Interview with Daniel Semrad

Today’s interview is with Daniel Semrad of the Oregon Freediving Company! He is a world record holding spearfishing and freediving instructor that is also be an award winning teacher! He now runs the Oregon Freediving Company with his wife Talya who also holds spearfishing world records and is a competitive freediver representing South Africa! They train in some great conditions, we’re talking about dirty and 6-10 degree water! Listen in as we chat about spearfishing in Oregon, running a freediving shop and teaching students, hunting techniques, exercises and dry training to benefit your diving and a whole lot more. Dan is an awesome guy and a great diver, let us know what you think of this episode!

Oregon Freediving Company Logo

Important times:

  • 00:13 Intro
  • 04:03 Hello and welcome Daniel Semrad! Tell us about the freediving/spearfishing community in Oregon
  • 06:08 You’re a freedive instructor, how did you get there?
  • 07:47 You won the Excite Award from MIT for being an exciting teacher
  • 10:30 Water conditions in Oregon
  • 11:38 What suit do you wear in your 6-10 degree water?
  • 13:23 You probably spend a lot of time in the pool with conditions like that. How do you run your courses?
  • 15:14 Buddy protocols in dirty water, what are you teaching your students?
  • 17:56 What role do static exercises play in spearfishing?
  • 19:25 When you feel you need to speed up, slow down. How did this become a reality to you?
  • 22:22 My Octopus Teacher – has that impacted the amount of your customers?
  • 24:09 Talya Davidoff is your wife, she is an accomplished spearo (3x world records) and competitive freediver too
  • 25:10 Tell us about your recordsDaniel Semrad and some fish
  • 28:38 What does your spearfishing consist of these days?
  • 30:08 Walk us through a great day spearfishing for you
  • 32:22 Purple urchins, are they bad over there?
  • 33:48 Are they good eating?
  • 34:50 Fisheries management
  • 37:16 Hunting in Oregon: what species and how do you hunt them?
  • 39:42 What are the telltale signs of the species you look for? Type of rock, seaweed, coral or animals.
  • 42:17 You are covering a lot of ground looking for fish
  • 43:03 I don’t like statics or aspetto spearfishing: hunting in Hawaii and Alaska
  • 45:58 Gear: what do you use? You mentioned using a pole spear
  • 47:19 Do you guys like smoking fish up there?
  • 49:20 Scary stuff: have you had any close calls?
  • 52:08 Spearfishing off a kayak: lessons learned from bad situations
  • 55:22 What obstacles did you find in your spearfishing?
  • 56:46 The delicate balance of doing freediving/spearfishing as a job, how do you balance it?
  • 01:01:04 Understanding weather conditions and making predictions: how to predict visibility
  • 01:03:45 Have you kept a dive log for spearfishing?Daniel Semrad and a blue Lingcod
  • 01:04:53 You have some back health issues? What do you do in the gym?
  • 01:06:44 What cross training has been relevant for spearfishing and freediving?
  • 01:08:30 Dry training can be hard to maintain, have you found the same?
  • 01:09:22 Training resources for dry training
  • 01:10:35 What yoga do you do?
  • 01:11:34 Hate for spearfishing: what criticisms have you got for spearfishing and how do you respond?
  • 01:13:39 Spearfishing on scuba vs freediving
  • 01:14:44 Funny stuff
  • 01:16:38 What’s in your dive bag? Wetsuit, gloves, fins, dive computer, weights, speargun and pole spear, shooting line, buoys/floats and lines, etc.
  • 01:24:08 Do you teach spearo etiquette?Daniel Semrad and a fish
  • 01:25:19 Spearo Q&A
    • Single best spearfishing tip: slow down!
    • What does the spearfishing experience mean to you? Hit the reset button
    • Who’s been the most influential people in your community? My local community
    • Where in the world would you like to go spearfishing? South Africa and Australia
  • 01:27:30 Where can people find you and where is your shop?
  • 01:29:23 Are you running courses again?
  • 01:30:15 Outro and last notes that Daniel didn’t mention
  • Daniel Semrad Instagram
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