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freediving as a fad...

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

I gather from your last post that you have some disdain for people like me, but please humor me a bit more . . . 7 deaths out of how many freedivers and how many dives?

And I'm curious about where they all got "certified" in freediving. I thought certification was a scuba thing.

Thanks for the help.
Informed consent

First of all, I am blown away by the depth of thought and broad knowledge base that has been demonstrated in this discussion. I think this is the real value of these forums. Although there are many different topics being addressed here the core of this discussion is one of ethics.

I think it is important to remember that we are FREEDIVING. This is one of the most individualistic sports that there is. I dive alone and I dive with buddies. When I used to climb mountains this same debate occurred and I climbed alone and I climbed with buddies. It is vital to share all the information openly but it is not the place of anyone in this sport to dictate the choice of the individual. Every summer between 50 to 100 people die while boating in San Francisco Bay. Freediving, like climbing does not come close to those numbers. We need to keep this in perspective.

When I dive with a buddy I tend to push my envelope which I never do when I dive alone. So in some ways I am at more risk diving with a buddy than alone. Diving alone in the way I do it has different risks than diving with a buddy. Personally, I need high risk activities and always have or I don't do well in life. As we progress in this sport and our knowledge an expertise grows I think it is our responsibility to share this with newbies but this does not give us the right to become legislators. Phrases like "Never dive alone" are not appropriate; rather we need to address the risks of diving alone or diving with a buddy and develop ways of managing them.

The individual nature of freediving requires each of us to recognize the inherent dangers to ourselves and to others. The truth is that buddy freediving places extraordinary risks on the buddy in some situations because of the limited oxygen envelope we work in and the conditions we sometimes dive in. Octo and I have been diving, as most of us have, in poor visibilty where the option of having a buddy watching from surface is not feasible so both of us are diving to the same depth for the same time and experiencing similar oxygen debt. Each diver and each dive environment have to assessed as a unique event factors.

For me the ethics of the situation are simple. I choose to put myself in the risk environment and I do not expect that others are now responsible for me. If we both choose to share the responsibility we both need to be clear on what we can and cannot not do and then stay within the "can do" parameter of the weakest diver. So in both solo and buddy diving the need to plan your dive and dive your plan is a important but what makes a good plan varies from dive to dive.

Diving alone has provided me with some of the most important spiritual and transcendental moments of my life. Diving with Octo has provided me with some of the most important moments of human connection of my life. I have been freediving for 35 years now and plan to dive for another 35. I won't mind at all if my last moments of life occurred while diving. I would hate like hell to die in a car accident or lying helpless in a hospital waiting for the cancer the carve the life out me. But I plan to be around to meet my grandchildren so I am a very careful diver - even when I dive alone.
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Angus hit the proverbial nail when he said:

"It is vital to share all the information openly but it is not the place of anyone in this sport to dictate the choice of the individual."

And I'm sure he is absolutely correct when he says:

"Every summer between 50 to 100 people die while boating in San Francisco Bay. Freediving, like climbing does not come close to those numbers."

But to truly provide the "perspective" he mentions, we need actual numbers in terms of freediving deaths or freediving injuries per number of freedivers or hours in the water or diving outings (some denominator). Otherwise, one could always argue that there are fewer freediving deaths only because there are fewer freedivers than boaters, and that the death RATE is actually higher for freediving than for boating in the Bay.

I could be way off, but I would guess that my drive to the water is the most dangerous aspect of my freediving . . . but I can't assert that I know it until I have the numbers.
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Hello cjborgert,

Thank you for pointing out the weakness of my comment when you said,
But to truly provide the "perspective" he mentions, we need actual numbers in terms of freediving deaths or freediving injuries per number of freedivers or hours in the water or diving outings (some denominator). Otherwise, one could always argue that there are fewer freediving deaths only because there are fewer freedivers than boaters, and that the death RATE is actually higher for freediving than for boating in the Bay.
I did not put this statement in context.

