• Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

Surface interval and bottom times

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.


Oct 8, 2002
I am always curious as to how long do other spearos give themselves at the surface before descending and how long they stay at the bottom. My average time at the bottom is 2 mins and surface interval about 1:15 then I am ready to go down again. I will probably dive about 50 times in a session between 15 and 20 metres. Obviously takes slightly longer on surface if you catch a fish or are loading the gun but that is my average time.

I told this to a friend of mine who was a bit shocked and said that he at least doubles his surface time to whatever his bottom time has been.

What do you spearos do?

15 seconds down, 1 minute up... repeat


just kidding.... depends on where I am.

In Hawaii where I can see the fish before I dive, my surface intervals are huge since I'm not going to waste my energy unnecessarily when I can see there's nothing there to dive on.

In Nor Cal where I'm lucky if I can see my spear-tip, I dive 1:1 when actively hunting/searching for fish since it takes a large amount of hustling to locate them. I could shorten my surface time, but keeping it 1:1 makes it more enjoyable experience for me.
Mine is 45 minutes of an hour bobbing on the surface. I only descent if I see fish.... he he he...even if the viz in 15 feet.

Sorry I am such a poor freediver. I can only do 15 feet comfortably and all under 30 seconds....:D :D
Your average bottom time is definitely more than mine. What are your other statistics, like static, dynamic, etc.?
Good job,
I did 4:45 lying on my bed. Never tried a dynamic before. Should do it one day.
4:45 on your bed, that's pretty damn good. I'm assuming that you're not one of those crazy freedivers who think anything under 5 min sucks. I'm on the clear water, don't dive until you see them boat for the most part. I will stalk with on fish in sight if the bottom structure looks like it is holding fish or if we're blue water hunting. I never really timed my dives but for reef diving, I'll stay down about 1:30 and if nothing shows, head up. and move on. For the blue, my partner and I usually alternate one up one down. That way, the up diver can spot a fish or shark and point or vice versa. Down diver usually has the shot unless the Ono swims right up to you and you fire from the surface. Sorry Josh but you already had one and I hadn't even fired yet that day.
Like I said, I usually don't time my dives, I just breathe up and when I hit 7-10 breaths, dive.


I'm assuming you're timing your dives. :confused:

Obviously it depends on the type of hunting you're doing, but 2 minutes down is quite a long time. Aquiles and I hunt around 70-80ft comfortably and we're seldom passing the 1'30 mark. I even have a 6'15 wet static but have my alarm set at 1'30 to let me know I need to be heading up for air. :hmm

I'm just not a fan of pushing it, but I'd like to guess those times you mentioned are when everything's clicking for you. :confused: Either that, or you just live in the ocean. Also, to resaturate the O2 from a 2'0 dive in 1'15 sounds like you're purging awfully quick and frequent (ie. hyperventalating).

Do be careful, but also let us know what you're doing out there. What's your warm up, how long does it take to get into these #'s, and what's your water temp? :confused

Dive safe,

The one legged bandit is in disbelief of our abilities! Hey Sven did you get that ankle worked on? You are going to need it when I drag you down to eighty feet :) :) :)


The Migrant
No prob, I'll stop off at 80 on the way back up and check on you!

Si jefe, the ankle is sportin' some stainless and the kid is on the mend! Proof positive that donating hot Swedish protein shots is the best healer! ;)

Last edited:
hi Andrsn

6:15 wet static that is huge. Cmon you must have been pushing it on that or you have gills.

Its amazing what a little stainless steel can do!:) A couple of patches and bolts held together with some crazy glue and you will be fine. Anderson and I were talking about the event and It looks like it is going to be big. I hope so. I'm going nuts with all this school crap. If I'm not crazy by march I just might be able to shoot something.


Originally posted by ivan
hi Andrsn

6:15 wet static that is huge. Cmon you must have been pushing it on that or you have gills.


I'd trade that in a heartbeat to be able to hunt at depth for 2 minutes on average and only have to spend a little over a minute to recover on the surface before doing it all over again. Now that's gills! :blackeye

  • Like
Reactions: ivan
Hey Aquiles, is that 1:30 at the botom or total time? My drop & surfacing usually takes about a minute by itself whenever I try pushing it.... but I never hit 70 or 80 :( Am I just dropping way too slow?

Shaneshac, you say "time at the bottom is 2 mins," so does that mean you stay down for about 2:30+??? If so, that's truly amazing...
My bottom time at 10 metres has been over 2 minutes. ANything over that depth and I try not to exceed 2:30 total dive time.

I don't do anything special, takes me about 10 dives before I am hitting the 2 minute mark. Water temperature right now is 13 degrees celsius.

I don't forcefully ventilate I just breathe normally until my heart rate has dropped, take three or four deep breathes and go.With my 12 years rowing background I seem to recover pretty quick compared to others who dive with me.


Well Shane, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and just add that that's pretty impressive. Aquiles and I will hit the 2 minute mark quite frequently when we're photographing (even at 65') but we're hardly moving (not much O2 consumption), but when we're spearfishing, that time is cut considerably. :hmm

Good luck and stay safe.


PS. Fuzz, if 1 minute's doing the trick for you, be happy with it. 80% of my dives are in between 45 seconds and 1'15. Dropping more rapidly will tend to spook the fishies, unless you just crash the bottom. :D
Originally posted by andrsn
PS. Fuzz, if 1 minute's doing the trick for you, be happy with it. 80% of my dives are in between 45 seconds and 1'15. Dropping more rapidly will tend to spook the fishies, unless you just crash the bottom. :D

I was just wondering what the breakdown of your dive is... I know it varies, but how long do you spend dropping on say a 50ft. dive, bottom time, then surface time. Just an estimate to see the differences in style from those I dive with. :)

I've been playing with my Suunto D3 looking at the graphs, so I've been getting interested in these things ;)

We're hunters here, I'm not trying to set records. I spend as little time as possible on the bottom, but just enough to be effective. I normally don't have a spotter and am always up before any sort of contractions or am at least heading towards the surface before I really get that urge to breath. Most of my concentration is on the bottom as I'm ascending. This is when quite a bit of species will fall in to the area you were just at to check out what you were doing there. If this is the case, I'm confident that my breath up time will be minimal and I'm down again before that fish loses interest and heads off. I think this is an effective hunting procedure for the keys. :t If I were to spend minutes down there, I'd never be able to recover in time for a chance at that fish. :hmm Plus, I don't think anyone should take a shot at a fish at the end of their breath. That's a sure way to introduce yourself to SWB. :naughty

Hunt safe and don't get caught up in the #'s! A gauge is a tool, not a crutch. :blackeye

Sorry if I'm lecturing, just don't want others to make the same mistakes I've made or seen.

Not that I care much about freediving records/competition, but its always interesting seeing what someone with natural ability can do, with a little specific training. You should take a freediving class and see what happens. Some people who have excelled in the sport were hunters and never knew were doing anything special until someone told them. It sounds like you have impressed some good people here with your two minutes down and your quick recovery.

I have a feeling that your so-so static time, is because your not using much technique.
DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing


ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2024 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Ocean Advocacy and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.