Diving "freestyle"

"Freestyle" means both pulling down the rope plus kicking with your fins.

This is a combination of the official freediving competition disciplines of FIM ("free immersion", aka pulling on the rope) and CWTB ("constant weight bifins", aka kicking with your fins).

Freestyle is not an official discipline in competitive freediving, but it is a great way to deepen your practice while wearing a wetsuit thick enough for cold water, allowing you to keep a deep neutral buoyancy without too much CO2 buildup on the descent.
  • Before the dive: underweight yourself
    Underweighting means choosing an amount of weight such that your neutral buoyancy is deeper than 10 meters. In a Fins and Foam wetsuit, for example, you could wear 4-6 lbs of weight and be positively buoyant down to 15-20 meters.

  • When starting your descent: mostly pull down the rope
    At the beginning of your dive, when you are very positively buoyant, pulling down the rope builds up much less CO2 than trying to kick down. You can kick gently, but draw most of your force from the rope.

    As an added bonus, pulling down the rope lets you go as slowly as you need during this initial stage to make sure your ears don't accumulate any pressure debt.

  • Once your buoyancy is lower: switch to kicking
    As you relax into the dive and approach freefall, switching to kicking allows you to keep your hand on your nose, letting you hold your mouthfill and preventing your mask from sucking air out of your mouth.

  • On the ascent: both kick and pull!
    Take advantage of both kicking and pulling to speed easily back to the surface, particularly as your buoyancy starts to return.