The way you care for your equipment is also a sign of your seriousness in freediving
Freediving is a thrilling and rewarding activity that tests a person’s physical and mental limits.
It requires special equipment to maximize the safety and efficiency of the experience.
It is important to be aware of the latest developments in freediving technology and equipment and to understand the safety protocols and techniques used by professional freedivers.
Proper care and maintenance of the equipment are essential to ensure its longevity and performance and to ensure the safety of the diver.
This article is to provide an overview of the necessary equipment for freediving and discuss the importance of proper fitting, care, and maintenance of the equipment.
Freediving equipment is essential to be able to explore the underwater world safely and efficiently.
It is important to have and use proper equipment so it also helps the divers to stay comfortable underwater.
First, we have to understand that freediving equipment is different than any other water sport such as swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving.
The freediving mask (Yes, it is called Freediving Mask, not Freediving Google) has specific dimensions which have a low-volume profile and proper fit on the face, especially the nose.
Low-profile means the glass area is smaller and, usually, separated between the left and the right eye. It also means the air space in the mask is less than in any other mask
This type of mask is made this way to minimize water pressure, the need to equalize the mask too often, and easily pinch the nose while equalizing.
The freediving fins are also different, which are Long Bi-Fins and Monofin.
The Long Bi-fins are longer than swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving, also the foot-pocket is usually a full foot type.
Long Bi-fins and monofin are needed in freediving because more efficient to reach deeper and farther distances.
However, for training or other specific purposes, some divers use shorter bi-fins which easier to train the finning kicks and easier to maneuver.
The fins need to be the right size, weight, and stiffness to provide the best performance.
It is best to try the foot-pocket first and make sure it properly fits your feet without too much wiggling or too much pressure.
You may also wear diving socks or ordinary cotton socks for extra fit and comfort.
The next standard freediving equipment is the wetsuit, but it is optional and depends on the certain situation or the diver.
The wetsuit helps to keep the diver warm and protects from underwater elements, such as water temperature, animals, corals, etc.
A wetsuit also provides extra buoyancy and hydrodynamic.
For specific purposes, such as competitions, it is best to wear a wetsuit that has a smooth-skin external material and without a zipper.
This type of wetsuit is usually two-piece, the top part and the leg part, with an extra built-in hoodie.
It is best to have a well-fitted wetsuit that has minimum space with your body.
A loose wetsuit will create more drag which decreases the efficiency of your movement.
However, it is more common in the freediving communities that every diver will have his/her own preference in the wetsuit due to individual anatomy and modified technique.
In addition to all of the above, freedivers may also use a snorkel, extra weight, gloves, and a knife.
Freedivers use a snorkel along the mask to help them breathe easily while buddy-ing, assisting, or having a rest between surface intervals.
Extra weight is used to help freedivers maintain their safe neutral buoyancy.
Freedivers wear gloves and a knife to help them while spearfishing. The gloves are usually made with anti-cut material so it provides more safety.
Freediving equipment is not “Free” and we are not gonna lie that they are not cheap.
However, the importance of proper care and maintenance is not just about the financial purpose, but also the functional purposes.
The more you care about your equipment, the more it lasts and endures to provide support to your performance.
Follow these steps for proper care and maintenance:
- Rinse Off All Your Equipment.
Chemicals in the pool water and salt or other minerals in the seawater can build up on the equipment.
This can slowly damage and tear the equipment in the long run, especially the ones with rubber material.
Always spent time rinsing off all your equipment with fresh water after every diving session.
- Dry and Store Your Equipment.
Dry all your equipment with fiber cloth or any drying cloth to prevent dampness, mold, and rust on the metal parts.
You can also use any electrical dryer or scuba-drying extension gear.
Next, store it in a dry place and avoid direct sunlight.
Sunlight can wear and tear rubber material equipment.
For fins, store them with the foot-pocket holder/shape keeper inside the foot-pocket.
For a wetsuit, don’t fold a smoothskin-type wetsuit too much or too complex because it can make creases that damage the material and the function.
It is recommended to hang the wetsuit with a wide-shoulder hanger once it dries.
- Check For Wear and Tear
Days before using, always check for wear and tear.
Check if there are tears on the rubber material of the mask and fins.
Moreover, check the foot-pocket rails on the fins, because it can come off or wear out off the fins.
The foot-pocket rails also have clips that tend to come off and go missing after heavy training. It is best to check it out too.
Proper care and maintenance of freediving equipment are essential to ensure its longevity and functionality.
Proper maintenance also ensures that the equipment is functioning properly and that the diver is not exposed to any risks.
The steps for proper care and maintenance include: rinsing off all of your gear with fresh water, drying and storing it in a safe place, and regularly checking for wear and tear before using.
Properly maintained equipment also ensures that the diver can perform at their highest level, allowing them to explore the depths of the underwater world safely and efficiently.
Taking the time to care for and maintain your freediving equipment is an important part of ensuring a safe and successful dive.
Let’s learn more about this in the course.
See you at the next article and in the training session!