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    Should Spearfishers Take Freediving Courses?

    September 25, 2023 4 min read

    Should Spearfishers Take Freediving Courses?
    All images for this post by IG jesse.frames


    Freediving, the art of exploring the depths on a single breath, holds immense appeal to spearfishers seeking to enhance their breath-hold and depth. While there are compelling reasons for spearfishers to pursue a dedicated freediving course, there are also potential drawbacks that warrant consideration. By weighing the advantages and disadvantages, spearfishers can make an informed decision about whether to undertake such training.


    • Safety First: One of the foremost arguments in favor of spearfishers taking a freediving course is safety. Freediving courses typically emphasize crucial safety measures, including proper breath control, streamlining, weighting, equalization techniques, rescue techniques and managing the risks of shallow water blackouts. Spearfishers often seek to dive deeper and longer so understanding basic physiology, safety protocols and drilling them can significantly mitigate potential hazards, ensuring a safer and more competent spearfishing experience.
    • Breath-Hold Improvement: Freediving courses provide basic training in breath-holding techniques (especially avoiding what not to do). For spearfishers, proper breath-hold technique can translate to longer bottom times and more successful dives. Learning how to optimize oxygen consumption, control heart rate, as well as recovery breathing can greatly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of spearfishing pursuits. While there is no real magic breathing technique, learning how to relax and understand your body is awesome for not only spearfishing but life in general.
    • Better Equalization: Equalizing the pressure in the ears, mask and sinuses is critical for spearfishing at any depth. A freediving course equips participants with the correct equalization method (frenzal), helping them explore equalization relevant to their level to prevent barotrauma, squeeze and ear injuries. 
    • Streamlining Techniques: Efficient finning technique and body positioning are fundamental for conserving energy and moving gracefully underwater. Freediving courses delve into these aspects in detail, ensuring spearfishers learn to navigate the depths with minimal resistance and exertion. Streamlining techniques also aid in minimizing the disturbance to marine life, fostering a more effective hunting approach.
    • Confidence Boost: Mastering the art of freediving through a structured course can boost a spearfisher's confidence in their abilities. With improved breath-hold knowledge and techniques, safety awareness, and better control over their body underwater, spearfishers can approach their dives with a higher level of self-assuredness, leading to more rewarding and enjoyable experiences. 

    • Economic Considerations: A significant argument against spearfishers taking a freediving course is the associated cost. Quality freediving courses can be quite expensive, including fees for instruction, equipment, and potential travel expenses. Spearfishers on a tight budget might find this financial burden prohibitive.

    • Diverging Priorities: While advanced freediving courses focus on performance and diving techniques, they don’t cover the specific skills and knowledge needed for spearfishing, such as hunting strategies, fish behavior, and underwater navigation. Some spearfishers might feel that their time and resources are better spent on specialized spearfishing training.

    • Experience Levels: Spearfishers with significant experience in freediving or who have received informal training from seasoned divers might feel that formal courses are unnecessary. They might prefer to rely on their existing skills and accumulated knowledge, believing that they can continue to develop their abilities independently.

    • Limited Availability: Depending on location, finding accessible freediving courses that are preferable taught by a spearo, can be a challenge. Spearfishers residing far from training centers might face logistical difficulties in attending courses, making it less convenient to pursue formal training.

    • Individual Learning Styles: Many spearfishers thrive in self-directed learning environments and prefer to acquire skills through hands-on experience and trial-and-error. These individuals might find that they learn best by directly applying their knowledge during spearfishing outings rather than in a formal classroom/pool/controlled environment setting.

    • Ferrari vs Hilux:Some experienced voices from our spearfishing community point out that freediving courses can teach a relatively inexperienced spearo to dive down a line in a controlled environment to 20m+ very quickly and this is dangerous for a variety of reasons. Line diving in a controlled environment is not spearfishing and has no bearing on the depth you should spearfish at as it is an uncontrolled environment in often variable conditions and there is the temptation and challenge to hunt fish with added equipment. People have likened a freediving course to being trained to drive a Ferrari race car on a track and then being put back out onto the normal streets. 

              In my personal opinion (as a freediving Instructor), I 100% believe that doing a freediving course with an Instructor who understands the factors unique to spearfishing is possibly the best $600-$700 you will spend. There is also a free freediving course available online for those who want the info but can’t afford the in-person course.Freedivingsafety.com is an awesome free resource.

              In conclusion, the decision for spearfishers to undertake a freediving course is up to the individual. While the benefits of improved safety, understanding personal capabilities, streamlining techniques, and increased confidence are significant, the potential downsides of cost, diverging priorities, experience levels, limited availability, and individual learning styles should not be ignored. Ultimately, spearfishers must assess their goals, resources, and learning preferences to determine whether formal freediving training aligns with their pursuit of underwater adventure. 


              About the Author

              Shrek helps people get better at spearfishing at theNoob Spearo. Sharing interviews with spearing legends from all over the planet on the Noob Spearo Podcast, penning books like 99 Tips to Get Better at Spearfishing and99 Spearo Recipes as well as teachingspearfishing courses here in Brisbane. The Noob Spearo are proud partners with Adreno!