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What's the deepest dive you've done???

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
3,860
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Sarasota, Fla
This has turned into a very interesting and important thread. This one ought to be flagged as important. I've thought about this quite a bit, nice to see others going along the same lines. My thoughts:

Sharky, you are right, but maybe barking up the wrong tree. Seems to me that the problem stems not from apnea's emphasis on time and depth, but on how easy it is for spearos to learn techniques that take them deeper and longer(and get in trouble) without doing the things necessary to safely use those techniques.

I'd been freediving for nearly 40 years, mostly 15-40 ft, 50 ft was very deep, and had only seen one BO; that was diving deep and the victim was doing completely stupid stuff. None of us was surprised to see him go out. We were watching him and no harm done. I did a ton of really stupid stuff, but had no technique and was divng shallow. Since 2004, I've taken a PFI course, learned a ton off the internet, dive much deeper and longer, do minimal stupid stuff, played safety diver on two BOs, one of which would, for sure, have resulted in a dead diver, and seen two other close calls, one in the pool and the others doing dives around 80 ft, also have two friends who BOed while spearing(thank you Lord, they are still with us).

The PFI course drilled safety, and my buddy is alive today because of it, but how many spearos take that course, get a lot deeper and longer and just give lip servicd to the needed safety? How many others just learn techniques off the internet and never really get the safety message? Its been very plain to me that the increase in technique knowledge, both inside and outside courses, is the major factor in the increasing number of BOs. Of couse, the emphasis on time and depth that goes with apnea is poisonous to spearos, but I suspect that lots of spearos don't need much encouragement.

What to do about it is the hard part. Afraid I'm clueless, but the bit about reel guns and BO is fascinating. Could be there are some fairly simple things that spearos could do to reduce the toll.
 
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cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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Sarasota, Fla
Nothing like a bit of time to think . There is something substantial we can do about it, teach maximizing dive reflex and stay away from training that just reduces co2 tolerance. My co2 tolerance is lousy and I like it that way. It forces me to the surface before I get short of O2. I still do 2 minute+ 70-100 ft dives when not spearing and 1:50 60 ft dives when spearing. All at about half lung. I train only dive reflex and chest flexibility 4-5 times a week but don't get to go diving for months sometimes. Reasonably sure the training and the half lung diving improves my dive reflex/blood shift and makes for much safer dives. I don't see any reason why it would not be possible to develop a training program for spearos that emphasized dive reflex and safe diving. Clubs would be a great format.

Good video on dive reflex on the DB front page.
 
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sharkey

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2013
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[QUOTE
Nothing like a bit of time to think . There is something substantial we can do about it, teach maximizing dive reflex and stay away from training that just reduces co2 tolerance. My co2 tolerance is lousy and I like it that way. It forces me to the surface before I get short of O2. I still do 2 minute+ 70-100 ft dives when not spearing and 1:50 60 ft dives when spearing. All at about half lung. I train only dive reflex and chest flexibility 4-5 times a week but don't get to go diving for months sometimes. Reasonably sure the training and the half lung diving improves my dive reflex/blood shift and makes for much safer dives. I don't see any reason why it would not be possible to develop a training program for spearos that emphasized dive reflex and safe diving. Clubs would be a great format.

Good video on dive reflex on the DB front page.
At least we are getting away from the "deepest dives" , but you are still quoting depth & times which I feel just confounds the other thoughts. Obviously I have to be very sensitive around so many deaths & any consequences which may arise from them, but education, not more training is the way I personally think it needs to go from here. From a club & association perspective we need to be very cautious that we weren't pushing depth & time rather than safety. If we were to formally go down a training route, like you suggest, it could very quickly become sidetracked into a depth & time thing like all the other apnea training we currently see. I'm hoping to get some funding & research done on the risks & qualify & get on top of them before a coroner advises on a legislative or regulatory change, which given our current rate of deaths isnt unlikely in the near future.
 
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cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
3,860
676
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Sarasota, Fla
Good thoughts, and a great example using my times and depths. I was trying to give a feel for what can be accomplished just training dive reflex, but your point is right on. You are right that education can easily fall into the trap of emphasizing depth and time and not their dangers. I think fish skills are harder to teach than technique. I've tried with little success. Much of it is so subtle and I don't have the words. Seems like you have to learn most of it on your own.

