This weekend at the Blue Wild Expo, we had a chance to stop by the Immersion Freediving booth to speak with Ted Harty about freediving, breath holding, and safety. It was only a year ago on this very convention floor that he was honored for his work promoting safety in the world of apnea. The award came with a $2000 prize which he put right back into his work, hiring a web designer to develop a platform that further promotes his passion—a free online resource available at www.freedivingsafety.com.
Ted began his journey as a scuba instructor. Hungry for new challenges, he starting getting into freediving, where he discovered a talent for breath-hold and augmented by his teaching experience, it wasn’t long before he found a place for himself as an instructor with Performance Freediving International. From there he began to branch out on his own, offering training to help divers improve their breath holding skills by targeting and training for specific weaknesses.
His online classes include instruction in how to take a 20-30% bigger breath, training in various breath hold secrets to help increase bottom time—including the five most effective dryland exercises you can do to improve at home, and more recently, a 28-Day Freediving Transformation class, complete with a printable training calendar and private Facebook group where members can share their workouts, challenges, and successes. He shared a bit of his expertise with us for free:
“The secret to breath-holding is not what you do while you’re holding your breath, but what you do before.”
Ted was concerned, however, that the majority of the audience interested in his training techniques was comprised of spearfishers, who weren’t all that concerned about safety. He told us that there are 50-70 freediving fatalities a year in the US that he believes are almost entirely preventable. So even though the content was part of his paid courses, he put the 1.5-hour safety portion of his training up on freedivingsafety.com for free to encourage more divers to learn about and implement safety measures while they dive.
To incentivize his more reticent spearfishing students, he decided to appeal to their pocketbooks. At the end of the safety training on the website there’s a quiz that, once passed, unlocks discounts to major freediving and spearfishing gear vendors like Gannet Dive Co, Divers Direct, and Speared Apparel, to name a few. He invites breath-hold divers to “Learn to save yourself, learn to save your buddy, or just save some money. There’s no reason not to visit.”
Whether you’re a spearfisher with no formal training, a veteran freediver who wants to refresh against complacency, or a novice who understands the value of safety first, take Ted’s advice and visit www.freedivingsafety.com. If you’re interested in his other courses, check out the other classes he offers at bit.ly/tedsclasses.