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Federation - association

Ffessm - Fédération Française d'Etudes & de Sports Sous-marins



The French Federation of Underwater Studies & Sports - Ffessm was created in 1948 in Marseille! It is one of the oldest federations in the world. It was first created to supervise the practice of recreational scuba diving which is starting to spread in France.

The Ffessm has a multidisciplinary character and aims to offer an ideal practice framework for scuba diving, free diving and underwater sports, with international diplomas and patents recognized worldwide,

Find out more about the French Federation of Studies & Underwater Sports

Discover the activities supervised by Ffessm:

Scuba diving

Scuba diving consists of staying underwater using an oxygen cylinder. This technique allows the practitioner to discover the flora and fauna of the seabed! It can be practiced as a hobby or in a more "technical" way, which requires more training, experience and equipment. Shortly after the 1970s, the practice of diving became more popular thanks to the arrival of simpler and cheaper equipment. Indeed, this activity was reserved for a limited target of practitioners in the 1950s, requiring physical capacity and real financial investment, at that time also practiced particularly for professional reasons.

Today, recreational diving is often practiced in distant places: Red Sea, Caribbean, Polynesia.


Freediving is an activity of sensations, relaxation and listening to yourself. A means of refocusing on oneself and working on one's breathing. Freediving is practiced in the swimming pool, in a natural environment, in a practice of leisure or competition. Snorkeling is also called free diving and is considered an extreme sport because it can be dangerous. The world record is established at more than 24 minutes by a Briton. For recreational diving, it is generally carried out between the surface of the water and 40 meters deep.

Swimming with fins

Swimming with fins is a speed activity, the swimmer uses only his muscular strength by ripple movements in the water. This swimming technique can allow the swimmer to reach a speed of up to 13km / h.

It can also be practiced as a single palm, associated with the movement of the dolphin.

Sport diving in the pool

Sports diving in swimming pools is also more simply called sports diving. The activity uses scuba diving equipment and combines its playful aspects in a competition setting in a swimming pool. This practice requires a good mastery of its movements underwater as well as speed and dexterity.

Underwater target shooting

Target shooting is a fun and original activity that combines shooting, swimming with fins and apnea. It is practiced equipped with an underwater crossbow. This sport was invented in France in the 1930s but spread (particularly in Europe) in the 1980s.

Underwater hockey

As the name suggests, underwater hockey is the practice of a collective sport you water. It combines hockey, swimming with fins and snorkeling. It is a speed sport, which is practiced in mixed teams of 6 people from the age of 8 years. Matches of 2 times 30 minutes oppose 2 camps equipped with a stick, fins, mask, snorkel, hat and glove!

Underground diving

Underground diving makes it possible to explore galleries buried underground, with sumptuous rooms, mineral landscapes ... This activity is also called sponge diving, or diving-caving. This type of diving requires special precautions and requires level 2 diving.

Spear fishing

Underwater fishing is practiced from 16 years old equipped with fins, combining apnea and fishing. This activity is also called spearfishing. It consists in harvesting fish, molluscs as well as algae, crustaceans, pearls ... It is generally practiced by the sea and up to depths of 30 meters.

Whitewater swimming

Whitewater swimming consists of running down rivers and rapids with suitable equipment. It is a sport activity practiced in the middle of nature. The swimmers descend the course of a river, using a float and head with flippers. This sport is commonly called hydrospeed.

Underwater archeology

Underwater archeology transports you into history. This practice involves archaeological operations, prospecting, surveys and excavations carried out under the cover of the Ministry of Culture. This activity consists of exploring and studying archaeological remains submerged under the sea: boats, old ships, stranded or shipwrecked, as well as ancient submerged places of life.

Underwater orientation

Similar to the orienteering race outdoors, this activity is practiced underwater equipped with a monofin and a bottle. The objective is to beat a speed record, timed. This practice requires a minimum level 1 diving diploma, from 8 years old.

Underwater hiking

Underwater hiking allows you to discover the underwater wonders. It can be practiced with the family, without the need for a diving diploma. Can be practiced in a sporty / fast way or in a leisurely stroll. It is suitable for everyone, children, disabled people ...

Mermaids and Newts

"Sirenage" is a growing aquatic activity in France and worldwide. It is therefore equipped with a costume in the shape of a mermaid / newt that you can embody legendary beings. In the United States, the “sirenage” is accompanied by beauty contests, immense parades, spectacular parades and gatherings! This practice is only at its beginnings in France and in Europe, but aims to develop quickly.

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