Great testimonial from student comparing his experience with my course versus another free diving course he took.
Here is my story:
I am a 22 year old student residing in Houston Texas and recently was very interested in spearfishing. I have no background in the area. I had been certified to scuba dive in 2011 and that’s pretty much all the experience I had in the water. After watching some spearfishing videos on you tube, I was fascinated and amazed with the idea of freediving to these depths while holding your breath.
I began looking and found a course in corpus Christi, Texas in October 2012. I signed up for the freediving course.
My experience with this course was mixed with good and bad things. The course consisted of 1.5 days 1/2 a day in the classroom, 1/2 a day in the pool and 1/2 in the ocean. I learned a lot during the class and pool session and it was very good information. However the ocean session did not prove to be as successful for my case. First of all, we had to go out on a tugboat about 40-50 miles out (cost of the boat fees per person was around 300 dollars) and the conditions were horrible. 6+ foot seas. Extremely choppy. Even after taking bonine hours before the trip I became terribly seasick. Upon getting to the place where we were going to do our dives, I geared up and went in the water. Even though I felt horrible, I had spent a lot of money and wanted to complete the course. As I tried diving the lines, I could not get past 15 feet. Even at that depth my ears were in great pain. was unable to go down any further. I got even sicker and had to return to the boat, disappointed that I couldn’t complete the course.
Even though I was very disappointed after the course, I was not ready to give up on my freediving goal. I kept researching and found out that there existed another organization, PFI which also taught freediving. After looking at their courses, the had very similar guidelines but this course was longer. Also I began to look where to take the course and found that there weren’t any courses near to where I lived. I found immersion freediving’s website very helpful and motivating, so I gave them a call. Upon calling, I was able to speak directly with Ted, the Owner and sole instructor of the company. I explained to him what my past experience freeving was and his response made me rethink if I had taken the right course from the start. First of all, when I told him how bad the seas, he was amazed that we even went out in those conditions. Also after telling him the problems that I had equalizing, he explained to me that there were 2 ways of equalizing. I had heard this in my first course but was told that it wasn’t taught until the next level because it was difficult to learn. Ted assured me that through a Skype session included in his course, he would teach me how to properly equalize using the frenzel method, contrary to the one I was using, the valsalvia.
Upon hearing Teds background as a professional freediver and these motivating words, I signed up for the course. Though the course was 1200 miles away in ft Lauderdale, I was determined to reach my goal anyway possible, so I booked my plane ticket and hotel.
2 Weeks before the course I met with ted via Skype, and it took an hour and afterwards I learned to properly use the more efficient frenzel method. Though I am not the fastest learner, I was successful at it.
Upon arriving to ft Lauderdale, I stayed at one of the hotels which he has a discount rate if you take the course. The freediver course was great! We had our classroom lesson on Friday afternoon at his house, where I learned much more than I had in my previous course and the information came with more credibility because of Teds accomplishments as a professional freediver. The pool sessions on Saturday and sunday proved very effective in polishing entries and rescues that we were to use in the ocean sessions.
On Saturday, I felt great in the ocean. With only a short ride to the ocean on Teds boat, I was not seasick at all. After completing the Saturday ocean session it felt great because I reached 15 meters. I was so happy. The frenzel method really worked.
On Sunday, came the hrdest test of all – 20 meters. Though it took me a few times, I finally reached 20 meters and was extremely happy.
The course was great and I owe my results to Ted. His way of teaching the course gives you confidence and he will help you overcome any difficulty that you may run across in the course. There is no comparison between the other course that I took and his course. Its, longer, has more useful information, and is much better in all areas. My results prove this. If you ever plan on taking any freediving course, there is no doubt that you should take it with IMMERSION FREEDIVING. You wont regret it.
Alejandro Cuellar (2.5 Day PFI Freediver Course Jan 2013)
More written testimonials are below the video testimonials.
Short compilation of several students discussing what they liked about Immersion Freediving Courses
US NATIONAL RECORD HOLDER Nicholas Mevoli Jan 19-22 2012 Immersion Freediving PFI Intermediate Free Diving Course
Nick went from 30M to 91M in 4 months training with Immersion Freediving
Kelley March 22-25 2012 Immersion Freediving PFI Intermediate Free Diving Course
Bryan April 2013 Immersion Freediving 4 Day PFI Intermediate Freediving Course
Stefano April 2013 Immersion Freediving 4 Day PFI Intermediate Freediving Course
Mike April 2013 Immersion Freediving 4 Day PFI Intermediate Freediving Course
Jon April 2013 Immersion Freediving 4 Day PFI Intermediate Freediving Course
Alex January 2013 Immersion Freediving Day PFI Intermediate Freediving Course
Guy Snell January 2013 Immersion Freediving Day PFI Intermediate Freediving Course
Hayden January 2013 Immersion Freediving Day PFI Intermediate Freediving Course
Charles January 2013 Immersion Freediving Day PFI Intermediate Freediving Course
Phillip July 2012 Immersion Freediving PFI Free Diving Course
Eric July 2012 Immersion Freediving PFI Free Diving Course
Bob Johnson Jun 20-22 Private Immersion Freediving PFI Free Diving Course. Been spearfishing for over 50 years!
