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Started Freediving/Spearfishing and need sugestions

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Oct 22, 2020
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Hello Divers!
I discovered the magic of freediving at 41yo. :)
I also discovered this forum being announced to me as the best/bigger forum about freediving on the internet, hopefully i can find someone who can teach/coach me a few tips.
I was introduced to the sport by a very good friend of mine, i have been recording my sessions and i have been feeling like a newbie.
The water is wich i dive is not that absolutely clear water from most videos i see on youtube and it frustrates me a bit.
I also feel like im carrying to much gear with me and i dont really feel FREE while freediving.
Can some pros watch bits of my recorded sessions and hand me over some sugestions/tips to improve?
Thanks
 
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Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
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I'm still halfway the video, but paused it to make a quick comment.

You mentioned that one dive felt deeper as you felt your eardrums stretching. This gives me the impression that you're not familiar with equalising your ears yet. This is tremendously important or you will sooner or later damage your ears, sinuses and everything connected to it, possibly leading to a dangerous situation as well, especially when alone. [Edit: literally a second later you mention equalising for the next dive. But I'll leave this in as watching more videos on this topic is never a bad thing. And as a link to Adam Stern's YouTube channel.]

Freediver Adam Stern has made some excellent videos about equalisation and other topics. Watch them! Here's a link:


Another advice I have before finishing the video yet (so perhaps more will come later), is to not always bring your speargun. First learn to be as comfortable in the water and under water as a fish, only then introduce secondary stuff like lines, spears, fighting fish, accidents, etc, can lead to some situations you might not be ready for yet.
[Edit: I like how you felt remorse for shooting at a fish that afterwards you considered being too small. Keep growing the attitude of only shooting what you need and eat; don't become trigger-happy. Learn about the different fish species and only shoot at what you can identify. If you can't identify a fish, memorize its outline and color and look it up on FishBase.
And remember: everything you point your gun at, even if it's unloaded, dies. Never trust the safety switch. If you go with a buddy, only bring one gun for the two of you. If with a buddy, make sure both understand that the lowest skill level is the one that should be set as a limit.]


You found the sea quite rough that day. If you consider it too dangerous, or have any doubts, don't go in. Same for when you feel that 'it's one of those days [where everything seems to go wrong]'. But at the same time, *do* learn to dive in horrible conditions as well, as the sea can change from nice and calm to dangerous quickly without warning.

Some people will advice you to follow a freediving course. I second that advice, but I also agree that it is very well possible to learn by yourself, as long as you're aware that when doing so, the quality and understanding of what and how you teach yourself is extremely important.

I really liked your video. Everything on YouTube seems to be pros diving for huge groupers and AJs at ridiculous depths. By watching you learn I learned a lot as well.

FishBase: link pre-sorted for marine fish in Portugal, with pictures.
 
Last edited:
Oct 22, 2020
3
4
8
42
I'm still halfway the video, but paused it to make a quick comment.

You mentioned that one dive felt deeper as you felt your eardrums stretching. This gives me the impression that you're not familiar with equalising your ears yet. This is tremendously important or you will sooner or later damage your ears, sinuses and everything connected to it, possibly leading to a dangerous situation as well, especially when alone. [Edit: literally a second later you mention equalising for the next dive. But I'll leave this in as watching more videos on this topic is never a bad thing. And as a link to Adam Stern's YouTube channel.]

Freediver Adam Stern has made some excellent videos about equalisation and other topics. Watch them! Here's a link:


Another advice I have before finishing the video yet (so perhaps more will come later), is to not always bring your speargun. First learn to be as comfortable in the water and under water as a fish, only then introduce secondary stuff like lines, spears, fighting fish, accidents, etc, can lead to some situations you might not be ready for yet.
[Edit: I like how you felt remorse for shooting at a fish that afterwards you considered being too small. Keep growing the attitude of only shooting what you need and eat; don't become trigger-happy. Learn about the different fish species and only shoot at what you can identify. If you can't identify a fish, memorize its outline and color and look it up on FishBase.
And remember: everything you point your gun at, even if it's unloaded, dies. Never trust the safety switch. If you go with a buddy, only bring one gun for the two of you. If with a buddy, make sure both understand that the lowest skill level is the one that should be set as a limit.]


You found the sea quite rough that day. If you consider it too dangerous, or have any doubts, don't go in. Same for when you feel that 'it's one of those days [where everything seems to go wrong]'. But at the same time, *do* learn to dive in horrible conditions as well, as the sea can change from nice and calm to dangerous quickly without warning.

Some people will advice you to follow a freediving course. I second that advice, but I also agree that it is very well possible to learn by yourself, as long as you're aware that when doing so, the quality and understanding of what and how you teach yourself is extremely important.

I really liked your video. Everything on YouTube seems to be pros diving for huge groupers and AJs at ridiculous depths. By watching you learn I learned a lot as well.

FishBase: link pre-sorted for marine fish in Portugal, with pictures.
Thank you so much.
First few dives i made i had a buddy that has been diving for 15years. That day he couldnt join in but i was in tremendous need to dive. It is like im addicted to it. I need to be inside the water, need to be in that world. Might seem strange to hear me say this but i cant get enough of it. I still dont know how im going to handle not diving in the Fall and Winter.

Im going to take your word for it, it sounds like a great tip really. Going to try diving without no attacthments, no speargun, no floater and therefore no ropes. :) Just going to take the camera on my fist and explore.

