Bottom Time E-Mail News Archives


Edition 9

Here it is nearly the first of July and we just finished our first tailgate dive on Big Cormorant Lake on Tuesday night. Those attending were Jake & Tracy Jacobson, Lyle & Becky Kjonaas, Wendy Olsgard, Steve Cole, Jim Hammer and Seal. Vis. had dropped some but everyone enjoyed the dive and party afterwards with the great sunset. 

Here we have the next in the series of freediving articles by Fred Johnson. If you want to see any of the previous Bottom Time email news we will have them posted this weekend.

Freediving Update:

This past weekend I had a good opportunity to combine some spearfishing along with some freediving. I see now how freediving spearfishermen can get them selves into trouble. I snagged a huge carp (huge to me, anyway), on a “last breath” of air, and it was easy to get caught up in the moment. He headed for the bottom so I headed for the bottom right with him. I found myself ignoring the urges to breath in order to get a hold of the big fish. Fortunately, the fish soon cooperated. I was only in about 10’of water when I hooked him, but I could about imagine being deep and latching on to a big ocean fish. It didn’t take long with the excitement and extra exertion to run out of air.

Picture of Fred with a big fish

First Piece of Updated Freediving Equipment: mask

Second Piece of Updated Freediving Equipment: fins

When I began freediving some years back I used to think that the way to get deep was to hurry to the bottom and to hurry back to the surface. I tried this way too many times before I figured out that this technique is totally wrong. One of the secrets of getting to deeper depths is to be comfortable, take your time, and save your oxygen for the return trip to the surface. A slow, methodical kick can get you to the bottom very efficiently. With good finning technique, whether dolphin or flutter kick, and a good surface dive you won’t use much energy/oxygen to fight your buoyancy. Once you are at your target depth you can assess how you feel and decide if you’ve got time to cruise or if it’s time to surface. If you’ve been power finning to depth more than likely you’re exhausted, feeling out of air, and aiming for the surface as quickly as you got to the bottom, if you even got to the bottom. This will change dramatically the first time you do a “take your time” dive. Now, even a slow, efficient dive for me to –20’ will only last about 20 seconds top to bottom. So, with a breath hold time of even just 1 minute that can give 40 seconds on the bottom cruising like a fish. It helps to make your body as long and as streamlined as you can with your hands and arms extended overhead especially on the way down. Freediving fins or “long blades” as I like to call them, can really help and are designed to move you efficiently with the least amount of effort. Long blades are usually much longer then scuba or snorkel fins and in the water, length = speed and efficiency. Some prefer a very stiff fin and others prefer a more flexible blade, some freedivers use a monofin and although super efficient they are not very maneuverable and as I understand, difficult for some to master. Just like with scuba fins, if you switch to a different fin chances are that it will take a while to find the most efficient rhythm and style of kick to use for that particular fin. Time spent in a pool doing laps can do wonders for finning technique and finding the most efficient kick for you and your particular fin.

One more plus on the long blades: Probably the most fun of having long blades has to be when you pull out fins that are almost 40” long the conversations are always quick to get started. And there is another plus… want to race?

Fred Johnson

We still have some used 80 cf Al scuba cylinders left and Sherwood rental BCs at reduced prices. We still have 3 demo Bayleys Drysuits at 800.00 dollars each which is less than half price. If you are interested in trying an Ocean Reef Full face mask with comm. system call and make an appointment and we will take you out and let you try one. 

Sea you on the Bottom.