Cole Heiit June 15-18 2012 Immersion Freediving PFI Intermediate Free diving Course
Clay Heiit June 15-18 2012 Immersion Freediving PFI Intermediate Free diving Course
Cale Heiit June 15-18 2012 Immersion Freediving PFI Intermediate Free diving Course
Hal Press June 15-18 2012 Immersion Freediving PFI Intermediate Free diving Course
Ben Hyson March 22-25 2012 Immersion Freediving PFI Intermediate Free Diving Course
Andrew Cooper Jan 19-22 2012 Immersion Freediving PFI Intermeidate Freediving Course
Richard Hannan Jan 19-22 2012 PFI Intermediate Freediving Course
Kelly Russell Jan 21-22, 2012 Ocean Training Session
Michelle December 1-4, 2011 PFI Intermediate Course
Dana Beck Harder Sept 17-18, 2011 Ocean Training Session
Meir Taub Sept 17-18, 2011 Ocean Training Session
Chris Canyon Sept 1-4 2011 PFI Intermediate Course
Danny Becker who had never been freediving before the class.
David Villegas a Scuba Instructor discusses the class.
Nick Mevoli Feb 25, 2012 Ocean Training Session (Nick is now a US freediving record holder after his dive to 300ft! Great job Nick!
Hands down one of the BEST EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE. As I drifted down in sink faze Ted’s words echoed, “If you have the proper head position you should be able to see the surface.” I tucked a bit more and the surface world revealed to me upside down was rippling with wind cresting waves rocking my buddies in its pitch and roll near the floats and here dives Ted to meet me at depth with a GoPro in one hand and his ever watchful eyes on me. And as the first time passing my previous bench mark of 30meters I could feel the weight of water really start to press in on my rib cage, again Ted’s words came to mind, “like a Pilsbury dough boy, soft.” Refering to the stomach and diaphgm, I relaxed and allowed it to be pressed in by the pressure, grouper calling up another mouth fill to equalize I wasn’t worried by the lack of space in my lungs or the void they would leave behind because I had Ted’s training and teaching about the pysiology of what was happening to my body ingrained in me. From day one in his class I knew the way I would dive would never be the same and since then it has evolved in such a positive way that I couldn’t be happier with the results. I have taken Ted on as my private coach training for the last three weeks and I have seen my performances increase significantly in that time. Goals that I set day dreaming at work turn into reality when I get in the pool or ocean. Ted’s thorough detail on safety, technique and hands on advice is priceless to those like me who want to excel in the sport of freediving. He really has the power to teach and motivate you to the next level.
East Coast Freedivers
“I never learned how to swim. My mother always said I was born with ocean water in my veins. From life guarding in the summers to thirteen years on swimming and diving teams, as well as having been a certified scuba diver for fourteen years, water is my second home. Therefore when I signed up for my first free diving class, it seemed like this was going to be a no brainer. I would just need to train to hold my breathe longer. While the theory and safety aspects of the class were easy to pick up, there was one fundamental skill required in order to be a free diver that completely eluded me. The Frenzel Technique of clearing your ears. All the other divers were able to pick it up so easily. It seems my years of experience actually put me at a disadvantage. Evidently my body had naturally found a way to equalize in the past and I had been using it habitually for 38 years. I found out it was inadequate at depths greater than 15-20ft, and it would be a really hard habit to break. I couldn’t believe that I would fail to reach a 33ft dive, which honestly didn’t seem that big of a deal, before I couldn’t equalize my ears.
There is a happy ending to this story. I completed the class by doing the basics. But the real work started afterwards. I was not left to my own devices, however. I continued to practice but Ted was also there to help as much as possible. Via phone and Skype and with the help of several written exercises he gave me, I was finally able to master the Frenzel. It took about 3 weeks of daily practice. The key was attacking the problem from a all angles. If one thing didn’t work, we tried another. It was almost like occupational therapy for your throat and ears. And it worked. 3 months later, Ted coached me through my personal best, a dive to 80ft.
Before meeting Ted, I had taken one other freediving course. It was overcrowded and the instructors didn’t seem to have enough time to coach those having difficulties. It turned out that I learned very little from that course. Ted’s courses are smaller, more organized and simply more informative. Not only do I feel that I have a good base for continuing my training in freediving. But more importantly, I feel that I could safely handle most freediving emergencies with confidence.
That is why I think Ted offers the best freediving course available. Having tried others first; I can say that this course is the one you want to take. Hands down, the best and worth every penny. “
Jesus Illundain Nov 1-4 2012 Immersion Freediving PFI 4 day Intermediate Course
Many participants of PFI courses taught by Ted Harty have written about his skill in the water, where he indeed is like a “merman:” amazingly, Ted goes down with each diver on every dive, giving feedback during the dive if possible via signals or sounds, and right after surfacing (well, he does wait for you to do the “cleansing” breaths). During the pool time and ocean dives, he proves to be an extremely patient instructor—even when someone like me keeps making the same mistake over and over, say looking down on the descent… Better yet, he has a bag full of tricks to help students handle sticking points (I no longer look down!). What is important to me is not only that he has the credibility in virtue of his national dynamic apnea record, but that he has the know-how to pass on his knowledge, which is what really matters to those of us taking the course.
