Christmas is nearly upon us! The geese are getting fatter, the turkeys are looking concerned and bank balances are glowing red like a certain reindeer’s nose.
This is a post to send to your nearest and dearest. To the one who may realise that you would rather have a new snorkel over a slanket (if you havent seen the glory that is the slanket, google it after you have read this!).
The difficulty in suggesting or choosing gifts for freediving, is because it’s a very personal sport, we all like to get our own kit. I have therefore put together a little list for Santa which should have something in it which you could use.
The Fingertip pulse oximeter from £50
Whats it for? I hear you shout… Well it basically does two very useful things for us apneists. One, it measures your heart rate and two, it measures your oxygen saturation. This means you can estimate your maximum breath hold through the drop in your oxygen levels all whilst keeping an eye on your heart rate. Handy? Me thinketh so!
Cressi Corsica Snorkel £10-£15
Ok… Snorkel… Boring? Maybe… useful? definitely….. easy to lose? even more definitely! But whats special about this snorkel? Well to start with, it’s all bendy so it wont get caught up on rocks and weed when you at the bottom, ferreting about for your dinner. It’s also really streamlined and looks kinda sexy, for a snorkel.
A good dive computer – Oceanic Geo2 or Suunto D4 perhaps From £250
This is probably one to be only given by someone who really likes you. If you don’t use a dive computer, you should, they are great. We may not need all the info that a scuba diver needs but they give a lot of good intel! I have a Geo 2, its best points being that you can change the battery yourself, although oceanic will do it for free! It also has a lifetime warranty… talk about hassle free! Its best technical feature has to be the 3 user changeable depth alarms, so you don’t have to look at your watch you can just listen! The Suunto is more expensive, but probably easier to use and probably better made. Downside it doesn’t have the battery change and warranty bonus. One of its coolest features its dive history which you can easily view on the watch. Both watches can be connected to your computer to download your exploits.
The LED lenser Frogman dive torch from £35
One of the best small torches I have put my hands on for some time. It’s about palm size and gives a really strong white light. They have updated it recently and added a few candle power to the beam. Its LED so you wont be replacing any bulbs and the battery will last a lot longer than most, up to 50hrs apparently. Torches are great for looking under crevices or just picking out true colour at depth. They are also good for walking the dogs or signalling the resistance.
Omer Mini Laser Knife from £20
Every diver needs a knife. Not to stab marauding sharks or to use in a cinematic knife fight against a speargun toting, black wetsuit wearing, sub driving bond villain…. but to untangle yourself from fishing line and other boring but deadly things. They are of course an essential bit of kit for the spearfisherman, to help dispatch little Nemo without any trouble or stress. I tend to use my knife more on the boat than in the water though, cutting ropes and things (sometimes my finger). The Mini laser knife from Omer is literally everything you need, a short and sharp-pointed knife with a very nifty arm holster. It clips in and out really easily, doesn’t fall out when you don’t want it to and wont slow your progress in the water by being massive and bulky. Thumbs up!
Glow sticks from £1
The perfect stocking filler? perhaps! Useful for a million and one different things. Things you can use a snap stick for are as follows……
- Marking the bottom of a line
- Marking your dive buoy at night
- Marking you and your buddy
- dangling in open water to attract BIG fish
- Checking visibility
- Marking your boat or kayak
- Taking to festivals
- Throwing into really deep holes like they do on horror movies
- Sticking loads under your car so you can pretend to be a boy racer for 7 hrs
and so on and so forth…. you get the idea.
Leatherman Multi tool from £30
I know I have already included a knife in this post but this is a very different beast. Not so much for ‘in dive’ use, rather pre and post dive set up. In my humble opinion these things blast swiss army knives out of the water. For freedivers these things can be used for anything from cutting dive ropes to screwing your fin blades on. The cutting blades are vicious though so be careful!
So my freediver friends that’s all for now. I hope you can push this upon someone who is prone to suggestion! To all you partners and friends of freedivers…. spare a thought for the person who spends rainy afternoons holding their breath whilst reading the paper and get them something they really want this year! … no slankets!
These are all suggested with no commercial backing or sponsorship.