NorCal Underwater Hunters

General Discussion => Freediving Discussion => Topic started by: JimK59 on September 04, 2017, 08:53:42 PM

Title: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: JimK59 on September 04, 2017, 08:53:42 PM
I am thinking of taking a freedive class from either Performance Freediving International or Freediving Instructors International.  There are classes held on Catalina Island (Avalon) with Ryan Keene, and another class in San Diego (La Jolla) with Bobby Kim.  Has anyone taken a class from either of these guys or taken a class in either of these locations?  ANY free dive instructor recommendations would be appreciated.  Dive safe.


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Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: Rob102 on September 04, 2017, 09:03:38 PM
Are you located in SoCal?

If not there are good instructors up here.
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: DG on September 04, 2017, 09:35:08 PM
Are you located in SoCal?

If not there are good instructors up here.
True at least one good instructor is on this site.  So Cal may be easier as Visibility is usually better and should make you at least feel better during the class.  It won't translate into diving longer in colder or murky water so I am glad I took my classes up north. 

With that said I am interested in taking the level 2 class and going 120 feet but will most likely go to So Cal or Hawaii for it as nor cal waters that deep doesn't appeal to me.   
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: JimK59 on September 05, 2017, 06:41:59 PM
Are you located in SoCal?

If not there are good instructors up here.
I am located in Marin County, but am having problems locating a good instructor/class up this way.  Any suggestions?


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Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: ji on September 05, 2017, 08:13:10 PM
I am thinking of taking a freedive class from either Performance Freediving International or Freediving Instructors International.  There are classes held on Catalina Island (Avalon)

Several years back I took the PFI class in Newport beach with dive @ casino point then open water boat dive. The instructors were Kirk, Mandy, Craig Gentry and some dude from Hawaii. I forgot his name but he claimed diving 200'+  :o, hands free of course. All four instructors boast multiple blackouts...lol. This was in April when the water was about 55-56 degrees and vis was epic. I could see all four dive lines, anchors, students and dive platform/floats from 100'+ depth. As noted above, I highly recommend diving good vis if at all possible. Not to mention warmer water equals less lead, huge plus. My dive weight was 12# with 5 mil suit @180#

btw I didn't see Catalina on either PFI or FII ?

Good luck in your search
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: Rob102 on September 05, 2017, 08:24:20 PM
Kris Cortez

LiveAlohaKris on this board.
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: jcthome on September 05, 2017, 08:51:03 PM
I am thinking of taking a freedive class from either Performance Freediving International or Freediving Instructors International.  There are classes held on Catalina Island (Avalon)
I highly recommend diving good vis if at all possible. Not to mention warmer water equals less lead, huge plus. My dive weight was 12# with 5 mil suit @180#

btw I didn't see Catalina on either PFI or FII ?

Good luck in your search

I'm going to chime in and second the recommendation for high viz. My FII level 1 was conducted in Oceanside, CA. It was February and cold. Once the boat dropped anchor and we jumped in, the water was green and viz was approx 8-10'. This didn't lend well for all of us, mentally or physically. A third of the guys didn't reach 66', all of which previously hit statics the day before in the pool of 3 mins. I guess it goes to show how much mental influence there is with our diving. I guarantee that if we were in 80 degree water in Hawaii, it wouldn't have been an issue.
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: Rob102 on September 05, 2017, 09:11:09 PM
I think you should get training in the water you are going to dive in. Who cares if you can dive 20 meters in Hawaii if you live here and can't hit the mark here after training.

Besides safety and technique, the best thing I took away from the training was that when I dove 20 meters in cold water with shit visibility, I had been there before. It wasn't a dive into the unknown.

If you want a personal best, by all means go seek out the best conditions. If you want to shoot a Ling Cod or Vermillion in 60 fow on the north coast you should learn to dive that deep here.

As for not everyone passing or hitting the max depth...  that's how it goes. It's not made for everyone to pass. Not everyone is ready to dive that deep. If the class is so easy that everyone can do it, what the hell is it really worth?  I don't want to be trained to the level of competence of the worst diver in the class. On the contrary, I want the training to be challenging enough that I actually have to learn and modify my technique in order to pass. Otherwise all you need is a babysitter to hand you a certificate when hit the target depth.
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: DG on September 05, 2017, 09:13:48 PM
I guarantee that if we were in 80 degree water in Hawaii, it wouldn't have been an issue.
May be true for the mental issues related to the dive, but even in clear water some can't clear or have Ear issues which prevent them from going to the recommended class depth. 