His in-the-water skills well established by the many other people who have given feedback, I would like to write a few words from the perspective of someone who has been in the “education business” for the past 20 years, as I am a college professor. To describe Ted and his Immersion Freediving Program in four words, these are: passion, professionalism, knowledge, and dedication (I would add patience, but I already wrote about that). Ted is definitely passionate about freediving; it is his life and he acts accordingly. This attitude is contagious—and appreciated at say, an 8 am start for a four-hour lecture. Here is where Ted’s teaching methods and abilities come in, as they are superb. Material that easily lends itself to being dull – physiology of diving, physics – becomes lively and fun through his many anecdotes and stories. More tellingly from an educational stance, they are very well thought-out examples that pull together different strands of material together in a way that enables students to truly understand the material in a seemingly effortless way. I have very rarely encountered this ability to convey the material in such an amenable and pedagogical fashion. This is testament to that professionalism I speak of, as he pays attention to detail on the boat and off the boat, and the latter is where most instructors I have come across tend to fall short. He has obviously thought very carefully about how to deliver crucial material in a way that will make the most sense for the students; and sometimes this means that said knowledge is passed along in bits and pieces that build slowly until the “aha” realization happens whether in class or later in the actual dives. Moreover, when I write dedication, this is to the full extent of the word: not only is he willing to have Skype sessions to help students learn to equalize properly, but while you are in his charge he does the utmost to accommodate your needs: he will do what it takes to get you to the water as confident and capable as feasible; he will stay at the end of the day if need be (no matter how long the day may have been), and give you the attention you need; and he will also ensure that this is a memorable experience you can not only tell about but also show, as he takes video and photos of everyone’s various performances (another way students get to learn by watching and matching sensation to observed movement). That is the great advantage of his small-sized classes, undivided attention, and worth every penny (and more, just don’t tell him!).
As a final aside, I was glad to see that PFI and Ted took the theoretical part of the course seriously. They do not shy from giving technical details or from discussing at length possible risks such as blackouts (unlike the hush-hush attitude I saw when I went through my various scuba certifications to reach the rescue diver level). They do so in a way that ensures you understand the risks, and more importantly teach you how to avoid them and what to do so that no matter what, you will be safe and enjoy freediving as it can be enjoyed.
In short, were you to take a PFI course through Immersion Freediving under the tutelage of Ted, you will come out a far better diver and you will love the whole process not just the result. Take the plunge! (You will be very glad you did).
Becky Gamble from Spearing Magazine Jan 8-12, 2013
I had been told that Ted Harty with Immersion Freediving was the go to guy if I was ever interested in learning how to dive, but not being a diver (and I mean never diving) or a “professional” snorkeler (seriously only twice in my life) I never thought I would ever need a freediving instructor. Needless to say, when I was presented with the “opportunity” (please notice the punctuation) to take a private class it only made sense to take it from Ted, and now I truly understand how exceptional Ted truly is at teaching. Not only was the coursework extremely educational but Ted made it entertaining with personal stories, personal experiences and hands on training. Never would I have thought that the coursework would leave me wanting more and more knowledge about diving, how the body works and my number one priority how to dive safe and how to be a safe diving partner.
Like I said above, I was not a diver at the beginning of this class, but Ted has so much patience (talking me through a panic attack just to even get my face in the water), he explained what he wanted me to do step by step and then would demonstrate it, by far the easiest way to learn. Ted never pushes you, it’s on your schedule, your comfort level and when you’re ready Ted is always right there with you. Ted gave me such confidence in myself and abilities that there are lessons I learned during this Immersion Freediving course that I will apply to my “above water life”.
I may not be the deepest diver, have the best, or any technique and still have a lot of learning to do, but Ted turned me into a freediver and now I am hooked. I can’t wait to continue my diving education, increasing my depths, improving my technique and I guarantee I will be doing this only with Immersion Freediving and Mr. Ted Harty, no one else compares and I now understand why he is the best and will be my only recommendation to anyone wanting to learn to dive.
Thank you Ted for truly being excited for what I accomplished over the course of five days, you made me feel awesome about myself and for opening up a whole new world to me. Your enthusiasm and passion for what you do is contagious and I look forward to working with you again. So stay tuned you have created a monster and I can honestly say if it wasn’t for you I never would have had the “true dive” experience. Cheers to you and I will see you in the water chasing the most awesome feeling in the world.
Steafno April 2013 Intermediate Freediver Course
I wish to add my note of thanks to Ted for his excellent course and hospitality during the intermediate Freediving course of the 11-14 April 2013.
I am Italian, 48yo and a lifelong spearfisher. Instead of football leagues as a child I would follow Enzo Maiorca and Jaques Mayols achievements. Having gone for several years with very infrequent spearfishing, I have recently landed a Job in Panama and wanting to make the most of it I wished to improve my bottom time and to do so more safely.
