“What to say about Ted Harty owner of Immersion Freediving… Some may know him by Capt America, Aqua Man, team Captain of the 2012 U.S. freedive team orU.S constant weight record holder. Regardless of how you know of Ted Harty the one thing everyone can agree on is that when it comes to freedive education it’s almost impossible to top his courses.”
Owner of Spearing Magazin – Private course
“I just finished Ted Harty’s Intermediate Freediver Course, and it was one of the most content-rich, empowering, and exhilarating experiences I’ve ever had.
Being a recreational athlete for over 50 years (I’m 63), I was a little cautious about what risks would exist throughout 3 days of ocean diving (it’s a 4 day course)”
Owner Special Forces Training Academy – Intermediate Course
“I live and dive, 99% in Ontario, Canada, mostly in the St. Lawrence river, the 1000 islands region. I had found freediving and spearfishing on the Internet, 2 years prior, and had ” self-taught” myself how to do it, or so I thought. Sure, I bought the stuff, and read Spearing magazine, shot fish, and dove holding my breath to do it, but that was the extent of my “knowing “, ANYTHING about safety, physiology, and techniques important to staying alive in this game.”
PFI Intermediate Course
“If, like me, you’re mainly a spearfisherman, you’ll learn a lot of things that also apply to spearfishing. In fact, everything you’ll learn applies to spearfishing as well. More than anything, if like for me this is your first freediving course, you need to approach it with an open mind: not only most (if not all) of what you learn will directly translate into spearfishing, but the approach Ted teaches is likely radically different from anything you’ve known or done so far.”
PFI Intermediate Course
“It seemed like this was going to be a no brainer. I would just need to train to hold my breath 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.”
PFI Freediving Course
“First of all just to give a little background about my “freediving” prior to taking the course, I would have called myself a pretty serious spear-fishermen for the last 3-5 years diving fairly comfortably at depths ranging from 10-65feet. I had reached depths just over 80 feet on my own and by no means had any sort of comfortable hunting time there and had a personal best static breath hold of just over 3 minutes. ”
PFI Intermediate Freediver 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…”
PFI Intermediate Course
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)
The Short Story: Let me start with the fact that my freediving experience before Ted’s class was limited to freediving to recover dropped items as a teen (30 years ago), minimal spearfishing, and recreational free diving on vacation. I am an active scuba instructor and very comfortable in the Ocean despite the minimal freediving experience. The Immersion Freediving Intermediate Freediving class was one of the best diving classes of any kind that I have taken. You will learn so much in 4 days that it will take you days or weeks after before it all sinks in. The money and time invested will make you a safer and better waterman not to mention improve your freediving. Thank you to Ted and his team for a superb program from registration all the way to arranging for the awesome wildlife visits on our last dives.
The Long Story: Freediving is something that always fascinated me and something that I’ve always wanted to learn. As a scuba instructor here in Florida I was able to ask my network of contacts in the industry who they suggested to learn from, Ted Harty, and Immersion Freediving’s name came up over and over. After taking the course I understand why.
The amount of information I’ve learned to improve my free diving and do so safely is overwhelming and days later I am still processing. Whether you are in the classroom, pool, or in the ocean safety skills and technique are reinforced. The class size is no more than 5 people which allows you to get one on one treatment. Because of this you will not be able to hide in a crowd and you will be expected to perform, by no means will you be perfect so don’t expect to be.
After each dive you will understand what you did well in addition to what you need to work on from Ted. He can provide you this feedback because he is right there with you on the dive regardless of the depth and not just observing from above. Ted does this for every student on every dive. I may be wrong but I doubt in many circumstances that you will find the same level of supervision from a scuba instructor who is now a newly minted freediving instructor. This is not a slam to other instructors or agencies but more a testimony to the level of supervision Immersion Freediving provides their students as well as the skill and experience of the instructor.
