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The Most Efficient Way to Boat Fish and Share Stories!


 by Errol Putigna, FII Freediving Instructor Trainer


I was recently in the Bahamas on a trip of a lifetime! To say the trip was epic would be an understatement. As always, the objective of my spearfishing trips is that everyone goes home to their loved ones. After all, what is a fish story if you can’t tell it?spearfishing bahamas hogfish polespear


All too often, spearfishermen have the mentality of being the Alpha hunter and that he/she has to land the fish alone, no matter what it takes. While landing the fish is important, what is more important? The fish being landed by the individual or that the team lands the fish? From an efficiency and safety viewpoint, it’s all about the team!


When I'm out spearfishing, I prefer the 3-man buddy team. Why? Well, you’ll have a guy on the bottom hunting longer, it will guarantee a turnkey freedive safety protocol and ultimately, it will equal more fish in the boat (as long as the fish are there to begin with… it’s still called fishing, not catching!! Ha!).


Here is how it’s done:

  • Diver 1 dives, Diver 3 is on safety and Diver 2 is breathing-up.
  • When Diver 1 surfaces, Diver 3 is within tactile distance of Diver 1 and Diver 2 observes that Diver 1 and 3 are ok. 
  • When Divers 1 and 3 signal that all is good (30 seconds is a safe amount of time after the diver surfaces…. The fish will be there! Be patient!), Diver 2 can start his/her dive and Diver 1 has now becomes the safety for Diver 2 while Dive 3 breaths-up for their dive.
  • And the rotation continues….


By following this protocol, it ensures enough breath-up/recovery time and it will actually give the Diver even more bottom time (our dive times are on average, 1:20-1:45) during the course of the day! We are able to sustain these dive times with no problem.


I teach freediving more than I spearfish but when I do get the chance to spearfish, I make the most of it and I’m able to bring home the catch (as long as the fish are there…)! I hope this little blog was able to give you an edge on boating the fish! Again, a fish story is only good if you’re able to share and tell the stories with a friends and family!


Safe freediving!



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2014 FII Kona Freediving Camp




Kona Camp #1 - October 18-24, 2014  (Arrive: Oct 17, Depart: Oct 25)  - SOLD OUT

Kona Camp #2 - November 02-08, 2014  (Arrive: Nov 01, Depart: Nov 09) - SOLD OUT




Set in beautiful Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, the FII Kona Freediving Camp provides participants with a specialized seven day freediving training camp. Expertly tailored to cater to all experience levels, and all interests from laid back water lovers to line-diving enthusiasts. The Kona Freediving Camp is the perfect recreational freediving vacation that easily fits into any family or individuals schedule. Join us for exciting blue-water freediving marine interaction trips, fun cultural evenings and unsurpassed daily freediving training  from FII's team of world class instructors. The FII Kona Freediving Camp is your ultimate freediving getaway.


Oceanic White Tip Shark Hawaii with Freediving Instructors International


Suitable for: Individuals with a special interest in marine interaction, underwater photography, or depth training. 


Pre-Requisites: Open to certified freedivers only. For non-certified divers, a range of FII courses will be available directly prior to the Camp. Please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

You will be limited to the maximum depth of your certification (i.e. Lvl 1 Freedivers are limited to 66ft/20m). Please contact us if you have any questions.

Participants must be in good physical condition – See FII Medical Release.



Freediving Training with World-Renowned Freediving Instructors including 13-time Freediving World Record Holder, Martin Stepanek

Daily HD Videos


Exclusive 1.5hr Animal Interaction Clinic with Martin Stepanek & team

Organised Beach Day Activities


Not included:

Flights, Accommodation & Car Rental

Animal Interaction Boat Fee (approximately $125.00 per trip)

Food & Beverages at Social Events

FII Freediver Hawaii | FII Kona Freediving Camp




Freediving: What is my limit?

FII Freediving Instructor Trainer Errol Putigna

By Errol Putigna

I often hear the excuse, "Oh, I'm fine. I never push myself..." This may be fine and dandy until something goes wrong. I have a friend that has a static apnea breath-hold of 5 minutes 30 seconds. He is definitely above the norm in the freediving world. As a general rule of thumb, your working time underwater is half of your static apnea time. So in his case, it was 2:45. I witnessed him having a loss of motor control (when you lose control over your muscles in which at this point you need the assistance of buddy to keep your airway out of the water so that you don't inhale water or if the situation escalates, blackout) after a dive that was only 1 minute 17 seconds.... Now the question is, what happened? Did he push his limits? We went over his dive and reviewed it..... To tell you the truth, I (and he) have no idea what happened except the fact that he had a properly trained safety buddy to bail him out of his situation.

This brings me to my next point on how to wrap your head around what freediving/spearfishing truly is: it is a sport in which there are so many variables that one can never be certain if and when they will have a hypoxic event (such as a Loss of Motor Control or a Blackout). The variables may be; what did you eat? Are you hydrated? Did you sleep well? Are you stressed about family or work? What was your breathing pattern before and after the dive? These are all variables that will interact with each other in a different manner on any given day. We just don't know.FII Freediver Training in Portugal

Having said this, there is one really simple solution to correct any possible mishap that may happen during a dive. Have a properly trained safety buddy! I cannot reiterate this enough. All it takes is one event of your safety buddy not being there and, well let's just say that it won't be good.... I always say, "I love spearfishing and freediving, but I love my wife and son a whole lot more." Keep everything in perspective. It's a sport we love to do but let's keep it safe! Take a formal freediving class and educate yourself on what you can do to be safe.

So, next time you're out there enjoying the outdoors, make sure that you have all of your safety plans in place and that you're not relaying on what your limits are!



Errol Putigna

Errol Putigna is an internationally recognized Freediving Instructor that works with Freediving Instructors International (FII) and 13 time world-record holding freediver and creator/founder of FII, Martin Stepanek. He helped develop freedive curricula along side Martin Stepanek, such as FII's Junior Freediver program and is one of the most sought after freediving instructors in the world, having taught professional athletes and Forbes 500 business entrepreneurs among others. He teaches both recreational level and professional level certification courses all over the United States, Bahamas and Spain. In addition, he has translated and adapted FII's materials for the Spanish speaking market.

Click here to view Errol's course listings.


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