Simon’s Trippe’s Tips for Spearfishing Beginners
Find a good reputable retailer, get the right gear, take advice.
Join a club or spearo community, find a good mentor & learn the ropes. Don’t be a dickhead.
Do a course with a reputable and certified trainer.
Learn to relax
Both of these last 2 points Simon hammers home that fact that it takes years and years and there is always more to learn.
Fast 5 Interview Transcription
Simon: Mate, alright, I’ll start this I’ve jotted a few things down. I think advice, first and foremost, is to find yourself a good retailer and someone that’s going to sell you a speargun and a wetsuit that actually uses a speargun and a wetsuit. I don’t know, I think build a good relationship with those people. Face to face contact is fantastic and you cant beat it. Can’t recommend it highly enough. We’re lucky enough in Sydney we’ve got two or three guys who are fantastic for it. Um I think then, that good retailer should be selling you good gear. You need to have some good gear. If you buy wisely now, it’s going to save you a lot of money in the future. So don’t buy a hundred dollar pop gun when in six months time, from watching YouTube tutorials on how to spearfish, or coming to do courses, you’ll want a 1.3 Rob Allen or 1.1 Rob Allen, whatever. Sorry for naming brands, but that seems to be the generic. But yeah whatever horses for courses in your area. You realize shit I’ve just spent $500 on a gun that’s just too big for me, a 1.4 won’t work. Or jeez, this 90cm cray basher I bought, I want to go shoot Spanish now, I need a 1.4. So get good gear and take the retailer’s advice. And then I’ve said here again, take advice again, find a club or get on Facebook and find blokes. There’s plenty of forums out there. Get out there, make mates with them. Don’t be a goose, don’t be a dickhead, kind of a know-it-all. I can’t stand people that come and want to learn but they’re telling me how to spearfish. I kind of have an idea, I still am learning, but you’ve come here to ask me questions. How about you let me tell you a couple of answers. Take advice, take it on board and try it out. And the other thing is, do a course. If you can afford it, if you can do it, if you’ve got the time, do a course. Freediving course, spearfishing course, someone who’s knowledgeable, who’s accredited. Not just a fly-by-nighter. Someone that has an idea about spearfishing helps and just learn your breathing, I think that’s important, just learn your breathing. And as my father told me when I used to ring him up, and say Dad how could you ever dive off the front of North Head, that’s a long way. And he used to say a five-letter word: relax. Relax. It took me fifteen years to understand what that word meant. Relax. And that’s just the key thing. That’s probably my best advice: relax.
Shrek: Some days it’s hard too, isn’t it? If one of your kits is out of line, sometimes I find it very hard to relax or you get a couple of combinations of factors like dirty water, or swell or something like that. And it’s harder when you’re starting out too isn’t it?
Simon: Yeah, you’re right, mate. When I started, I had a lot of self-belief issues when I was a kid. Just not strong enough, I kept coming up with excuses, trouble socializing, terribly shy, I was always seasick when I went out in the boat.
Shrek: But you persevered?
Simon: Yeah, I did. Call me a fool, but I did.
Turbo: Just a quick question, Simon. I suffer from seasickness terribly, I mean really bad. Besides seasick pills, is there anything I can do?
Simon: Yeah, I got told a good cure the other day. And that was to sit under a tree. It’s just something mate, I knew one day I had finally conquered it. I was coming back on the rocky ship Booby Bird from a Coral Sea trip. There were 22 of us or something. There were only three blokes playing cards with me and they were all professional level abalone divers so I kind of looked around as I was sipping on my rum and ice and I said, you know what, I don’t get seasick anymore. I was pretty stoked with that.
Turbo: I’m a scurvy seadog now.
Simon: It’s just time on the water.
Turbo: I’ll start playing cards and drinking rum next time I go out.
Simon: Yeah just get in the water as soon as you can. You have your gear on, your mask around your neck, and everything. As soon as the boat pulls up, if your mate’s understanding, just jump straight in and just swim. You don’t get sick in the water.
Turbo: (inaudible) the first time, that’s a good excuse.
Simon: Yeah good call.
Shrek: Alright, so from your fast five facts, I got good gear, take advice, find a good reputable retailer. Number two was again seek good advice and join a club, or find a good mentor or a community to get involved in and learn the ropes, and don’t be a dickhead. Number three was do a course with a reputable mob, or a reputable person. Number four was learn your breathing, get that right and number five was just relax. And like you sort of suggested, you learn more and more about relaxing as you go on.
Simon: You do mate, I just had so many fears, you know, sharks. When I was diving as a young bloke mate, you swam by yourself a lot. You jumped in the water with two blokes but you never saw them or rarely did. My best buddy now, he’s still my best mate, he lives in Coffs. It’s funny we go out, we dive, we dive with other blokes, we buddy up because it’s just the safer thing to do. But years ago, we’d find each other in the same location, you’d just have the same instinct, you’d be at the same drop off. And you’d just look at each other and laugh and go what are you doing here, what are you doing here? You’d find the fish. It was always good fun diving with him. Yeah, that’s the fast five.