About Front Line Freediving
Sam Blount began diving with his dad at a young age. His life long love for being in the water was sparked by his first dives at Lake Martin. A few years later, he took his first scuba class at the age of 12. He was hooked. Sam moved to Key Largo, Florida, and went diving whenever he had the chance to. A few years later, he learned about freediving while reading the book Bluewater Hunting and Freediving by Terry Mass. He must have read the book cover to cover ten times during the next few months as his love for freediving took over.
Sam started training on dry land, and his static quickly jumped to three minutes, but because he was young and without other friends interested in diving, his dream faded. He started getting into other hobbies and diving became a memory.
September 2012: Fresh off his first deployment in the Marine Corps and living on the coast of North Carolina, Sam was invited on a spearfishing trip. He took the opportunity and was suddenly hooked by the hard and fast pace diving. The bug was back, and he trained hard- diving every chance he was able to. Sam began to realize how unsafe it was to be improperly trained in safety, so he took a class with Ted Harty. He was amazed at the amount of knowledge he gained while taking the class- the techniques taught made spearfishing easier, more enjoyable, and safer.
After getting out of the Marine Corps, Sam went to school at UNCW. He was unsure of where he wanted to go in life. In May 2015, however, Sam took a PFI instructor Course with Ted Harty and realized how much he enjoyed teaching. He is now offering classes In Wilmington, NC, Jackson, Wyoming, and Jaco, Costa Rica, for 2016.
In the 1996 Kirk Krack, while working as a trimix Instructor Trainer in Grand Cayman, was first introduced to the competitive world of Freediving while setting up scuba safety for some world record events by Pipin Ferreras and his wife Audrey Mestre. Although he had a lifelong affinity for freediving (or what he thought was called skindiving), he became interested in the physiology of the sport and began to learn more about how this Freediver was able to reach such extreme depths on a single breath.
Soon after co-teaching his first course in Grand Cayman he was approached by Tanya Streeter who wanted training to do a national record. Kirk jumped at the challenge and not only helped her to a national but also a World record in Freediving in 1998. By this time New Mexico native, Brett LeMaster who also wanted to try to set a national record in the sport. Kirk once again jumped in and started training Brett, learning more and more as they progressed in the training. After setting the national record they found themselves very close to the World record that had just been set by Italian Freediver Umberto Pelizzari. During the summer of 1999 both Kirk and Brett attended the Red Sea Challenge competition in Egypt hosted by the then developing sport organization AIDA. They decided to go for it and succeeded! Kirk went on to train seven athletes to 23 World Records.
In January of 2000 kirk moved back to Canada to pursue Freediving full time and started Performance Freediving in January of 2000. Here he met up with old friend Mandy-Rae Cruickshank. She was managing a dive store at the time and that is where Kirk ran the first courses in Feb 2000. Kirk and Brett had started getting requests from spearfishing clubs in the USA and as far away as New Zealand asking them to come and run a program to teach them all the tips and tricks that got Brett to his World Record. Before they knew it they had a business and Performance Freediving International was born.
Kirk developed the educational philosophy, standards and procedures and wrote the manuals for PFI that to this day continue to be improved and perfected with the newest techniques after having trained more than 9,000 students, training 7 athletes to 23 different World Records and setting up World Class events. The PFI educational system was the first in North America to offer a complete course that included not only ways to improve in depth and time but most importantly it taught the safety aspects of the sport. He created a program where you learn the theory behind breath- hold diving, practice it in the pool and then finally perfect the skills in the open water. To this day the PFI system of Freediver education is still one of the most comprehensive Freediving Educational Systems World Wide.
Today PFI not only teaches recreational programs but is a full fledge Training Agency that has instructors world-wide. The PFI system of education is used by exclusively by Red Bull and Special Operations forces such as the US Naval Special Warfare Group and US Special Forces as well scientific and educational institutions such as American Academy of Underwater Sciences.