Kris Cortez

LiveAlohaKris on this board.
Kris is a great instructor and really emphasizes safety.  He may be willing to schedule a class if more people have an interest. 
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: rluiz on September 06, 2017, 08:09:39 AM
Agreed with what's has been  said. Save yourself $$ and just do a local trip, this is
I am thinking of taking a freedive class from either Performance Freediving International or Freediving Instructors International.  There are classes held on Catalina Island (Avalon)

Several years back I took the PFI class in Newport beach with dive @ casino point then open water boat dive. The instructors were Kirk, Mandy, Craig Gentry and some dude from Hawaii. I forgot his name but he claimed diving 200'+  :o, hands free of course. All four instructors boast multiple blackouts...lol. This was in April when the water was about 55-56 degrees and vis was epic. I could see all four dive lines, anchors, students and dive platform/floats from 100'+ depth. As noted above, I highly recommend diving good vis if at all possible. Not to mention warmer water equals less lead, huge plus. My dive weight was 12# with 5 mil suit @180#

btw I didn't see Catalina on either PFI or FII ?

Good luck in your search

Boast about there blackouts? Just my opinion but I would not want to take their class. I get it happens but it's not a cool thing. BOs put not only your life in danger but also your dive buddy. Not to mention after a BO your done for the day along with your buddies dive day.
I would recommend taking it up here. Like Rob said practice in your territory, and besides if you can do a 75' drop with 5' viz Doing it in so Cal will be much easier.
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: the_derek on September 06, 2017, 09:23:51 AM
I think you should get training in the water you are going to dive in. Who cares if you can dive 20 meters in Hawaii if you live here and can't hit the mark here after training.

Besides safety and technique, the best thing I took away from the training was that when I dove 20 meters in cold water with shit visibility, I had been there before. It wasn't a dive into the unknown.

If you want a personal best, by all means go seek out the best conditions. If you want to shoot a Ling Cod or Vermillion in 60 fow on the north coast you should learn to dive that deep here.

As for not everyone passing or hitting the max depth...  that's how it goes. It's not made for everyone to pass. Not everyone is ready to dive that deep. If the class is so easy that everyone can do it, what the hell is it really worth?  I don't want to be trained to the level of competence of the worst diver in the class. On the contrary, I want the training to be challenging enough that I actually have to learn and modify my technique in order to pass. Otherwise all you need is a babysitter to hand you a certificate when hit the target depth.

spot on rob. i took the fii level 1 with dan koval in the cold crap viz of norcal, take the class where you are going to dive.

taking a freedive class was honestly the best decision i could have made, provides good safety techniques and protocols. and to second what rob said, if everyone passed the class i would not have the respect for the training as i do now.
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: BigJim on September 06, 2017, 04:37:31 PM
X 100 for Kris.

Great guy, excellent diver and hunter, patient and attentive instructor.

 :)

Sincerely,

Jim
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: ji on September 06, 2017, 08:12:31 PM

Boast about there blackouts? Just my opinion but I would not want to take their class.

Your loss!

 The question was asked on the first day in class, has anybody ever had a blackout? and all instructors raised hands. They shared their experience and ALL students learned from it!  These instructors were/are badass. I don't regret for one minute taking their class/instruction. I will probably never again be in the company of that caliber of divers....ever!
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: JackSquirt on September 06, 2017, 09:07:53 PM

Boast about there blackouts? Just my opinion but I would not want to take their class.

Your loss!

 The question was asked on the first day in class, has anybody ever had a blackout? and all instructors raised hands. They shared their experience and ALL students learned from it!  These instructors were/are badass. I don't regret for one minute taking their class/instruction. I will probably never again be in the company of that caliber of divers....ever!

If they were sharing their mistakes as a teaching experience for the class, and not actually boasting about blacking out and surviving, that's different. But I agree with Sir Rob completely, and I believe what he was getting at was they shouldn't be spreading some BS macho stigma about blackouts to anyone (especially students).

Go with Kris.
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: rluiz on September 06, 2017, 09:34:43 PM

Boast about there blackouts? Just my opinion but I would not want to take their class.

Your loss!

 The question was asked on the first day in class, has anybody ever had a blackout? and all instructors raised hands. They shared their experience and ALL students learned from it!  These instructors were/are badass. I don't regret for one minute taking their class/instruction. I will probably never again be in the company of that caliber of divers....ever!

So they talked about it as a learning experience or did they boast about it two different things. www.dictionary.com (http://www.dictionary.com) is a great tool if you got confused
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: Rob102 on September 07, 2017, 10:26:44 AM
Let's back up a little on these blackouts.

Having a blackout can be caused from many reasons, most of them negative. However, I think it is a positive in the case of an instructor under supervision to hold their breath to the point of blackout. This act can teach them what the onset of swb feels like and what signs/symptoms to be aware of, teach them that they are not invincible, and show them just how easy it is to push ourselves beyond our safe limits.

If your instructor knows and respects his limits he can teach you in relative safety. If he doesn't know he may very well push himself too far making repeated dives with multiple students without the necessary surface interval and possibly kill himself and his student.
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: ji on September 07, 2017, 06:48:36 PM
Let's back up a little on these blackouts.

Having a blackout can be caused from many reasons, most of them negative. However, I think it is a positive in the case of an instructor under supervision to hold their breath to the point of blackout. This act can teach them what the onset of swb feels like and what signs/symptoms to be aware of, teach them that they are not invincible, and show them just how easy it is to push ourselves beyond our safe limits.

