through at home prior to the course starting.  Once on site we will be looking at freedive equipment, followed by breathe holding practise (Static Apnea) in the classroom.  This covers stretching, relaxing and ‘taking a proper breath’.

The Second is the practical of breathe holding (Static Apnea) first in the classroom and then in  Confined Water,  which are training sessions conducted in the pool. This gives you the opportunity to get used to the gear you’ll be using and practice the basic skills of freediving and techniques to keep you safe in the water in a shallow, clear water environment.   

Things we’ll cover include:

  • Static Apnea (you’ll be surprised at how much improvement you’ll see after just one session)
  • How to correctly weight yourself
  • The correct ‘duck diving’ position.  This is where you burn the most oxygen.  Perfecting the duck dive will improve your time underwater immensely.  
  • Streamlining
  • Buddy System
  • Freedive safety
  • Dynamic Apnea
  • Different Finning techniques and how to get the most efficient kick
  • All important buddy rescue on the surface and from depth

The Third is taking the skills you have learned and transferring them into the real world environment.  Whether we go to a fresh water lake or the ocean we will be using a static float and measured line with a lanyard to practise depth training and aim to achieve 20m.

When you become an SSI Level 1 freediver, you open the door to worldwide freediving opportunities. Learning to freedive with SSI is easier than you think. In this program, online training, pool/confined water sessions and open water dives are combined to help you become a confident and safe freediver in no time. Once certified, you can freedive with a buddy in open water up to a depth of 20 meters and explore a variety of stunning underwater ecosystems around the world. Get started online today!

Standard Course Schedule


  • Check the medical questionnaire to check whether you are fit to dive.
  • You have to complete the theory course.  This takes about 2 hours for the online theory (eLearning).  
  • A minimum age of 12 years applies.  
  • Every student under 18 needs to have a parent or a guardian sign a consent form.
  • You must be able to perform a 200m swim and a 10 minute float or tread water unassisted.

A minimum of 2 students are required for this course to run – Maximum of 8

Group bookings, private courses or pick your own dates?

If you have a group of 3 or more, you can pick your own dates for the course without paying anything extra! Or if you would like a private course for yourself and your partner or just for you, that’s possible as well! For all group, school and private course bookings, please contact us to discuss details and pricing! Private courses are a lot more affordable than you might think!

What to expect once you book your course

We will send you an information pack with everything you need to know for the course. We will also send you out information regarding your  eLearning login and registration.

It is important that you complete the medical form and get clearance from your doctor if you answered “YES” to any of the forms before coming along to the course.

Leave yourself enough time to complete the eLearning prior to the course start date (around 2 hours).

And of course, if you have any questions then we are only a phone call or email away and always happy to help.  Contact us on 09 438 1075 or 0800 DIVE NZ or

We limit our courses to small groups and so if a student does not turn up for a course will have have to rebook and pay a rebooking fee of $50

Home study (3 hours) to be completed before attending
Basic Freediver Course eLearning (Theory).
Daytime 9.00am - 4pm OR 2 Evenings from 5.30-8.30pm
Theory re-enforcement and explanation. Introduction to the equipment. Breathhold techniques. Freedive training in the pool.
Daytime 8.00am - 4pm
You'll join us on our charter to the Poor Knights Islands where you will practice a number of skills at 10m and have the opportunity to dive to 20m with your instructor. During the day you will also get a tour of the Poor Knights Islands and visit the largest sea cave in the southern hemisphere.
If at any time you are uncomfortable or feel you need any extra time, we are happy to provide this. We pride ourselves in producing high quality divers who have the confidence and skills to go diving safely with their buddy!!
Freediver Level 1 Course Dates
Saturday and Sunday 30th Sept & 2nd October, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 8-4 at the Poor Knights Islands
Saturday and Sunday 21st & 22nd October, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 8-4 at the Poor Knights Islands

Opening Hours | Mon-Fri 8.30-5.00pm  | Saturday 8.30 – 1pm | Sundays Closed

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