Ted Harty began his underwater career as a scuba instructor in the Florida Keys. He was certified as a NAUI [National Association of Underwater Instructors] instructor in 2005 at Hall’s Dive Center. Ted then began teaching in Marathon at Tilden’s Scuba Center. Ted quickly learned that he not only loved diving, he also loved teaching other people to dive.
“I realized that every student learns differently,” Ted says. “Some students respond well to humor, some students are visual learners, while others require regimented step-by-step instructions.”
Over the years, Ted became an SSI [Scuba Schools International] Instructor and a PADI [Professional Association of Diving Instructors] Staff Instructor. Whenever Ted was on the boat and did not have students to take care of, he’d jump in with mask, fins and snorkel and play around on the reef.
“Sometimes I’d have just five minutes to swim around without all of my scuba gear. I loved it. I could swim down to the sand at Sombrero Reef and hang out for a bit at 20 feet. I wanted more. I wanted to learn how to stay down longer and how to dive deeper.”
In January 2008 Ted took his first Performance Freediving International (PFI) course.
“I couldn’t believe how little I knew about freediving at the time. As a scuba instructor I knew more about diving physiology than the average Joe, but quickly realized I knew nothing about freediving. At the start of the course I had a 2:15 breath-hold, but after just four days of training I did a five-minute hold! I couldn’t believe it was possible.”
Next, Ted signed up for instructor-level courses at Performance Freediving. He was soon offered a job teaching with Performance Freediving, when he moved to Fort Lauderdale.
In 2009 Ted went to PFI’s annual competition. He was about a 80- to 90-foot freediver and weighed 230 pounds. He wasn’t in good shape at all, but after three weeks of training under the tutelage of Kirk Krack and Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, he did a 54 meter (177 -feet) freedive.
“I was blown away by what I was capable of.”
Ted spent a year working with Kirk and Mandy, traveling around the country teaching the Intermediate Freediver program. In 2010, a much more fit Ted went back to PFI’s annual competition. That year his new personal best was 65 meters (213 feet).
Ted started Immersion Freediving in 2010 to focus on teaching freediving in South Florida. Today Ted teaches PFI courses through his own company Immersion Freediving.
Notable freediving accomplishments
April 2009 Took the very first spearfishing class taught by Sheri Daye and Daryl Wong.
May 2009 1st place Men’s overall freediving PFI competition Breathless.
May 2010 65 meter Constant Weight Dive
May 2011 1st place Men’s overall freediving PFI competition Deja Blue 2.
October 20011 Broke longest standing United States freediving record at the Freediving World Championship in Italy, with Dynamic Apnea swim of 170M.
October 2011 Made it to the finals and represented the United States in the Freediving World Championships in Itatly.
November 2011 Trained with William Trubridge and Sarah Campbell.
December 2011-May 2012 Coached and provided training for Nicholas Mevoli on his amazing journey from a 30M diver to breaking the Men’s US Constant weight record, with an amazing 91M dive, during Deja Blue 3.
May 2012 New personal best dive of 85M (279ft) during Deja Blue 3.
June 2012 selected as the Team Captain for the 2012 US Freediving Team, which will be competing in Nice, France September 2012 during the Freediving World Championships.
February 2013 attained PFI Advanced Instructor and PFI Instructor Trainer, first and only PFI independent instructor to receive this rating.