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Spearfishing For Beginners
zenmedianetworks - 11/04/2013 11:30 PM
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Spearfishing For BeginnersWhere Do We Begin? Are you in need of some advice for spearfishing for beginners?

We’ve all been here. You ask the important first question of, “How Do I Get Into Spearfishing?” and the only answer you seem to get is “Take A Class”. Frustrating…
What’s It All About?

I want to clarify that the best way to learn how to become excellent at spearfishing is to learn directly from an expert. Did he just say “Take A Class”?!

Yeah, I did, and the fact remains that taking a class is the safest and quickest way to learn to spearfish.

What this page is all about is learning for free. If you are unsure if you want to drop the coin to take a class yet or simply want to be a sponge and soak up all the knowledge you can before advancing to the next step then read on my friends, there is some good stuff below.
Myths & Misconceptions

As divers, we love the fact that our sport is still pretty underground in its nature. Not that no one does it, but more that those who don’t dive have no idea what diving involves.

This tends to spread some general mis-conceptions about the various forms of diving and spearfishing is no exception. Check these out.
1.) Spearfishing Is Cruelty To Animals

Spearfishing does not allow fish to suffer or be wasted in any way.

The concept of responsible hunting is applied to spearfishing by a spearo quickly spearing and dispatching his catch for the purpose of not letting the animal be abused.
2.) The Ocean Is Unsafe

I admit personally that the ocean (although I loved it) scared the heck out of me when I first started out.

Floating around in the vast blue can make your imagination wander like crazy. Just as in any environment there are risks and they can be minimized by learning about predators, risks to your safety and just plain common sense. The ocean is safe if you use it safely.
3.) You Have To Hold Your Breath To Spear

Spearfishing can be done in numerous ways. Freediving, the act of breath hold diving, is just one such form.

Scuba divers enjoy spearfishing just as much as freedivers do, it all comes down to personal preference. Some regions outlaw the use of breathing apparatus’ for the use of spearing fish, this is just something to consider.
4.) I Can’t Because I Don’t Have A Boat

Shore Diving my friends… A great place to start spearfishing is to just get a buddy and find a quiet, calm place to dive from the shore. This keeps you within your skill level and allows you to learn at an easy pace.
Gear Basics

I don’t want to promote any brands here in this post so the images below are simply there to use as visuals.

With that said, basic spearfishing gear does not need to be expensive, nor do you need to use everything that is listed below. The nice thing about learning the sport is that it is a process, both with knowledge and gear.

For starters, below are some basic gear items that you will see people using.
A Speargun:

Try not to become confused when you start to see the infinite number of guns for sale. There are two main types of spearguns for on the market today, pneumatic and power band guns. Pneumatic guns are powered by compressed air that propels the spear. Band Powered guns are pretty much a big rubber band gun that uses various numbers of bands to achieve proper power.

You will see terms like Euro Gun, Rail Gun and American-Style gun thrown around but for the sake of the beginner the rail gun can be an affordable starting place.

Consider first your athletic ability as well as the type of fish that you want to take when deciding on a size. You will be loading the gun underwater so get your hands on a few first in a shop jut to make sure that you can easily handle and load the one that you choose.
A Mask

It makes no difference if you scuba dive or freedive when spear fishing but one thing is for sure, you will need a mask and a snorkel. Nothing cheap here, when you are on the search for this gear it is always a better experience to when you go with middle to high-end with your mask, the snorkel is your choice, but purge valve snorkels are not so popular with a lot of people since they can fail.

Many people ask about the differences between regular scuba masks and spearfishing/freediving masks. If you plan to spearfish with no air supply, try to find a low volume mask. This will make your life easier when you equalize, since the air that you have to do so with is only the air that you have in your lungs
A Wetsuit

Where do we begin. Wetsuits are a pretty controversial subject in that no two divers will agree that one is the best. There are a couple needs that should be met specifically for freedivers but other than that, good advice leads you to find the wetsuit that is right for you. Some factors that make a spearo’s life easier include.

1) Quality of Neoprene – All though only a few companies manufacture all of the Neoprene that the various wetsuit companies use, you may find that you prefer one over the other. Just keep this in mind.

2.) Spearfishing wetsuits should be open-cell, meaning that they lack the lining that traditional wetsuits have inside. This feature enables the suit to always be in contact with the skin with water in between the suit and skin. This keeps you warmer for longer.

3.) Spearfishing wetsuits come in really cool colors like camo… Is camo a color?

Normally any fins would be fine for diving. In the case of free-diving, long fins with a lot of propulsion are recommended. You may have seen them… they look awesome.

The long fins apply your leg inputs in a much more efficient way, saving energy and in turn your usable oxygen. There are a lot of fin manufactures out there and (as far as we have found) none of them produce junk. Some are obviously better than others but they all do their job.

A must if you like your hands. The pros recommend Kevlar gloves while there are a bunch of different types to consider. Comfort is always the first thing to consider when looking for gear for something as useful (and used) like your hands, but the conditions underwater also dictate that you have gloves that will last dive after dive.

A lot of people use the more affordable leather palm dive gloves but in our experience they just don’t stand up to being used hard and put away wet. Kevlar, if you are diving a lot, is your best bet.
A Weight Belt

Weight Belts Make your life easier in that they help you use less energy underwater with will also save air supply. Sweet!

They work by combining certain weight combinations on a belt that you wear either on your waist or as a harness. While they are necessary for a relaxing spear-trip, they can be a dangerous addition of your bag if used improperly.

Weight belts are meant to be used to achieve neutral buoyancy at an ideal depth. Do your research and learn from someone who has a lot of experience diving with a belt. They can be dangerous for new divers who don’t know what they are for or how to use them.
A Dive Knife

Super important to avoid a weird situation. Dive knives for a spearo keep things safe and quick for the fish. Some fish are a little more “Hardy” than others shall we say.

Keeping a dive knife on you is just good practice. Spearfishing Knives offer a super pointed “Stilleto” tip that easily severs brain and nervous system parts of the fish that make it go to sleep. Sounds like a good thing when safety is at hand.
Keep It Simple, Keep It Safe

When you’re considering which way is the best way to start spearfishing please, just keep it simple and safe.

Beyond those two there is obviously a lot to learn, but your initial mentality is really important. Cockiness will not get you far underwater so learn as much as possible before you decide to get into the sport, your homework will pay off in dividends.
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Spearfishing For Beginners is a post from: The Spearfishing Academy