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New to Deep swimming, Need advice...

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Go and do it
Sep 5, 2004
Howdy All,
I appreciate this forum to share experience, I have learned a lot by reading your various posts.
I have always been a swimmer and I swam competitively into my 20's. I don't like wearing alot of gear and mobility matters to me. I am not really a freediver, I think I have more in common with spearfishermen - Extreme Snorkeling is probably a good description.
I am trying to put together a gear kit that is effective for deep swims to say 10 to 15 meters and I would like to learn safe effective ways of doing those kinds of swims.
Money isn't a problem and I will be doing most of this in Australia on Barrier Reef sites North of Port Douglas for about 6 months a year.
I am a pretty good swimmer.... so I am trying to find appropriate fins, noseclips, masks and other gear that are a good choice.
For fins I am thinking about Mares Quattro for the pool and practice. Are they acceptable for deep swimming also or would I be better off with long fins? - if so I would like something that is a bit flexible until I get stronger- any thoughts or recommendations?
the mares quattro pros are good fins.. fast, but I've heard they can be a bit slow coming up off the bottom (don't ask me why or how that is), I have a pair but have never taken them down. fins are tough to pick... they are so individualized that it's crazy. What works good for one will not work worth a darn for someone else. For swimming at depths at 10 to 15 meters you'll want efficient fins.. not necessarily the fastest fins. I think you'll find that one of the long fins that fits your kick style or adjusting your kick style to one of the long fins will be in your best interest for what you are trying to do.
Nose clips.. unless you're wearing a pipe mask you surely aren't going to need a nose clip. You haven't been wearing one while you've been doing your "extreme snorkeling" have you? Get a good low volume mask.
Appreciate the response, FJohnson...
I never liked wearing a mask because I was used to goggles but this all different from pounding laps. I feel like it messes with my streamlining so I have been wearing goggles for the last couple of months. I now realize that I am doing this sort of thing enough to justify acquiring specialized equipment and doing some homework.
I was looking at the Omer fins and the Cassi 2000 and 3000 series - mainly looking for something with a little flex to accomodate me until I am stronger. The Omer fins offer different flex in different models..
Ok, so a low volume mask...
I am also interested in training routines at the pool to enhance this sport. I know it is different than speed training... do free divers practice hypoxic training like we did for speed? We used to practice taking three to five strokes per breath while doing interval training to train our muscles to function better under low blood oxygen conditions like the last half of a 200meter race. Yet, the techniques and the training continue to change and what was good then isn't now.....Any suggestions on a good pool workout?

Hi lungfish,

Lots of questions, I'll take a shot at a few.
fjohnson is right, you definately want longfins, snorkel, and a good low volume mask. Brand choice is very individual. If money is no object, Specialfin blades, either hybrids or kelpies, are just about impossible to beat. I have both and they are much, much better than cressi's (my old fins). Find the foot pocket that fits you best and order separate blades.

Mask depends on your face, the difference in volume between different low volume masks is not significant until you get deeper than 20 meters.

Use the search function to look up info on gear and training. There is a huge amount of info available which will enable you to ask more specific questions.

Have fun leaning

Thanks for your opinion, CDavis,

I looked at the Special Fins site and examined the Kelpies and the Hybrid.. . I kind of like the Blue Water Specials because of the color.... the water in Queensland is very blue.... aesthetics I guess.

Fit is certainly an issue.... I wear an 11 in US sizes which translates to a 44-46 I think, should I order a sock with my fins in case they are too large?

I will follow up on the training recommendations.

My last trip, ended last week, was mainly a swimming trip. I shot a lot of pics of sea life... I worked hard on depth and was quite pleased with my progress. I found I was better at equalizing and could go deeper with some practice.

I am going back in a few months to stay for 6 months and I intend to be wet most of the time.

