Getting Ready To Dive In

It’s more than just gear that gets you out there when you begin harvesting and hunting underwater on one breath. You need a respect for the ocean and the risks associated with what we do as underwater hunters. Before you even entertain going on a shopping spree and loading up with all the flashy spearfishing and freediving equipment you can find, there are a few things you should be asking yourself.  

Before the equipment…

Firstly, Ask yourself.. “Am I equipped with the knowledge to avoid getting into trouble and endangering the lives of myself, of my dive buddies and of other mariners?”… At a bare minimum you should be doing an extensive amount of independent research online and from proven publications. Freediving is not without its own risks and combined with spearfishing and hand harvesting, it can be a risky pastime. Ideally, one should start by taking a course and seeking instruction from a professional freedive instructor. There is no better investment for someone who is looking to get into freediving and spearfishing. You can have all the best gear in the world but having a solid foundational knowledge of freediving and risk management that goes with it will give you the keys to the ocean you desire! 

You can have all the best spearfishing and freediving equipment in the world but having a solid foundational knowledge of freediving and risk management that goes with it will give you the keys to the ocean you desire! 

What equipment do I really need?

The next question is…do I really need that? You can spend a lot of money on all of the best gear out there, which is great if you can afford it, but you may in the long run end up with gear that you don’t really need. On the flipside, don’t buy junk. You’ll just have to replace it later as you progress as a Spearo. Find the happy middle ground in all of this. Try and think about purchasing your gear in stages.  

Focus on your ‘Essentials’: 

Buy the best equipment you can afford. This will be the gear you depend on to build the foundation of your skills and grow your bottom times. There’s no point in buying a speargun and all the trimmings if you haven’t yet become a proficient and competent freediver. Get to know and depend on your ‘essentials’ first. These are the pieces that will keep you in the water longer, insulating you, conserving your oxygen while maximizing your efficiency on the whole.  

Riffe International Products can be found in our Spearfishing and Freediving Equipment stock at

Next up…

Next, you should add in your ‘Safety Kit’

Having a proper ‘safety kit’ will enhance your diving in many ways, most of all keeping you safer. The float setup will help mark your position to others in the area and can provide emergency floatation in a time of need. The dive watch/computer will allow you to easily track you and your buddies’ surface intervals and bottom times with the automated functions that these devices provide. In addition there are other obvious utilitarian benefits to these items as well. Your float becomes your pack mule for harvesting carrying all your bits, bobs and catch while your dive watch will help you mentally map the bottom contours and locate those reefs you painstakingly researched… 

Finishing the equipment puzzle…

Lastly, build your ‘harvesting kit’

These are the tools of the trade. The options seem and are indeed limitless. By the end of your journey, I can assure you that you will own a tool for each job and always be looking for that next little gadget to help do the job better!  

Is it feasible to set yourself up for a full kit in one fowl swoop? If you’ve got the budget, for sure! Why not?! In doing so just remember to use the same mentality and approach discussed above. Be mindful of where you allocate your funds and prioritize what’s most important. For example, invest more of the allocated budget into your essentials and safety kit rather than your harvesting kit if your funds are finite. At the end of the day, we’re just trying to help shed a little light on what really counts with your spearfishing and freediving equipment when you’re starting out. 

Mindset for the Lifestyle

The final, and second most important element to becoming a competent and responsible underwater hunter (aside from the safety of yourself and others) is founded around being ethical in your marine harvesting. Take only what you need and respect the ocean which gives us so very much. Educate yourself on the marine biodiversity of your area and gain an understanding for the quarry upon which you prey. We recommend reaching out to Bottom Dwellers Freediving or the Ucluelet Aquarium for any programs they may have running that can help get you out there more sustainably and ethically Spearfishing and gathering marine life by hand and spear is amazingly rewarding and fulfilling. Become a steward of the ocean and do your best to foster this same outlook in others.  