So here goes. In part I was comparing this to Krack's comments of freediving and spearfishing deaths in the entire mediterrainean over one year. I just wanted to put some perspective on his numbers. (I want to be clear that I have the highest respect for Mr. Krack and his work to develop this sport, train us, and to promote the safety in this sport.) Further, I was suggesting that activities that are thought of as normal and safe are in many cases as dangerous or more so.

What got me thinking about the death rate of boating on SF bay was thinking back to the 1970's when I was at the top of my climbing days and climbing was emerging from the shadows and starting its growth surge and similar debates concerning its safety was going on. In those days there were even attempts to ban or outlaw climbing and some areas were closed to climbing because nonclimbers found it frightennng. In those days we used to suggest that if you were going to solo climb never go higher than you were willing to fall.

But mainly, I was suggesting that the lethality issue is a straw horse; we need to quit being so defensive about it. I find it hard to image that the vast majority of adults are not aware of the dangers of going deep underwater holding ones breadth. We hear of the unfortunate, the heroes, the daredevils, the reckless, and the occassional idiots who perish in this sport but we do not hear of thousands who never have a problem. We need to make the effort to remember that the vast majority of us will live out our lives and not die diving. I do not go diving with the thought that I might die today yet I am carefull.

So hopefully from this context comparative numbers are unnecessary and I hope this helps clarify what I was saying. Thanks for bringing this to my attention cjborgert. So to paraphrase the solo climbing warning; Never go deeper than your willing to starve your brain for oxygen or stay down longer than you are willing to risk shallow water black out.

Warmly, Angus
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Between a rock . . .


I appreciate your points. I don't think life needs to be reduced to a series of calculations.

However, I also find myself continually confronted on this forum by freedivers who think the sport should be regulated - at least some have said they support a minimum certification requirement because of the high risks involved - that sounds like regulation to me.

So, this is either:

1) a purely philosophical and political discussion about personal freedoms, or

2) an issue of accurate information about the risks associated with freediving.

I'm stuck . . . if it is indeed unnecessary to quantify the risks associated with freediving in order to better inform people, then it seems to me we should all agree to drop the subject as well as the discussion of certification because it's not about freediving but rather politics.
different parts of he same whale

CJB, You are spot on. If people want to use numbers and such to support regulation then they need to use accurate numbers in the right way. Mark Twain in his pithy manner talked about three kinds of lies, "....lies, damn lies, and statistics." He did not understand statistics and how to use them any better than most people do now. The notion of significance levels, standard error measurements, repeated measures, regression, analysis of variance, qualitative versus quantitative, validity, reliability, probability, factors, and I could on and on are not in most peoples reality and yet are vital. So we need to help with this and help find ways to provide this information.

Most of the talk about regulation seems to be motivated by the desire to limit access to the resource. Regulating spear guns based on witnessing people with snarled tethers begs the question just as you suggest as it doesn't address how signficant the observation is. But we don't need hard numbers to understand this; freedivers and spearfishing are minimal impact activities. Management of commercial fishing and environmental degradation is the whale of the problem. We are just a pimple on its butt.

This forum started with the issue of freediving being a fad and that innocents were at risk of being lured into a dangerous sport by ruthless industrialists wishing to capitalize on this new market. This is just more of the same nonsense that we see over and over in which someone creates a fearful scenario from which all sorts of reactionary regulations get to be imposed. (At the clinic where I work we were recently told that we were supposed to look for misconduct on the part of our coworkers to avoid problems of corporate noncompliance that the clinic could be charged with at some future date. In that meeting I was very clear that I was not about to become a fascist or support a fascist system so that they could avoid something that wasn't happening.) But, as many of the contributors to this forum pointed out, there are important ethical issues to be addressed as we consider our responsibility for being part of creating and promoting freediving.

