Thursday 21 June 2012

What do I need to start Spearfishing? Part IV

Part IV: The Wetsuit

Wetsuits designed specifically for spearfishing are often two-piece (jacket and high waisted pants or 'long-john' style pants with shoulder straps) and are black or fully  partially camouflage. Camouflage patterns include, blue for open ocean and  green or brown for reef hunting. Commonly they have a pad on the chest to aid in loading spearguns. Sometimes they have reinforced elbows and/or knees. Often they have an "open-cell" interior, which offers superior warmth because of its very close suction fit to the skin (consequently lubrication is required to put on an open-cell wetsuit). Nylon exteriors are generally used to protect the spearfishing wetsuit from reefs. More delicate uncovered "smooth skin" wetsuits are sometimes used when diving from boats, because they dry quickly.

For more wetsuit specific info you can visit our wetsuit guide.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Guide on how to choose the right surfboard

This is a short guide to help you choose the right board for your specific needs.


1. What is your current surfing ability?

Beginners are best to start off with a soft surfboard or longboard if your budget permits. This way you will have a surfboard that will provide you with the stability you will need as paddling, catching waves and balance will all be new to you.

2. Size? - A good average size board for a beginning surfer would be around 7 feet long and 19-21 inches wide and at least 2-3 inches thick. We recommend that your surfboard should be at least 12 inches / 30 cm longer than your height. Also take into consideration your weight. If you have a heavy muscular build then adding a few centimetres to your selected board length is recommended.

This chart below can help you as a general guideline.  

Height Weight Surfboard Length
Feet Centimetres Pounds Kilogram Feet Centimetres
5'2”-6’0" 158 - 183 110-140 50 – 63.5 7'0"-7'6" 213 - 232
5'4"-6’2" 165 - 189 140-180 63.5 - 82 7'4"-7'10" 226 - 238
5'10"-6'2" 177 - 189 150-200 68 - 91 7'10"-8'0" 238 - 244
5'11"-6'3" 180 - 193 170-220 77 - 100 7'11"-8'3" 241 - 253
6'1"-6'6" 186 - 201 190-260 86 - 118 8'1"-9'6" 247 - 293

For children up to about 5’6” and about 100 pound we can recommend a smaller softtop board in the 5’6” to 6’0” range.

What do I need to start spearfishing? Part III

Part III. The Snorkel: In this part we will try to give you all the information you need so that you can choose the right snorkel.

3. Snorkel
The most important feature to consider when choosing a snorkel is the material of the mouthpiece. It’s highly recommended that the mouthpiece is made out of silicone to provide the most comfort.

When it comes to snorkels there are three main types of snorkels. You have standard snorkels, semi-dry snorkels and dry snorkels.

- Standard snorkels are either straight “j-tubes” or slightly curved / angled and come without valves.

- Semi-dry snorkels come with a water deviator on the top of the tube which helps in reducing the the amount of water that can enter a snorkel while at the surface. They also have a valve near the mouthpiece that assists in expelling water making it much easier to “clear” the snorkel.
- Dry snorkels are snorkels that have a valve on the top of the tube which should prevent the entry of any water into the snorkel tube. Most of them also have a valve near the mouthpiece that assists in expelling water in case it does manage to make its way past the dry valve.

There are two popular types of fasteners for snorkels. Rigid plastic with quick disconnect and simple silicon fasteners with loops at each end (similar in shape to the number 8). The later, silicon fasteners, are more popular among freedivers again due to the reduced drag. The plastic quick disconnect versions are more popular among SCUBA divers do to the ability to simply attach/detach the snorkel from a mask.

An example of a good Snorkel is the Mares - DUAL Unbreakable Snorkel with Orthodontic Mouthpiece