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Thread: Beginners guide to freediving/snorkeling

  1. #1
    Member stingray's Avatar
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    Beginners guide to freediving/snorkeling

    Ok so this is a very basic overview please feel free to add or correct my comments,

    here's a very basic run down.

    Gear .

    Snorkel a cheap one will do.. $15

    Wetsuit .. I got a 5 mill on $120 one piece my son got a 1 piece 3mill but finds it cold after an hour in the water. this said you can you any wetsuit I was using my 7mill dive suit and it was ok but I needed more weight to get down and I would never go back from my new suit less bulk less weight to cart about when finning on the surface.So grab a borrow one or go second hand if your not going to be doing heaps eh.. It just the more comforatble you are the better you will freedive.

    Hood.. i recomended using one or getting one for warmth's sake.

    Mask. probably your most important piece of gear. you can use your standard dive mask but if your going to get into it get a low volume silcon mask, they are comfortable and you earier to equalise(mask squeeze). rember your maybe wearing your mask for hours on end a hard plastic one will be ok for short periods but painfull after an hour.
    NOTE make sure your mask fits try heaps fo differnt type because even a small leak is some thing that will drive you F#*King nuts. (well me anyway)

    booties (warm comfort) depending on your fins different booties suit differnt fins.

    Fins.. Im still using my short dive fins but The big fella had a set of proper long freedive fins and shit they make a differnce but you can't wear your hard soled dive booties in them.

    gloves.. anything from a $5 leather pair to dive gloves are fine in my view.

    weight belts , one that fits would be a good start there are plastic and weave belts and ones with pockets everyone has a different thoughts
    but try to spread the weight around your waist and when you are setting yourself up ypu want to ne neutrally boyant ... that is you are standing in the water at attention you should sink slightly when you breath out and float slightly when you breath in (hopes this makes sense)
    Ok lets get started..

    if your brand new go to a pool , river or shallow safe bay to start out there getting some confidence and experince.
    ok my overview.

    1st relax

    2nd relax some more.
    ok so where setting up to do a dive

    1 drive the air out of your lungs and gut

    2 take in a slow deep breath then try to gulp some more mouth fulls stuffing the air into your gut (sounds weird but tryit and you will understand the feeling)

    3 fold at the waist and lift your legs sraight up with your feet together and use you weight to drive yourself down.

    4 as you desend(go down ) if you feel pressure in you ears pinch your nose and gently try to blow your nose you will feel / hear a squeek / pop this is called equalising. ( you can do this sitting at your computer and the most you do it th easier it should get...Some people cannot equalise and if you cannot I suggest you do not try diving deep you will rupture or damage your ear drums)

    5 level out on the bottom try not to thrash about relax stay calm as your on limited O2 and so if your nervous or struggling you burn up your air faster.

    6 when you start to feel the need to breath start heading for the surface. DO NOT stay down untill you feel like your head is going to explode or your seeing colours infront of your eyes.. YOU WILL DIE.

    7 surface face down and with a sharp hard puff blow the water from your snorkel. then relax slow your heart down and just float (think a seal or cloud)

    8 fin about looking for other turf.

    ok so that is very very basic, there is a shit load of safety stuff to caver which I will do tommorrow.

    But people have asked do I have to be fit and the basic answer is "no". but your fitness will limit the conditions and distance you can dive in
    That is you want to start small calm days in good conditions staying close to shore building fitness and confidence,

    SAFTEY
    1 do not hyper venterlate to try to increase your bottom time ... you run the risk of shallow water black out.

    2 don't dive alone get a mate or join a club, we employ a one up one down techniec that is on on the surface watching to one on the bottom .

    3 don't push you limits you are not as good as you think you are

    4 get out before you get cold or fatiigued

    5 if you swim out you have to swim back so rember currants will carry you along way and swimming against the current will bugger you faster than you would ever believe .

    6 if in dout stay out.. if your piss crook or just uncomfortable don't get in... because you can't just stop sit down or walk home eh

    7 if you are in the shit ...DROP YOUR weight belt ..you will float.

    8 tell some one where your going etc.

    ok so that is a very very basic over view ... there is shit load more things to explain ...will try tommorrow or surf the net you will get a shitload of good info their

    best regards Joe
    any pressing questions PM me and I'll try to help.

    edit to add I know my grammer and spelling is crap but I'm tryin to get it from my head to to the key board whilst making sense. So please bear with me. ta
    Last edited by stingray; 20-12-2012 at 02:59 PM.
    Wildman, Petros_mk, 308 and 1 others like this.
    Nil durum volenti !!

