Interview with Rob Harrison | Spearfishing FUNdamentals

The Veterans Vault section in this interview will serve as a blueprint for you if you are interested in starting and growing a spearfishing club. Rob Harrison was one of the core members responsible for driving extreme growth in the Auckland Freediving Club membership. Since then he has started a spearfishing training group called Spearfishing FUNdamentals. In this interview he discusses some of the core things clubs need to do to lay a foundation for growth such as having a powerful vision, establishing a cultural/social code, encouraging action oriented discussion and more. As usual there are tips to improve your hunting and freediving techniques along with a few laughs. Enjoy:)

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A NSP listener (Vaughan Podbielski) reached out to me with this recommendation. “I take part in a spearfishing dedicated training group (pool fitness / Co2 etc and lake depth training), group called Spearfishing FUNdamentals. It’s run by a good bugger named Rob Harrison. Rob is also an AIDA Master Instructor. I’ve just done my AIDA2 with him. Rob also used to be president of the Auckland Freediving Club but now focuses on spearfishing freediving. (also underwater hockey player for NZ).”

Here is what Rob had to say about the club. “… we now have a good crew and take turns at writing up the plan and programs. We have done 12 week focused training plans and have had members progress from 10m to 30m divers as a result. The idea for group came about in my last year at the Auckland Freediving Club.”

Connect with the spearfishing FUNdamentals group on Facebook here

Rob Harrison Mercury bay spearfishing open competitions. Winner Rob Harrison and partner

Recent winners at the Mercury Bay Spearfishing open

Interview Time Stamps

3:00 Intro to Rob Harrison’s background and stories starting out scuba diving and then freediving and spearfishing.

7:00 Early obstacles: Breath-hold and bottom time

8:45 Gary Conway early mentor and insights into exploring further species and using competitions to broaden your skills.

12:45 How did you develop your competition strategy? :

Awesome tip “Ask the experienced guys after the competition finishes about specific species tactics. They are much more inclined to share rather than before or during. A few beers post comp will yield some awesome info.”

17:00 Kings of the Coromandel Competition chat

21:18 Most memorable fish: 43kg (95lbs) Yellowtail Kingfish

26:00 Yellowtail Kingfish Eating Qualities + Robs Carpaccio Sashiimi Kingie Recipe

28:00 Spearfishing competition concept. Junior/Senior Partners 50% fish | 50% recipes

30:00 What is your favourite species to hunt and how do you hunt them effectively?

Weedline Hunting: John Dory, Terakihi and Boarfish. Two strategies. Hanging off the weedline and making noise. Getting off the edge, laying facedown, throwing sand up and holding bottom time (keep your fins flat and still).

37:20 Veterans Vault: How to grow a spearfishing club and community

How to grow a spearfishing club | Key Points

  • Vision | Mission | Objectives are essential
  • Contributing to social responsibility in a powerful way
  • Develop the leaders and people in the club. Pay for their training.
  • Minimum size of team leadership (5-8 is optimal)
  • Let people use their initiative
  • Have a social contract to build and self-enforce values in the community culture
  • Retrospective club meetings involving BBQ. What are we doing well? What do we need to do more of? What do we need to stop are a few of the questions they asked each other at the meetings.

Links to some of the items we discussed. Social contracts | Retrospectives | Spearfishing FUNdamentals on Facebook

63:40 What is one of the scariest moments you’ve had out spearfishing and what did you learn from it?

67:00 One of Rob’s funniest experiences

70:00 What’s in Robs’ divebag

75:00 Spearo Q&A

  • Most influential people in Robs spearfishing and freediving. Jonathan Sunnex (Freediving Instructor). Gary Conway and Craig Carter.
  • During your 30+ years spearfishing slowng down is one of the biggest lesssona hes learned
  • Dream future spearfishing destination is Ascension Island
  • “A way to calm the mind, enjoy the outdoors and catch a feed in one sport” – Rob Harrison
New Zealand Giant boarfish

As discussed Robs New Zealand Giant boarfish

Connect with Rob Harrison

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These spearfishing retailers now have 99 Tips in stock!!

99 Tips to Get Better at Spearfishing Retail Outlets

Australian Spearfishing Retail Stores

  • Adreno – Brisbane. 56 Deshon St, Woolloongabba QLD 4102
  • Adreno – Melbourne. 1184 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham VIC 3192
  • Adreno – Sydney. 1/678-682 Botany Rd, Alexandria NSW 2015
  • Adreno – Perth. 2C / 376 South St, O’Connor, WA, 6163
  • Spearfishing SuperstoreCairns. 303-305 Draper St, Parramatta Park QLD 4870
  • The Dive Shop – Port Lincoln. 4 S Quay Blvd, Port Lincoln SA 5606
  • Frogdive – Willoughby. 539 Willoughby Rd, NSW 2068
  • Spear and Fish Downunder – Newcastle.  990 Hunter street. Newcastle, NSW 2302
  • Spear West – 2/1 Baden Street, Osborne Park. Western Australia. 6017
  • Extreme Spearfishing – 1/539 Pitwater Road Brookevale, Sydney NSW 2100

USA Spearfishing Retail Stores

  • The Dive Source – Florida 16 #2, 3721, St Augustine, Florida
  • Oregon Freediving Company – Oregon City 919 7th St, Oregon

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