Are you a freediver and where do you practice this arcane art??
Hey Lungfish,
About the fins, you are interested in buying specialfins, I do believe size 11 translates to 44 46 (but im not sure, need to double check)... Anyway I have size 44-45 feet. I ordered my Kelpies size 44-46 and i bought 4mm thick socks from my local store. When i had finally recieved my fins, i tried them out and then found out my 4mm socks were way to thick! They were squeezing the blood out of my toes and in 15 minutes I couldnt feel my toes anymore... not good! I later went back to my to my store and bought a 3mm and a 3.5mm pair of socks... I tired them both out and found out that the 3.5mm fit the best out of all three. What I am suggesting is that you get your fins and try out diferent sock on it until you find the perfect fit! Whats the point in buying the best fins in the world if you cant wear them comfortably!!?!??! Haha. But dont do like what I did and bought 3 pairs of socks... that was kind of stupid but I had already spent so much money on my fins, an extra 40 bucks wouldnt have hurt, and i didnt want to wait for my buddies who live far far away... lol

For your training Lung, I really suggest doing a course! I took a 3 day course with Pierre Frolla, it was really great! I got to work on my techniques and could go deeper without hesitation, since i was under constant watch. Anyway, you should try and find some clubs or divers which give courses, it really helps!

Good luck and say hi to Jyri from me if you do order fins from him
Hey Snorkelbum

Good suggestions on all counts.... I contacted Specialfins after looking over their informative website and received a prompt reply from JYRI regarding sizing and money conversion, etc.....

I liked the Blue Water Specials because of the color, the flexibility and the fact that I am doing most of my swimming in North Queensland. I know there are wonderful places to swim and dive in the world and this place is definitely one of them.... Anyway, the water here is blue.... incredibly blue, especially on the seaward side of the outer reefs.

I like the suggestion regarding a course and am looking into it. Currently I am spending my time about evenly divided between Port Douglas and San Francisco Bay Area.... any suggestions on a West Coast training course? I suppose I would be willing to travel to the Carribean or Mexico if necessary and if the course was intensive enough to justify the plane ticket. Any course suggestions?

Thanks again for all the recommendations and help.
  • Like
Reactions: Snorkel Bum
Hey Lung,
I am really sorry, but I cannot help you with course information! I live in the south of France and I really have no idea about any courses where you live, all i know is that there is one in Nice and Monaco... Just check some websites, maybe Performance Freediving has a clinic nearby that could help?

Yes, I'm one of those wierd freediving spearos, have been since 1965. Ain't it great!

I wear size 10 1/2 D to 11 shoes. Cressi size44-45 are slightly loose and Sporasub size 42-44 are slightly tight, both wearable, both worn barefoot. Don't know how to estimate sock effects.

Remember, how well your foot's shape matches the pocket can be as important as size. I loved the cressis fit, but some people can't wear them. I'll be willing to bet that some people would find sproras or omers torture to wear barefoot. Try'em before you buy if there is any way to do so.


If you really want to use goggles while deep diving, you can use fluid goggles, which are swim goggles filled with saline solution. They have special lenses to correct your vision, but because they are filled with saline water, you don't get eye 'squeeze.' However, they are much more expensive than a normal mask, but they allow you to use a nose clip so you don't need to pinch your nose.

You can also use a pipe mask (pipe goggles) but they have some inconveniences like everything.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the good ideas and considerations. I would like to use goggles and I did look at the liquid filled ones. Like I said before, I don't like wearing alot of stuff but I want the right combo of technology to allow for the best experience possible. So I am prepared to give up in some areas to be able to do this well.
Thank you Eric for the suggestion. I will look into all of this.

I really appreciate the comraderie in this group. It reminds me of another group I follow, the Ultrahikers. They have a pretty impressive list of minimalist gear and techniques that they employ in long treks like the 2600mile Pacific Crest Trail. I have spent several months at a time in pursuit of that dream as well but swimming in Australia just pushed it all to the side..... Man, I got to get back there asap!!! Probably in early November....Swimmers paradise.

I found the lack of tanks and extra gear very helpful when it came to taking underwater pics of some of the critters found at the foot of coral outcrops...
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