Am I now a perfectly tuned freediving machine? Far from it, but given where I started at the beginning to where I am now my diving is night and day. I went from a sub 3 minute best breath hold to 5 minutes and 5 seconds and did the deepest most comfortable free dive I’ve ever done. But, In the end deeper was not the point, there was never any pressure to push beyond what people were comfortable with or in my case what my sinuses were limiting me. In fact, when I became the most frustrated I was encouraged to not push through but instead focus on technique and “enjoy the dive” by Ted. I still have a long way to go before my dives are all locked in but by applying tools and safety procedures I have learned they will get there.
Thank you Ted and the rest of your company for the awesome experience. I only wish I would have your class years ago.
Kerry Vanhorn July 8-11 2016 PFI Intermediate course
My name is Chris Schirmer. In regards to my confidence in the water I would say it’s pretty high. I have been sailing most my life, into most water sports that are out there, been a PADI certified diver for almost 15 years and now a spear fisher.
I began spearing and free diving back in September 2015 when I moved to Bermuda and wasn’t long until I took Ted’s Intermediate Class in May 2016. Prior to the course, I was operating off being self taught, the internet and buddies who I dived with. I would say this is probably the most common means of learning the sport. When I learned of Ted’s course through a friend, it became obvious for me to widen my knowledge of diving by taking his intermediate Performance Freediving course.
Ted’s Course was a complete game changer. In regards to how I was diving and the knowledge I knew to what I came out of the course with was night and day. Safety, which can be easily forgotten is now on top importance to me for diving. Everything else I learnt during the course was a bonus. I knew previous of what we were taught that free diving had its dangers but to be able to have a fraction of the knowledge to what Ted knows was necessary to me. Each subject that Ted delivered to us in the class was executed perfectly and repetition definitely taught me in the best way possible.
I began the course with a breath hold of just over 3 minutes and diving to a max of 40-45 feet with a very limited bottom time. With Teds instruction I left with a breath hold of over 4 minutes, a 108ft dive an most importantly doing it safely.
Best course I have ever taken and couldn’t recommend it more to any free diver or spear fisher.
Chris Schirmer 2016 July 4 day PFI Intermediate Course
The immersion intermediate freediver course taught by Ted Harty is the real deal. If you are on social media or have contacts in the freedive/spearfishing community you’ve probably heard the hype about Ted’s class in Ft Lauderdale. The hype is true. The course is awesome and I was completely blown away from start to finish. I don’t care if you’re a new diver or a seasoned veteran you will gain from this class and it is probably the single best thing you can do for your diving. Don’t buy a new gun or a new fins, buy yourself a class with immersion. You’ll gain the tools you need to improve in all the aspects of your freediving. My learning curve went straight up in so many ways. Safety, technique, knowledge, the list goes on and on but long story short, you’re going to be stoked on this class. The curriculum structure is awesome and Ted is one hell of a teacher. Bottom line is I can’t say enough good things about my experience and you owe it to yourself to get into this class as soon as possible.
Ben Alcocer 2016 July 4 day Intermediate Course
Let’s begin by clarifying that calling what Ted Harty does “teaching” is a gross understatement, the word “coaching” is a better way to describe his working style with his students, and then again, this word also falls short. However you call what a true “Guru” does is a much more accurate way to define what he does during his Performance Freediving International courses. Small groups of up to five students definitely are put through each and everyone’s individual paces as he fine tunes the multiple, and complex aspects of freediving in a way that as he puts it “clicks” before the end of the course, making it feel easy, as close to natural as it comes. The experience having learned from Ted ranks among the best ones I have personally had in my life, and I was born in 1968 mind you.
In telling you a little bit about me, a better frame of reference should be attained as to how the experience may be for you. While I have always loved water, it was only by the end of 2013 that I started swimming again on a regular basis, mainly due to the fact that a community pool was finally at my disposal. Even after starting, I had a back injury that had me flirt with loosing my ability to walk, which also set my coming into the sport a good deal behind what would otherwise have been a very smooth start. In short, you can say I have been revolving around freediving for about two years by the time I took this Level Two course, I had also taken Freediving Instructors International Level One last year with Martin Stepanek, still with some concern about my back at the time.