I use the words "training" and "education" almost interchangably, but they are a bit different. You can acquire a lot of technique (training) without acquiring much safety education or any fish skill education. I think the obvious advantages to spearos of being able to go deeper and stay longer are so strong that they cannot be ignored or discouraged, even though they are dangerous. Better to emphasis how to do those things safer (train dive reflex) concurrent with teaching fish skills and how different gears affect safety.

It might be that different conditions make for less need for time and depth. Bill M is a good example. In my case, I shoot a free shaft sling. Fish skills are critical in getting close to the fish, but there is also a huge premium on being able to shoot, run down, get control and bring up a fish on one dive. Time is very important for that. Given the decline in reef fish availability, depth has become a higher and higher priority over the years.
 
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scole

Member
Jan 30, 2015
23
9
18
Jalisco, Mexico
My deepest dive was 45 years ago. I knew nothing about breath ups, was diving solo and using cheap ass gear from the dark ages. I headed down and down until I reached the sand, where I encountered two guys with scuba. One guy looked a this depth gauge with very wide eyes, then showed it to me, 94' (29m). I headed for the surface, trying not to panic. Around 5 m I noticed my vision staring to narrow, with black around the edges. I hit the surface and gasped lungfulls of air and the tunnel vision began to recede.

I was fortunate: I could easily have died that day, at age 14. Since that day I have never been to more than half of that depth. I dive solo from a kayak most of the time, so there is no margin for error. Better to dive safe than to dive deep, I will leave that to the experts.
 

prospector

Supporter
Supporter
Apr 25, 2012
76
29
73
70
Georgia strait
Good thoughts, and a great example using my times and depths. I was trying to give a feel for what can be accomplished just training dive reflex, but your point is right on. You are right that education can easily fall into the trap of emphasizing depth and time and not their dangers. I think fish skills are harder to teach than technique. I've tried with little success. Much of it is so subtle and I don't have the words. Seems like you have to learn most of it on your own.

I use the words "training" and "education" almost interchangably, but they are a bit different. You can acquire a lot of technique (training) without acquiring much safety education or any fish skill education. I think the obvious advantages to spearos of being able to go deeper and stay longer are so strong that they cannot be ignored or discouraged, even though they are dangerous. Better to emphasis how to do those things safer (train dive reflex) concurrent with teaching fish skills and how different gears affect safety.

It might be that different conditions make for less need for time and depth. Bill M is a good example. In my case, I shoot a free shaft sling. Fish skills are critical in getting close to the fish, but there is also a huge premium on being able to shoot, run down, get control and bring up a fish on one dive. Time is very important for that. Given the decline in reef fish availability, depth has become a higher and higher priority over the years.
Good thoughts, and a great example using my times and depths. I was trying to give a feel for what can be accomplished just training dive reflex, but your point is right on. You are right that education can easily fall into the trap of emphasizing depth and time and not their dangers. I think fish skills are harder to teach than technique. I've tried with little success. Much of it is so subtle and I don't have the words. Seems like you have to learn most of it on your own.

I use the words "training" and "education" almost interchangably, but they are a bit different. You can acquire a lot of technique (training) without acquiring much safety education or any fish skill education. I think the obvious advantages to spearos of being able to go deeper and stay longer are so strong that they cannot be ignored or discouraged, even though they are dangerous. Better to emphasis how to do those things safer (train dive reflex) concurrent with teaching fish skills and how different gears affect safety.

It might be that different conditions make for less need for time and depth. Bill M is a good example. In my case, I shoot a free shaft sling. Fish skills are critical in getting close to the fish, but there is also a huge premium on being able to shoot, run down, get control and bring up a fish on one dive. Time is very important for that. Given the decline in reef fish availability, depth has become a higher and higher priority over the years.
You mentioned that you think the obvious advantages to spearos of being able to go deeper and stay longer are so strong that they cannot be ignored or discouraged, even though they are dangerous. Don’t you think that’s a kind of grand assumption? I know myself and many many fellow divers who can spear as many fish, gather as many scallops, take photos, etc in no more than Forty feet of water, and not feel like they are missing something. Something that always seems to be missing in these conversations is the relevance of common sense, doesn’t it work anymore? Do people nowadays have to take a course to use common sense? Scole mentioned better to dive safe than to dive deep, I will leave that to the experts, makes sense to me.
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
3,860
676
218
69
Sarasota, Fla
Yep, it is a grand assumption, and totally correct for almost all of the younger spearos I have encountered. Common sense loses out to the desire to get the most fish, especially when they have the skills to make deep long dives that feel just fine. In my area, when I started spearing, it was possible for two good shooters to fill the boat in a long morning, in 30 ft. Today in the same area, if you want a consistantly decent catch, which will be far less than in the past, you need to dive 60 ft plus and staying down a long time is a major advantage. Of course its better to dive safe than dive deep, but that isn't going to stop most spearos.
 

