In August 2013, I took Ted Harty’s Immersion Freediving PFI 4-day Intermediate Course, and what I learned has completely revolutionized the way I dive. As a spearfisherman, the main thought in my mind was to get the biggest fish I could get, no matter the means. This meant that I was severly overweighted (14lbs in a 3mm wetsuit, just plain dumb), did not take the proper time to breath up at the surface, and safety almost had no place in my mind. Ted taught me that this method of diving was unsafe, wrong, and that it was actually limiting my diving capabilities.
From that moment on I decided to take every technique that Ted taught to us to heart. These techniques consisted of the correct method to breath up at the surface, how to train your lungs, proper entry, proper kick cycles, proper form in the water and much more. I went into the class with a breath hold of 3 minutes and a maximum depth of 71ft. I struggled to achieve those personal bests and I never imagined that I would surpass them with such ease. By the 2nd pool session in Ted’s class, I had achieved a breath hold of 5 minutes and 15 seconds. By the 2nd ocean session, I had achieved a max depth of 103 feet! Both of my records shattered with two days of training. Not only did I shatter my records, but also I felt better at 103 feet than I did using my normal diving routine at 50 feet. I still cannot get over how much technique matters in this sport.
Ted was a great instructor because he had the patience to work through all the problems and was there to help out whenever needed and to provide support before, during, and after each dive. Before we even had the class, he set up a skype session to ensure that I was properly equalizing and describe the layout of the course. The organization within this course was top notch. Ted was always ready on time, even if that meant picking me up from the hotel before class. Since Ted uses his own boat for the course with a certified captain on board, there was no rush to get on the boat. The information on safety that Ted provides is insane! I never really thought about how dangerous free diving could be, but after this course I am fully aware of the dangers and now have the capable tools to best deal with those scenarios! Overall, this course was one of the best things that happened to my recreational diving. Nothing beats hitting the sink phase of your dive and jetting down to the plate w/o kicking your legs. Nothing.
I would recommend this course to anyone interested in diving longer, deeper, and more importantly, safer.
Mata August 2013 Intermediate Freediver course