Intro to Freediving

Discover your natural freediving ability.

Introduction to Freediving


3 Days


Take the Introduction to Freediving Course with Just Get Wet and you will see how comfortable you can be in the water! You will learn the basics of freediving and the techniques you need to dive down up to 20 meters in a safe and supportive environment. This course includes one classroom, one pool and two open water sessions over the course of a weekend.

Your instructor will email you a week before the class to give you the online course materials ahead of time. Please take the online course prior to showing up to the classroom session! This will give you the best possible experience with the class.

Having experience in the ocean or the pool is very helpful prior to starting this class, though not required. The pool portion of the class must be passed in order to progress to the open water portions.

Note: at least 2 students are required for this course to run


Online Learning Curriculum:

Physics and physiological basics of freediving
Relaxation and breathing techniques
Mental techniques/relaxation
Introduction to equalization
Mamalian Dive Reflex
Potential trauma
Multiple choice exam
One Pool Sessions

Pool Training Learning Curriculum:

  • Introductions of freediving equipment
  • Static breath holds (STA)
  • Techniques: Finning technique, body position and turns
  • Dynamic diving (DYN)
  • Introduction to Dynamic without Fins (DNF)
  • Buddy and rescue procedures

Open Water Curriculum:

  • Comfort in the ocean
  • Practical application of classroom theory
  • Practical application of techniques learned in the pool
  • Introductions of techniques: Duck dives, body positioning, equalization
  • Basic safety and rescue: Buddy and rescue procedures
  • Freediving techniques: Free Immersion (FIM) & Constant Weight (CWT) to 12-20m depth.

As a certified Level 1 freediver you will be able to meet the following requirements:

1:30+ min static breath hold
30m diving horizontally in the pool
Diving 12 – 20m depth in open water

Typical Schedule

You will receive a confirmation email from your instructor 1-2 weeks prior to the class which will contain the final information for your course, as well as the online materials you will need to complete prior to beginning the class. While times and locations may very, the following is the typical class schedule:

Friday 5-7PM Classroom, Just Get Wet HQ in Mission Beach

Saturday 0645-0930 Pool Training, The Plunge Mission Beach

Saturday 1000-1200 Classroom, Just Get Wet HQ in Mission Beach (it's a mile long walk, but way better than dealing with parking)

Saturday 1230-1500 Shallow Water Session, Mission Bay

Sunday 0800-1100 Depth Session, La Jolla Shores

Equipment requirements

We have all the gear you will need for this course available for you to rent (with the exception of ear plugs and a dive watch). You will have the option to add rental gear to your order at checkout. If you would like to rent any gear, please show up 30 minutes early to the first day of class to make sure your gear fits properly. It is your responsibility to pick up your gear ahead of time and drop it off at the shop after the completion of the class, which the shop staff will instruct you on.

Mask – A low volume spearfishing/freediving mask. A standard snorkel/scuba mask is OK for the Level 1 Freediver course.

Snorkel – A simple J style snorkel.

Wetsuit – This is your most important piece of equipment. For San Diego, it’s highly recommended to have a 5mm proper spearfishing or freediving two piece, open cell inner/nylon outer suit. If you don’t have access to this suit, then a very well fitting 5mm full neoprene suit, preferably with a hood is OK. A proper freediving suit will positively influence your course experience. You will need your wetsuit for the pool and the open water portion.

Fins – Longblade freediving fins. Standard snorkel/scuba fins are acceptable for the Intro Freediver course. We do not accept “split fins” or the full open heel and bootie style.

Weight belt – A rubber weight belt is preferred. A standard webbing weight belt is OK for the Level 1 Freediver course.

Weights – A selection of 2lb to 4lb weights, most people use ~12lbs.

Optional Items – If you are sensitive to the cold water, you may want to consider purchasing some VENTED Docs Pro Plugs.

