Freediving and Spearfishing Gear Basics
As with any hobby there is a wide range of free diving and spearfishing gear options available on the market. In regard to free diving and spearfishing there are a few basic pieces of equipment you will need to do this sport effectively.
Masks & Snorkels
In order to see underwater you will need a mask. Freediving masks tend to be low volume. As you dive underwater you need to exhale into your mask to keep it from squeezing against your face. The lower the volume the mask the less you need to exhale into it as you dive. Other than the volume consideration you just need to find a mask that seals and is comfortable on your face.
Snorkels are needed to comfortable breath at the surface while keeping our face in the water. Freediving snorkels come in two varieties. The J snorkel is simple as it gets. They are just silicone rubber tubes that allow you to breath, but they don’t have purges. They can just as easily be straws as snorkels in rough seas. Higher quality snorkels like the Riffe Stable Snorkel are more comfortable, help prevent water from entering the snorkel, and have built in purest to drain any water that does go in the snorkel.
Fins & Booties
Freediving fins come in three broad categories and each have their own benefits. Plastic fins are durable and cost effective. Composite fiberglass fins are more efficient in the water, but tend to cost more. Carbon fiber fins are most efficient, but most costly. All free dive fins are longer than snorkeling or scuba fins. Freediving fins usually have a foot pocket that encloses the heal and requires a neoprene sock, often called a bootie. They differ from scuba fins that have an open heel with a strap that takes a neoprene boot.
Wetsuits, Weight Belts, and Knives
Freediving wetsuits tend to come in two parts, usually sold together. Most freediving wetsuits are open-cell wetsuits, which help keep the diver warmer than closed-cell wetsuits, but can be more difficult to put on without proper preparation. Freediving suits just need to be wet or lubricated to get into them easily. Wetsuits help keep divers warm, but they are also helpful in keeping divers buoyant and prevent abrasion from the natural environment.
To counter the buoyancy of the wetsuit you will beed to use a weight belt and weights. You still need to be able to float at the surface. That being said, you want to be able to rest on the bottom, or whatever depth you are hunting, without constantly kicking down. You will need to adjust the amount of weight on your belt to your diving style.
All divers need to carry a dive knife with them. There are countless entanglement hazards underwater and you need a knife to effectively deal with these hazards. Most divers need these knives on their belt or on straps on their arms or legs.