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Old 02-26-2018, 02:39 PM   #61
makoa352
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Re: Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

All of these are great suggestions and ideas born out of tragic events that drive us in a more prudent direction. Polespearo, I don’t know how one sounds arrogant in expressing the most important aspect of safety which is skill, training, judgement, knowing your body and limits, and proficiency. An FRV is not a bad idea...never said that. But to solely rely on a piece of equipment before you build a foundation of ability, or that it will make you bullet proof, is to be foolishly confident. The same thing occurred in tow-in surfing years ago. And before that, it was the invention of the board leash that caused surfers to disregard the importance of being able to survive in huge conditions swimming without their board anywhere in sight. So drownings actually increased among surfers. The old guard learned to handle heavy conditions by swimming and becoming proficient in those elements. With the leash, no one had to swim anymore back to shore after being hammered for hours in heavy currents. I’m just trying to say Technology should enhance our safety, not be an excuse to push limits or ignore conditions because we have a “get out of jail free” card. It’s another tool, as I mentioned in the first post, just not the only tool. If you’re a responsible diver chances are that an FRV will save your life. If you’re a reckless diver chances are not even an FRV will be enough to save you. That’s not arrogance. It’s just fact.


Thanks again Jon for the insight and for moderating a thread that carries a lot of emotion. We all wish this never happened and that a new post by SEAL with loads of pics of a new innovative gun design will pop up on the boards soon. This event is truly a wake up call and a lesson to all of us that the sea is no respecter of persons and can take a life no matter how skilled. I know there are things I have decided to change about the way I dive because of this. There is a lot of untapped wisdom from those pioneers of our sport who have lived long lives and continue diving and spearing today. I try to follow their example. TM is one of them and has my utmost respect. Maybe an FRV for each of my five waterman Sons is in the future.


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Old 02-26-2018, 02:48 PM   #62
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Re: Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

Julian, my sincerest condolences for loosing a good friend. May you still find peace in communing with the sea.
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Old 02-27-2018, 05:52 AM   #63
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Re: Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

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Originally Posted by Behslayer View Post
Julien, sorry for the loss of Kosta. I want to ask specific question. Are you sure Kosta was using 5mmm top and bottom? Do you know exactly how much weight he was wearing? I have heard 6Kg, 7Kg, and 9Kg.
I was 2 days with the 3-th spearo who waiting on the boat both of them. He told me that Kosta was with old compressed 5mm wetsuit and he start the diving with 6kg. Later he added 1 kg more.
I think that 7 kg on 5mm wetsuit is same as to use 1kg to a 1.5mm wetsuit, isn't?
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:50 AM   #64
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Re: Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

So sorry for your loss Julian. Thank you for sharing difficult details to help us about the loss of your close friend. I have been thinking about Seal since this happened. It is amazing how dangerous this sport can be.
I am a shallow freshwater limited visibility diver. I dive in a 5mm top and bottom wetsuit, my average depth is only 20ft/ 6m or so and I am weighted with 11 to 12 lbs / 5kg. I know that the Mediterranean divers like the heavy weight quick drop, but is that the main reason for that much weight on deep dives? I am only commenting to try and learn and help, sorry if any of my comments are off or bothersome. I have taken the free dive cert class, and know breaking or losing a fin at depth would be very bad.
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:11 AM   #65
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Re: Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

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So sorry for your loss Julian. Thank you for sharing difficult details to help us about the loss of your close friend. I have been thinking about Seal since this happened. It is amazing how dangerous this sport can be.
I am a shallow freshwater limited visibility diver. I dive in a 5mm top and bottom wetsuit, my average depth is only 20ft/ 6m or so and I am weighted with 11 to 12 lbs / 5kg. I know that the Mediterranean divers like the heavy weight quick drop, but is that the main reason for that much weight on deep dives? I am only commenting to try and learn and help, sorry if any of my comments are off or bothersome. I have taken the free dive cert class, and know breaking or losing a fin at depth would be very bad.
The dive with 5kg in freshwater is not the same as the dive in salt water. The dive in salt water need more weights, because of the salinity.
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Old 02-27-2018, 06:13 PM   #66
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Re: Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

I had also heard Kosta had added weight. But I had heard he may have added up to 3Kg more. In any case 7KG is a Lot of weight. A compressed 5mm is essentially a 3mm. Once you reach your neutral, the further off the neutral you go, the more you feel that weight and additionally the suit compresses further.. It's very tricky weighting for deep diving and I'm not an expert at this. But to answer your question. No. wearing 7KG of weight in a compressed 5mm is not the same as wearing 1KG in a 1.5mm suit.. 1KG is never going to feel like 7KG when you are passed your neutral and trying to swim it up. In those currents and depths, going for those fish, I would want to be neutral at @30'. The report from Lyubin was that Kosta was beginning his glide at less than 15'. There is no question that he was overweighted. If I'm diving specifically for Wahoo, I'll weight so I'm neutral at 15-20'. But on those days if I then see a Tuna and I drop below 50', I really feel it coming up and that is just with 1.5Kgs in a 3mm Suit.
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Old 02-27-2018, 06:45 PM   #67
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Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

I agree with Jon on the weighing points. Don't just think of being neutral at target depth (which it seems Kosta sadly could have been far from). Think of the energy it takes lugging that lead back up - possibly on a long day with many dives. 1kg might not sound like much but when freediving I can really feel the difference going from 3kg down to 2kg.

