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Freediving Gear

There's no denying it--California water is cold! But with the proper gear that fits just right it will be much more manageable!

That's why I ask any students to arrive to courses with their own gear. This will ensure proper fit and also make it so much more accessible to keep training after your certification!

Here are some tips on what to bring and where to find freediving gear in the LA area...

Gear that Makes Sense for Me...

Equipment for your Commitment

Committed

Want to dive more after my cert!

Multipurpose

Not sure if I will freedive often, but plan to water play in CA somehow!

Renting

Don't think I will dive much after the course in California.

Wetsuit

Fit is IMPORTANT! Try on before you buy locally if possible! Don't forget BOOTIES/SOCKS and optionally GLOVES.

Committed
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Freedivers use 2 piece Open Cell wetsuits because they are much more flexible and warmer (though you will have to get in them by lubing them with conditioner). If you plan to continue freediving, these are a worthwhile investment! In SoCal you'll need either a 5mm or 7mm suit. 

Multipurpose
Resting Surfer

If you have or buy a more general purpose 5mm surfing suit or scuba suit, that can work, but please buy a 5mm hood or hooded vest to go with it so you can keep your body temp up! You won't last the course in a surf suit alone.

Renting
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Spear America does now does offer full kit freediving rentals. You can also potentially rent a 5-7mm Scuba Suit from a Scuba shop near you, which might be easier to find!

Fins

Your fin type is up to you and what makes sense for your water-play going forward!

Committed
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Buy long fins for freediving if possible.
You can get these at any dive or spearfishing shop--try on first with booties/socks. Plastic Fins are 100% great for beginning freedivers. Fiberglass or Carbons are the next steps up in $$$, but are probably overkill for your Level 1.

Multipurpose
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Shorter snorkeling or scuba fins will work for the course as long as they have a full foot pocket. The long the fin, the more power for freediving, but if you are looking for a multi-purpose fin getting a good quality snorkeling fin might be your best bet.

Renting
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You should be able to rent short scuba fins from a Dive shop, but just make sure they have a full foot pocket. 

Mask and Snorkel

Try on your mask before you buy! A leaky mask is the WORST! A mask should be able to stay on your face without a strap your your hands if you put it on and inhale. 

Committed
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Buy a low-volume mask made for freediving. This will make your freediving experience easier on your equalization. 

Multipurpose
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A scuba mask or mid-volume mask is fine for freediving and will allow you to see more snorkeling.

Renting
Snorkeling

You are also able to rent a mask from scuba shops, but please do try it on your face before taking it home!

Snorkels: A simple "J" snorkel is all you need. No fancy valves or shapes please!
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Weight Belt and Weights

I will have extra weights, so don't stress to too much on this one. 

Committed
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You're going to want a nice, sturdy RUBBER weight belt. This type of belt will stretch when you take a deep breath as opposed to scuba nylon belts which are stiff. A plastic snap buckle or metal belt buckle are fine. 

Multipurpose
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I also recommend getting a RUBBER weight belt as you can use this for scuba diving in addition to freediving, but you can't use scuba nylon belts for freediving.

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Renting
Scuba Diving Course

You can rent a weight belt and weights from a scuba shop, but you will be more comfortable if you request/ask if they have any rubber belts. Make sure they know you are freediving so they give you weights you can thread through the belt.

Weights: I will have extra weight, but for reference, I'm 140lbs in a 5.5mm suit and I wear 3X3 lbs weight. Get less weight when in doubt and add later. Do not get lead more than 4 lbs.
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