Freediving, as we know, is a social sport; it is not something to be done alone. But finding a buddy that is at our same level (or even finding a buddy at all) can be quite difficult. Unless you live in a typical diving town, like Dahab, Egypt or Amed, Bali, it can be problematic finding a qualified diver near you. So how do you go about searching for that person to have proper, safe training sessions with?
Is there a freediving center or shop in your town, or somewhat nearby? Pay them a visit! There might be people there wanting to train, or already training, and will welcome you with open arms. If not, they might know freedivers in the area who are looking for a buddy. And if you have no other option, you could always pay for a training or coaching session with the center and know that you have a qualified, professional safety present.
There are spearfishing clubs dotted all over the world; if you find one, this does not necessarily mean that you have to be a spearfisher; plenty of these spearos train in order to improve their skills. You can find out information about spearfishing clubs at your local freediving center, or on forums such as the DeeperBlue.com Forums or Spearboard.com.
Take a Vacation
We all (hopefully) get a vacation or two during the year. Instead of seeing family in that cold place up in the mountains, take a week or two and travel to freediving hubs like Indonesia or the Philippines. There will probably be a surplus of freedivers who are already training, and you can find out information about the dive site and conditions ahead of time.
Find a local freediving shop and take a course, whether it is a beginner course or continuing education. Theory and safety are very important parts of freediving, as is getting your technique critiqued by a professional; it can also be a great place to make friends and get a future freediving buddy’s contact details.
Turn To An Existing Friend
If your partner or friend does not freedive, now is the perfect opportunity to show them some cool freediving videos. Freediving can be life-changing; sell them on this concept. Send some links to your friends, or give them a gift certificate for a course (maybe for a portion of the cost, freediving courses can be expensive), and create your own freediving buddy for life. This is actually how I started freediving; my boyfriend at the time (now my husband) made me try it and I immediately became addicted!
Searching your town or country’s name with the word “freediving” in it can turn up some pretty interesting results on Facebook. There may already be a group dedicated to freediving locally that you are not even aware of. If not, create one! Facebook can be the platform on which you can get in touch with other freedivers, organize training sessions, exchange tips, or create future trips to freediving locations.
Forums such as Spearboard.com and the DeeperBlue.com forums are filled with people who post their upcoming trips or current locations and are in search of a training buddy. Even if you do not find someone in your location right away, you can create your own thread and wait patiently for someone to reply. It cannot hurt, right?
Freedive Earth has a buddy locator for freedivers and spearos to connect and find a buddy in your desired location. Whether you are planning an upcoming trip or searching for someone near you, it can be a useful tool.
Freebuddy.net has the same concept as Freedive Earth but includes scuba buddies as well. Even if there are no current buddies in your general area, this does not mean that you should not create a profile and log in; the more people that sign up, the higher the chances are of you finding your perfect freediving buddy, whether now or in the future.
Become An Instructor
This may seem like an extreme goal, but if you already have quite a few courses under your belt, why not invest in yourself? Along with becoming part of a professional community, having a cool new addition to your resume, and improving your skills, you also have the ability to teach and create a new addition to the freediving community at will. Of course, not everyone can or should become a freediving instructor, but if you are a good teacher, patient, passionate about freediving, and hold others’ safety as your main priority, it can be something to consider. Check out our tips for future freediving instructor candidates if you are considering this option.
Finding a trained freediving buddy can be difficult, but it is not impossible! Even if all you have access to is a pool, you can still find a buddy to train dynamic, static, and CO2 tables with. And if all else fails and you can only find a buddy for certain parts of the year when you are traveling, cross-training, stretching, equalization, and flexibility training can keep you busy until you finally meet your buddy in the blue.