The planning and organisation of the course was first class! The Frentzel session via Skype was very useful in understanding the mechanisms which I had read about in so many magazines and books before but nothing beats the one to one session. There were only 4 students in this intermediate course and we received very personal attention. Ted picked us up from the hotel and went well beyond the call of duty to make our stay comfortable and productive. Overall the course was intense but very enjoyable, it provided us with extra flexibility to adapt to the rapidly changing weather and in my opinion was excellent value for money.
I have known of several very good spearfishers who had died and always believed that they had somehow pushed their limits too far and that I could continue for another 40 years doing in full safety given that I normally do it well within of my limits. The course was for me, primarily an opportunity to push those limits in a controlled environment, to endorse my very good practices.
Unfortunately the course made me realise that too many of those who die spearfishing are not necessarily pushing those boundaries too far, they are just doing what they have probably been doing regularly but their body on that tragic day did not respond as usual. Basically looking back at my personal experience I wandered at how an accident had yet not occurred to me and I needed to take a hard look at my practice. On the other hand the course also gave me very simple and practical ways to improve on my performance and in doing so much more safely.
During the course I achieved my personal best of 4.05minutes static and 100 feet in the ocean, but to me it only means that at I am more aware of my limits and can react in a difficult situation at my current fishing depth of 30-50 feet with relative calm and control. I am very passionate about spearfishing and intend to become even more proficient and continue doing so for many years. It is not possible to remove all risks from this extreme sport but the course made me realize that I owe it to my family to take the safety measures learned and practiced with Ted very seriously and gave me some excellent tool s for doing so.
Mark April 2013 Freediver Course
“I decided it was time to get serious about free diving in order to improve my chances spearfishing. I was stunned with my results after learning the proper techniques in such a short amount of time. Ted was a great teacher and I am extremely glad I decided to go with Immersion over the other classes I found online. The class has a focus on safety as well as technique. Now I need my friends to take it, so that when I dive I know if something should go wrong, someone there knows what to do.”
Kevin Scott April 2013 Freediver Course
Want to thank Ted of @immersionfd for an incredible #freediving class this weekend. Went to class with a diver no deeper than 15ft and a breath hold of about 2 min. After one class and pool session I got to a max allowed depth of 50ft and a 3min breath hold….in ONE day. Got blown out for second day and can’t wait to get back out to finish the 66ft dive. If you haven’t signed up with Ted…DO IT!
Whitt Virgin Dec 22-24 2012 Private Freediver course
I just recently took the Immersion Freediving course with Ted Harty which has changed the way i will dive forever. Where do i start?… Ted is an incredibly knowledgeable instructor and it was truly a pleasure learning from him. He starts off prior to the class sessions with a skype session to evaluate your decompression technique. During your Skype sesh, he either tells you you’re doing “frenzle” right, or if you equalize using the valsalva method. If you a naturally do valsalva, he teaches you in GREAT detail how switch to frenzle. He is very patient, even when you may not be as a student as trying to switch techniques can be very frustrating. The importance of frenzle is that you will be able to go past 30 feet of water with ease! Then comes the class session where the first thing he emphasizes is SAFETY! Let me just say this, it is true that spear fishermen are the WORST offenders of breaking the safety rules; i know this as my partner and i were two of them. But now i will NEVER dive with anyone who hasn’t taken the course. His point is to get you to understand that diving without proper safety techniques can turn a fun and fruitful day of diving into a very bad day very quickly. He talks about different scenarios and then teaches you how to implement the safety techniques which are invaluable and tremendously necessary to diving safely. I honestly cant say enough good things about his course! He teaches you proper breathing techniques that improved my static apnea time 2 1/2 times longer than what it was prior to the course! But the best part of the course were the ocean dives where our small class of 5 got to put everything we learned into use. Ted is always right by your side during your dives giving you pointers on your technique and how to improve. I really cant tell you how AWESOME this course was!!! I had a blast with my partner and our family and we now have peace of mind knowing we are diving so much safer and much deeper than we were before! I hope this review is helpful to him as he deserves all the business he can get. Ted is a phenominal instructor, i cant wait to take his intermediate course!
Jason Rice Nov 1-4 2012 Immersion Freediving PFI 4 day Intermediate Course
I recently completed the November 2012 Intermediate Freediving course with Ted Harty at Immersion Freediving in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Previous to taking this course, I was diving 35-40ft depths comfortably and could do a 2 minute static breathhold. Since taking this course with Ted, I was able to complete an 85ft dive and 4’25” static breathhold in the pool. Simply amazing!
I never realized how important equalization was at these depths and Ted has a skype session with every student before the class starts. The class size is limited to only 5 students, which is a big reason I took this course over other courses offered. Ted is a terrific instructor and was always focused on everyones individual needs, providing that “one on one” attention. The classroom sessions focused on safety, techniques and physiology. Safety was also a part of every ocean session and I learned a great deal. I was not a safe diver prior to taking this course, but now have the knowledge to easily adjust my diving style.