So yes numbers, good accurate measurements, are important but they are only part of the whale. Another part is the general discussion of ethical behavior in the sport. And there others parts of the same whale that we have not even thought of addressing. Both approaches are valid and are mutually supportive; not mutually exclusive. I appreciate your williingness to repeatedly point out the misuse of numbers and I will continue to support you in this. But we also need to allow for contextual use of numbers that does not require precision and accuracy as part of the discussion. The wonderful thing about these forums is the opportunity to explore our thoughts and feelings by sharing them with others. If we require absolute rigor and the need to avoid error we will limit the evolutionary nature of this process.

Finally, the sport has de facto regulations anyway by access laws, fish and game laws, conservation laws, etc. Creating more regulations because some people break existing laws does not affect those people. And it is impossible to regulate fads.
ok i think my post was misenterpreted.

when i was talking about an agency i was more refering to a "union" type of thing, although i do believe that there should be a course on spearfishing (not with different levels though, more of a one time deal).

the agency would have more of a diplomatic role and have "diplomats" in some dive stores across the country. still leaving the divers to do there own thing (no training courses neccesary) and be responsible for themselves (maybe send out a flyer to the members or something...)

and then with the agency (lets call it the recreational freediving counsil or RFC for short) would have a list of recreational freediving clubs all over the world.

then, not being affilliated with any competitions or records all members of all the "competetive" agencies could join without worry of some political problem for the record or something.

with a list of clubs all over the world, the newbie freediver would be drawn to a club :head because they want to get better at the sport

then without the sport being officially regulated the senior members of the sport could help the new people that are just getting into the sport

with the supervision of the senior members the newbies would learn everything the (hopefully) proper way and without having to regulate the sport you see the rate of fatalities go down everywhere where there are clubs by providing people with buddies and regular outings.

and with the diplomats in the dive stores well there job is to link the dive store to the club and the members would have a dicount or something.

hope that clears up what i said
What an interesting thread....

This has been an interesting thread....maybe a bit scary (sure a lot to read). I myself would hate to see any sort of regulation but I can tell now that the ball has started rolling...eventually it (freediving) will be regulated (IMO).. probably to the point as to locations it is allowed to be done, and maybe this thread is just an extension of conversations going on in places where regulations and laws can lead to instigation of those changes and So.. who regulates it, the game and fish dept.? They are the only ones on the water around here... I'm your "newbie" to the sport..it happened years ago when snorkeling and finding out that I had no problem getting to 25 or even 35'...even after that it was a long time before I knew there was actually something called "freediving"..and that it took little effort to go even deeper. or that there was equipment available to send me even deeper yet.... and that there was such an information filled bulletin as this so that I could hear and learn of the dangers, how to be safer, and different techniques and different equipment to use to further my ability to feed my addiction to the greater and greater pressures of the water around me. When regulations/laws are spoken of I always feel like I do about the firearm regulations here in the states.. they only affect the law abiding..and the law abiding do not need more/any regulations. An earlier post mentioned that the folks on this board would number enough to become a regulating body... if such a body were to begin a movement, aside and off from the visitors and members of this bbs system, I would suggest that we quickly form an association and get contol so that we could defer any and all regulations that might affect my and your freeding freedom. Fad - no-fad .. makes no difference to me.. but if freediving becomes regulated lets make sure that my nice long fins get grandfathered in as being legal, O.K.?
OK, Ok, maybe freediving won't be regulated.......but I have a feeling it will and that possibly that it would be the dive shops that would push for such a thing. Some dive shops (NOT ALL) seem to resent us breath hold divers.
Just my opinions and nothing else.....
...the politics of ethics

My salute to you Angus and cjb for the latest contributions to this thread. It is indeed apparent that there is great concern about our continued access to our sport, despite the public and elected naysayers.