Indeed, I did feel remorse for that small fish, and it was imediately after shooting it. I still dont know what made me shoot it, i shouldnt have. Luckly i miss it. But i think it was for seing it near that rock, and then going for the repositioning behind the rock, as soon as one fish poped out i think i went for the shot.

I am a newbie in love for the sport and memorizing all this fish is still tricky. I get extremely confused still about the diference between a Sea Mullet and a Sea Bass.

On another note ill try to find if there are any diving courses to get in during this winter time around my area.

Thanks alot for your tips. :)
 
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Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
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I didn't say to leave the float at home... Depending on where you are it might be necessary for law, safety or both. But to be clear of lines you could ask your buddy to tow the float. Perhaps also do some dives where neither you or your buddy has a gun, so that there is no distraction from the diving and watching each other. I dive alone most of the time, but the times where I dive with a friend I notice that being good buddies is a skill on itself.

As for fish identification. For me it helped to learn about one species of fish at a time and focus on that when in the water. It's the days when I don't bring my gun that I learn the most. Slowly as time went by I introduced more fish to my list. I truly hate these posts in spearfishing fb-groups of "Hey guys what is this fish that I just killed?".

FishBase also lists important information about the species, like adult-length, max-length, vulnerability, etc. And ofc check with the local coastguard for if there are certain catch-limits, minimum sizes, no-go zones, etc. A logical step many people overlook.

To me it doesn't sound strange when you say that you feel addicted to being in the sea. I gave up all my possessions and moved to a different country just for that!

Tbh, just keep diving in the fall and winter. Those are beautiful seasons.
 
Oct 22, 2020
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I didn't say to leave the float at home... Depending on where you are it might be necessary for law, safety or both. But to be clear of lines you could ask your buddy to tow the float. Perhaps also do some dives where neither you or your buddy has a gun, so that there is no distraction from the diving and watching each other. I dive alone most of the time, but the times where I dive with a friend I notice that being good buddies is a skill on itself.

As for fish identification. For me it helped to learn about one species of fish at a time and focus on that when in the water. It's the days when I don't bring my gun that I learn the most. Slowly as time went by I introduced more fish to my list. I truly hate these posts in spearfishing fb-groups of "Hey guys what is this fish that I just killed?".

FishBase also lists important information about the species, like adult-length, max-length, vulnerability, etc. And ofc check with the local coastguard for if there are certain catch-limits, minimum sizes, no-go zones, etc. A logical step many people overlook.

To me it doesn't sound strange when you say that you feel addicted to being in the sea. I gave up all my possessions and moved to a different country just for that!

Tbh, just keep diving in the fall and winter. Those are beautiful seasons.
Well thats pretty spot on, when i go with my buddy we kind of end up diving in diferent places, we can go like 1 full hour without even being aware of eachother. He said it was safer due to the guns. Ill suggest your tip next time, dive together in the same spot without guns.

Well i thought i was crazy to feel that absolute need to get in the water, even risking it alone while still a newbie, but giving up all my possessions and moving to a different country is kind of extreme indeed. Im from Portugal so im guessing theres plenty of beaches and diving spots around, all i would be required to do was to give up all my possessions, but that would include home, car, girlfriend, dog...
Wich country did you moved to and from where?
 
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Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
400
221
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Wich country did you moved to and from where?
I moved from the Netherlands to Greece/Crete. Best decision I made in my life so far.

we can go like 1 full hour without even being aware of eachother
My friend tends to do the same and I noticed for me it creates a false sense of safety; it feels like there is someone who could help if things go south, but in reality the situation is more similar to diving alone. So I actually prefer to dive alone, because then I *know* that there is no safety. (Obviously I would prefer to dive with a buddy who is attentive and didn't skip learning rescue techniques).

Now with my friend I only dive with him a few times per year, but if you and your friend dive together often it might be wise to set up some rules and to practise them. Lots of info to be found on what makes a good buddy here on the forum.

He said it was safer due to the guns
You don't have that problem if you share one gun. :D
 

mad mat

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2006
19
5
93
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Heres a tip no one EVER was surfacing after a dive thinking I wish I had more lead on. It’s better to have less weight and float then more weight and drown.

I noticed your shaft looks rusty as. Buy yourself a tin of silicone spray. After you wash your gear and it dries, spray everything. My spear guns are over 10years old and so are some of my shafts. My Cressi garas are also over 10 years old. Spray your weight belts(Not webbing type), fins, masks, snorkel, knives. Rubbers. Anything that’s plastic or rubber. Silicone spray also helps shaft slide on your gun.

Don’t use that rusty shaft as is. Rub it back with a scrubbing pad, wire brush or even wet and dry sandpaper till it’s small. Wash, dry and silicone spray.
 

GreatLaker

Member
Mar 9, 2019
7
6
18
As mentioned by others, I suggest you leave the speargun at home; and I would also suggest leaving the camera as well. These are distractions to mastering the fundamentals of safety, focus, calmness and smooth technique. I've been scuba diving about thirty years and freediving three. That said, when I am technical scuba wreck diving (i.e. decompression, trimix and O2 decompression gas) I leave the camera at home because I am focused on my environment, dive plan, buddy, decompression status and breathing gas status. Taking pictures is not a priority. On another topic, I recommend taking a professionally taught freediving class. My class was RAID Freediver taught by Emma Farrell of GO freediving in the UK. It was amazing to learn the essentials of freediving technique and safety. Highly recommended. As to freediving, I am rather new and have gone no deeper than 23 m (attached to line with lanyard and observed by an instructor). I share your enthusiasm for freediving! And my recommendation of professional training, I believe, will only enhance your enthusiasm, ability and safety.
 
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