We had a lot of dive time in the ocean and even more fun! Ted’s dive boat “Sink Faze” was very nice and comfortable and much better than dealing with a big charter dive boat. I am very happy I decided to take this course with Immersion Freediving and can’t wait to get back out in the water for further ocean training with Ted.
Joe Surma Nov 1-4 2012 Immersion Freediving PFI 4 day Intermediate class
I recently took the Intermediate Freediver course with Ted Harty and Immersion Freediving. My first experience with a formal freediving course was last year when I took the basic freediver course with PFI. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish the ocean portion of the class due to bad weather, so about a year later I decided to contact Ted about finishing the course with him on his boat. After a short refresher session in the pool, and two ocean sessions I knew that Immersion was the way to go to continue my training in the sport. You can tell that Ted is passionate about what he does and wants everyone to be the best and safest freediver possible. Because of the small class sizes (5 students), you won’t get lost in the crowd. Ted works with everyone at their own pace to make sure they get the most out of the class. Immersion Freediving is, in my experience, definitely the best option available out there.
Sean Osner Immersion Freediving July 2012 PFI Intermediate Course
Ted Harty’s thorough and detailed attention to improving freediving technique coupled with his strong emphasis on safety leaves you with greater confidence and more importantly the ability to go deeper and stay down longer than you ever thought possible. Ted is an emerging ‘who’s who’ on today’s international freediving scene and his leadership has the potential to take the sport and TeamUSA to an unprecedented high. Immersion Freediving is without question among the best freediving instruction programs being offered in the world today. And the results clearly speak for themselves.
Thomas Immersion Freediving July 2012 PFI Intermeidate Course
I just finished the Immersion Freediving Intermediate course. I cannot even begin to describe how happy I am that I made the decision to take the course, but here it goes. I came into the course slightly skeptical and not quite sure what to expect. After a great first lecture I decided to be a little more open minded and really try and perform everything just as Ted was instructing. After the first pool session I was a believer! I came out of the first day with a new personal best of 4 minutes for my static breath hold, adding a full minute to my old time that first day and felt like I could have gone even longer! The second day I did even better, improving again to 4 minutes and 50 seconds! Ted’s natural ability to teach complicated concepts so anyone can understand is like nothing I have ever seen. I work in the medical field and can honestly say that Ted’s explanation of the respiratory system and it’s relation to the nervous system was without a doubt the most thorough and easy to understand that I have ever heard. Beyond personal bests being set during the course, it was worth every penny I spent if only for the safety measures that I learned during the course. I am still in awe thinking about how unsafe my diving practices were before the course. If you are sitting there reading this and think that you are above taking one of these courses well then I just hope your good luck continues. You may think you are being safe but you really have no idea. Even if you are a diver that is already regularly diving past the beginner course max depth of 66ft, it would still benefit and improve your diving to take even just the beginner freediver course, if that is what you can afford. You will learn the safety and techniques that will open up your eyes to how much you really do not know about freediving. So a big thanks to Ted Harty and Immersion Freediving. I can’t wait to get back down there and dive with you again.
Sonny Austin Immersion Freediving July PFI Intermediate Course
I recently attended the PFI Indermediate Freediver course offered by Immersion Freediving. I took time off work, travelled 3,000 miles, hotel, rental car, the whole nine yards. It was worth every minute and every penny. If you really do want to dive deeper, stay down longer and be completely safe all the while, take this course. The instructor Ted Harty is the real deal. He is the 2012 USA Freediving Team Captain and a national freediving record holder. Freediving is not a hobby for him, it’s what he does for a living.
The class is four days of comprehensive training and Ted is extremely thorough. He covers every detail of diving and explains it all in terms anyone can understand.
Even though I’m not in very good physical shape right now and about 25lbs. over weight, I was still able to increase my maximum depth by 30% and added over a minute to my static breath-hold. It’s all about technique.
I don’t care how long you’ve been diving or what you think you know, if you take this course you will absolutely learn things you never imagined and become a better freediver, period.
I would highly recommend Immersion Freediving to anyone.
Bill Van Deman June 2012 Instructor Program
“I recently completed a week of PFI professional courses with Ted Harty. This was the second opportunity I have had to train and learn under Ted in a Performance Freediving Course. What I really noticed this time around was the amount of preparation and detail that goes into Ted’s instruction and his consistency in fluidly demonstrating proper technique the same way every dive. Ted is obviously a talented competition freediver, but I was equally impressed by his ability as a teacher-his grasp on his material and his ability to clearly communicate difficult concepts and skills using several methods. Several times in our class, I noted some audible “Ah Hah” moments. Thanks to Kirk and Ted for a great learning experience, and I look forward to “continuing education” with Ted on my way to achieving my freediving goals.”