We also want to stay warm but the thinner suit you're comfortable in, the less weights you need, obviously. You're also bringing a gun down and up with you and if it's a big blue water gun that adds to the energy you spend, too.


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Old 03-13-2018, 01:15 PM   #68
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Re: Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

An update. Kosta's Brother, Sister, and several friends went to Indonesia to look for Kosta. They haven't found him. They searched by boat all the shoreline of Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and the areas of Bali across the channel. After searching for 10 days, Kosta's brother and friends returned. His sister remains there still hopeful. Terribly sad. I am glad they went as I feel it will connect them to him in other ways. They will know the place, the people of Indonesia who are wonderful. It will not be 'he got on an airplane and dissapeared' Still terribly sad. Eventually I'd like to do something for Kosta. When the time is right I hope that some of the builders on here will come together to honor him for his Spirit and what he has added to how we think about Spearguns.
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:04 PM   #69
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Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

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Originally Posted by Behslayer View Post
An update. Kosta's Brother, Sister, and several friends went to Indonesia to look for Kosta. They haven't found him. They searched by boat all the shoreline of Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and the areas of Bali across the channel. After searching for 10 days, Kosta's brother and friends returned. His sister remains there still hopeful. Terribly sad. I am glad they went as I feel it will connect them to him in other ways. They will know the place, the people of Indonesia who are wonderful. It will not be 'he got on an airplane and dissapeared' Still terribly sad. Eventually I'd like to do something for Kosta. When the time is right I hope that some of the builders on here will come together to honor him for his Spirit and what he has added to how we think about Spearguns.


It would indeed be wonderful to see his spirit live on in speargun designs by other builders.
His work was inspiring to many of us.

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Old 03-13-2018, 07:08 PM   #70
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Re: Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

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It would indeed be wonderful to see his spirit live on in speargun designs by other builders.
His work was inspiring to many of us.

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Id buy an Ulusub Seal inspired BW gun. Where do I sign up?
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Old 03-14-2018, 01:33 PM   #71
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Re: Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

Hi Alec, I'm just planting the seed here. A few years ago we lost another Stylemaster, Gil Gacula from Honokaa, Big Island, Hawaii. A bunch of builders came together and did a Gun Builders Benefit for Gil. Gil left behind 4 young kids, and we were able to raise a chunk of money to give to his wife. Equally importantly, it leaves a history of how respected Gil was in the Spearfishing/Speargun Building community which I figure his children one day will come across. Eventually I'd like to propose doing something similar for Kosta. I know he has a young child. When the time is right we will do this. You can definitely count Ulusub in.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:13 PM   #72
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Re: Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

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Originally Posted by Behslayer View Post
Hi Alec, I'm just planting the seed here. A few years ago we lost another Stylemaster, Gil Gacula from Honokaa, Big Island, Hawaii. A bunch of builders came together and did a Gun Builders Benefit for Gil. Gil left behind 4 young kids, and we were able to raise a chunk of money to give to his wife. Equally importantly, it leaves a history of how respected Gil was in the Spearfishing/Speargun Building community which I figure his children one day will come across. Eventually I'd like to propose doing something similar for Kosta. I know he has a young child. When the time is right we will do this. You can definitely count Ulusub in.


Count me in.


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Old 03-14-2018, 02:13 PM   #73
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Re: Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

What a horrible sad human tragedy. I have to admit I have had some disagreements with Kosta but this shows how insignificant and petty all these things are. Hope his family and friends are able to find the body so they can have closure and wish them strength as they try to overcome this terrible incident.

Overweighting is certainly a very dangerous thing and that caused my brother to have a very serious SWB episode as well and his buddy who had to go down and bring him up as he was sinking almost blacked out as well. Fortunately he finally just pulled the weight belt off and let him slowly float up. It took him a long time to recover from that. Spearfishing is really dangerous even if you have everything setup up right and are extra cautious. Obviously going to an unfamiliar location introduces a ton of new unknowns and that is why a good guide who is familiar with the area is worth his weight in gold. Not only will he tell you of dangers you are not aware of, but he also will put you on fish. Spearfishing is one of those few sports where more experience and more ability do not translate in making the dangers go away.

As for the FRV's, after my brother's incident I bought two for the both of us, but I am almost ashamed to say that neither of us even tried them. One time on a trip I wanted to take it with me but security at the airport flagged the little canisters as they looked "dangerous". It does take some discipline to get yourself to use it even if you have it. I think this year I will finally give it a try. Sometimes I wonder if it is not a good idea to also have some sort mini compressed air compartment that can give you a few extra seconds of breathing time. But most likely that would also introduce some other dangerous factors as breathing compressed air in lungs that are already full needs the person to be aware of the dangers. I remember one free dive instructor tell me that even the little amount of air in your mask can give you a few extra seconds and avoid a black out if you pull it in on your last few feet of ascent.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:02 PM   #74
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Re: Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

I am just reading this news and can't help but feel a great sense of loss for our community. My heart goes out to his family.
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Old 04-03-2018, 07:34 PM   #75
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Re: Our friend has passed. Kostadin SEAL

I loved the look of his guns, especially that little stubby carbon double roller. He will be missed.
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