ABOUT US

FREEFALL ACADEMY

Is a place for Ocean enthusiasts and adventure seekers

 

We at Freefall Academy want our students to enjoy the act of a single breath while underwater in order to become fully present in the moment.  This in turn will allow our students to become more comfortable underwater, connecting with the ocean and themselves on a deeper level.

It is our hope this will in turn create a more aware conscious state of harmonious understanding for ourselves and the world around us.  

 

We want to transmit our passion to everyone we know! We want you to fall in love with the ocean and its wildlife. Because what you love, you protect. Baja has one of the most biodiverse ocean environments in the World, and we want to show you all of it! Live an exciting moment that you will never forget. Watch thousands of mobula rays as far as you can see, have a friendly gray whale come close to you, dance with giant manta rays.

 

Aa Jacques Cousteau once said “the best way to observe a fish is to become a fish”.  Freefall Academy is a place to explore your aquatic potential, challenge yourself, and experience the freedom and weightless joy that is freediving. Come dive with us and let your body and mind feel like the ocean is your home. Become a fish.

Freedive with Mantas
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FREEDIVING PHILOSOPHY

In Spanish we have a saying “El mar lo cura todo”, it means the sea heals it all. This could’d be more right! Freediving allows you to discover places you’ve never imagined. It takes you deep into your mind and body. By submerging into the water your body state changes into a more aquatic mode. Your heart rate slows down, your body relaxes, allowing you to hold your breath longer than you ever imagined.

 

Our approach to beginner freedivers is all about relaxation and safety. When you take the course with us, we will teach you all the skills and knowledge that you need to freedive in a safe way and with good technique. We believe that focusing on fun and relaxation is te right approach, since it takes away the pressure of “hitting a number” and it allows you to fully enjoy. To us, the numbers are not important as much as you enjoying yourself. With practice comes getting deeper and holding your breath for longer, just like any other sport.

 

We also believe that connecting with other animals takes the whole course experience to another level. That is why during our courses we go to a special place where we frequently can watch dolphins, turtles come by sometimes to say hello, and the last day of the course we do fun dives in a reef where we can swim with sea lions.

ECOTOURISM

To us, freediving is closely related to conservation. We try to give our courses and expeditions an “eco” approach. We hire local boats, giving back to the local economy. We hire local captains that used to be fisherman for a living. With ecotourism, they earn more money and they don’t have to go fishing that day. For us, this is a win win for the environment and the well being of locals.

 

During our expeditions, we follow code of conduct guidelines created by experts to respect the interaction we have with wildlife underwater. Remember, the ocean is THEIR home, and we are entering so we have to be very respectful. This guidelines help reduce stress levels in wildlife during an interaction and that is one of our most important priorities.

 

As a marine biologist, Valentina, your guide, will add an extra value to the experience. She’ll explain the biology and threats of the animals you’re diving with. She will encourage you to ask questions and start a conversation. We will all learn together! During our courses we avoid single use plastics. For example, we bring a big jug of water to the boat so during the day everyone can refill their reusable water bottle. We buy fruit, chop it up and put it in topper wears too much on during the day.

Freediver Ivan diving among thousands of mobula rays with freefall academy!
Valentina Kochian

CO-FOUNDER

I am Valentina Kochian, born in argentina but had the luck to grow up in the Mexican Caribbean where all i did was spend time underwater. At 15 years old I learned to scuba dive and at 19 years old I became the youngest free diver instructor in the World (at the time).

 

Freediving connects me to the Ocean and its inhabitants in such an intimate way, and when I teach freediving to my students I try to transmit that love for the sport and the Ocean. In 2017 I moved to La Paz, Baja California Sur to chase my dreams and become a marine biologist. I’ve been discovering the secret wonders of Baja, and I have completely fallen in love with it. No matter what time of year you’re here, there’s incredible wildlife to dive with.

 

In 2019 I attended my first official competition, where I broke 2 Argentinian National Records in CWB (45m) and CNF (39m). As much as I enjoyed competing, I realized that my freediving career path is more aligned with showing people the wonders of the underwater world. To me there’s nothing more fulfilling than watching a person tearing of joy after diving with dolphins, or taking my guests to dive with sharks and show them that with respect there’s nothing to fear, or guiding them through the freefall where people meet their true selves. This is what I live for. To connect with humans and animals.

CO-FOUNDER

I am Tyler van Roden, born and raised in Lancaster Pennsylvania.  I attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa for my undergraduate in business and realized quickly I loved the Ocean more than business.  Here is where I received my PADI Divemaster, USCG Captains‘ license and surfed as much as possible.  I was on Spring 2009 Semester at Sea to further see the world from the perspective of an ocean traveling student.

While crewing a Catamaran through the Eastern Caribbean with my brother in 2014 we discovered freediving at Vertical Blue school in Dean’s Blue hole, Long Island.  I fell in love with the physical practice of meditation which is freediving. Here is where I received my AIDA instructor certification in 2016.

I arrived in La Paz Baja California Sur Mexico early 2017 where I have stayed to teach freediving with Freefall Academy, Captain sailing yachts and now instruct sailing with an American Sailing Association school called Go Baja.  In the summer of 2021 I sailed across the Pacific Ocean from Cabo to French Polynesia. This trip brought together all the things I love to do in the beautiful islands of the Marqueses, Tuamotus and Society islands.  My future goal is to Captain and charter a large Catamaran in the most beautiful and remote areas of the world to interact with wildlife, dive, kite, surf, sail and meet the locals.

Tyler van Roden

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