Freediving Tampa Area or Troy Spring FL - 26/27 OCT
JasonP - 10/22/2013 9:07 PM
Category: Buddy Wanted
Replies: 15

Looking for a safety-trained freedive buddy to dive within a somewhat-reasonable distance of Clearwater. Anywhere I can get some depth and practice equalizing. (That’s what’s currently limiting my depth. Breath hold to 55’ is very comfortable.)

Sightseeing is good, too, though. Would like to hit anything between Spanish Rocks and Tarpon Springs. My boat is in Saint Louis, so I’m limited to shore dives and springs at the moment. Will gladly fill a gas tank, contribute vittles, and swab the deck to earn a ride out to more open water.

Troy Springs is also an option if I can’t arrange something closer.

Who wants to get wet this weekend?
Greg - 10/23/2013 8:30 AM
For last minute buddy requests, it’s usually best to use the Member Search to find members nearby where you want to dive and send a few of them a direct message or buddy request from their profile. Good luck and dive safe!
JasonP - 10/23/2013 9:30 AM
Thanks for the tip, Greg. I’d definitely do that, but have run into some limits. My local diving neighbors are scuba only and a search for freedive certification only lists me. I used the Buddy Request mostly to reach out beyond my immediate area and see who responds.

That reminds me... My certification agency isn’t on the list: Performance Freediving International (PFI). Freediving Instructors International (FII) is also well established. Since freediving is far from being a low-risk watersport, certification and safety training is extremely important. DiveBuddy could do a great service to the dive community by allowing members to accurately post their freedive training and promote the professional-level trainers. Spearos are turning to freediving in large numbers as a way to improve their stalking ability, so we need to get the word out about the importance of training for barotrauma prevention and safety.

Incidentally, it would be great to be able to search for freediver members. Would you consider adding a "Freediver" Member Type? There is a good sized community of certified freedivers in the Tampa area (and Florida at large, plus up and down both coasts, not to mention worldwide). That would drive a lot of member traffic to your site with hopefully only a few changes:

  1. Add new member type
  2. Dive Report; Bottom Time field comment "Total time in minutes. Enter ’0’ for freedive."
  3. Dive Report; Tank Type drop-down list item "Freedive", "Breath Hold", or "Lungs" ;-)
  4. Dive Report; Dive Type checkbox for Freedive
I’m an engineer with software development and webmaster experience (www.certifiedsolar.net), so I make these suggestions knowing that they aren’t all necessarily drop-and-go. It does look like a couple of data table additions and a little layout rearranging will do the trick, though. One always hopes that these things are simple, right?

Thanks for setting the site up. The Scuba Earth feature is nothing short of AWESOME. The DiveBuddy.com is a tremendous contribution to the dive community and I hope it’s rewarding you well for your work on it!

Greg - 10/23/2013 1:43 PM
I made the change you suggested to #3. I also just added the cert org and type you mentioned (PFI, FII, Free/Skin Diver, Advanced Free Diver and Instructor - Free Diver). It’s a little hard to add # 1 so we’ll have to use scuba diver for now. I may add Surface Support and Free Diver to the member type list in the future. # 2 I’ll leave alone because some people may want to enter the mins they were under while free diving. # 4 is also harder to add so I may do that later.

DiveBuddy is rewarding me by giving me buddies to dive with all over the world. Plus it pays for itself a few times over :)

p.s. It may take up to 1 hour for the drop down lists to update since I cache the data on the server.
Greg - 10/23/2013 1:45 PM
From JasonP: My local diving neighbors are scuba only and a search for freedive certification only lists me.
DiveBuddy is mainly used by Scuba Divers. We don’t have a huge Free Diver following. But I bet most scuba divers would LOVE to free dive with you given the opportunity...we all love getting wet.
JasonP - 10/23/2013 5:39 PM
Cool, Greg. I’ll check out the changes!

I would have thought #1 to be one of the simpler ones. Apparently it’s custom-linked to other tables in the database...

Re: #2, a freedive session is a series of many short dives (probably 20 to 30). Entering a number for the longest dive would make sense. Maybe the label could be changed to "Dive Length (minutes)". Of course, that would change the significance of all entries to date.

"Freediver" is the modern term (no space). "Skin Diver" might be getting a bit outdated and I understand that PADI’s "Sin Diver" course is very rudimentary and more like an advanced snorkeling course. It might make sense to keep the "Skin Diver" category for people who don’t go below 50ft. any freediver is going to look for the word "freediver" before choosing "Skin Diver". I know I did. Proper freedive training is very intensive on physiology, safety, and under/above water rescue skills. These aren’t likely to be included in any course called "skin diving".

Typical certifications are...

