Ask the ExpertCategory: GeneralTerminal free fall speed
goat asked 4 months ago

Hi freediving gurus, 
I just had a chance to view my FIM diving profile from the watch. My neutral buoyancy is about 12. I see that I pulled down until 45 my speed was like 1.1 m/s after that the speed gradually reduced to about 0.8 m/s down to bottom at 80m. So from this, I guess, it doesn’t matter how fast I am before deep free falling, because the final speed only depends on my buoyancy which will get slowly more negative, and the drag from free falling position / suit. But I read it somewhere, a monofin guy neutral at 20m, getting final speed of 1.5m/s at 80m, which means that the speed before free falling does matter to the final speed? 

1 Answers
Freedive International Staff answered 3 months ago

Hi Goat:)

In my experience the terminal velocity at depth depends much more on your freefalling position and drag that you create than on your buoyancy. Can You get someone to film you during a dive? If yes, you can see your body position during freefall. Is there something you could improve? Are you using a neck weight? How heavy it is and it’s all your weight distributed symmetrically around your body?
If you talk to other freedivers, some of them will tell you that they freefall faster with fins, others without fins. Some really struggle with the monofin, while others feel they are way faster with it on (it is also true that when compressed, most monofins will be extremely negative and contribute to gaining speed).

P.s. Unless your neutral buoyancy is set very deep (20+) you do not need to pull yourself until 45m. In fact with a neutral buoyancy at 12 you should stop pulling between around 25/30 meter.

Hope you find your answers:)

Freedive International