What initially drew you to spearfishing/freediving?

Going up I never liked fishing rod and reel, but always wanted to. In high school I discovered spearfishing and it completely changed my life. Being able to go underwater and interact with the animal in the environment was such an incredibly strong draw for me, I couldn’t live without it! Additionally, being able to select exactly which fish I wanted to bring home and eat was very important to me.

Do you have favorite dive spots where you feel most connected?

The waters of Southern California have always been home to me and for that reason I feel most connected here. I have shared so many incredible days on the water here with my friends and seen so many incredible things. The ocean never seems to run out of surprises!

How do you envision the future of spearfishing/freediving, and your role in it?

We have seen Spearfishing grow steadily over the past 20 years and I expect that to continue. I am owner and operator at Spear America San Diego and look forward to continuing to build a Spearfishing and free diving community here in Southern California!

How do you approach sustainability and conservation in your spearfishing/freediving practices?

As an underwater hunter sustainability and conservation are of the utmost importance to me. I want to be able to harvest fish now, but also want to know that there will be plenty of fish for the generations to come. Our fisheries are a resource that needs to be managed and protected, but also needs to be accessible to those who wish to use it responsibly. I feel very strongly that people are much more interested in protecting things they have a connection with. For that reason, I am confident that spearfisherman, myself included have a very deep connection with the ocean and the fish in it. I try to be as active as I can with our local department of fish and wildlife here in California to see that our resources are responsibly managed, and the wishes of the fisherman are considered in their decision-making.

Are there any misconceptions about spearfishing/freediving that you’d like to address?

There are definitely people out there that see pictures on social media and assume every time a spear fisherman goes out they catch a trophy fish. The reality is the majority of days hunters come home empty-handed because they are selective and did not find the exact fish they were targeting, but this is not a bad thing. There are many reasons to go spearfishing, and the taking of fish is only one of them. Exercise, enjoying time with friends, relaxation, and spending time in nature are really the foundations of the sport. Even on an exceptional Spearfishing year, I typically only take a few fish a season. You really have to enjoy the journey of it all and the process and not get so tied up in whether or not you get a fish every time to get the most out of the sport.

How has spearfishing/freediving impacted other aspects of your life, such as your mindset, relationships, or personal development?

I have definitely learned a lot of valuable life lessons through my experiences Spearfishing. Patients, responsibility, time management, work ethic, and optimism all come to mind. Freediving and spearfishing will put you in situations that challenge you and force you to become a better version of yourself. You will learn to overcome difficulties and cope with discomfort and struggles.

Can you recommend any resources or tips for someone interested in getting started with spearfishing/freediving?

Find a good spearfishing club, mentor, or dive shop. The fastest way to grow is definitely by learning from somebody with more experience than yourself. Also, put yourself in situations where you dive in new situations as often as you can. Whether that’s traveling or going to look for new fish in an area you’ve dove before. Also, beware of those who offer a lot of advice without reasonable experience to back it up.

What advice would you give to someone considering taking up spearfishing/freediving as a hobby or lifestyle?

In my opinion, it is the best lifestyle on the planet. It has taken me and my friends all around the planet and introduced us to amazing people and places. It is exciting, addicting, and so so fun.

What is your go-to RIFFE setup and why?

For smaller fish the euro series is incredibly versatile and accurate. When it comes to hunting larger trophy game I don’t leave home without my Raiders spear guns. They are unmatched for ease of use and performance when hunting trophy fish.