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All About Kayak Diving Here is a place to discuss the growing travel mode of kayak diving.

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Old 05-10-2016, 09:15 AM   #1
Mikeycc0023
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Your Kayak Setup for freediving

Well know one responded to my last post about the Pelican Boost 100 Angler but thats ok, I got it anyways. So now I'm wondering how to outfit it for free diving.

Can anyone share photos of their setup or explain what features they have added to make it conducive for spearfishing?

I am curious if anyone has clips on the sides to hold the weight belt for getting on and off the Kayak. Do you guys install a depth finder to find rocks?

I live on the Central Coast of Cal so doing primary dives in Big Sur and local areas. Any tips/tricks you could share would be great. Thanks,
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:18 PM   #2
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Re: Your Kayak Setup for freediving

Hey brotha- I'm in Los Osos. Fish finder is super important ( at least it's important for at least one person in the group to have one- I don't... but my buddy does! ) If you can't get your speargun inside the boat through a hatch, you can remove two ankle straps from broken surfboard leashes, put a leash string through the swivels and lash them to the aft section of the kayak through the loops- just aim the speargun to the back and mount it as far rearward as possible for good paddling. I usually just wear my weight belt in the kayak- or set it on the seat so that I can easily slip it on without moving that much lead around.
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:08 AM   #3
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Re: Your Kayak Setup for freediving

also anything that is not attached to the kayak you will eventually lose. i make sure my fins are under a bungee cord and I wrap my weight belt around my paddle leash
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:31 AM   #4
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Re: Your Kayak Setup for freediving

Just wear your weight belt All the time, otherwise you're just asking for trouble..
As stated earlier, Everything is tethered to the Yak or it goes to Poseidon.
You can't have too many clips on a Yak and remove or modify anything that can snag your suit.
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:22 PM   #5
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Re: Your Kayak Setup for freediving

My boat is a W.S. Ride 135. Its not very fast, but its really stable as a dive platform.

For surf entries I find it best to stow everything possible below deck. I keep my weight belt in the stern compartment clipped to a tie in loop to keep the C.O.G. low. Wet suit, fins, mask, booties, gloves and a backup 90 cm gun get stored in the forward hatch.

If I'm carrying a larger gun that wont fit in the hatch as I usually do, I lash it unloaded on the stern deck with the tip facing back. I have launched through the surf hundreds of times this way and the only time anything has been lost was when it was not secured properly
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:26 PM   #6
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Re: Your Kayak Setup for freediving

I'm just getting into it. I had a guy to give me an Ocean Kayak "Scupper Pro" and I love it. I was able to do a search here on the forum and found lots of ideas and pics. Also youtube. Lots of clips and bungies is the way to go. Made our first trip out a couple of weeks ago and everything worked great. Good luck.
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Old 06-26-2017, 07:38 PM   #7
Forgivenick
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Re: Your Kayak Setup for freediving

Subscribed.
How are there not pictures in this thread yet?


I am very curious about kayaks and which one I might end up with as I progress in the sport.
Specifically, I am wondering what is a good, fairly economical model to start out with that still allows some good features for a freediving rig. I know the features that I think I would want, but it is never quite what you think once you are deep into a purchase.
If I could see pictures of your setups and what works well and what you would improve or purchase differently, I would greatly appreciate it!

Nick
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Old 06-26-2017, 09:10 PM   #8
Aquatic Hunter
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Re: Your Kayak Setup for freediving

Hobie Pro Angler 12 is an awesome dive platform. I can easily put on my fins, weight belt, and wet suit top, while out on the water. Previously I had a smaller kayak that was very tipsy when fully loaded, so that's why I upgraded. The PA12 is big and heavy, but I can fully manage it by myself. I'm very happy with this boat for both angling and spearfishing.
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Old 06-26-2017, 09:41 PM   #9
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Re: Your Kayak Setup for freediving

Thanks Tom. I know the mirage drive must be a great system for propulsion, but are there any others that are superior or better values in anyone's mind? I am an avid cyclist and can foresee that aspect being towards the top of the priority list for my kayak purchasing decision.
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Old 06-30-2017, 06:45 AM   #10
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Re: Your Kayak Setup for freediving

I have an Ocean Kayak Trident 13. It is a wet ride, but it's great for getting places to duck hunt or dive. There is a cut out in the stern deck that fits a milk crate pretty well. I put stuff in the crate and put a bungee net over that to make sure nothing bounces out.