I am definitely not a sports person, or a fanatic of exercising, but merely a weekender type who also swims on a regular basis for general good health, both physical, and mental, but enough about me. If there is one thing I have dialed in, in life by my almost half a century of existence, it has to be that everything in life is accomplished by using a little theory, and lots of practice. The percentages may slightly change depending on the field in question, but there is always a preference about the hands on approach, the learn as you do, the learn on the job as you may, and Ted Harty definitely follows this valuable golden rate, this winning formula during his courses. It is not surprising students really improve no matter what their individual levels of freediving are at the beginning of the course. As expected some people are great performers, and some people face challenges, and the beauty of how the class developed was that everyone benefits from everyone else’s performance too. Some errors overlapped among some of us, and some were very particular to some of the individuals. The insight however was always personalized for each, and shared by everyone as well.
Safety was paramount at all times, and provided by very close supervision by Ted himself all the while all of us were also made to follow the same surface safety procedures necessary for each and every dive. The last diver would provide, and practice the safety protocols for the following diver, we all got our share of diving, and our share of providing safety for each other. Simulated rescues at depth were also fun, Ted is a big guy which makes it even more fun, and challenging, also a good actor.
One thing that I would like to mention is the fact that Ted is a mayor character; perhaps his experience as a musician permeates his demeanor in the way of a performer, which in turn make the class highly intense, and extremely engaging. Never a dull moment, not even a pause unless necessary, not a single moment of wasted time, yet at the same time all impromptu questions that arose were addressed almost immediately in a way that everything connected with sense, and in a very easy to learn way that also felt effortless.
I doubt that every course gets the privilege our class had, but we also got to taste Ted’s already legendary hand at the Green Egg, even the vegetarian student tried it, and most important, praised it. Now, I did say taste, it was no more than a little bite, one that I still taste upon recall, and that I also hope to get a chance to enjoy for good one day.
Thanks Ted Harty, may you live for ever, and continue doing the outstanding job you are doing.
Octavio Cortes June 2016 Intermediate course
My name is Ralph Fuentes and I have been freediving and Spearfishing for about 36 years in the Miami/Florida Keys area. In addition, I have been a certified scuba diver since 1980. Like many, I enrolled in Immersion’s three day PFI freediver course to acquire the knowledge and techniques to increase my bottom time and dive deeper in order to spear larger fish. After many years of researching freediving courses and instructors, I chose Immersion freediving over the others because; Ted is a full-time instructor – and that’s his chosen career, and he has been an instructor since 2005. He owns the boat used for the ocean sessions – a big plus. His classes are limited to 5 students which create an intimate and personal experience. Besides, he’s an accomplished freediver and competitor! Before taking Ted’s class, my spearfishing depth was between 15 to 35 feet with the occasional dive to around 45 feet. My best static apnea was a 3:32 minute breath hold. My personal best dive was a 60 foot dive at one of Florida’s natural springs, and, of course, that dive was done under duress. When Spearfishing with my buddies, what I consider to be safe practice was being able to see them from 15, 20 and 30 yards away and communicating by whistling/calling out to check on each other. “That’s what we called being safe”. I know now, after completing the course, that spearfishing that way is not safe! During the course, I performed a static apnea breath hold of 3:30 which is the maximum allowed for this course and a personal BEST DIVE TO 66ft, with a total dive time of around 1min 23 sec. That dive was not under duress and thanks to Ted, it was calm, relaxing and under my control! What an awesome feeling! After taking Ted’s freediver course, I realized that it’s not just about learning the techniques to dive deeper and staying longer but how to do it safely. In his course, Ted’s curriculum revolves around the safety aspects of freediving and the practice of those safety protocols and techniques throughout the three days. I have to say, that the course is intense and not just physically demanding but mentally challenging as well. That being said, Ted’s passion, devotion and teaching style helps overcome those obstacles and amount of material covered. Ted, It was a pleasure meeting you. You made me feel as though we’ve been friends for years, and in the near future, I will be enrolling in the intermediate class. All the best, Ralph Fuentes 66 foot safe freediver!!!!
Ralph Fuentes May 2016 3 Day Freediver Course