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Dive Deeper: Your Ultimate Guide to Diving Gear Essentials

As the summer heat rises, so does the desire for a refreshing aquatic adventure. Whether you crave an up-close encounter with vibrant corals and fish or yearn to explore the depths of the sea in a single breath, freediving is the way to go.

Freediving is an entirely unique experience where you rely solely on your breath without the use of breathing support equipment. It’s just you and that one breath you take before you submerge yourself into the underwater world.

Recently, freediving has been gaining popularity as a hobby to enjoy the water. For some, it’s a chance to explore the mesmerizing beauty of shallow coral reefs, while others seek the adrenaline rush of going deeper into the ocean’s abyss in a single breath. There are also those who freedive to hunt, and of course, there are those who embrace freediving as a sport, competing against fellow freediving athletes.

But there’s one sentiment that all freedivers share: freediving fosters a deep connection between you and the ocean. In this shared experience, freedivers embrace feelings of peacefulness and tranquility beneath the water’s surface.

“Better diving gear will not immediately make you better divers. Invest in your dive training and practice your technique.”

Badfish Dive Gear founders Bang Gumalo and Artie Enriquez found that it was difficult and expensive to find freediving gear in Cebu. As one of the pioneers of freediving in the city, they decided to open a local shop that provides quality gear at affordable prices. When thinking of a name for the shop, Badfish by Sublime started to play, and it fit. “It seemed perfect since we were considered the rebels of dive gear retail before as we were offering better quality products at cheaper rates than the market,” Bang Gumalo shares.

With the goal of promoting the hobby and sport while helping freedivers get the gear they need minus the trial and error, Badfish Dive Gear provides a meticulously curated selection of quality dive gear and spearfishing equipment. Each product undergoes rigorous quality control testing to meet the owners’ high standards before reaching the market. “This was very important to us as we have experienced wasting a lot of money on different types of gear that was no good,” Bang points out. “Products that are tested by freedivers for freedivers are proven to perform well.”

“Divers with better technique and inferior gear will still outperform a mediocre diver with better gear.”

Among their selection, Badfish carries Manta diving and snorkel masks as well as Badfish plastic fins. For the more adept freedivers or freedivers who want better gear, they also have Alchemy carbon fins, Leaderfins fiberglass fins, dive computers, wet suits, and buoys.

Tips for the Newbies and Uninformed

Bang and Artie make sure to guide their customers on the pros and cons of each option, often discouraging beginners from getting expensive gear. “Better diving gear will not immediately make you better divers. Invest in your dive training and practice your technique. Divers with better technique and inferior gear will still outperform a mediocre diver with better gear,” Bang says.

Maintaining your dive gear is also crucial. The owners enumerate five important tips on how to take care of your equipment. One, always rinse your gear in fresh water after every dive. Two, never leave your equipment in direct sunlight. Three, avoid leaving your gear in the car during very hot days. Fourth, do not walk around in your fins. Put your fins on in the water and take them off in the water when close to shore. Lastly, avoid putting heavy items on top of your gear.

Diving for the Community

More than providing the gear, Badfish always gives back and engages with the local diving community. “We believe we played a major role in getting freediving to where it is now by being able to provide local freedivers with quality, affordable gear,” they state. Now, they sponsor local freediving competitions and teams. “We are proud to say that we were the first to sponsor local Cebu athletes before they were discovered by big brands. Now, these athletes have secured big international sponsorship and that makes us very proud.”

“We are very engaged with our customers as we understand how it feels to be overwhelmed by so many gear options.”

To get started on your freediving journey with the right freediving gear, visit Badfish Dive Gear at 32 Pres. Quirino, Kasambagan. You can go through their product list on their website and place an order online through Instagram and Facebook.

Photography Kyrra Kho

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