Welcome to Spearfishing School Part 3 of our 80+ part series written for people new to spearfishing. This blog is free for my readers and so is access to Spearfishing School during the beta stage. If you learn something here, sign up for our email list and share this page with someone that is looking to learn about spearfishing. It is a free way to say thanks.
You might think “rules are made to be broken” but these are for your own safety. Break these and you increase your chances of injury or even death. I have picked these up along the way while reading and diving with more experienced divers.
Eight Spearfishing Rules for New Divers
- Always dive with a buddy – and keep an eye on each other. Diving with a buddy doesn’t mean go spearfishing with someone and split off and explore your own areas. It means maintaining constant contact in case one of you has a problem or needs a second shot on a giant fish.
- One up One down – The safest way not to shoot your partner is to agree to dive one at a time. One dives down while the other one waits and watches from the surface. Once your buddy is up at the surface make eye contact and wait 20 seconds before starting your dive. Shallow Water Blackout could happen up to 20 seconds after making it to the surface. That’s how long it could take for the first breath you take to make it to your brain. More details about Shallow Water Blackout.
- Do NOT hyperventilate – The urge to breath is triggered by a build up of Carbon Dioxide(CO2) in the lungs. So, your body tells you it needs to breath because it sees a build up of CO2 NOT a lack of Oxygen. We all have a residual amount of CO2 in our lungs. When we dive the Oxygen we use is converted to CO2 and when the CO2 level rises we start to feel the urge to breath. When divers hyperventilate they get rid of that residual CO2 before they dive. The result is that it takes longer for them to feel the urge to breath. The problem is that they don’t feel the urge to breath with enough warning to make it back to the surface safely. They may be close to out of oxygen and not know it because they are tricking the body’s warning system.
- Recovery breathing – After every dive spend at least twice as long on the surface breathing normally. This is to allow your body to recover and exchange that built up CO2 back to normal levels. Breathing normally is in bold for a reason here. See rule 3.
- Stay Hydrated – It is very easy to get dehydrated when diving. Drink plenty of water during dives to replace the fluids you lose. Being hydrated helps blood flow and oxygenate your muscles. So get in the habit of drinking LOTS of water throughout the day.
- Only load your speargun underwater – Never load a speargun out of the water. If the gun accidentally goes off it will travel much further than it does under water. If the shooting line has a bungee that spear might come back to you. Not safe. Don’t do it. No Joke. You could kill someone.
- “Muzzle Control” – Muzzle Control is a term used with firearms to basically describe being aware of where your gun is pointed at all times. Imagine a laser shooting from your gun at all times and never put the laser on anyone. When loading your gun make sure it is not pointing at anyone. When swimming along the surface hold your gun from the middle so you can control where it is pointing at all time. A lot of new spearos will swim and hold on to the handle then let the gun drop and eventually point backwards as they swim along. Don’t do that.
- Dive within your Buddy’s limits – No fish is worth your life. Dive within your buddy’s limits when you are spearfishing. If you want to become a better freediver and train then leave your speargun at home and take a freediving class from a reputable organization. Don’t put yourself or your dive buddy at risk.
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Be the Diver You Want to Dive With
No one likes to dive with unsafe, loud divers. When you are learning to spearfish and looking for dive buddies be courteous to the guys/gals showing you the ropes by following these rules. Dive safely and you will have no problems building a little network of dive buddies. Use the comments if you have any questions or have an idea for another rule.
Want to read more?
Go to Part 4 – How to Find a Dive Buddy?
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Freediving, Spearfishing, and the related topics discussed here are inherently dangerous. Participating in any freediving activity exposes one-self to the risk of death and/or permanent injury. The content of this site is provided as personal entertainment only. Although portions of the content may be perceived as instructional, do not depend upon it as such. The following article is not intended as a replacement for proper training in any water sport activity. There are no warranties or guarantees, either expressed or implied that the information contained at this site is accurate, correct or reliable. You are responsible for using your own good judgment. We urge you to seek proper instruction from a qualified and certified agency before attempting any sport requiring breath hold freediving.