Taupo will host this year's Freediving New Zealand Depth Nationals starting this week.

Freediving New Zealand announced the annual event will be based at Motutere Bay, Lake Taupo from Thursday to Saturday.

Competitors from across New Zealand and overseas will compete in three disciplines, both at AIDA grade, for ranking points, and Recreational Grade – a popular format for upcoming New Zealand Freedivers.

Lake Taupo offers deep clear waters and numerous options to find sheltered water for competition.


The New Zealand Freediving community gets behind the event by either competing or being one of the many volunteers required to provide judging, safety divers, boatman, linesman and other general helpers.

Depth competitors have the option to compete across three events with all disciplines completed with a single breath of air.

Free immersion allows competitors to use a rope to propel themselves down and up while the use of fins allows competitors to maintain a constant weight for the duration
of the dive.

This year competitors are able to compete across all three days or single days if required and divers can nominate any discipline for any dive.

But the final rankings will be made up of the points awarded for the best dive per discipline.

To accumulate the most points for the overall title, divers are likely to need to compete in all disciplines across the three days.

Freediving New Zealand's Nick Rhodes said this year both AIDA and recreational grades were able to take advantage of the flexible dives.

"We expect a great turnout of competitors and the ability for our newer divers in rec-grade to learn and mix with our established AIDA grade athletes, furthering their experience, knowledge and growing our community. "

Professional Association of Diving Instructors regional manager Jen Clent said they were proud to be involved.

"It's really exciting to see the growth of this sport – both competitively and recreationally – and to play a part in training more PADI Freedivers to dive safely in New Zealand and around the world."

Freediving is a water-based breath holding sport. In pool competitions divers attempt dives based on horizontal distance swam underwater (dynamics), and time-based breath holds (statics).

Depth events are held in open water where divers reach great depths and return on a single breath. Freediving can be dangerous if practiced alone or without proper instruction due to the risk of hypoxic black out.

Clubs offer intro evenings for anyone who snorkels, likes the water or just wants to see how long they can hold their breath in a safe environment.

For more information find them on Facebook.

More information on the event can be found on the Freediving New Zealand Website.