Introduction to Freediving
chris cheezem

The captain of this ship and founder of this band of misfits is the man, myth, and legend, Chris himself. It all started 5 years ago when he had an idea to build a community around freediving, spearfishing, and showing people what they're naturally capable of in the water. He began his underwater journey spearfishing in Florida and the Bahamas which led him to pursue teaching. He now has many certifications: Molchanov Wave 3 Instructor, PADI Master Freediver/Instructor, Coast Guard/Captain's License, and Navy Dive Officer. One of his favorite experiences diving was when an earthquake happened underwater and it sounded like an explosion! In his rare moments of free time he is sailing or playing guitar.

derik rush

Derik is our Shop Manager from Colorado living in San Diego, and does everything under the sun: rigging, sales, instructor, spearfishing guide, photographer, editor… Is there anything he can’t do? He’s been with Just Get Wet for 3 years, and started his diving journey through spearfishing. Spearing introduced him to freediving and he now has several certifications under his belt: PADI Freedive Instructor, Molchanov Wave 3, and SSI Level 2. His favorite thing he’s seen while diving is schools of 80 lb Groupers in remote areas of Baja because who doesn’t love big fish? When he’s not in the shop, he is diving off of La Jolla or going out east to ride his motorcycle. 

brittani eaton

Brittani moved to San Diego a few years ago from the East Coast and has not looked back. You'll see her instructing freediving classes, spearfishing, doing snorkel tours, helping out on the boat, Sunday line dive sessions, and more. She fell in love with freediving from her dad who threw her into the water before she could walk. She has her Bachelor's degree in Marine Science.  Her favorite thing to see while diving are sharks, and used to tag sharks for NOAA. She loves diving, taking her van out camping, yoga, surfing, and always being active!

nathan minatta

Nathan is our freediving and spearfishing instructor, filmmaker/editor, camera guy, and Chris's other half. He is from Colorado and has been with JGW for four years. He first found freediving in Hawaii and through North County Depth Finders and combined that with his passion for filmmaking. He loves both freediving and spearfishing equally and is a Molchanov Wave 3 Instructor and PADI Advanced Instructor. His favorite underwater experience is being vortexed by blue fin tuna. When he is not working he is still working, resting, diving, skateboarding, wakeboarding and snowboarding.

gretchen beehler

Gretchen is our aquatic swiss army knife of JGW. Is there anything she can't do? You'll see Gretchen around the shop, out on the boat, and anywhere she can yap your ear off. Gretchen grew up freediving the Great Lakes and has been a competitive swimmer since she was 5. She is currently working towards her Wave 3 Molchanovs Certification and hopes to one day take over the world. In her free time, Gretchen is also a surf and underwater photographer. Her favorite ocean memory is when she lived out on Catalina Island and got to swim offshore with 6 blue sharks that were feeding on a dead whale. And yes, she will tell you all about it.

jake cesear

Jake is our bubble-blowing freediving guru who is often mistaken for a really big fish in the water. He's from Encinitas and has been with JGW for two years. He is a freediving and bubble ring instructor, spearfishing and snorkel guide, and runs our sunday line diving sessions. He has multiple certifications including Molchanov instructor, PADI instructor, and life support / CPR certified. During a trip to Belize he discovered his love of diving with nurse sharks, and has had many fun experiences since. His favorites being at depth with a whale shark and during bioluminescence. When he's not frolicking in the water, he's resting, spearfishing, snowboarding, and exploring the caves.

Christine cavarlez

Christine is our real-life professional mermaid and is a PADI Freedive and Mermaid Instructor from San Diego. She’s been with Just Get Wet for a couple years since the start of her freediving career, leveling up until she eventually became one of the instructors. When she’s not busy mermaiding around the world, she helps teach classes and Sunday line diving sessions. Catch her diving at her favorite spot off La Jolla Cove playing with sea lions in the kelp forest. Who knows, you might be lucky enough to see her mermaid form!


Diving stuff

About our courses / charters / trainings:

The Wave 1 class will show you how much you are naturally capable of, and how easy and natural this sport really is. No matter your ability level or comfort in the water, our instructors will give you the next steps that you need to develop as a freediver. We also don’t want you to focus on passing the class in one weekend. You have a year to knock out the requirements, and we train every Sunday morning which is a perfect (and cheap!) way to hone your skills. We hope that you will come back to continue to improve your technique and aquatic abilities, and more importantly to meet and dive with our community of freedivers!

