Friday, March 1, 2024

What Is The Most Popular Freediving Certification Agency?


One of the questions we get asked all the time is which of the number of Freediving Certification Agencies out there is the most popular.

We recently ran a global visitor study (that is the largest we know of) via this website, Facebook, Twitter, and direct emails to our readers to gather some info on some of your freediving habits and two of the key questions we got answers to are – do you hold a freediving certification and if so which certification agency you hold a certification with.

The results are…

Do You Hold a Freediving Certification?

Do You Hold a Freediving Certification
Do You Hold a Freediving Certification

No real surprises there as, unlike Scuba Diving, there is no requirement to have a Qualification to go Freediving.

What Is The Most Popular Freediving Certification Agency?

Then to the main question – for the 37.7% that hold a Freediving Qualification, which agency are you certified with?

Most Popular Freediving Agency
Most Popular Freediving Agency


The clear leader is AIDA International with 33.4% which is hardly surprising as they have had an education program since 1999.  The two big surprises are SSI (23.1%) and PADI (17.9%) – SSI is a relative newcomer to the Freediving education world however shows that there is a real possibility of coming into Freediving Education with a professional package targeted well at taking market share.  PADI is also a surprise as it doesn’t have an official Freediving program however qualified instructors can create a Freediving Speciality Course or of course, people can qualify in their Snorkelling Speciality.

CMAS and Apnea Academy are relatively localized European Freediving Agencies and although our survey had a global reach we mainly had English-speaking respondents.  Feasibly we could expect a larger market share if the traditional strongholds of France and Italy (respectively) had been more involved in the survey.

F.I.I and Performance Freediving (PFI) are dominant in the US market but their low market share in our survey indicates the more global reach of other agencies.

IANTD is a legacy Freediving Certification (that doesn’t seem to even list Freediving as a specialty on its website) however experienced instructors can still be found all over the world.

What do you think of the results?  Let us know in the comments below or in our Forums.

Stephan Whelan
Stephan Whelan
Stephan is the Founder of His passion for the underwater world started at 8 years old with a try-dive in a hotel pool on holiday that soon formulated into a lifelong love affair with the oceans. In 1996 he set up and has grown the site to be the most popular diving website and community in the world.