  2. #2
    Member Bryan's Avatar
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    Great write-up Stingray, very informative and no frills!
    Hunting is not a hobby.....its an addiction

  3. #3
    OPCz Rushy's Avatar
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    Yeh good on ya Stingray. I was a PADI Dive Master in a former life and your advice is on the money.
    It takes 43 muscle's to frown and 17 to smile, but only 3 for proper trigger pull.
    What more do we need? If we are above ground and breathing the rest is up to us!
    Rule 1: Treat every firearm as loaded
    Rule 2: Always point firearms in a safe direction
    Rule 3: Load a firearm only when ready to fire
    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt
    Rule 5: Check your firing zone
    Rule 6: Store firearms and ammunition safely
    Rule 7: Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms

  4. #4
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    Cheers look forward to installment 2
    "Hunting and fishing" fucking over licenced firearms owners since ages ago.

  5. #5
    R93
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    I may have to start free diving. My own stupid fault, but rats and mice have had a field day nesting and eating the contents of my dive bag over the last winter.
    Knawed my reg hoses and chewed thru my BCD and wet suit and made a good job of it.
    To top it off, the last batch of calves busted the door of the shed in, and found on top of my dive bag was a great place to evacuate their bowels.
    No scollies for me when I head up the sounds
    Do what ya want! Ya will anyway.

  6. #6
    OPCz Rushy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R93 View Post
    I may have to start free diving. My own stupid fault, but rats and mice have had a field day nesting and eating the contents of my dive bag over the last winter.
    Knawed my reg hoses and chewed thru my BCD and wet suit and made a good job of it.
    To top it off, the last batch of calves busted the door of the shed in, and found on top of my dive bag was a great place to evacuate their bowels.
    No scollies for me when I head up the sounds
    R93 that has just got to piss you off royally and here I was bleating on about rats in my day pack a couple of months ago. Take out a vendetta and poison the little pricks.
    It takes 43 muscle's to frown and 17 to smile, but only 3 for proper trigger pull.
    What more do we need? If we are above ground and breathing the rest is up to us!
    Rule 1: Treat every firearm as loaded
    Rule 2: Always point firearms in a safe direction
    Rule 3: Load a firearm only when ready to fire
    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt
    Rule 5: Check your firing zone
    Rule 6: Store firearms and ammunition safely
    Rule 7: Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms

  7. #7
    R93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rushy View Post
    R93 that has just got to piss you off royally and here I was bleating on about rats in my day pack a couple of months ago. Take out a vendetta and poison the little pricks.

    Yeah it did a wee bit. Not my problem now as we have moved off the farm. The upside is I have an excuse to buy all new gear
    Do what ya want! Ya will anyway.

  8. #8
    Member gadgetman's Avatar
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    Thanks stingray. Think I'll need a weight belt nowadays, since loosing muscle I seem to float more. Any type of wetsuit you would recommend. I have a steamer from doing triathlons but probably a bit thin and too much exposed skin for this caper.
    There are only three types of people in this world. Those that can count, and those that can't!

  9. #9
    OPCz Rushy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R93 View Post
    The upside is I have an excuse to buy all new gear
    There is that. A man likes musing over new gear.
    It takes 43 muscle's to frown and 17 to smile, but only 3 for proper trigger pull.
    What more do we need? If we are above ground and breathing the rest is up to us!
    Rule 1: Treat every firearm as loaded
    Rule 2: Always point firearms in a safe direction
    Rule 3: Load a firearm only when ready to fire
    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt
    Rule 5: Check your firing zone
    Rule 6: Store firearms and ammunition safely
    Rule 7: Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadgetman View Post
    Thanks stingray. Think I'll need a weight belt nowadays, since loosing muscle I seem to float more. Any type of wetsuit you would recommend. I have a steamer from doing triathlons but probably a bit thin and too much exposed skin for this caper.
    check out Home
    glen is in chch , dam good guy
    and the gear is very good, i use a 5mm suit all year round for sounds,kaikora,chch

    would also add dont skimp on fins after 4 plus hrs swimming your legs will thank you for it

  11. #11
    Member stingray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadgetman View Post
    Thanks stingray. Think I'll need a weight belt nowadays, since loosing muscle I seem to float more. Any type of wetsuit you would recommend. I have a steamer from doing triathlons but probably a bit thin and too much exposed skin for this caper.
    It depends on how serious you are going to be.