Bill Van Deman
Sterling June 28, 2012 Ocean Training Session
Meir Taub Feb 25, 2012 Ocean Training Session
I can’t say enough positive things about Immersion Freediving’s training sessions. Every day it seems there are more and more freedive instructors popping up around the country offering various courses of different levels, however Immersion freediving fills a large void by not just offering beginner and intermediate courses, but training sessions. As anybody who has taken a freediving class knows, they are packed full of info and have very little time for you to assimilate all the information and integrate it into the actual diving. By offering dedicated training sessions, certified divers can come out and work on all the little things they need to work on to improve their technique and their diving in a safe environment with an instructor. As always, Ted is diving with you on every dive, filming, safetying, and offering coaching tips and advice. It’s not just the competitive and recreational freedivers who can take advantage of these sessions, but also spearfishermen & women who want to incorporate diving with a speargun with what they learned in the classes. I really appreciated Immersion’s equipment rental. Flying in from New York I didn’t need to stress about how to get weights, longfins, or even a freediving wetsuit on the plane. I just rented that from Ted. All in all it was another great experience diving with Immersion Freediving and I’m looking forward to my next trip !
Matthew Rapaport, age 10 August 20-22, 2011 PFI JR Freediver
After Ted’s class I felt much more relaxed diving in the Bahamas. I caught my limit on Lobsters very quickly because I could go deeper and stay down longer. Thanks Ted!
Zachary Rapaport, age 13 August 20-22, 2011 PFI JR Freediver
I was really glad I took the class because I can go down deeper and hang out for a little while when I’m at the bottom. And, I can rescue someone if I need to.
Dan Canavan PFI Intermediate Course Sept 1-4
hey all – just got back home from the PFI Intermediate Freediver class given by Ted Harty of Immersion Freediving in Ft, Lauderdale, FL. It was a great 4 day course. Ted was really flexiible and accomodating with travel schedules. He keeps his class small (max 5 students) ….we had 3 students so there is lots of individual attention and everything was pretty calm and relaxed. Lectures were on nice comfy couches at Ted’s house and when it came time for the pool session, we just walked through the sliding glass doors to his backyard pool. We did make one trip to a deeper pool a few minutes down the road to practice entries. Ted uses his own boat and a private captain for the blue water sessions, which makes things go very smoothly because he controls the schedule. The open water sessions were awesome….3 days floating around in the gulf stream in 100 ft plus visibility blue water. The moon jellies were around saturday but on sunday….the seas were about 1 ft and crystal clear. A small school of fish kept us company and moved up and own the line with us. It was difficult to get out of the water and leave such beautiful conditions. Learned lots more about the nuts and bolts of freediving, improved technique, and achieved personal bests in depth and wet static times. Im hoping to make it back down again soon. Check out Ted and Immersion at www.immersionfreediving.com.
David Villegas, June 3-5, 2011 PFI Freediver Course
I just finished my first free diving class with Immersion Free Diving, and wow what an experience! I had been wanting to take a free diving class for years but was always hesitant because I was having a moderate amount of success on my own. After researching quite a bit on the Internet, I finally decided to go forward with Immersion Free Diving since it appeared that they place a great deal of focus on SAFETY. The class, which is taught by the owner Ted Harty.
Before taking the class, the longest that I had ever held my breath was 1min 30 secs. After my first day in the pool with Ted, I successfully held my breath for 3 minutes! Furthermore, diving in the ocean was a lot easily than I had imagined since Ted goes together which each student during each dive.
Last but definitely not least, one of the best features was that the class size was small and we received a lot of great personal attention. Furthermore, class and dive scheduling was flexible as a result of the fact that boat trips are conducted on Ted’s private boat.
I’m already signed up for my next class where my goal is a 5 minute breath hold and 135ft dive. Wish me luck!
Jared, July 2-4, 2011 PFI Freediver Course
Thanks to training and private coaching from Ted Harty, I’m now able to hit depths that I never thought I would be able to reach, all while doing it safely (and we’re not done, yet). Being a scuba instructor, I can really appreciate it when an instructor takes the time to really tune in to each student’s particular needs, and tailor the training approach so that each student receives the maximum benefit from it. All of the information is presented in a clear and interesting format, which makes even the learning process enjoyable. It’s very obvious to me that Ted enjoys teaching, and he seems to genuinely be as excited as his students are when they reach their goals, which is really a blast to watch. I can’t recommend Ted Harty and Immersion Freediving enough. I’m a huge fan.
Bobby Kim, June 15, 2011 Private coaching and Speargun Training Session
Thank you for an excellent course. I took the Safey Buddy Freediving course with you on July 2nd -3rd. It was an eye opener, so many years Freediving, so many years being an ignorant and irresponsible diver. Now I know better. If and when every one of us who spend time Freediving had the proper training with regards to our safety, the sport will benefit and many lives will be saved.
Jose Alfredo Salvador, July 3, 2011, PFI Safe Buddy Course
Ted is a great instructor and very concerned about our safety, he spent extra time trying to improve our equalizing techniques. I would definitely recommend him to anyone, great guy and safety was always his priority. THANKS TED.
Joan Diaz April 8-10, 2011 PFI Freediver Course
Erin & Ted are nothing short than just absolutely Phenomenal!I’ve been spearfishing from the age of 12(now 37) through their wealth of knowledge and in the way they deliver this invaluable information,I am now more comfortable,confident and able to dive beyond what I thought possible in such a SAFE manner; THANKS A MILLION GUYS !