Don't fret cjb, I extend no animosity to one or those that wish to exactlingly quantify the numbers for any use. Indeed the more exacting the better able we are to assign responsibiltiy or penalty for an action, hoping to avoid future scenerios. My point was that the numbers that I've been involved in have been less than successfully used to the intended purpose. It's been done. The deaths I noted have happened with a great and broad degree of circumstances that I doubt would enable even a professional risk assessor to point to one or three things important in their surveys. I could certainly provide you with the first hand information as I remember, if you'd like. I don't know that this forum is best for that or maybe it is, with others possibly chiming in aout their experiences or heresay.

And you are on a right track, thin, with your union and freedive clubs. Trouble is that that is exactly the way that I started 32 years ago- by joining a club that I identified was active in the freediving and SCUBA communities and traveling with them on outings that furthered my interests and refined my skills. I am still very close to several of these members of the now-defunct clubs, in fact going diving this next weekend. NASDS and SSI and now PADI have gone the diving destination route with some initial success, but while I personally don't see myself going to a freediving resort, per se, I'd be happy to attend a clinic, ala Kirk's where the curriculum isn't just about apnea. I mean if Terry Maas got together a trip, I'd be the first in line! Then we get into the whole thing about a governing agency, and hell the big time freedive records are being tossed back and forth much as with professional boxing, with two or more federations involved in a pissing contest.

So, I think it's been done too.

My initial point in starting this thread was to vent some frustratioin at seeing an influx of new and eager divers going through the same ignorant and idiotic motions we, or at least I did. Trouble is that with today's society, and the usual knee jerk, PC reactionaries those same antics aren't going to fly and then we'll really be in, uh, deep.

That said, how's life behind the Zion curtain Angus? I lived just North of you, in Sandy, where my kids and their Mom still are. Damn pretty place Utah, but just too socially sterile and way too far from real salt water.

I don´t even want to HEAR about regulation. It always crops up at some point, and it´s always to "protect people", generally from themselves. And it´s never a good thing.
I make no distinction between people who want to protect you from yourself or raise your consciousness and regulators such as Hitler and Jim Jones. It´s just a question of degree and it all starts with a single step.
regulating regulations

...that's true, snork, which is why we are hashing this out- so we can identify the step(s) before they occur, and to make the inevitable regulations more amenable to those of us already in the know. :head

yep, regulations are one nasty son of a B**** (pardon my language(sp))

also, it may seem that i have a single track mind but wouldnt a union be good because freedivers would be recognized and a group rather then a bunch of individuals.

as has been said, regulations will come eventually i would say that we try to get in a position that the freedivers can do something about what regulations are being past...

and im really glad that so many people have opinions on the matter

im out
What a Thread?

Wow. What a thread? I don't know if I'm impressed, or depressed?

Yesterday it was: put this mask on you can see underwater. Isn't it beautiful? Hold your breath and you can swim down for a closer look. That was it. It was pretty basic that if you hold your breath too long you will pass out and die. We heard about a few very serious breath-hold divers that were setting records and risking death by going deeper than most of us would ever go. And long before carbon fins, low volume masks and the term Freediving, people were drowning because they held their breath too long and blacked out, or swam down and got tangled in something.

Now, suddenly, holding your breath and swimming underwater is declared an official dangerous sport, apart from swimming and scuba diving. It used to be snorkeling, or skin diving; now it's Freediving. C'mon, any talk of regulating it --apart from regulating competition and records-- seems absolutely rediculous to me. Let's regulate skateboarding, rollerblading, swimming, bicycles. Don't more swimming accidents occur when people are jumping or diving into the water? Let's have a debate about regulating "jumping into the water." You could require different levels of certification for how high you were qualified to jump from.