    I got a 5 mill one piece for $ 120 plus a $40 hood. and I'm diving in 8-15 degree water my lads got a 3mill streamer and after an hour in the water he is cold..I expect from your location you will be doing the same. So depending on how mich the cold effects you will effect your choice (rember comfort is more importent due to the amount of time time you will be spending in the water and your suit)

    If your going to give it a real heave the your would be best looking at an open cell 5 mill two piece. starting about $360.

    there are alot more wetsuits aimed at the free dive market (even camo colours) these days !!

    open cell are warmer but you have to soap/lube them to get them on.

    closed cell are easier to put on and I'm buying a vest for winter diving to asist with the warmth.

    I purchased a Wettie but after 20yrs of tanks I have no real idea of which brands are best value / quality for free diving.

    ok part two to write.
    Nil durum volenti !!

  12. #12
    Member stingray's Avatar
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    right weve had some time in the water ...

    lets look at getting better at what we are doing.

    Bottom time ...We all want to increase our bottom times and depths we can achive, you can do this with more specfic freediving gear that is low volume masks, long fins, wetsuits.

    but as well as these there is a huge amount that we can do for ourselves, freediving and alot of breath holding is techniec and mental state (no you don't have to be nuts), but it goes like this for me ...

    1 relax clear my mind and concentrate on my breathing.

    2 try to lower your heart rate by concentrating on it Ie slow down calm relax.

    3 target your rock or crack were your heading for so your not thinking about holding your breath. your concentrating on a goal or target ( you will be very supprised how well this works)

    4 go with the flow ... do not fight nature go with it don't fight the kelp ,dont fight the sugre you only wear yourself out.

    5 use the surge to help you.. ie when launching what kneel down on the beach / rock wait for the wave to roll past you and as it sucks out go with it and it fin out through the surge/ next wave.

    6 when returning to shore do the same these can be very dangerous times so if you have a spotter on shore to grab gear use them( tell them if they have to get wet they bloody well better), when coming into the shore be paitent wait for a small set of waves or a lul between between set so you dont get smashed by a big wave when you floundering in the surf.

    7 don't muck about in the surf get in or get out this is a dangerous place where you are unbalanced and uncordinated with fins weight belts etc.

    8 relax and enjoy yourself you will be suprised after even 30 mions of diving how much better you get

    9 once again if you start to get tierd this is the time to exit the water tired = cramp, fatigue and shitty descions and these can get you into the shit fast!!..refuel regroup you will enjoy your self alot more when you are fresh (hope this makes sense)

    10 do some stretchs and warm ups and warm downs (not downing a cold beer, well maybe after) these will benifit you diving beyond your best expectations.

    rules and regs..
    Maf ain't the enemy they'r the blokes and ladies keeping poaching mongerals from F*#King wrecking our precious resource. So take their inspections as you do breath testing.

    Know the regs for the area you are going to dive,
    NOW this is important YOU MUST MEASURE YOUR CATCH IN THE WATER ...NOT GRAB A SACK FULL HAUL OUT ON THE BEACH AND START MEASURING THEM THERE.. Maf consider these as landed fish,


    If in doubt ring the loacl maf office!!

    When starting out target the biggest paua / cray in a mob this will help you get your eye in so you will soon be able to pick whats a legal and whats not and saves alot of measuring undersize stuff (rember the water has a 25% magnafictaion) which is very imortant when spearfishing as it's a waste to spear un undersize butter or moki and have to chuck it back dead.

    Don't spear shit fish for shits and giggles to you it's a shit fish to me it's sealife i enjoy seeing.

    Don't annoy stingrays, congers ,occies , seals "just live and let live" , they are most likely afraid of you and will defend themselves..."trust me on this!!"

    that will have to do for now so much more going round in my head ... my best advise it get out and try it ..practice pratice practice search out free diving web sights and pick through their ideas..

    most importantly keep safe , don't push to hard you will get better and sometimes it's not about slaying everything but seing some bloody cool shit & rember there will always be a cray at the back of a hole you cannot reach but there will always be a cray just around the corner.

    will do a part three hints and tips (please add your own)

    Go well everyone Joe.
    madmaori likes this.
    Nil durum volenti !!

  13. #13
    Member big_foot's Avatar
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    Cheers for the write up stingray, I dabble in a bit of spear fishing around the summer months but often enjoy exploring more than shooting shit. Always good to take a butterfish or john dory home though.
    LegaSea likes this.

  14. #14
    dog chaser distant stalker's Avatar
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    nice write up. I was surprised about how many breaths it takes to get oxygen back into your blood etc so it is possible to pass out after you've taken breaths even.
    have done a wee bit in Tonga and raro and loved it. had a chat with David tattle from chch. some impressive gear around

  15. #15
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    Did you learn at western underwater???

 

 

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