Summary of 2014 Freedive Training for Spearos

with Wayne Judge

1st Training Night, Spearfishing Training


Freedive Training for Spearfishing. Freedive Training For Spearos

Wayne briefing the crew

Wayne briefing the crew

The first night of Freedive Training For Spearos started as you would expect, with education and drilling on safety. The divers were taught how to recognize and handle the effects of sambas and blackouts. Handling sambas upon surfacing through to gathering a person blacked out from the bottom of the pool was drilled until each diver was confident he could handle such an event 100% of the time.

Freedive Training for Spearfishing. Freedive Training for Spearos

Rescue effort featuring the Tran Boys


But it wasn’t all safety. Divers were given the basics of “streamlining”, something that will be coached throughout the workshop. Water is over 700 times more dense than air, so failing to work on this means a diver is just working too hard and using too much oxygen.

The divers swum the first underwater laps of the workshop, getting used to the pool including the overhang at one end, they also began to closely inspect the body reactions of breath hold and exercise. It is vital that a diver knows this area and uses this and not any number (distance or depth) or a watch to tell him how he or she is doing.

by Wayne Judge

Freedive Training for Spearfishing. Freedive Training For Spearos

Wayne giving some one on one advice

Wayne giving some one on one advice

Turbo also attempted to video the safety briefing so we could share it however the sound quality was very poor. 

Freedive Training For Spearos – The 2nd Training Night

The second training night of Freedive Training for Spearfishing promised to be a bit random. A few divers had been unable to attend the first night and so they had to be caught up on safety. They arrived early to get the safety briefing and then hit the pool for the drilling. It was great to have Isaac and Levi there to help with this.

 Wayne laps. Freedive Training For Spearos

Observing divers and preparing for comments at rest intervals

Those who started the week before were in fine form as they attacked their multiple 25m laps, one on the surface, one below, over and over. Drilled from the week before they were working in pairs, the diver on the surface watching the diver below and swapping over every 25m. This translates to good safe practices when one is spearing, with one diver up watching the diver below.

Already some divers were busting out PBs in the pool but we were not stressing on distance, times or any numbers, we were working on getting to know the body’s signals and working within sensible boundaries.

Freedive Training for Spearfishing. Freedive Training for Spearos

Wayne teaching the guys the correct finning technique. Getting the most efficient use out of a good fin is essential


Early in the evening we covered the taking of a full breath and how to breathe so that one utilizes all of his potential and ultimately increases lung volume. We also covered finning technique and how to make the most of today’s fibreglass and carbon fibre fins.
Freedive training for spearfishing. Freedive Training For Spearos

Demonstrating the whip action in the fin with the correct action


Freedive Training For Spearos is all about practical application. The theory is minimal, just enough for the diver to understand the correct technique, and usually imparted while they regain their breath between exercises.

Brisbane Freedive training for spearfishing. Freedive Training for Spearos

Nye Staley and Wayne Judge talking technique


 It is expected that everyone gets in at least one other training session during the week to practice the techniques. Of course this must be done with a partner so full safety can be kept a priority.

This week we will be drilling “Recovery Breathing” which has helped many a freediver avoid a disqualification from a blackout, but it has the potential to help save spearo’s lives. Wayne

 ‘I was happy to be back in the water and swimming some laps, my fitness was lagging and so I found myself in the right place. I also spent some time videoing a couple of the guys and helping buddy teams critique each other’s finning technique. Between exercises Wayne shared information about what to look out for and the buddy pairs were able to talk to one another about what they were observing. Great training vibe really looking forward to next week.‘ – Shrek

Training finished here comes Week 3. Freedive Training for Spearos

3rd Training Night – Freedive Training for Spearos


Freedive Training for Spearos

Making It Burn @ Freedive Training for Spearos

Training Nights Week 4, 5 and 6 – By Wayne Judge

The last 3 weeks have gone well with attention on getting the ‘delay’ drills done and the introduction of dynamic tables. It is ‘time in the water’ doing the right things that forges changes in the body.

Last week we introduced full breath lung stretches to achieve greater flexibility of the diaphragm and chest.

Freedive Training for Spearos

Calm before the storm, enjoying some recovery time


All underwater training is done with a buddy swimming above the diver. Good buddy diving is the one sure thing that will reduce spearfishing deaths and it is also the standard training system of this workshop.

Freedive Training for Spearos

Great Buddy’s are aware, stay close and always ready

 Staying in close proximity is essential. Freedive Training for Spearos

Staying close to your buddy while training in the pool is essential

We moved up a level at last night’s week 6 Freediving Training for Spearos session. With the various routines known and practiced, and with the safety procedures drilled several times it was time to work harder.

Buddy Diving Freedive Training. Freedive Training for Spearos

Buddy pushes the pace as diver increases pace towards end of swim

We did a table while swimming 50m underwater laps that reduced the recovery time between laps down to 15 sec. It was a CO2 table and the divers were well warned to expect strong body reactions. Everyone attacked the drill with enthusiasm and worked hard.

 Freedive training for Spearos

 This exercise is done with their respective dive buddy monitoring the whole swim and recovery times while walking next to the diver on the edge of the pool. We finished off the night with some fast 25m laps but each diver had to roll play a blackout at some time during their swim and the buddy had to spot it and handle. This went really well.
SBW, Blackout and Samba drills. Freedive Training for Spearos

Roleplaying random blackouts is a great exercise for increasing awareness and improving technique

We also recorded video of each diver’s finning technique and posted it in the squad facebook page where it was critiqued. That is in addition to the hard training.



Training finished! Freedive Training for Spearos

Training finished!

The final night of the 8 week 
Freedive Training For Spearos workshop went well. It couldn’t have gone any other way with the work the guys have put in over the preceding weeks.
After a quick warm up we went straight to an exercise where the diver does half a km in 50m laps with minimal recoveries between each lap.

 We covered streamlining and the kicking stroke with a couple of laps then did something different. 50m done underwater with no fins. Not vital for a spearo but part of being flexible in ones abilities. Who knows when you will have to dive for a fin on the bottom or even a person.

Rescue effort featuring the Tran Boys. Freedive Training for Spearos
 We finished off the night with a rescue race. Where the diver service drags his buddy 25m and then returns with the buddy doing the dragging. Team South Africa took the honours.

 There was a lot of joking and laughing tonight and it was good to see regular training being organised. It is good to have knowledge and a little coaching but what really gets change, what really gets results is TIME IN THE WATER, DOING THE RIGHT THINGS. Diving in the ocean is of course the very best, but who can dive 3 times a week every week. It is fortunate we can do spearfishing training in swimming pools and use the night time to build up this time in the water.

Wayne Judge

Thanks to NOOB SPEARO for organising this workshop and well done to the divers for their work. Now get out there and put some fish on the table.

 Wayne Judge

First of all a big thanks to Wayne Judge for conducting the training. Wayne brings energy, experience and a practical approach to pool training for spearfishing.

From chats with Turbo and Wayne I gathered that the final 3-4 weeks of freedive training for spearfishing was just a solid flogging for the guys and Turbo said they all loved it. I missed out due to work commitments).

For me the best things about the training were the friendships that started, the laughs, good feedback about the training and best of all the fact that the guys want to go on and do more training. I agree with Wayne Judge when he says that going spearfishing 3-4 times a week is not something that most of us can do however an hour of being flogged in the pool once or twice a week after work is worthwhile to maintain spearfishing fitness and good technique, also hanging out with your spearfishing buddies and having a laugh is a great way to unwind from the 9-5.

For anyone who has done this training please leave us some feedback and make sure you are on the mailing list, signup is below.

Cheers, Shrek. [email protected]

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