First and foremost…you don’t have to pass everything in one weekend. You have a year to knock all the requirements out, and our focus is to be here to help you along that journey as it often takes a few sessions to really settle into the sport, and the environment.

Regarding schedule: We typically do these on weekends, so we do a Friday night classroom session (5-7PM), Saturday morning pool (0645-0930) and Saturday afternoon shallow water session (1030-1400) all in Mission Beach.

Regarding numbers, we want to see a 1:30min static breath hold, and a 40 foot dive both pulling down the line (free immersion), and kicking down (constant weight). Most people who come through the class are intimidated by these numbers, and we can't wait to show you how attainable they are!

Proper execution of the safety protocols is also essential.

You are ready, and you don’t need to train! That’s the best part of this class. The way to get deeper depths and longer breath holds is to relax, to soften, and to enjoy the process. This is attainable to anyone and everyone, and our favorite thing is showing you what you’re naturally capable of. I guarantee it’s more than you thought!

You will need a 5mm freediving suit (STRONGLY encouraged), a mask and snorkel, weights and weight belt, fins (long blade freediving fins also STRONGLY encouraged), booties and gloves. We have all of these for rent, and if you’re interested in one of our nicer suits we have a rent to own program.

Usually…no. I get it. I surf, I have multiple surf suits and I did not want to buy a freediving suit. The thing with freediving is that we are sitting on the surface for 90% of the time, making no movements and generating no body heat because we’re trying to slow our heart rate down and relax. Additionally, the first time you shiver your relaxation completely dissolves and your oxygen consumption goes up 300%. In my mind, you’ve paid good money for this class and having a wetsuit that is too thin ruins the experience.

Confidence in your abilities, comfort in greater depths, and a community of local freedivers who are eager to improve and want to do that with you. You also have the opportunity to earn a certification. If you hit all the pool requirements you will get a Lap certification, and if you hit all the open water requirements as well you will get the full Wave certification.

First and foremost all we have to offer is the worst answer….it depends. But it depends for a reason! As we work with you through the weekend we will determine which trip is the best for you, your comfort, your ability, and the local conditions. All of those vary greatly, but here are our metrics for determining the las/ final day:

If the conditions are awful, it’s not worth it. We would rather take you out line diving to focus on your form and technique in a location that is almost always the most mellow for our region. If this ends up being the case, we will set you up for another day to get out there spearfishing.

If the conditions are good we have a couple options. The first is the La Jolla Kelp, which is very close by, easy to reach, and often has clear water and lots of life (Calico, Sheepshead, Yellowtail, White Seabass).

The other option is to go to the Coronado Islands. This is an open ocean, bare bones, but extremely safe trip offshore that often yields Yellowtail, Calico, Sheephead, White Seabass, Triggerfish, and many more. This includes a mexican fishing license, but we will cover your biosphere permit. These islands are often more clear than the San Diego area, but are also an open ocean environment.

Yes, it's a safety and liability thing, but more than anything it gives the entire group comfort knowing that everyone else they are diving with is properly trained in safety procedures. You need to hold a certification (from any agency), or be working on training to complete course requirements.

16 years old...but we are releasing classes for younger students very soon. Please send us an email if interested, you'll be the first to know!

Yes. Give us a call with the specs of what you need.

Other stuff

About our shop and community:

YES! They won't tell you about us even though we've given them a ton of content, but we still love them. In an older sibling type of way, maybe a step sibling.

Masks, snorkels, dive weights, weightbelts, Riffe, Leaderfins, noseclips, all the fixins for a freediving buoy set up, a couple wetsuits(Riffe, Beuchat & Omer), and Riffe spearguns and accesories to include floats, float lines, dive knives, fish stringers, and many more.

Chris, usually.

First rule about Fightclub... don't talk about fightclub.