Roger Tores March 26-29, 2011 PFI Intermediate Freediver Course
I wanted to thank you very much for the class this weekend. Having completed the class twice before with Kirk and Martin as the instructor, I was curious how the course would be. Let me say I was very impressed with you and Ted. I think you both did a fantastic job and the course was even better than before. Thank you!
Brian Meade March 26-29 2011, PFI Intermediate Freediver Course
The facilities, location, ease, group size and materials were all as good as I could have hoped for – especially since I’m local and its all so close to me. What really stood out was the quality of instructors. Ted is passionate about freediving and understands what it takes to be a good at it which translates into him being an excellent teacher
I came into the course to increase my bottom time and get to greater depths in order to improve my spearfishing. When I entered the class that was my only interest in freediving. I left the course having learned all about an awesome new sport (freediving) that I am excited about and can’t wait to work toward improving my skill at. Ted is an awesome teacher and what I learned far exceeded my expectations. I have already recommended the class to several dive buddies.
- Still Hunter April 9-11, 2010 PFI Freediver Course
I wanted to be sure to let you know what an amazing time my husband and I had at the Basic course last weekend. Even though we’d already taken an AIDA beginner’s course, your basic program added a whole other dimension to our diving
We took an AIDA class in Dahab last month so we were excited to learn the different approaches to free diving.
- Dana Harder May 28-30, 2010 PFI Freediver Course
Ted and Erin (and Ashley and Genevieve too) did a fantastic job. The material was presented in a clear and comprehensive way and the safety protocols were beaten into us…I feel much more confident being both a diver and a dive partner now. Ted’s equalizing workshop solved my ear problems and I comfortably made it to 20 m which was a huge relief to me. I had Ted for both ocean sessions and his teaching style was exactly what I needed. I felt comfortable in the water and completely safe and confident in challenging myself to do the max. dives. I left the weekend feeling like I learned so much out of the water and accomplished so much in it.
- Mike Harder May 28-30, 2010 PFI Freediver Course
I came from Brazil to attend the basic course in Fort Lauderdale, where we were blessed with very good conditions. Sunny days, warm waters, excellent visibility in the ocean sessions, and for my satisfaction, the course was even better than I thought it could be.
Instructors Ted, Erin and Ashley were fantastic, running things with a great mix of professionalism and friendship. The other students were also very nice people, and I am absolutely sure we all went home with a much better knowledge of this great sport.
I could reach personal bests both in the pool and in the ocean, and it never felt hard. I could do all my dives very easily, relaxed, thanks to the expert coaching we had. I would totally recommend this course to anyone interested in learning about freediving or improving previous skills.
Now I feel much more confident about diving, and I will definitely try to attend the intermediate course whenever possible. My advice, if someone is thinking about participating, is GO and HAVE FUN. We were a group of normal people, and we all did beyond what we thought possible. Keep up with this great work guys, hope I can see you again.
Erin, thanks to you and the others, this course was GREAT!
- Mario Bernardes May 28-30, 2010 PFI Freediver Course
Erin and Ted, I want to thank you for providing us an unforgettable and very rewarding experience. I loved the way you guys were into the class making sure that we learned every detail necessary. Erin and her demonstrations on near blackouts and blackouts were incredible. Also, I applaud the company’s initiative to provide this courses to make the sport of Free diving safer for everyone. I recommend this course for anyone looking to improve their knowledge on safety for free diving or improve their comfort level in the water.
Thanks guys! See you soon.
- Juan Carlos Morales Nov 20- 22, 2009 PFI Freediver Course
Ted, Thanks for your instruction the past few days. We appreciate the time you guys spend with us and your patience. I know you guys are doing the sport a huge favor by teaching Yahoo’s like us!
- Ben Fertic, Ironman, CEO June 17 -20, 2010 PFI Intermediate Freediver Course
To my amazing instructors, Erin and Ted (and to Mandy and Kirk as well of course!) Just wanted to say thank for all of your help, patience and support during the Beginner’s Freediving course last month. This course was my first real glimpse into the sport of freediving and I loved every minute of it! PFI has forever changed the way I dive and I cannot thank you enough for providing me with the skills to continue pursuing this beautiful sport on my own. Although we were rained out for the second boat trip, I am excitedd to come back and finish the course in the future…it’s something to look forward to!
You have a stellar program and I will absolutely be recommending this course to all of my friends who love to dive. Thanks for everything and best of luck in all of your competitions!
- Caitlin Krakower March 26-28, 2010 PFI Freediver Course
I can’t speak highly enough of Ted, Erin and Ashley. I really enjoyed myself and will be back for the intermediate class.
- Scott Eason May 28- 30, 2010 PFI Freediver Course
Ted and Erin are a great couple and a good team of instructors.
