The Underwater Academy

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Built from over 20 years experience across a broad range of diving disciplines, The Underwater Academy offers the highest standard, and most comprehensive apnea based courses available in Australia. Much more than your standard freediving education, our instructors are the best there are in the field and have worked tirelessly to attain an AIDA International accreditation. We pride ourselves in our dedication to the sport, and the lifelong development of safety and teaching techniques. Whether it’s Freediving, Underwater Photography or Spearfishing, our courses are specifically designed for your interests and abilities. Catering from beginners to the most advanced; when it comes to learning about safety, diving deeper, staying longer or training toward your goals, you will be in expert hands.  


More than just a freedive instructor

We don't believe that knowledge of the ocean is a substitute for experience in the ocean; which is why our instructors are hand selected from the most experienced pool of tried and tested watermen available (pun well and truly intended).  There is no shortcut to becoming an Underwater Academy instructor, because we know that the personal experiences and lessons that each instructor has, makes a invaluable contribution to their teaching prowess.  


Freediving Sydney

Lucas Handley

AIDA Master Instructor

Lucas Handley has extensive experience in the Freediving, Spearfishing and Underwater Photography worlds. Appearing in internationally acclaimed ocean documentaries, and working for such companies as Discovery Channel and the BBC, holding his breath has taken him around the world. Now an AIDA International Master Instructor, Lucas teaches breathology and personal development courses; deep spearfishing and freediving instruction to -40m and beyond. Twenty years spearfishing experience with 15 years in the guiding world, his background as a marine scientist comes through in his courses.


Jarred Grimmond

AIDA instructor

Jarred began freediving over two years ago, and this passion turned into an obsession. After a year and a half of solid training, he was accredited as an AIDA Instructor, and now is our regular task master for squad training. An engineer by trade, he contributed to his AIDA Instructors program with a research assignment calculating theoretical hydrodynamics, thrust and drag on the human body. An expert in streamlining, his enthusiasm as well as his calm and supportive nature make for the perfect instructor. 



Jarrod Briffa

Aida Instructor

Jarrod’s passion for the ocean extends back to some of his earliest memories fishing and collecting crabs with his father and grandfather. Jarrod developed an interest for being underwater when he was introduced to spearfishing in Byron Bay back in 2007.  In the years since he has explored many reefs and coastlines developing his skills in foraging and spearfishing for sustenance and pleasure. After suffering a pinched nerve in his shoulder in 2015, he was limited in the types of exercise he could do.  The only place it felt better was in the water where the force of gravity would ease.  So he began training regularly with the Melbourne Freedivers. He has since trained with Viktor Reshetniak at Freedive Gili, Adam Stern and Oli Christen at Freedive Flow, where he recently completed his instructors course. Jarrod loves depth but has spent a lot of time in recent years exploring his breath hold abilities whilst training and competing in the pool disciplines.

Freediving, Sydney, Australia, training Freedive, breath-hold, learn to Freedive, 

Sam Cox

AIDA assistant instructor

Sam has lived and breathed the spearfishing world for ten years. Managing the Adreno store in Sydney, his knowledge of freediving gear, spearfishing set-up and techniques for successful underwater hunting is unparalleled. Capable and experienced in all environments, sam is the go to guy for spearfishing education. Capable of reaching depths of 30m, equipment in hand, he is an asset to our spearfishing courses and continual promotion of spearfishing safety.


Alan Li

AIDa assistant instructor

Alan’s dedication to training has been unparalleled and his cross training knowledge is just as impressive. With a genuine enthusiasm to help others succeed, Alan always puts in the extra effort to make students feel comfortable. Speaking fluent Chinese, he is an invaluable asset when welcoming travellers to Australias oceans.


Brayden Grimmond

AIDA Instructor

Easily the most relaxed trainer we have, his easy going demeanour will have you feeling comfortable and relaxed while you explore your limits. While still young, Brayden has dedicated himself to training and deeper Freediving and has spent the last two years training in the pool and assisting our master instructor in Sydney. Having recently re-located to Perth, he’s enjoying building the community of freedivers there, and will be a major asset to our west coast division.

Our courses are not just designed to teach the mechanics and physical nature of breath-hold. They are also geared toward teaching a unique philosophy about our connection to the ocean, and open students up to a wider array of ocean users. The small class sizes help create bonds that build friendships, and at the completion of the course, students are welcomed into The Underwater Academy community. This network of divers offers a great opportunity to meet new dive buddies, jump aboard new adventures and access partners to continue training with.

Regulars at our squad training

Regulars at our squad training

Turning theory into practice:

For the static/ breathology part of each course, students are guided through the process in the comfort of a secured pool. We use pools as close as we can to our Adreno classrooms, to minimise travel time, however please be advised there might be a 5 min drive between locations. If you don’t have a car, there is usually someone happy to give you a lift.

Students "hard at work" with classes

Students "hard at work" with classes

Theory Workshops

Our theory lessons are conducted within the walls of Australia's largest Freediving, Spearfishing and diving warehouses Adreno ( As well as being a great meeting place for the extended dive community, the space is filled with the latest in dive technology. If you need anything before hitting the pool or ocean, it's available at your fingertips. Address: (Sydney; Melbourne; Perth)

Home, sweet home...


The Underwater Academy has its head-quarters nestled within the walls of Adreno diving warehouses, Australia wide. From here, we have access to the internal classroom facilities, and nearby heated pools. Although we love the comforting surrounds of the Adreno building, we are also highly mobile, and can move locations to suit group bookings from further afield. Now operating Australia wide, we have a wealth of knowledge and deep, protected areas to get you out. Needless to say, where there is water and will-power there's a way to get new divers underwater.


Our open ocean sessions are held at a variety of locations, and are moved to suit the prevailing environmental conditions. If the winds are up in the morning, class might start a little later, or vice versa, the afternoon. If the swell is high and from one direction we'll do our best to get you out and into the best conditions.


 Our Community

The sucess of our school is driven by the community of freedivers, underwater photographers and spearfishers who continue to be a part of The Underwater Academy. We aim to bring not only our local divers together, but as we grow, our state and national members.

To celebrate the commitment we have to learning, training and developing; we will be organising a diving club around each state centre, that will train together and ultimately compete across a broad and fun range of disciplines (see our regular squad training). We recognise that diversity also includes broadening our perspectives, so will aim to make our state wide competitions friendly, inclusive and fun.

We look forward to sharing those experiences with you.