The INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FREE DIVERS (IAFD) is the largest organization of its type in the world. The purposes and goals of the IAFD are to increase the popularity of the sport, to educate and support the free diving community and to increase safety through education and programs. The IAFD achieve these goals by promoting the sport in general media, forming instructors, offering training with an “state of the art” educational system, producing and distributing training material. Also by offering membership to established dive stores, supporting free diving competitions and world record attempts, forming judges for those competitions and issuing certifications according to the level of training.
The system of education used by the IAFD is based on a well known system that already exist and is in use by schools, universities, corporations and even some scuba diving training agencies. This “state of the art” system allows for a comprehensive way to manage training during all of the different phases like academics, pool training and open water training. Also allows interaction with the environment in a safe and supervised manner. It minimizes the time spent in academics by encouraging self-study. It increases the time in the water permitting more practice.
The IAFD provides a full selection of training material for its instructors, facilities and franchises for each one of the different levels and categories of training. The system is used widely in these materials and is consistent all along and everywhere. All of the IAFD programs are based in a very strict standard that keeps consistency and quality regardless of what part of the world the course is being taught. The IAFD Quality Control department maintains a close working relationship with its members and monitor all programs to assure that optimum quality, safety and customer satisfaction are paramount.
The IAFD was created in August of 1997 by World Champion Freediver, Pipin Ferreras. Since its creation, the IAFD has offered several courses in different countries and has certified Free Divers and Instructors. In August of 1997, two courses were given in Brazil. After that, on the same month, one course was offered in Cayman Islands and another one took place in Honduras. In October of 1997, the IAFD imparted a class in Hurghada, Egypt and in November, Freedivers and Instructors were certified in Eilat, Israel. On the same month, one Freediver and one Instructor course were given in Colombia. In July of 1998, two more courses were imparted in Bahamas: one for Freedivers and one for Instructors. And in June of 1999, another course took place in Spain.
Our short-terms goals are to train and certify instructors and create IAFD facilities nationally and internationally. Up to date we have franchises in Europe, more specifically in Spain and in Scandinavia. Our long-terms goals are to expand the IAFD, with franchises in South America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
There are literally millions of snorkelers today that are searching the oceans and seas from the surface. Many of the pelagic marine interaction environments such as diving with whales, dolphins, manatees and the like are best done free diving. Photography and video opportunities are expanded with breath-hold diving versus being on scuba. Many locations have avid spear fishing, conch, lobster, and abalone fishing that is all done without tanks, simply by breath-hold diving. Free diving not only supports the livelihoods and recreation of many people, but also offers a competitive element to the sport, through tournaments, local competitions, and world record events.