Splash into FreeDiving Training Camps

By: Terry Gibson

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Over the past few years, the popularity of spearfishing while freediving has exploded along both coasts and in the Keys.

Spearfishing without the advantage of compressed air brings the concept of “fair chase” to entirely new level. Skilled freedivers can make it down to 130 feet, or even deeper, though that’s not advisable.

It’s the stealthiest way to hunt underwater. But imagine wrestling a large grouper, amberjack or cobia with nothing more than the last breath you took to make it back to the surface. It’s a sport for the physically fit, and one that should involve some training.

The warm, clear, calm waters typical of the Florida summer are here. Spring, summer and early fall are great times to learn proper freediving techniques including safety and problem-management skills. Florida Freedivers, based in Lake Park, in Palm Beach County—arguably the epicenter of diving in the state.

Florida Freedivers offers junior classes for kids ages 12 to 15. It’s a great program that gets your child comfortable in the ocean and able to deal calmly with emergencies. It saves lifes, and paves the way for a lifetime of fitness and connection with the ocean.

Kids who pass the junior freediver course are eligible to go directly into the FII Level II course with parental consent. This course prepares students to dive as deep as 130 feet, teaches the physiology of free diving, and gives them the wherewithal to perform a number of difficult rescues.

Aspiring freedivers ages 16 and up begin with the Level I course, which prepares you to dive as deep as 66 feet. It also teaches basic physiology and effective rescue and problem-management techniques.

Done properly, freediving is a safe way to stay in shape, catch dinner, and immerse yourself in the undersea world. For more information on classes, visit the Florida Freedivers website. Other schools offer similar curricula.

In the Miami area, check out Performance Freediving.

If you want to learn from a spearfishing master, check out http://www.freedivespearing.com/contact us.html, also in Miami.

In the Fort Lauderdale area, check out Immersion Freediving.

In Key Largo, give the Rainbow Reef Dive Center a call.

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