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Diving Safety, Accidents and Incidents Post here to discuss accidents, incidents, ideas, gear, or anything else to improve spearfishing safety. Memorials and condolences threads should be placed in that separate forum.

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Old 02-22-2014, 10:06 PM   #16
Surface Tension
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Re: Any self taught divers?

I blow bubbles a lot more than I freedive, however there are places that I hunt, such as the Bahamas where freediving is required. I don't really push the limits so I don't feel compelled to take a class at this point. I am 41 and if there was such a thing as a freediving course when I was a young lad, I was unaware of it. I am quite sure I almost killed myself at least on one occasion doing no breather laps in a swimming pool by myself. I have three kids, 5, 4 and 2, that I hope will love to freedive and scuba dive and if they have an interest in it, will be getting properly trained. There is really no reason not to.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:00 AM   #17
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Re: Any self taught divers?

Surface Tension if you think you almost killed yourself at all, take a class. In this sport you only get one chance.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:30 PM   #18
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Re: Any self taught divers?

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Surface Tension if you think you almost killed yourself at all, take a class. In this sport you only get one chance.
x2!!! Take a class especially if you have kids.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:17 AM   #19
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Re: Any self taught divers?

Freediving for over 30 years, have not taken a class. I know some people who have been diving as long as me and just took a class. They enjoyed it, and told me that I was diving all wrong. I may go next year, they said that it would make me a safer diver.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:52 AM   #20
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Re: Any self taught divers?

I started out be teaching myself, and the furthest I ever went down was 25 ft. Then, after a few years, I took a class with Mark Lozano, (FII), and it was a tremendous leap forward.

I agree with what's already been said: Most of us learn to freedive on our own. The class comes in when you want to do it better and safer.

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Old 02-24-2014, 09:48 AM   #21
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Re: Any self taught divers?

I'm self taught. I don't know when to say I started but I started snorkelling about 25 years ago and started spearfishing about 17 years ago. I'd love to take a class if I'm able to though.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:38 PM   #22
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Re: Any self taught divers?

I started freedive spearfishing at age 10... reading everything I could about the topic and techniques and self teaching... age 18 CMAS level 2 scuba and freediving course ( almost 40 years ago ).. they taught Hyperventilation..... Then things evolved and at age 40 went through Apnea Academy 3 levels... WOW, a blast..... Things evolved again Age 51 level 2 and 1 with Martin Stepanek's FII.... WOW WOW double blast.. COntinue to read, learn and even train, not to improve my depth or breath hold, but to improve my safety and the safety of those I dive with. BTW Had my son take his first FII course at age 15... just in case.
Moral is TAKE COURSES with qualified instructors.. it is worth your life.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:52 PM   #23
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Re: Any self taught divers?

I have been a scuba diver for a lot of years and have spearfished most of those years. Got into freediving about 7 years ago. I was self taught and learned from my own experience and tips from friends, other divers and Spearboard. In my 7 years as a freediver I have not come across many divers who are not self-taught like myself. They ended up getting their formal training later, either through PFI, FII or some other formal training class/instruction. Some have done these classes within a short time (6 months) after first taking to the water, to improve on their dive skills and safety.

Lately, I have had several people (mostly new club members) inquire as to whether they should take a class vs. learning on their own.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:30 PM   #24
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Re: Any self taught divers?

I started freediving 5 years ago I started at 10ft and worked my way up. When I was 15-16 years old I remember my deepest freedive in 73ft talking to my brother on the boat while I was staring down a big tiger grouper sitting on a coral head. My dive buddy who dove down around 50' and came up I then completed the dive and shot this big tiger grouper with a polespear and pulled him up all by myself the satisfaction of being able to spear and land this fish I was unsure of was overwhelming. Eventually I will take a freedivig course but till then will stick to the shallower water and always freedive with a buddy.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:55 PM   #25
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Re: Any self taught divers?

Self taught. Got first speargun at age 10, 1955. Became NAUI certified bubble blower @ 18, 1963. In my prime hunted 60 to 80 ft. 2min bottom time. In contests hunted one min down one min up for 4 hours. Never had SWB or SAMBA, yet. Had a friend SWB twice the same day; I rescued him both times. We grounded him to the boat @ number two. Did Not take much to convince him.

I would like to take a class; but thus far have not had time off when a class was being offered.

When doing static apnea on the couch I use a pulse oximeter.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:00 AM   #26
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Re: Any self taught divers?

I have dove my entire life and spearfished since I was 8 years old with a polespear in bahamaas. Just learned from my dad and grandpa and uncle. Was only comfortable on 30-40 ft but if I see a big fish in deepe4 I have gone 60+ and pulled them up on same dive. Never had swb or seemed close. I took a fii class less then a year ago. I feel alot more safer and have improved my diving overall.
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Old 02-25-2014, 05:15 AM   #27
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Re: Any self taught divers?