Sorry for my sarcasm. Everyone in my family was scuba diving long before we ever heard of PADI. Then PADI came along and we couldn't get tanks filled unless we were "certified." A few people wanted to control the sport and formed PADI. I don't know if they wanted to bring safety to it, or just saw money and a job in it for themselves. (I always suspected the later.) But we all got certified, to buy air, to be able to go out on dive charters, and because it seemed like the thing to do in the interest of safety and education. Now, it's gone full circle. Last week in Cozumel, seemed like to me anyone could get tanks filled and go out on most dive boats and they never checked 'C' cards. If all the shops and dive charters aren't checking for cards and following the PADI regulations, then PADI isn't regulating a damn thing, are they? They just think they are. Worse yet, weekend resort certifications are turning out scuba divers that don't know their head from a hole in the ground, aren't physically capable of making the kinds of dives they are making, think because they got certified they are ready for anything, and are getting into trouble on a regular basis. So in that sense, you could make the argument that certification and regulation by PADI, NAUI and the others may have hurt the safety of the sport. (Yeah I know that's a stretch. I'm sure the education required for certification helps, but the argument is there to be made.)

It always seemed to me that getting tanks filled and renting equipment (usually tanks, BCs and regualtors, because most people carry their own mask and fins) was the only way that the organizations "regulating" scuba diving maintained any control. The filling-and-renting-tanks-control doesn't exist in Freediving. I suppose when the dive charters start refusing to take me out unless I have a "Freedive" certification, I'll be the first in line to get one, but that isn't even happening in scuba diving yet, so I don't think we have anything to worry about in freediving.

Cozumel was wonderful. We had three generations of family on a 100 ft. deep wall dive at the Palancar reef -- very cool. Freediving on shallower reefs, we had divers in the family from 8 yrs old to 68 yrs. Everyone dove safe and had nothing but fun.

Dive safe,
holy cow, guys!

my internet is down at home and i can only get on here at work. looks like i've missed quite a bit.

yeah, that was me who said "we all know freediving is one of the most dangerous hobbies out there."

i'll try to retain some brevity here...

2 months ago, i was in a dive store in miami picking up some things. while at the register, a little kid(couldn't have been more than 8yrs old) and his mom comes in. "can i help you?", asks the owner. "i want a harpoon", retorts the kid. "a harpoon?"(owner). "yeah, you know, one of those things that harpoons fish!"(kid). the manager looks back at one of his employess for some sort of acknowledgement. "hmmm, let me see..."(owner pulls down small speargun) "how about this?". "holy crap this is awesome, mom.. buy it!"

the owner asked the kid if he knew how to use it. the kid nodded yes without losing eye contact w/ the gun. well, not having spoken a single word, the mother walked out behind her kid and his new toy with the receipt to the $120 speargun.

after notifying the owner of his loss of a longtime customer, i raced out of the store. i caught up with the two and introduced myself. come to have it, the kid had only been diving right off the beach and had apparantly seen a fish. but, he only had a mask. no snorkel or fins, just a mask. anyways, the kid had no idea how to load the gun. i informed him of how the gun needed to be loaded before it could be fired. the 50lb kid couldn't even move the bands back on the gun. (although he tried for quite some time) i realized what i was doing, and immediately overwhelmed the kid with the complexities of spearfishing laws, regulations, and license costs. i also told him stories of all the sharks that come when you spear a fish. his eyes grew to the size of apples and i think his mom loaded her shorts. i told her the best thing for her to do for her son was to go buy a cheap pair of fins, a snorkel, and a few snorkeling books. actually, knowing how bad my spanish is, i probably told them to get into scuba diving :D

yeah, they took it right back inside. i kinda felt badly about the whole situation(you know, interfering with peoples' lessons), but i know what i did was right.

on the subject of regulating spearfishing...

i would really like to see some sort of regulations on the use of spearguns while using tanks. i think at least a cert. level greater than "open water" should be required. in both cases(scuba & freediving), i think a "harvest method" stamp should have to be purchased to go on your fishing license. with this, you'd need to sign something along the lines of "acknowledgement of self-endangerment". and, of course, minors would need a parent's sig as well. i think a required course would be difficult to enforce because of the relatively small percentage of spearfishermen.

