My name is Andrew. I’m 35 and from Virginia Beach. This past weekend a couple friends and I made a little trip south to take a beginner freediving course with Sam Blount and Front Line Freediving. I have been freediving and spearfishing for a few years now. It’s a big part of my life. For sometime now I’ve been wanting to take this course for many reasons. I wanted to be able to dive deeper, hold my breath longer, equalize better but most of all I honestly wanted to learn the safety side of the sport. Freediving and spearfishing are both very dangerous sports/hobby’s.
My friends and I took the June 10-12 class with Sam. I didn’t really know what to think going down there. From the start Sam makes everyone feel very comfortable. No one person is the same. Not everyone in the class is on the same level as far as diving skills. This class is great, everyone was treated the same and in my opinion everyone learned a lot! If there is one thing that I do know about freediving it’s that nobody just picks it up overnight. There are so many variables that have to come together to be a safe freediver. Sam and Front Line Freediving not only go over all of these but he makes sure everyone understands. Everyone in the class has a one on one with every thing being taught. The class had five people which is great. Not to big, not too small. Having a odd number really ensures that everyone gets a little hands on one on one time with Sam. I can’t say enough about this class. Sam is a class act and good dude! One of the things that I want to say is how Sam works with you. I had and am still having problems equalizing. Before I made the trip south Sam face timed with me a handful of times to help me out one on one. Even after the class he continues to work with me. Very awesome! He also invited my friends and I back down for a dive trip as well as line dives. If there is anybody out there that dives as a hobby or sport I would highly recommend Sam and Front Line. This course is reasonably priced and very thorough! One big thing I took with me is the safely side of it. I will never dive the way I use to and people I know new to the sport will definitely get a safely briefing from me before we dive next time! I am very much looking forward to continue learning more from Sam in the future and also putting a little fish blood on the boat!
My name is Tristan; I’m 27 and have spent the greater part of my adult life living in North Carolina. I’ve always been attracted to the water – I learned how to swim before I could walk, and spent my summers either at the beach or pool, always in the water.
As a child, I was PADI certified and was immediately hooked – being able to spend my time under the water, no longer bound to my snorkel (albeit a regulator) was exhilarating. That was until I was introduced to Freediving. For those of you who have experienced the sport, you know it is truly an amazing experience unlike SCUBA or Snorkeling. However, it can be extremely dangerous when not done properly.
Thankfully, my introduction to the sport came from a former student of Ted Harty’s during the summer of 2014 on my first spearfishing trip. Hearing how he spoke about his experience learning from one of the sport’s elite, prompted me to want to learn more and safely hone my craft too.
To do so, I reached out to Instructor Sam Blount who was trained by Ted and Performance Freediving International, and is a known spear fisher in the Wilmington area. I recently completed Sam’s beginner freediving course and was blown away by his passion, enthusiasm, knowledge, skill, and my ability to quickly learn from his techniques. He is a fantastic teacher!
While I loved it, freediving (and spearfishing for that matter) was a struggle for me – I didn’t know how to properly equalize and to say everyone’s previous attempts to teach me failed, would be a total understatement. I would constantly hit and push myself against my body’s wall while out diving, only to end up with sore ears and no luck. It was frustrating….
On the first day of the course during the classroom section, Sam worked with me directly and within 15 minutes (Seriously couldn’t make this up) had me properly frenzeling. This was one of the biggest hindrances to my diving and spearing. To have someone work with me so quickly to get passed this roadblock alone, would have been completely worth taking this class to me.
But that was not all that I got out of Sam’s class. I never realized how dangerous the situations I was putting myself in were, while I was out on the water. By not understanding what to do in the event of an emergency – if a dive buddy came up and blacked out or blacked out under water. I wouldn’t have known how to react or what to do. A potentially minor situation could have easily turned into a deadly one.
Thanks to Sam and the course, I’m now trained, certified and prepared to react and potentially save one of my friend’s lives in the event of a blackout out on the water. This by far is the biggest take away from this class in my opinion. Yes you will learn to dive deeper, your form and your static will improve, but YOU WILL be taught how to become safer! If not only for yourself, but also to those diving with you too.
I have highly recommend Sam’s course to my friends, and anyone I meet who is interested in becoming a better, safer diver. Thank you Sam!
I also took this course. I have been spearfishing and freediving for a little over a year now. I don’t necessarily have a desire to do competitions, but I truly enjoy the adrenaline rush I get from freediving and spearfishing. I have already been diving in the 80ft range, but I was interested in being able to dive deeper and push myself further.
I decided to look into taking a freedive course, which I had been putting off because I was already diving to 80ft. I was hesitant at first since the class only allows you to go to 66ft. As I began to research these classes I realized the class has much more to offer than just teaching you to dive deep.
I decided to take a class with Sam Blount of Front Line Freediving. In the classroom I learned about safety and breathing techniques in addition to the other diving techniques I had already learned through experience. Sam was very thorough with all the material and made it entertaining to learn. By the end of the classroom experience I felt that I had already gained so much more insight than I already knew.
The next day we were in the pool and we practiced some safety techniques. I was very impressed with how Sam was determined to make us practice these techniques until we were completely comfortable with them. He made sure it was perfect, not just mediocre. We transitioned into entries and eventually worked our way into static breath hold. I extended my static by nearly 30 seconds at the end of the course.
Overall, taking this class was a great decision. I feel more confident in my diving techniques, which allows me to focus more on the spearfishing. Sam was a great teacher! Thanks for the experience. I’m looking forward to taking my level II course.