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Scuba Diving or Free Diving Cert first?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by bkluffy, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. fisheater

    fisheater Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sebastopol, CA
    4,408
    959
    113
    Hey! Never dis the Bioprene(tm). It keeps you warm AND bouyant.

    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  2. NJ to FLA

    NJ to FLA Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Parkland, FL
    448
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  3. bkluffy

    bkluffy Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Rohnert Park, CA
    18
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    Wow! Thanks for posting that review. After reading it, I definitely think I will look into taking a course. I may still go with someone before I take the class, but I will at some point take the course for, if nothing else, increasing my lung capacity.
     
  4. cmburch

    cmburch Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Suisun Bay
    1,252
    35
    48
    It depends on your definition of highly experienced freediver. It may be a relative comparison.

    I have been freediving for over 35 years. I do not consider myself highly experienced compared to California freedivers that fish 60-90' with longer bottom times or California freedivers with more experience that have taken training courses. I consider myself a recreational SCUBA diver and freediver. I know my limits as a SCUBA diver and freediver.

    If a person Abalone dives for most of their life then has a health problem or dives beyond one's capabilities it does not necessarily mean that they are highly experienced freedivers.
     
  5. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    9,022
    1,541
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    Freediving will probably help with your scuba diving. Scuba diving will probably not make you a better freediver. That said, it's certainly not necessary to free dive first, lots of divers - probably most - don't. I would decide based on what you really want to do. Just snorkeling experience can be helpful for scuba too, and you can get gear that's suitable for both. But the gear for freediving and scuba as said will be different, especially fins.

    As far as certifications, the thing about scuba is, you generally need a certification card to get air. You don't need anything for freediving that you need a card to get. So freediving certification is not "required." Which a totally different question than what is a good idea. There are ways to kill yourself doing either.
     
  6. ZKY

    ZKY Minimalist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, California
    2,644
    485
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    I know I'm getting in on this discussion a little late.
    A freediving cert?? I don't think there is such a thing. There are different private classes and workshops I know but I never heard of any of the major agencies offering a specific c-card for skin diving. I may be wrong.

    I freedove for a few years before I got certified and it made all the difference in the world. I already knew what to expect and had water skills developed prior to open water. I think people who freedive first make more confident and stronger scuba divers.
    If you wanted to go the route of freedivng first the gear is somewhat different for scuba and freediving, depending on the level of freediving you want to get into. If you just want to go out and splash around and get a few abs then you could get away with an off the rack one piece attached hood chest zip 7 mil suit that they sell at Bamboo Reef. This type of suit would also be useable for open water scuba later.
    One thing I need to warn you about though, don't let them talk you into buying a set of split fins for freediving, no no no, bad idea. Instead look into a set of paddle fins (no slit up the middle) or better yet go out to Bodega Bay Pro DIve and pick up a pair of Picasso Black team freediving long fins. Those are the ones you want for power and speed. They may kick your butt at first and seem impossible to use but trust me, once you get used to them they make all the difference in the world. Get the full foot style and a pair on neoprene socks to wear underneath. That's what everybody who takes freediving seriously around here does. You also want a low volume black skirted mask and a straight j tube snorkel. Avoid those snorkels with all the valves, purges and big bulbous looking things on top. They may try like hell to sell you on those but just get the simple J tube and learn how to use it.

    I have to say it again:
    **Split fins are absolutely useless for freediving, they do not provide enough power or positive power hook up when you need it most, to get up off the bottom. If they were that good you'd see all the competitive freedivers using them and you won't see a split fin one in any freedivers gear bag.**

    The other suit I would recommend if you are really interested in doing freediving right and want to spend hours in the water is to get a specific freediving suit which is a 2 piece skin inside beavertauil style made out of a very soft and luxurious Yamamoto neoprene. They sell those out at Bodega Bay Pro Dive also. The brand they have is Riffe right now which look to be really nice. Those suits are only for freediving though. If you use them for scuba you will riun them because they are not meant to be crushed for extended periods of time.

    I would get or rent some gear and get out there with some buddies. Hook up with the North Coast Divers and befriend some of the abalone divers in the club. Maybe go out to Gerstle Cove first and goof around in the calm cove and just get the dynamics down of breath hold diving. Gerstle a reserve and a no take zone, but it's a great place to get wet and practice.

    Good luck
     
  7. bkluffy

    bkluffy Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Rohnert Park, CA
    18
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    Thank you all for your help. I have decided to start off with freediving for sure. I may eventually get formal training, but for now, I think I'm just going to get in the water with some experienced divers. The people at Bamboo Reef were very honest about the gear (I felt) and didn't actually try to sell me anything in particular, just gave me information. The lady that was helping me actually told me NOT to get the split fins for freediving. After looking around, I think I'm actually going to get the fins that she referred to as the "transformer" fins. They seem like they would be really good fins to start out on until I have built up my leg muscle a little more. Also, I'm thinking of just getting a 7 mil suit with a hooded vest to start out with. Seeing as how I don't know if this is something I will stick with yet.
     
  8. smile47

    smile47 Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: california
    32
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    For me I went from scuba diving to free diving,it seems natural,after diving I was always hanging out shooting fish in the kelp beds FINALLY i GOT RID OF those M T TANKS.ha whatever you do dont overtire yourself.
     

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