i think that if you can afford to spear&scuba, you'd be smart enough to grant yourself suitable access to information from media or knowledgeable people. if not, why argue with letting the idiots take themselves out of the gene pool?

aquiles and i try our damndest to educate as many people as we can on spearfishing. i get letters everyday from people wanting to know more about what we do. lightyears short of being god's gifts to spearfishing, we beat to death the fact that spearfishing is a love and an art, not a fad hobby. (although i did mention freediving was a hobby, but i think it's more a love and an art as well.) from our perspective we find it much more gratifying to hear these new people talk about experiences and encounters rather than what they put in their coolers.

of all my interests, spearfishing stands above it all. it's too difficult to share this feeling of humbleness and exhilaration to anyone who has yet to experience it for themselves. i do believe that this sort of spiritual level keeps many from attaining the comfort level that will keep them in the water. i think freedive spearfishing has it's own sort of human filter, and allows only the more pure individual a certain "right of passage."

i think the safety of our future spearos pretty much resides in our own hands. i think it's pretty much our responsibility to share our knowledge and experience with the rest of the world. just take a look at some of the legends that have done just that. that was their era, ....now this one is ours.

~ anderson
Parsing the issues

I think we have actually been discussing two subjects, related but separate.

1) issues surrounding the regulation of freediving (without spearfishing gear) to prevent people from hurting or killing themselves;

2) issues surrounding the regulation of spearfishing to prevent untrained spearos from damaging the resource (or killing others).

What is prudent to do in one situation might not apply to the other.

i think pursuing the idea of regulating freediving is a little farfetched.

there are billions of places where people snorkel the beautiful reefs of our oceans. should they need a license if they want to submerge below 15 feet? it would be nice if we actually lived in that perfect world where we could save everyone, but contemplating nonrealistic issues does not really seem to get us anywhere.

i think the original topic should have been stuck to, and that's if freediving is becoming a fad? as for my prior post, obviously i can only contribute to the relation spearfishing has to this topic. and, to me, spearfishing is freediving.

freediving fad-regulation

Hi everyone,
Although I put my two cents in awhile ago on this subject heres some more of my humble opinions. I have to agree w/ Marshall and part of Andersons comments. First, as stated before I'm against any type of regulation for this sport/hobby. Maybe I've been living under a rock but where is all this coming from? I've been certified for scuba for about 16yrs, been freediving for about 10yrs, I've attended several dive equipment manufactures shows and subscribe to 3 spearfishing mags and haven't heard or read as much about regulation as the past month on this post. Lets not act like chicken little, the sky isn't falling!:confused: Yes people need to be educated, and yes people are still going to kill themselves doing this. If you look at the numbers(lets not bring up the statistics thing again) the people w/ the greater experience are probably the ones that are more likely to do something to jepordize their life.
I think we also have a couple of different subjects also. There are people who want to go past just snorkeling and start freediving but nothing deep or long. Then there are those who want to get in the competition end of things and then there are those who just want to shoot fish and learn skills as a freediver to help them accomplish that. I'm sure there are more. Where and how would you start to regulate it?
I guess I fall into the last catagory. I just don't feel totally complete unless I have a speargun w/ me. You just never know what could swim by. Although I don't need to kill something to have a good time.
It would be good if the stores that sold this equipment would at least show the buyer how to use it. I applaud Anderson for his actions.
Lastly, lets admit it, the learning process can leave some pretty funny memories when you look back on them. When I first started trying to catch fish by spearing them I was 7 or 8. I grew up on a little island on the coast of NC. My friends and I would go behind the graveyard where thet would throw the wreaths away w/ the stands. We would take the stands and cut the straight pieces off and sharpen the end. These were about 3 feet long and 1/4" dia. Then we would go to a place on the sound w/ a rock breakwater and pilings and attempt to stab fish. We would wait for them to swim between us and a rock and try to pin them(since we didn't have any bands). Us w/ ill fitting masks and fins if we were fortunate. Needless to say the fish were usually safe but when we did get one there was cause for celebration. I think these learning experiences are more valuable than depending on the latest gear and dive manual. I'm glad I didn't have access to the latest hi-tech gun and dive equipment(not that it would of helped w/ the 2-3 feet of vis we usually had). I believe it taught me to rely more on instinct than gear and more important patience.
Today people want to go from point A to C and skip B. This is where the problems start to come in. They don't want to spend the time doing what needs to be done to become proficient. You can teach them all the size limits and species but if they don't put in the water time they'll never get a legal fish. Usually they get bored and start target practicing on the curious and small fish. I've seen this plenty of times in the Keys and I'm sure Anderson has too.
When there's an actual organized push to regulate this then lets get together. Sorry for the length of this and the little personal history stuff, but it's what has shaped my freediving world. Take care.
Is there a rule about length of posts? I know I'm off topic, but I think what's important is if the words ring true and are meaningful to the writer. Jay, and the rest of you too, I like to read what you have to say, and I am always interested in your histories and personal stories. I feel I know most of you because of these things.
Great thread my friends,
Erik Y.
Nice stuff everyone. When I started this thread this was the dialog I was hoping for and expected also.