Stay safe and make good decisions. – Mick 

The Inception of Spearfishing Canada: The Very First Breath Hold

Spearfishing Canada believes in the concept that freediving and spearfishing is for everyone. Our dream is to share that idea and the sport which has given us so much with all Canadians through our online community. We launched Spearfishing Canada (SFC) in June 2020 though the inspiration and journey started way before SFC was live. 

Where it began…

SFC was founded by three friends who crossed paths in a variety of different ways. Via an interwoven path created by the freediving and spearfishing community we became friends, business partners and fellow Canadian freedivers. We hold these labels thanks to the ocean and everything within it including the surrounding community fuelled by the love of exploring and preserving our local liquid environment. 

Mick Sheinberg – Operations

The story really starts With Mick Sheinberg. Mick grew up in Australia diving and spearfishing with friends on the Sunshine Coast. His Passion for the sport grew as he travelled around the globe diving in various locations. Mick didn’t however get serious about diving until moving to Canada to live on Vancouver Island. This is when Mick Joined HTO Surf Shop which gave him a vessel to pursue diving and spearfishing as an occupation and as a lifestyle. HTO began stocking freediving and Spearfishing equipment which immediately attracted likeminded aquatic-enthusiasts and sustainable marine harvesters. After Exiting the retail game to pursue a career as a firefighter with the city of Victoria. Mick at this point endeavoured to continue supporting the local spearfishing community by supplying high quality gear to eager divers. Through his desire to educate divers on the importance of sustainability, safety and the best equipment to use, Mick founded the vision for Spearfishing Canada.    

Chris Adair – Freedive Pro

In 2013 Chris Adair found out HtO was carrying Spearfishing gear. He hadn’t been spearfishing since he was 16 in the Mediterranean, but it was something that had always captivated his interest. Chris has always thrived in a liquid environment. Growing up surrounded by the waters of Vancouver Island made his upbringing semi-aquatic. Taking the values instilled by his family throughout his childhood, he found himself enjoying the principles associated with hand harvesting and spearfishing in the local ocean environment. As his addiction grew, Chris took his first recreational freediving course through PFI international. Chris is now an Intermediate PFI Freediving Instructor and owner of Bottom Dwellers Freediving. Bottom Dwellers offers Freediving Courses teaching students to freedive up to depths of 40m/135’ as well as Sustainable and Ethical Harvesting Programs. With the retirement of HtO Surf Shop (RIP) in July 2019 there was a void in respects to the accessibility of freediving and spearfishing gear locally. Since that day Spearfishing Canada and this local online community has been in the works to facilitate the need. 

Iwan Williams – CFO

In 2013 Iwan Williams started snorkeling and diving with friends in the pursuit of hand-picking Dungeness Crabs. This quickly spiralled into Iwan buying his first Riffe speargun from HTO and Mick Sheinberg. This took Iwan on a 3-year adventure throughout Vancouver Islands coastal regions in the pursuit of underwater exploration. In 2017 he took his first freediving course with Bottom Dwellers where the passion only continued to grow. Later that same year with a few of his aquatic brethren Iwan started, “Whistle Buoy Brewing Company”, a brewery in Victoria BC. The brewery’s name itself coming from a reef that these friends would regularly dive in Bamfield known by the locals as “Whistle Buoy Rocks”. These experiences and relationships propelled Iwan towards being part of the SFC concept.   

Big things to come!

Through the years, the trips and the adventures together. From HTO to Bottom Dwellers, to Whistle Buoy Brewing Company, to the Canadian Spearfishing Association and now Spearfishing Canada, the part we’re playing in the freediving and spearfishing community continues to grow. As exciting as this is for us all it’s great to be part of something so inclusive and so much bigger than ourselves. We all feel incredibly lucky to be where we are right now and growing with the community we’re proud to call ourselves a part of. 

It’s a great time to dive! Just as the title implies, we were addicted from the very first breath hold. 

Author: Iwan Williams

@spearfishingcanada on Instagram #spearfishingcanada