Just started doing yoga about 2 weeks ago
diving has already noticeably improved, im pretty damn shocked honestly and I started 12 years ago.
Keep the 2x dive surface intervals and don't do anything retarded and you're good to go pretty much.
Knowing blow tap talk to revive your buddy if they do BO is very important.
Aside from all that for $400 bucks im buying a new gun or suit, not taking a class. Pretty damn expensive imo.
The one class I would pay big money for is taught in South Africa by a freedivers athlete that is catered just to deep spearfishing, not deep freediving. Believe it is the only class of its kind. I've always thought "yeah cool if I took a level 2 or 3 course and I hit something like 140+ ft that would be sick, but it is completely useless to me if I can't do the same dive with a gun in my hand"

So I guess to any new divers or self taught ones who don't know too much about the fine details I would just suggest picking up some literature like the handout they give in the freedive classes, learn about surface intervals, blackouts, and rescues and learn to stay within your limits.
The only 2 times I have ever come very close to death while diving were because I thought I was king shit and could pull of anything and was doing some very dangerous stuff, looking back I really should be dead.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:30 PM   #28
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Re: Any self taught divers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by "Yard-Sale Josh" View Post
Just started doing yoga about 2 weeks ago
diving has already noticeably improved, im pretty damn shocked honestly and I started 12 years ago.
Keep the 2x dive surface intervals and don't do anything retarded and you're good to go pretty much.
Knowing blow tap talk to revive your buddy if they do BO is very important.
Aside from all that for $400 bucks im buying a new gun or suit, not taking a class. Pretty damn expensive imo.
The one class I would pay big money for is taught in South Africa by a freedivers athlete that is catered just to deep spearfishing, not deep freediving. Believe it is the only class of its kind. I've always thought "yeah cool if I took a level 2 or 3 course and I hit something like 140+ ft that would be sick, but it is completely useless to me if I can't do the same dive with a gun in my hand"

So I guess to any new divers or self taught ones who don't know too much about the fine details I would just suggest picking up some literature like the handout they give in the freedive classes, learn about surface intervals, blackouts, and rescues and learn to stay within your limits.
The only 2 times I have ever come very close to death while diving were because I thought I was king shit and could pull of anything and was doing some very dangerous stuff, looking back I really should be dead.

To get to spearfish at 140ft (or whatever depth one is looking to do) you HAVE to be able to freedive. (unless you live in the Bahamas or Keys where you can spear nice fish in 10ft of water... that's not the case in most places in the world). Spearfishing is about hunting, not freediving. Freediving is one of the necessary tools to be able to spearfish.

What you have to understand is their is always a learning curve once you put a speargun in your hand. It happened to me.

Spearfisherman die because the Alpha male gets in the way and the reasoning goes out the window... the prize should always be to go home. The fish should be the bonus.

I think Specific spearfishing classes should cater to the actual hunting techniques, specie recognition and behavior, gun safety and gear. Freediving is freediving.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:23 PM   #29
"Yard-Sale Josh"
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Re: Any self taught divers?

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I think Specific spearfishing classes should cater to the actual hunting techniques, specie recognition and behavior, gun safety and gear. Freediving is freediving.

Just my 2 cents.
I think you are totally wrong with this, sorry dude.
Freediving is a tool for sure but aside from the one guy in SA there isnt anyone out there teaching anyone how to properly utilize the tool to advance their spearfishing. My idea of a real class catered towards spearfishermen would be to aim to increase their actual abilities while actually spearfishing like working on depth with a gun in your hands and working longer and longer aspettos.
Many of the actual hunting techniques you cant teach, learning to gauge a fish by its behavior on a dive and reacting accordingly cannot really be taught. Species recondition and gear? Really? Give someone a laminated card with color pictures of fish and spend half an hour talking about differences between gear and not to point a gun at your buddy.
Even if you guys teaching these freediving classes would give people the option of doing the training while holding a gun it would be a huge step in the right direction imo.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:37 AM   #30
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Re: Any self taught divers?

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Originally Posted by dr.ed View Post
Self taught. Got first speargun at age 10, 1955. Became NAUI certified bubble blower @ 18, 1963. In my prime hunted 60 to 80 ft. 2min bottom time. In contests hunted one min down one min up for 4 hours. Never had SWB or SAMBA, yet. Had a friend SWB twice the same day; I rescued him both times. We grounded him to the boat @ number two. Did Not take much to convince him.

I would like to take a class; but thus far have not had time off when a class was being offered.

When doing static apnea on the couch I use a pulse oximeter.
The problem with using a plus oximeter is that if you hyperventilate CO attaches to your red blood cells and fools the pulse ox. All the pulse ox does is measure how full the red blood cell is not how much oxygen it is carrying. People who die of CO poisoning can have pulse oximetry readings in the 90s and be suffocating due to lack of oxygen.
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