Hoping for in that it shows that there are those that just plain care- about their rights, abilities and the resources, and imoprtantly, how to maintain them. What I also expected was the division if you will, of those that just go deep for kicks and those that occasionally get good and lucky to spear dinner. There's always been a faction in diving that has espoused a no-spear theology and their numbers have been used quite successfully by conservationists and eco-wackos in limiting access to the resource. I agree that regulating the act of freediving is near impossible nor desirable. The regulating of carrying a speargun is something else... and that means whether or not you're carrying tanks or holding your breath.

While I'm near the front of the line of those that aren't in favor of any regulation, I think that it would be a powerful demonstration of the gun owner's intent and ethics, especially if the regulation(s) are brought forht by the divers themselves. But while Jay Riffe, Terry Maas, and schleps like myself and Anderson shout from the driftwood pulpits that we are a taking a miniscule amount of fish and then that's only because we hit what we aim for, the sad truth is that we are in the very quiet minority of public opinion when something goes wrong in front of a picnicking family, or seaside photographer, or property owner nice enough to let you cross the fenceline. When a protected, or juvenile species, or just plain uselss catch is brought ashore it reinforces that that diver is wiping out the ocean, and then we as a community of practitioners is guilty by rubber suited, gun carrying association. That's what scares me.

While we can all council individuals on what and how, as I have with my children, the fact is that if we can raise enough of a stink within our community to police itself, we can perhaps lessen the inevitable slap of rules laid down by those that have no purpose other than re election.

One last observation is that there should not be a distinction between freedivers and those tanking. Truth be told most of the stupidity I've seen has been from those getting frustrated by not being able to hold their breath enough or in not seeing anything big enough to shoot, so they wack a small rockfish as a means of having nothing else to shoot. " I drove all this way and damnit, I'm gonna shoot some fish!!.. Anyone else remember?


I seem to be finding four year old threads a lot lately. Does anyone still read these? One opinion I got scolded for a couple years ago was, "I am attracted to obscure sports and now this one's going to the dogs, let's not share it." I'll have to take up Rock Hopping again until someone starts a seminar titled something like "The Zen of Rock Hopping". My favorite is so difficult to sell that it may not be in danger of becoming a fad..See the thread on underwater fin surfing.

The other thought is I will mourn the loss of risk in the sport. In that due to liability the fun will be taken out of things like Kirk's seminars. I had the honor of taking one of Kirks seminars in Kona about seven years ago and I was wondering just how far he would go with us. It was refreshing to have a teacher basically give you the information and then allow you to exceed all of your previous assumptions of how deep you could go. Thanks, Kirk, don't ever change!
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