Floats are probably the single most important item of your kit for both freediving and Spearfishing. The main purpose of a float is to signal your presence in the water to other water users, notably boats and jetskis! In a direct fight between your head and propellor, im afraid the prop wins every time, so best avoid it right?
Most floats that people use are small and focus purely on that primary need, to make sure people know where you are. This float, along with probably a dozen other floats on the market at the moment, gives you a stable platform to support you in between dives or to help you cover more ground more easily.
The idea is that you can drag it around when you are spearfishing, freediving or even just snorkelling, then when you feel a bit tired you can haul yourself on to it, like on a bodyboard to either rest or to head of to the next spot, which is far more efficient than swimming. You can also of course use it at the beginning of your dive to get yourself to the site in the first place, so you arrive relatively fresh!
This particular float from Epsealon offers a few distinct advantages over the other similar floats on the market.
- Its larger than most and offers more buoyancy so you can really get most of your body on the float.
- Its made from the same material that they make RHIBs from(Rigid hull inflatable boats). This is tough, thick and reliable. A benefit of using this is they don’t need to have a double layer on the float to protect it, its tough enough. This keeps the weight down and allows easier transport to and from the dive site and faster travel in the water. It also has rubbing strips down the sides in really thick material, so if it scrapes along rocks it wont be damaged.
- Tracking fins on the base keep it running true in the water meaning it is easier to swim efficiently on and is less affected by the wind.
- Lots of metal and plastic D rings give loads of places that you can snap gear to, things like water bottles, guns, bags, nets etc etc.
- It has a nice big flag pole which attaches to a couple of bungees and a holder at the bow of the ‘boat’, to keep people away from you!
- There are two sets of speargun holders on either side of the float, these can also be used to hold your fins if you want to go no fins for a bit, or for when you are carrying your kit down to the beach.
- There is a net cover that is strung across the main section of the float, this is to keep safe items you don’t want to go missing! I keep a couple of snack bars, my car keys and a water bottle in the net.
- A large high pressure float sits in the stern to give you more buoyancy when you are laying on it.
- It comes with rucksack style straps to carry it around.
- It also comes with a camelbac style water reservoir and key safe! sweet!
Its a hellishly good bit of kit! Loads of space for stuff, buoyancy to carry you and a massive bag of scallops! Well made and its got all the extras you may need (Its also got a cool carry bag to take it with you). Would i change anything? Yeah, probably a couple of things. Id make the rucksack straps heavier duty as they can cut in a bit when i’ve loaded it up and im heading to or fro the water. Id also add an additional strap to the side to carry fins more easily. The existing ones are good but the bungee used can sometimes feel like its got too much flex to hod something really tight. But that’s it, everything else is perfect.
Should you buy one?
Ok, no denying, this is going to be an investment. Its a serious bit of kit. If you live in an area where the currents can get a bit feisty or you have a long way to go to the dive site then it may be a really worthwhile purchase. Its also brilliant if you are diving for shellfish as it can carry soooooo much weight, and as anyone can tell you who’s dived with a net of scallops around their waist or have tried to drag a net of crabs underneath their float, it can really tire you out and can actually be really dangerous. This resolves that problem totally.
And finally, if you have little kid, you can literally use it as a toy boat for them! Now that’s a great excuse for the other half 😉
If you need to get one, give Anthony a bell at http://www.spearfishingstore.co.uk/
Dive safe people!