The popularity of spearfishing in the U.S. has grown significantly, and it has spawned product innovation and improvements—not only with spearguns but with associated dive apparel. Believe it or not, how you dress can play an important part of the hunt. Here are some examples:
1) Wetsuits: It’s important for a hunter to be comfortable in the water. If you are cold and shivering, if your suit is rubbing the back of your legs, if it feels too tight in the chest—you will not perform as effectively. In this regard, new wetsuits with open-cell technology and newer materials have been a godsend. They are softer, stretchier and thinner, yet they keep you warmer than the old materials. A good wetsuit should feel like a second skin and should not let water in anywhere. The following brands are available at your local dive shop: Yazbeck, Mares, Riffe, Omer, Cressi and more.
Most spearfishing wetsuit brands now have both a men’s and women’s cut, resulting in a better fit. The new stretchy materials are forgiving enough to fit most bodies. Still not happy with the fit? No worries; there are several affordable custom wetsuit manufacturers who will tailor one to your measurements. Try Oceanos or Elios.
Another recent development is the wide variety of camouflage patterns. Some hunters believe it allows them to be stealthier by blending into the reef, and some just want to look cool. Ladies, if you’re looking for “skins” for the summer in attractive patterns, check out Slipins. You might not blend into the reef, but you will look amazing!
2) Gloves: There are more sizes, thicknesses, and features now. I’ve been diving in water so cold that I lost feeling in my hands and couldn’t feel the trigger. I should have sprung for a thicker pair of gloves when I traveled to California.
With the popularity of polespearing, there’s a need for gloves that make it easy to hold a loaded polespear, so the grip is made of nitrile or latex while the rest of the gloves (back of hand and wrists) are a dynema/Kevlar composition. The all-Kevlar gloves are useful for handling fish or lobsters. It’s not uncommon to get cut by gill rakers when dispatching bigger fish. Wearing solid gloves will give you confidence when handling fish. Check out Neritic and Akona, among others.
3) Booties: With the advent of long fins for spearfishing, it’s become more important for the fin-pocket/bootie combination to form a good fit. An ill-fitting fin will greatly reduce efficiency in the water. As with gloves, there’s a greater variety of choices, and it’s important to try them on with the foot pocket you plan to wear.
Next time you go spearfishing, make sure you are dressed for success!
Sheri is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter, and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.