Andrew the fish

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2010
355
51
68
Burnaby BC Canada
150 ft or bust in Montenegro eh. It is like 92m of swimming (300ft). Especially the ascend. How do you spell kamikadze?

I say, spar should be banned. For all those younger folks who takes this bs for truth and die trying.
 

Bahamascott

Member
Apr 14, 2016
21
10
18
51
Texas/Bahamas
A year ago made a drop to 22 meters in the Bahamas over a shelf that then dropped to 800ft. Last of the day and I was the most relaxed I've ever been, 1:30 bottom time between two massive fissures in the rock as I speared a large dogtooth snapper. Never had a contraction and when I got topside watched six large reef sharks checking the area out far below. It was beautiful, a true natural high.
 

Aquamac01

Well-Known Member
Jan 13, 2009
52
8
48
UK
I used to freedive off North Head in Sydney and regularly scout around 25-30m. Not sure on times, never timed myself. It was just about the calm of being down there.
 
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Bahamascott

Member
Apr 14, 2016
21
10
18
51
Texas/Bahamas
Happy to report that three weeks ago while back home in the Bahamas I made the 100ft club.
After three days of spearing I went to Deans Blue Hole with my spearing and freediving mentor "Luke Mailis" and switched gears to freedive mode. After two drops to 60ft and another to 80ft I then dropped to 102ft.
Has been a personal goal of mine to experience this milestone at age 50 and happy to say I done gone and did it with ease.
 

Davis

Member
Aug 13, 2018
22
3
8
16
Sydney
Interesting question, can be answered in more then 1 way.
In absolute meters, 65m.
In terms of spiritual experience, the 6:50 static in Belgium. That dive went far beyond my imagination.
As my preparation, I did my slow straw outside, enjoying a quiet place next to the pool, smelling and absorbing the fresh air down into my toes. About 30min before official top I put on my suit, and slowly went into the water. As my final preparation I laid on my back and breathed shallow and little true my nose, concentrating on the vibrations the slow airflow created. 5 minutes before OT, my coach Rik, gently let me float into the competition zone. My legs, arms and body felt like glowing beams of light. I exhaled, inhaled, packed and rolled over. Butterflies stirred my belly, a mix of nerves and high expectations, who ran out of the door when this terrible itch in my throat appeared. At first I tried to ignore it, then swallow it away, but none of it helped. Then I remembered a tip from a diver at my last competition in Berlin, to take in a sip of water and use that to flush away this increasing annoyance. It worked counter-productive and now the itch induced involuntary swallowing at just under 2' of the breath-hold. It was to be a long one, but not in a good way. What could I do, give up? no, let's see how far we can go none-the-less. I could not help the swallowing reflex so I retreated to focussing on a place just behind my sinuses, and wait it out.
It was like no time had passed when Rik gave me a tap on the shoulder at 5'. The contractions that usually start at 2'30"were strangely absent, my mind was awake and clear, and it was all way too easy. The 6' flew by with equal ease, and it felt like I could do this for much longer. At 6'45" Rik told me to come up, as I instructed him before the dive, so I could secure another National Record, and I carefully came up at 6'50", did the surface protocol, looked around saw the safetydiver with his hands out and thanked him for his voluntary work shaking his hand... before the Jury's card.
NOOOOOO.... that would be sooo shit bro
 

sharkey

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2013
316
177
58
NOOOOOO.... that would be sooo shit bro
Mate, you are 16 yo & hopefully have a lifetime to shoot big fish. What has been posted above is reckless on a spearfishing forum, particularly when it is read by young spearos like yourself. Join a local club & learn how to spearfish safely & effectively, do not try to emulate this guy.