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Basic equipment for teaching freediving in Montenegro

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Nov 11, 2017
Hi, I recently became an Aida freediving instructor and will start teaching AIDA 1,2,3 in Montenegro starting in about a month.
I am currently in Germany and about to order the needed equipment which I will then take with me to Montenegro. I am looking for some advice about what to buy.

- I am planning to teach from Mid May to Mid October
- Average water temperature (celcius): May (19), June (21), July (24), August (25), September (23), October (20)
- I am teaching max. 3 people at the same time
- Students will be beginners (doing aida 2, or sometimes 3)
- Students will not have their own equipment

I need: masks, suits, weights, weight belts, fins, socks
Probably it is enough to buy cheaper scuba suits instead of freediving suits as they are more robust.

https://www.scubastore.com/scuba-diving was recommended to me and it seems they can deliver pretty quickly.

- Assuming I will have mixed (men and women) groups of 3 people which suits & masks in which sizes should I buy to cover the most "common denominator"
- Since people will use socks probably the size should be a bit bigger for masks?
- Does someone has a good brand for suits and masks in mind for beginners?
- Assuming I am in Berlin, is https://www.scubastore.com/scuba-diving a good provider to order from?
- Does anyone know where I can order a good freediving buoy which comes with custom printing?

Any help/recommendation is highly appreciated.

Cheers from Berln
I am not familliar with scubastore.com, but I can recommend you two other stores.

One is PlanetDiveStore. They have very good prices, fast shipping and the communication is superb. Mail them any question and you get a reply in a matter of hours.

The other is Decathlon. Depending on the region they might have quite a selection of diving, freediving and spearfishing equipment.
The benefit of Decathlon is that they make generic products that 90% of their customers will like. For example, they sell a copy of the Micromask, but made with a very supple silicone, so it fits most faces.

But I'm curious, how are you going to do the fins? Feet come in so many shapes and sizes... I haven't tried them, but I guess finkeepers should be something to stock on.

Scuba suits use higher density neoprene and double lining which make them not very stretchy, so you will need many more sizes. A suit that is too big and has water flowing through is about as warm as no suit at all. Freediving suits are generally more stretchy so with fewer sizes you can cover more body-shapes. And of course they are less restrictive, which I guess would be welcomed by your students.

Whereabout in Montenegro will you be?
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Supplying personal equipment for the students and not requiring them to buy their own (from you) is not a very good decision especially in light of the current global circumstances, the pandemic. You should require the students to own their own mask, fins and snorkel in addition to the socks at least. This equipment doesn't have to be the top of the line and the prices should NOT be a huge factor at all. I can't imagine that anyone out there would want to put a mask on their face and a snorkel in their mouth that has been used by many people before them even if they were disinfected. It would be just like using somebody else's toothbrush and underwear, YUKE!

Now, in regads to your buying equipment either to rent or to sell to your students, you really shouldn't buy from retailers. You should contact one of the manufactures, there is a billion of them out there, and negotiate a deal with them to supply you with equipment for your own use and for you to sell. Note that the Scuba Store is a hit and miss operation where one purchase may go smooth and you receive the goods in reasonable time and another purchase will go south and you won't receive the goods for a very long time. Their customer service is the worst and you won't get anywhere with them easily when there is something wrong with the order.
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That for sure is the smarter way to go at the moment. Before investing, it might be wise to at least observe the corona mid-term effects on tourism, if of course tourists are your target group. People who take you as instructor because they are already interested in or practising freediving, probably have their own gear already.

You could always try to get a 10% discount deal or something at retailers for your students when you refer to them. This gets them the needed stuff and keeps you economically safe.
Perhaps for suits you could partner up with a local scuba school, which could be a simple deal like your students renting their suits.

But still I do think having a few spares on hand might be wise. A few 5 euro divemasks, extra blocks of lead and some belts.
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