Every now and then I get asked by my guy friends, “how do I get my girl into freediving?” Well, I definitely can’t predict whether or not you’ll be able to make that kind of magic happen (because let’s face it, the passion truly comes from within), but I certainly can tell you what not to do.
Here are a few basic things to keep in mind when trying to woo your mate to the deep side (mwuahahahaaa).
1. Don’t force it on her.
This should be a no brainer, but I’ve seen that every now and then a guy will get so wrapped up in the idea of getting his girl into freediving that he ends up becoming overbearing about it without even realizing it.
This is understandable (because freediving is epic), so never forget that when trying to convince her to join you out on a dive, be sure to keep the pressure to a minimum and allow her to make the decision based on what she wants rather than what you want. Peace will ensue.
2. Don’t buy her gear (gasp)
Ok, this is a controversial one and a lot of men seem to disagree with me on this, but hear me out (I am after all a female freediver speaking from experience). I know your instinct tells you that “girls like gifts”, and if she doesn’t know much about proper freediving gear then buying her a mask or a suit or a spear gun would kill two birds with one stone. Now I’m sure you can come up with ten different reasons why you want to/need to buy her gear (and I’ve probably heard most of them) so all I’m gonna say at this point is you’ve been warned. Here’s why: buying her gear in these early stages not only runs the risk of placing undue pressure on her to become a decent freediver, but it also means you might be taking away from her sense of independence that is inherent in the sport (not to mention that there’s a chance you might be spending a lot of cash on a lost cause) – none of those things are good. Honestly, if she’s truly into the prospect of becoming a freediver, after giving it a shot or two (or three), she will begin to invest in the gear she wants.
My advice? In the beginning let her borrow your gear! Or a friend’s gear! Let her try your backup mask. If you don’t have one, this would be a good time to buy one … that’s well suited for a girl’s face hehe (sneaky sneaky). Ask your fellow lady divers if she can try their fins out. Trust me, us femme freedivers get stoked with the prospect of other girls getting into the sport and we’re happy to lend a suit or a pair of fins for a good cause. And don’t worry, you can always gift her gear later on when she’s more into it and has clearer ideas of what kind of equipment suits her best.
3. NEVER get competitive!**
It is so important that you make the diving about fun, exploration, and all the ridiculously addictive sensations that come as a result of breath-hold diving. As a competitive diver I can tell you that our biggest competition comes from within, and that’s exactly where it should stay. Do not, I repeat, do not become competitive with your mate. I’m sure there are plenty of exceptions to this, but until you know for sure whether she’s truly into the sport, don’t risk it (and I’d argue that even then, it should never happen). I’ve seen relationships completely unravel the second one freediver becomes competitive with another. Long story short, if she falls in love with freediving, she’ll find that all the drive she needs to grow is within herself. #GRLPWR
4. Make it fun!
Ok so I kind of touched on this earlier, but it deserves it’s own discussion. Freediving is an incredible sport so it’s only natural you want to share it with the people you love. It pays to take a little time and think about why you fell in love with freediving. Share this with her, and try to show it to her by leading the way. It also pays (for your sake) to keep in mind that what brought you into the sport might actually have nothing to do with why she might eventually fall in love with it. One of the best ways to open her eyes to the beauty of freediving is to take her on an adventure with you AND your friends! For bonus points try to make sure there’s at least one other female freediver with you at some point during these first few dives. Having her see this sport through the eyes of another woman can help immensely.
Alright guys, those are my tips for the week. Does this sound like it might help you get your lady landlubber into the deep blue? Perhaps you have other tips that you’ve found to be helpful converting friends and loved ones to the deep. Let me know by leaving a comment below! ◉‿◉
**I’m not talking about the fun competitive games people play to challenge and inspire one another. I’m talking about that version of competitiveness that pits one person against the other. Just go with your common sense on this ッ