Newbie in Oakland

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Newbie in Oakland

Postby Dslee11 » August 31st, 2017, 2:05 pm

Hi there,

I'm finally looking to get into the sport of spearfishing after watching YouTube videos for the past year.

I'm currently living/working in the East Bay, graduated from Santa Clara University in 2015 with a degree in mechanical engineering, have SCUBA certification, and am an officer in the California National Guard.

I'm really looking for a couple of things. First, I'd like to meet someone/a group that would be open to taking me out on my first dive. Secondly, all I have in terms of equipment is a speargun and goggles. I'm looking to purchase a used / affordable 7mm wetsuit along with affordable fins as well as everything else (weights, dive knife, gloves, snorkel, etc.)

Hope somebody sees this and responds!


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Re: Newbie in Oakland

Postby Kirby » August 31st, 2017, 4:30 pm

Welcome to the forum, Daniel. There is a great group of great divers that frequent this website.

To help with your gear, here are some tips.

Wetsuit- For freedive spearfishing in Northern California, a 7mm, two piece (farmer john or high waist pant), 'open cell,' 'spearfishing wetsuit' with an attached hood is most preferable. Camo doesn't matter. Get one that fits well. If you don't find one that fits you well, order custom. A proper fitting suit is the most important part of your kit.
Snorkel- Get a plain 'J-tube' with as few valves and other doohickeys as possible. Doohickeys can break. And use a rubber, figure eight snorkel keeper rather than any plastic clips that come with the snorkel. The clips are doohickeys and doohickeys break.
Gloves- For the North Coast, I'd recommend 3-5mm kevlar palmed gloves. A number of manufacturers make gloves like this.
Fins- Closed heel, plastic, long blade fins. Cressi makes a good inexpensive (~$140) pair. I'd recommend these or something comparable. In most cases, long blades work great for SCUBA, so you could trim your kit down to one pair of fins to save some money. Make sure these fins fit with the socks you're going to be wearing.
Fin Socks/Neoprene Socks- Only Argos, 4mm, and NOT the low ankle model.
Weight Belt- Rubber belt with multiple 2-3lb hard weights. This will also transition well to SCUBA, unless you dive completely integrated.
Goggles- Call it a mask. :D

If you're trying to buy this gear on the super cheap and end up with crap equipment, you might be disappointed and discouraged from diving. Don't be surprised if you have to spend up to a thousand bucks.

I can't help you with a dive partner, but I'm sure you'll be able to figure one out.
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Re: Newbie in Oakland

Postby Dslee11 » August 31st, 2017, 5:35 pm


Thanks for going above and beyond with your response! Didn't expect that at all and I appreciate it.

My strategy has been to go cheap but it sounds like I need to try alot of these things on in a store, which implies brand new, which also implies $$$.

Goggles :laughing-rollingred: I guess I'm that newbie dweeb. Thanks for lookin' out!

I think I'll take your advice though.. would you or anyone else reading this have a shop they could recommend? With the three day weekend coming up I'm willing to make a long trek down to Monterey if need be!
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Re: Newbie in Oakland

Postby sand flea » September 1st, 2017, 9:09 am

Hey Daniel,
The two shops I use around our area for gear is and
Red triangle has a new location in the Petaluma area and Freedive Shop is in West Sacramento. Both shops
offer great service on equipment that you will need and won't sell you a bunch of fluff.
Also, check out (NCUH) It's a great forum sight much like this one that is
mostly comprised of nor-cal divers.
Hope this helps out some,
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sand flea
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Location: Sacramento area

Re: Newbie in Oakland

Postby Dslee11 » September 4th, 2017, 5:34 pm

Thanks, Dave! I'll definitely check those out.

I've been reading and watching alot of YouTube videos and I'm itching to get into the water this weekend. I think I've decided that I'd like to go abalone diving first to become acquainted with freediving then move on to spearing some fish.

I think my biggest challenge right now is finding someone to take me ..
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