(from the PFI course list):

- Junior Freediver

- Freediver

- Intermediate Freediver

- Advanced Freediver

- Freedive Spearfisherman

- Safety Supervisor

- instructor (several levels, but probably not worth distinguishing right now)

(from the FII course list):

- Junior Freediver (same as PFI)

- Level 1 Freediver

- Level 2 Freediver

- Level 3 Freediver

If I had to choose, I’d go with PFI’s certification names since they’re more descriptive. It’s also easy enough to cross over from FII’s "Level 2 Freediver" to PFI’s "Intermediate Freediver". I think FII is just trying to be different as they are a scion of FII. (PFI’s Kirk Krack trained FII’s founder, Martin Stepanik, to his 12 world records and Martin used to be an FII instructor.) No sense in complicating DiveBuddy.com with whatever is going on between Stepanik and PFI.

There are also several certifications for being a competition official, but that’s almost certainly outside the scope of DiveBuddy. I don’t remember where I saw the list, but here’s my best recollection:

- Safety Supervisor

- Diver Supervisor (?)

- Assistant Judge 9?)

- Judge

Glad to hear DiveBuddy is treating you well. You clearly put a lot of creative force into itand it shows.
JasonP - 10/23/2013 5:57 PM
The most common freedive-specific statistics that freedivers track:

Best Performances ("apnea" means "without breath")

Dry static apnea time (DSA)(seconds) - staying still, not in water

Dry dynamic apnea time (DDA)(meters) - walking at a normal pace on land

Wet static apnea time (WSA)(seconds) - staying still, face-down in contained water

Wet dynamic apnea, no fins distance (DYN)(meters) - swimming horizontally underwater

Wet dynamic apnea, with fins distance (DNF)(meters) - same as above

Constant Weight, no fins depth (CWT)(meters) - straight down and up with out dropping any ballast.

Constant Weight, with fins depth (CNF)(meters) - same as above

Something to think about... These are the personal stats any freediver is going to track. There are others which are competition only, so I left them out.
JasonP - 10/25/2013 4:33 PM
Got a trip going with Adam Peterson. He’s FII certified for freedive safety. We’re headed to Blue Springs Sunday morning. Thanks to SantaFeSandy for the dive report about the manatee moving in. Gonna get in before the spring closes for manatee season.

We’re meeting at Dick’s Sporting Goods at I-4 and Hwy 27. 8am.

Send a reply if you’d like to join us.

GoodDive to all!!

-Jason Parker
JasonP - 10/30/2013 12:54 AM
Cool, man. Would definitely like to take you up on the offer. Can be there with RV in about 6 hours. Where do you recommend going?

I’d prefer to dive something around 60 ft. I can probably do 80 comfortably, but am working my way down on a gradient. In my mind, depth ability is a marathon, not a sprint.

Yeah, Blue Spring gets pretty dark after the slope. I didn’t go any deeper than the first bottom at 55ft.

I have an RV that sleeps 4 in separate beds (2 queens, a double, and a single bunk). Have been considering hitting Marathon Key, but shore diving anywhere the vis is good is okay with me. Ft Lauderdale is less than 4 hours away. If we add a boat, then we can hit some great places and stay pretty much right onshore.

By the way, are you freedive safety trained?

I’d also like to talk to you about NAUI vs CMAS vs PADI certification.
pharo - 10/30/2013 2:30 PM
I do have some training from a friend of mine who took a couple of courses with Ted Harty from immersion freediving but not formal training.

Miami has a few interesting wrecks like the Army Tanks at 50ft, Matthew Lawrence Memorial Wreck at 50 ft or the The Neptune Memorial Reef only diving to 45ft, so plenty of dives within our range of comfort that I know.
JasonP - 10/30/2013 7:53 PM
Sounds perfect, Jose. I’m fairly booked for the next several weeks. What’s your availablity?

I assume you’re open to some safety review before we head below the surface...? PFI is all about safety, and so am I. I have 5 kids and an insurance payout would be a very poor substitute for me coming home alive. That’s if the insurance company didn’t refuse to pay under the claim that I was participating in an extreme sport!

And what the heck did you do to your post? You might want to delete and repost it.

pharo - 10/31/2013 9:16 PM
Not sure what happened with the last posting LOL very funny.cant even delete it...
I would love to meet up and freedive anytime you come down south, I will Message you my cel as well so we can keep in touch
and we’ll definitely do a safety briefing prior touching the water so we are in the same page.
Im my own boss and make my schedule so Anyday works for me.

JasonP - 10/31/2013 10:25 PM
Cool man. How close are you to Lauderdale? That’s four hours for me.
Greg - 11/01/2013 8:15 AM
From pharo: Not sure what happened with the last posting LOL very funny.cant even delete it...
It looks like you copied and pasted from MS Word. I’ll fix the posting. If you copy and paste from something else to DiveBuddy, use the "Paste as Text" button in the toolbar...the one on the far right.
JasonP - 11/01/2013 8:20 AM
...OR use Notepad to compose if you want to use an offline editor.

Greg, can you clean up that post? It takes up a HUGE amount of room.