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.
Steafno April 2013 Intermediate Freediver Course