Aside from the wet ride (not that that really matters for spearing/diving trips), it's about perfect. The 15' would go even faster, but I feel like 13' is just short enough to make me feel like it's easier to work with for storage. It lives on a rolling sling cart in my garage when not in use.
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Old 07-07-2017, 02:34 PM   #11
Forgivenick
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Re: Your Kayak Setup for freediving

Im looking at a variety of 12-14 ft kayaks, will likely get one within the next year sometime. Trying to do research, be patient, and also anticipating lots of new releases at ICAST next week. Any suggestions for a new spearo who will be getting his first kayak? Get something cheap as possible as soon as possible? Save up, be patient, and get something with a pedal drive (I am an avid cyclist)? Get a particular model?
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:36 PM   #12
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Re: Your Kayak Setup for freediving

Forgivenick: I use a 16' Widerness Systems tarpon. I feel much safer coming down a big swell with the longer boat. The 14' boat I had was a bit dicey. I use my kayak in the near shore off the Oregon Coast where crab boats frequently go down. The conditions you will encounter help to dictate the design criteria.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:43 PM   #13
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Re: Your Kayak Setup for freediving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coos-spearo View Post
Forgivenick: I use a 16' Widerness Systems tarpon. I feel much safer coming down a big swell with the longer boat. The 14' boat I had was a bit dicey. I use my kayak in the near shore off the Oregon Coast where crab boats frequently go down. The conditions you will encounter help to dictate the design criteria.
Thanks! That is a great point to consider. I plan to beach launch regularly. I live in the north county part of San Diego and plan to fish the reefs and kelp beds regularly.

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Old 01-05-2018, 10:02 AM   #14
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Re: Your Kayak Setup for freediving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forgivenick View Post
Specifically, I am wondering what is a good, fairly economical model to start out with that still allows some good features for a freediving rig.Nick

I am getting ready to purchase my 1st spearfish kayak, been researching for the last month, reading a ton and watching every YT vid I can find. My conclusions:
  • Price: There are dozens of great used kayaks perfect for diving on Craigslist every day. Buy a used one and save 50-75% under the cost of a new kayak. Also, when buying used you usually get xtra swag... upgrade seat, upgrade paddle, anchor, etc.. I am shooting for under $600 19Jan: Bought 2 Cobra Tourer kayaks with good paddles, used in good condition, $300 each... I plan to spend another $300 each on better seats, anchoring gear, and other gear
  • Size: Obviously, sit-on-top only. Anything under 12' is too small for diving, prefer 13'-14'. Width of 29"-31" typically gives reasonable stabilty and reasonable speed (the big design compromise). 19Jan: Yaks are 15'-0" x 28", seems almost perfect for my purposes where stability is secondary to speed... this provides sufficient stability, very good speed
  • Storage: The kayak MUST have a large hatch that will accept my largest speargun. A place designated for fish finder & battery is a big plus. It also must have an open well in back for temp storage of fish & gear
  • Other: A quality rudder is another big plus... kayaks that are best for diving are not exactly nimble... it is a big advantage to have steering help. 19Jan: After reading more regarding rudders/skegs, I decided to start with no rudder or skeg... I'll spend a year or two becoming a good paddler first, then maybe a rudder/skeg, or maybe even a Mirage drive Hobie

UPDATE: See in RED BOLD above
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Last edited by billder99; 01-19-2018 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:17 PM   #15
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Re: Your Kayak Setup for freediving

I have now been kayaking & diving 8 times. I have not taken the speargun yet... wanted to first be comfortable with paddling efficiently, in/out of water, and managing anchor and dive gear. I'm ready now, tomorrow I will be taking my reef speargun for the first time (Riffe 110 Euro). Each day I've been tweaking my gear and my rig, have a good plan for the gun and float line. The only thing I'm missing is a good fish bag... will have to manage fish off a stringer.

I will post photos soon, learning some good things I don't see anyone talking about... engineers mind at work.
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