RJ
user 4147489
San Jose, CA
Post #: 1
I've been interested in this for some time. Recently, an cover article on an in-flight magazine to Hawaii stoked my interest again. Anyone know of instructors in the area that train and/or take people out for dives in or around Monterey? Anyone have any free diving experience. I'd love to talk to you.

By the way, if I can't find instruction here, I'll be going to Oahu or the Big Island next year to take lessons from Mandy Rae Cruickshank, Kirk Krank and their crew at Performance Free Diving.

http://www.performanc...­

Thanks in advance.

-RJ
rachel the w.
4185
Santa Clara, CA
Post #: 28
Well RJ, It does appear that you missed the August window to take the course in Monterey in August through the same organization that you hyperlinked to the message.. I have been searching for you and have come up with the same conclusion as you found-Off to Hawaii!! There is a good deal of temperature advantage in Hawaii, less struggle to keep your body warm means longer times under water. This may be a good time to learn and hone your skills and when you return to cold-if you return to cold-you can at least have some experience freediving.

I am no expert at freediving but I am one hell of a research hound and I will continue to ask around and gather information. If I find something of interest I will post it to the Bulletin Board! Best of luck to you and the fishes! Rachel
A former member
Post #: 9
I've heard people speak very highly of David Laird, the Freediving instructor at Wallin's Dive Center. He has a class scheduled for 19-Oct that includes pool and ocean dives in Monterey -- link below.

http://www.wallins.co...­
A former member
Post #: 8
I agree with Steve, on Wallins. Great dive store!

Most of the freediving around here in Central Calif is geared towards the abalone harvest up along the north coast, which is open season from April thru June, then again August thru November.

For that, you need a wetsuit, weight belt, hood, gloves, boots, mask & snorkel, ab iron, ab gauge, float, float line, float weight, mesh bag, at least one caribiner to clip all this together, and a fishing license and ab card.

The first issue becomes weighting. You can figure out total weighting either in a pool or at the ocean without your scuba gear. The difference between fresh-water pool weighting and ocean weighting will be about 6 lbs. One you have determined your total weighting for neutral buoyancy (defined as floating at eye-level vertically while breathing thru your snorkel), then you need to decide whether to subtract weight from this total.

If your average freedive takes you down to 20 ft, the ambient pressure will become 1 + 20/33 = 1.6. And then your suit will be 1/1.6 as buoyant at your abalone-grabbing depth, or 63%. Thus to be safe, you would want to remove 37%, or about 1/3rd, of your weight from your belt, to compensate. Then when you get down to 20 ft depth, you will be neutral, rather than overweighted at that depth. Wetsuits compress, and thick wetsuits compress a lot. If you are negative at depth, it may be really hard to kick back up.

Some freedivers do not mind the negative weighting. But almost all make some kind of weight adjustment of at least 20%.

The next issue is breathing and breath-holding. You should rest on the surface, preferably with your face in the water to elicit the mammalian reflex, while breathing through your snorkel, and then take a small number of deep breaths, but not too many. How many is open to debate. Some people believe that 3 deep breaths should be the maximum, and that is what I do. Others will take more. The main danger is over hyperventillation, resulting in staying down too long, then passing out on the way back up. This is how many freedivers die.

That leads to the third issue, of always having a buddy watching you, and taking turns with your buddy watching each other from the surface. It takes really clear vis to watch your buddy from the surface, and around here the vis is often 5 ft or less along the north coast. On beautiful, clear days the vis can be as much as 30 ft, and then you can see abs from the surface, and this is yet another reason for having a snorkel with you to ab dive.

California is the realm of the great white shark. Several freedivers have been bitten along the north coast, and a couple have been decapitated. The best thing is not to splash or make noise, and to get your ab diving done quickly without wasting time, then get back to shore. While you are on the surface, you are an easy target.

Hawaii is the realm of the tiger shark. Same issues.
A former member
Post #: 1
RJ

Freediving in the California and the US in general is more focussed on hunting. If you are interested in a more 'pure' freediving experience there are some accredited instructors in North America. Unfortunately most are somewhat far away.

Kirk Krack & Mandy Rae Cruickshank: So Cal, Miami FL, Kona HI
www.performancefreediving.com

Martin Stepanek: Fort Lauderdale, FL
www.freedivinginstructors.com

Aharon Solomons: Baja, Mexico
www.freedivers.net

William Trubridge: Long Island, Bahamas
www.verticalblue.net

I have studied / trained with all of these instructors and can recommend any of them without hesitation. If you have any specific questions please contact me.

Good luck,

Peter S.
Robert S
user 8283023
Fremont, CA
Post #: 1
I've been interested in this for some time. Recently, an cover article on an in-flight magazine to Hawaii stoked my interest again. Anyone know of instructors in the area that train and/or take people out for dives in or around Monterey? Anyone have any free diving experience. I'd love to talk to you.

By the way, if I can't find instruction here, I'll be going to Oahu or the Big Island next year to take lessons from Mandy Rae Cruickshank, Kirk Krank and their crew at Performance Free Diving.

http://www.performanc...­

Thanks in advance.

-RJ


I know Randy Swift at Blue Water Aquatics in sunnyvale is an exceptional free diver and does give classes.
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