If your instructor knows and respects his limits he can teach you in relative safety. If he doesn't know he may very well push himself too far making repeated dives with multiple students without the necessary surface interval and possibly kill himself and his student.

Thank you,

Here is a link some of you may want to read about Kirk Krack and PFI. He told the class a little about Tanya Streeter and a swb she experienced as her husband witnessed. 
These people train and dive on the edge of human endurance, safety was paramount! Enough said

http://fathomlessfreediving.com/about-me/ (http://fathomlessfreediving.com/about-me/)
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: BigJim on September 08, 2017, 11:17:08 AM
Kris is offering a class at the end of this month:

http://www.freedivinginstructors.com/fii/courses_by/kris.cortez (http://www.freedivinginstructors.com/fii/courses_by/kris.cortez)

Sincerely,

Jim
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: apeaenlightened on September 09, 2017, 06:55:46 AM
Yeah bro I took my class with Kris Kortez definitely worth it, a lot of patience and explained everything with great detail. He even lend me his carbon fins. Which I liked a lot and have my own pair now.. REAL cool guy


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Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: Amsmosh on September 09, 2017, 03:17:47 PM
I have taken a class with Bobby Kim. He is an excellent instructor.
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: JimK59 on September 10, 2017, 07:53:11 AM
I have taken a class with Bobby Kim. He is an excellent instructor.
Thanks for all the input. I liked the view that you practice with the equipment and learn in the environment you dive in i.e. 7mm wetsuits and low visibility.  I signed up in Monterey with Mr Addison. Looking forwards too learning more.


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Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: lawtalkingguy on September 20, 2017, 09:07:05 AM
A few of us on this board have taken PFI with Drew Rapoport, who is an excellent instructor and goes above and beyond.  Drew teaches out of Sonoma Coast Divers in Rohnert Park; classes are usually held in Santa Rosa or Petaluma and the Sonoma Coast.
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: Dennis on September 20, 2017, 03:58:22 PM
Just wanted to chime in about Kris Kortez's class through RTS, took his level 1 last year and had a blast and met some other cool spearos. Definitely recommend taking the class even if you are comfortable in the water. Hit some nice PRs during the class as well so that was awesome =)

Much of what I learned from the class carried over to my dives now and it's made me a lot more confident/conscious when diving with other people. Worth the money!

Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: Ptown707 on September 20, 2017, 05:19:33 PM
I took a class with an instructor from the Bay Area, was not impressed. Ask around is all I'm saying, before you put down your money.  Definitely want to take a class with Kris I have heard great things!!!!!
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: the_derek on September 21, 2017, 10:25:58 AM
I took a class with an instructor from the Bay Area, was not impressed. Ask around is all I'm saying, before you put down your money.  Definitely want to take a class with Kris I have heard great things!!!!!

From what I have taken, and heard... FII is the way to go.
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: Ptown707 on September 21, 2017, 11:11:06 AM
I took a class with an instructor from the Bay Area, was not impressed. Ask around is all I'm saying, before you put down your money.  Definitely want to take a class with Kris I have heard great things!!!!!

From what I have taken, and heard... FII is the way to go.

It was a PFI course, I got more out of reading this book.


(https://s26.postimg.org/c2lvxq1b9/IMG_2552.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/c2lvxq1b9/)
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: shaun614 on September 21, 2017, 03:23:35 PM
I took a class with an instructor from the Bay Area, was not impressed. Ask around is all I'm saying, before you put down your money.  Definitely want to take a class with Kris I have heard great things!!!!!

From what I have taken, and heard... FII is the way to go.

It was a PFI course, I got more out of reading this book.


(https://s26.postimg.org/c2lvxq1b9/IMG_2552.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/c2lvxq1b9/)

I have that same book lol. +1 on Kris' class, good training instructor that covered a lot of areas. Safety, technique, and physiology. You can find a lot of stuff online but actually taking his course and applying what was covered in open water really accelerates your abilities. I still remember going to that class with some snorkeling fins and a high volume mask lol.. but kris lended me his gear which made me never look back and i ended up getting my own stuff.. i believe F.I.I. is one of the best freediving courses one can take and highly benefit from.. good luck on choosing OP
Title: Re: PFI and FII instructor/class recommendations
Post by: kodama on September 22, 2017, 01:12:46 AM
Took the FII class level 1 with Kris Cortez about a year ago. It was really good and have recommended it to anyone since.
Rob hits the nail spot on with pointing out how important it is to train in the conditions you will be diving in!!!
During the course in Monterey I didn't pass because of equalization issues. Nonetheless I learned a lot and was hooked. Came back to Europe and started training with a local freediving club and have been spearfishing in the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic coast. On my way to level 4 now.
Kris is a good teacher who really sparked a deep interest and I was happy to start diving in cold water of NorCall, similar to what we have here. One important tip: work out your equalization issues BEFORE you take a course. Ask help from a instructor if you need it. Some people like myself need more than a day or two to learn proper Frenzel.

Can't wait to dive the NorCall coast again where water is cold and fish are big and plenty.



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