- Grayon Miller Janurary 30 – Feb 2, 2010 PFI Intermediate Freediver Course
Hi Mandy, Kirk, Ted and Erin,
Let me start by saying Thanks for a great course in Key West. I had a great time and learned WAY more than i expected too. Books,videos and activities have taught me a fare amount about freediving but they don’t come close to what you guys taught us in person. After all, no book is going to tell you to “breath” during an LMC. I felt confident under your supervision to push myself,and as a result gained new static and depth PB’s, not to mention a whole new passion for the sport. The course was a perfect balance of safety,education,technique,and FUN. Diving on the rig in blue water was a highlight for me.
I plan to continue my training using the techniques of PFI and will sign up for the Advanced course as soon as schedule and finance allows(and visas)
- Andrew Dalgleish June 20-23, 2009 PFI Intermediate Freediver Course
I just wanted to say thank you all, Kirk, Ted, Erin, Ren, Ashley and Jake, for the great experience I had in Key West for Performance Intermediate. I felt this class had a significant impact on my diving and breath-hold technique.
Ted, Erin, Ren, Ashley and Jake were awesome instructors. Very hands-on and encouraging. I look forward to more instruction from PFI.
More importantly I think this class was a much needed reality check for me- it was humbling with respect to safety and supervision. I saw firsthand how vulnerable freedivers are even when we “are not pushing it” and why it is a life and death matter to dive with direct supervision by trained buddies. Frankly, I should have taken this class years ago.
On a personal note, all of you were tremendously encouraging and positive with me as I stumbled at times learning a completely new way of breathing and diving. I want to thank Ren in particular for helping me and supervising me so closely on our open water day, as well as Ted, Erin and Jake for our water time. I look forward to the next opportunity to learn more at PFI and I will recommend all my friends and family to take your class. Thank you.
- Bill Van Deman June 17-20, 2010 PFI Freediver Course
Hi Erin, I wanted to write you and your fellow instructors, Ted and Jake, a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the Basic Freediving Course. I had a great time and learned a lot. I was amazed at what was possible–I did better than I ever thought I could’ve! I also thought it was great that the course was so focused on safety. I look forward d to seeing you again soon! Thanks so much.
- Shannon Collins July 16-18, 2010 PFI Freediver Course
Dear Ted, Thank you for a very remarkable and enjoyable learning experience for my mind and body. I had no idea there is so much to learn about freediving.
The structure of the intermediate dive course is an incredibly successful way to integrate physical conditioning and information. Hour by hour it developed my abilities and cautious confidence so that I was able to hold my breath 4 ½ minutes face down in pool water first, and then finally to freedive 66’ in the Gulfstream. And there are still two more open ocean dives to complete the program!
I arrived at class as a skeptic. I have been interested in scuba diving and remember reading whatever I could about it’s physiology in junior high school (remember “Sea Hunt”?). Because of my interest in human physiology and mechanics, I became an orthopedic surgeon. I have been swimming and snorkeling for decades, and I’m certified in SCUBA. I always thought it was silly to freedive more than 20’ (except for setting an anchor).
I read an article in the New Yorker magazine in June and was in disbelief at the depths and times people were freediving. It seemed a sport for people who are trying to kill themselves. And, apparently, the physiology I learned about the need to breathe and how long one can survive without air, was wrong.
Months later while lap swimming, I saw your class leaving the pool with flipper cases the length of pool cues, and I fortuitously stopped you to see if my suspicions that I was witnessing a freediving class were correct.
You were patient enough to talk with me three times before I decided to pay the 50% deposit (I told myself I could still back out). That got me the book and the T-shirt.
I devoured the book and completed a couple of the Apnea tables (without instruction). I arrived at class expecting perhaps a few other crazies, or for it to be cancelled for lack of students. The class was full (16+)!
The first classes clearly explained how dangerous the sport is, and I signed more liability waivers than my patients undergoing surgery do. We learned 90 people died freediving last year and that near death experiences, “blackouts”, while not totally avoidable, can be treated with rescue techniques that must be provided with every dive. You showed videos of them, you mimicked them, and you spent half the class, in and out of the water, going over safety techniques.
You also filled us in on the physiology that is the basis of what we experience during dives and the training techniques used by world class divers like yourselves. You explained it, showed slides and video clips, drew diagrams , and told personal anecdotes. I am particularly appreciative of Kirk giving of his time so freely during the breaks to tell us about his experiences (i.e. Tiger Woods, David Blaine, underwater “Formula 3” Freediving races using battery powered propulsion between one’s legs).
I was apprehensive about the open ocean sessions, and was really impressed with the floating grid set up and the adjustable diving lines. I felt like a puppy following the trainer’s instructions and returned to shore euphoric.
The following day, I never saw so many Man o’wars . Kirk dealt with the circumstances and cancelled the day’s diving in a direct, unapologetic fashion.
Freediving as a sport today must be where SCUBA was 60 years ago. Thank you for presenting it and teaching it with such integrity.
Now that I’ve completed this portion of the training, I’m going to be able to explain to my diving buddies and my pulmonologist friends that freediving isn’t totally crazy.
I’m looking forward to the make up sessions.
- Richard Goldstein April 1st – 4th, 2010 PFI Intermediate Freediver Course