Meet PaulSport Chalet Senior Buyer Paul Smedley has spent his entire life participating in outdoor activities. From hiking and camping, climbing and mountaineering, to road biking and mountain biking, Paul has combined his love of sports and nature for over 20 years.
Keeping active has always been a way of life for Paul. A competitive swimmer all through college, Paul has also been an avid skier for over 35 years and a competitive trail runner, participating in 8,800 metre challenge races.
Over two years ago, Paul found himself drawn to the challenge of free-dive spearfishing. It quickly became a passion that appealed to his adventurous nature. Along with natural physical conditioning, becoming immersed in the amazing world that can be found underwater leads to self-insight, discipline, relaxation, and greater knowledge.
Take It From PaulWhat differentiates free-diving from SCUBA diving is the lack of external breathing equipment. Free-diving relies on the diver's ability to hold his or her breath. There are two types of free-diving. Apnea competitions are held all over the world, and focus on how long or how deep a diver can go on a single breath. Free-diving spearfishing is done without SCUBA gear, providing the ability to dive among the fish smoothly and silently.
Preparing for a dive requires physical and mental dexterity, along with breathing exercises that help to achieve slower metabolism, lower heart rate and overall mental equilibrium. Paul cautions about the dangers of free-diving and adheres to strict safety measures on all his dives.
To learn how to free-dive, Paul recommends finding a competent and patient instructor who can offer guidance in selecting free-diving gear such as masks, wetsuits, weight belts, and spears. Understanding riptides, rock entries, navigating reef formation, breath-hold techniques, and proper ear cleaning are also all part of the safety process. He recommends confidence-building training and support that follows a step-by-step instructional method.
For Paul, free-diving spearfishing has opened a whole new world of exploration and discovery and he enjoys sharing his stories and adventures with other diving enthusiasts.