What is Freediving?
Freediving is breath-holding diving: no air supply beyond what you hold in your lungs. The concept is to experience the ocean as simply and naturally as possible, without the expense, noise, and hassle of dive gear.
Learn to Freedive
We highly recommend getting certified in Freediving so you learn the concepts and techniques. Even though Freediving requires minimal gear, there are techniques and precautions that you need to be trained in so you can dive safely. This will lead to a more enjoyable experience and from there, you can work independently or take additional certification courses to aid you in advancing your skills.
Once you start Freediving, you’re sure to begin challenging yourself by diving as deep as possible and holding your breath as long as possible. However, freediving doesn't have to be a race to go the deepest or stay down the longest. In fact, every time you hold your breath underwater, you're engaging in freediving (whether or not you're decked out in the latest freediving gear).
Freediving Gear - What do I need to Freedive?
Freediving gear tends to be minimal, but you want to make certain you’re buying gear intended for your specific sport. Otherwise, you’ll be sitting there wondering why your friend can do deeper and farther than you on one breath.
Freediving gear aids you in exploring the ocean one breath at a time. When freediving, you want gear that allows you to be as streamlined as possible so you can move quickly and easily with little effort. Gear typically consists of: Fins, Mask, Snorkel, Computer, Weights, Weight Belt, and Wetsuit.
- Freediving Fins: These fins are longer than scuba or snorkeling fins so you’re able to move farther, faster and with less effort. Most freediving fins consist of a foot pocket and interchangeable blades. The different blades are for different purposes (carbon fiber blades provide the best energy/propulsion ratio and yet fiberglass blades are better for reef and rocky environments) and we find that the blades you start with aren’t necessarily the blades you’ll use after you’ve got some experience. You might even have several different blades for different freediving locations. It’s all about figuring out what’s right for you and where you’re diving.
- Freediving Mask: This mask is typically going to be a low profile mask which provides the least amount of air space for your face and makes equalization easier when freediving. The low profile masks also minimizes mask squeeze while also providing the widest range of view. Additionally, some of the masks have mirrored lenses which give you the added benefit of shielding your eyes, allowing you to get closer to your target without them being able to identify you as a predator.
- Freediving Snorkel: A snorkel is a necessity that allows you to tool around on the surface until you find either the thing you want to go check out below or the fish/crustacean you’ve been hunting. The freediving snorkel is different as it’s made of flexible materials, has a smaller mouthpiece, and tends to have a larger diameter than other snorkels. You also don’t typically find dry tops or purge valves on these snorkels because they add drag.
- Freediving Computer: These computers allow you to track and improve your performance while also tracking your surface intervals so you can manage carbon dioxide buildup, making your dives safer (we did mention getting certified, right?). Freediving computers take the guesswork out of the sport and allow you to have a more enjoyable day in the water while also logging all your dives.
- Weights and Weight Belts: These are used together to make it easier to quickly dive down. You want to get your weights just right so you’re not working hard to dive down or to return to the surface.
- Wetsuit: A wetsuit serves the same purpose as with every other watersport. It keeps you warm, protecting you from heat loss and the elements. Keep in mind that the thicker the wetsuit, the more weight you’ll need to add to counteract the buoyancy. Most freediving wetsuits are anywhere from 0.5mm to 5/3 mm (5mm on the torso/3mm on the arms and legs).
Spearfishing Gear - What’s needed to Spearfish?
Spearfishing gear includes everything for freediving plus hunting gear and accessories. The basics of spearfishing gear has remained the same throughout the years; however, it has advanced quite a bit from the fire-sharpened stick paleolithic hunters used 16,000 years ago. Before the invention of the speargun, spearfishing was limited to very shallow waters (your range was determined by the length of your spear). Sport spearfishing with what we'd recognize as modern gear began in the 1920s along the Mediterranean coastline of France and Italy. Today, spearfishing gear includes Spearguns, Pole Spears, Hawaiian Slings, Spear Shafts, Spear Tips, and other accessories.
The right spearfishing gear means the difference between taking home dinner or just another one-that-got-away story. The equipment that’s right for you is based on the type of fish you’re hunting, the conditions you’re hunting in, and local regulations. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the local Game Commission or Marine Patrol prior to purchasing your spearfishing gear. After you’ve got it all figured out, let Divers Direct help outfit you with top spearfishing gear from Riffe, Koah, and more.
- Spearguns: Accurate and powerful, choose from wood, metal, and pneumatic spearguns. Longer spearguns allow you to hunt larger fish and give you a larger range; however, you give up maneuverability. It’s best to determine the type of conditions you’ll be hunting in prior to making a purchase so you have the right gear for the job. Again, check with the local Game Commission or Marine Patrol prior to purchasing your spearfishing gear.
- Pole Spears: Usually used for small and medium sized prey, these are as simple as it gets when hunting underwater. There are times when you want to get back to basics and this is the weapon of choice. Being the lightest streamlined weapon for spearfishing, all you need is a pole spear, spear tip, and rubber sling. Again, the longer the spear, the bigger the prey you can catch, but you’re also giving up maneuverability. Finding the right balance for you is the trick to getting the right gear.
- Hawaiian Slings: These fill the gap between the pole spear and the speargun. More powerful and giving more range than a pole spear, but not quite the power and technology of the speargun. Hawaiian slings are great when hunting medium sized prey and have been equated to hunting with a bow and arrow. Highly recommended for hunting bottom fish, precision is crucial to take home dinner.
- Spear Shafts Whether you’re looking for a spear shaft for your Hawaiian sling or speargun, we’ve got you covered. How do you know which works with the Hawaiian slings and which works with the spearguns? The ones with notches are for the spearguns and the ones without notches are for the Hawaiian slings.
- Spear Tips: They matter and the right spear tip will make all the difference in the world when you’re hunting. Different tips are recommended for the different fish you’re hunting. The right tip means a great day and plenty to take home, while the wrong tip means you’ll be lucky to take home one fish. Do your research in advance and make sure you have the right tip for the job.
- Spearfishing Accessories: These are all those little gadgets, gizmos, and items that enhance the spearfishing experience. Along with cases, reels, and replacement parts, we have a plethora of accessories to make spearfishing easier. If you’re anything like us, you love the accessories and this is where you’ll find them.