Immersion Freediving Instructor Ted Harty  

tedPFI Instructor Trainer Ted Harty has been teaching freediving, competing and operating his successful Immersion Freediving company in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for over 6 years. He’s become a legend not only for his teaching abilities, including online equalization technique clinics, but also for his mastery of, and devotion to, the Big Green Egg.

Ted began his underwater career over a decade ago as a scuba instructor in the Florida Keys. As a multi-agency scuba instructor Ted discovered not only a love of diving, but also a love of teaching others to enjoy our amazing underwater world. Ted realized early on that each student learns differently.  “Some students respond well to humor, some students are visual learners, while others require regimented step-by-step instructions.” Ted worked hard to be able to tailor his instruction to the specific needs and learning style of his students, and his hard work paid off with full student rosters.

At the same time, Ted found himself dabbling in freediving when the students weren’t around.  He’d grab mask, fins and snorkel and just play around on the reef.  “Sometimes I’d have just five minutes to swim around without all of my scuba gear. I loved it,” says Ted. “I could swim down to the sand at Sombrero Reef and hang out for a bit at 20 feet. I wanted more. I wanted to learn how to stay down longer and how to dive deeper.”

In January 2008 Ted took his first Performance Freediving International (PFI) course. “I couldn’t believe how little I knew about freediving at the time. As a scuba instructor I knew more about diving physiology than the average Joe, but I quickly realized I knew nothing about freediving.  At the start of the course I had a 2:15 breath-hold, but after just  four days of training I did a five-minute hold! I couldn’t believe it was possible.”

Bitten by the freediving bug, Ted signed up for PFI’s instructor-level courses, where he  learned the PFI system and focus on safety and technique.

In 2009, Ted went to PFI’s annual freedive training camp and competition, Deja Blue on Grand Cayman. Ted was a freediver comfortable in the 80- to 90-foot depth at the time. After just three weeks under the tutelage of Kirk and Mandy-Rae, Ted did a 54 meter (177 -feet) freedive. “I was blown away by what I was capable of.”

Invigorated by his newly realized capabilities, Ted soon found himself working for PFI as a staff instructor in locations around the country as well as his then home turf of Fort Lauderdale.

In 2010, a much more conditioned Ted went back to Deja Blue and increased his personal best to an amazing 65 meters (213 feet).

That same year, Ted started his own freediving company in Fort Lauderdale, Immersion Freediving  to focus on teaching freediving in South Florida. Despite a busy teaching schedule and time spent running his own business, Ted still found time to train and advance his own freediving goals. That work paid off and with Ted taking 1st place in several Deja Blue comps, setting a U.S. National record in Dynamic Apnea, and being named Captain of the US Freediving Team competing at the World Freediving Championships in Nice France in 2012.

Ted has continued his instructor development through PFI, achieving the advanced ratings of Advanced Instructor and Instructor Trainer.  Ted has become well known in freediving circles for his ability to teach the sometimes tricky and elusive skill of equalization to students struggling with the Frenzel technique.  Ted’s high success rate in converting students to this technique led him to offer online coaching sessions where Ted works with the student one-on-one until the student “gets it.”

As much as Ted is renown for his teaching abilities, he is also known to friends  (and anyone within range of his social media) for his devotion to, and mastery of, The Big Green Egg. For the uninitiated, The Big Green Egg is a sort of a BBQ device that has a cult-like following around the world.  Owners of the BGE pride themselves on being able to cook not only the best BBQ, but a whole range of other dishes from smoked meats to baked dishes.  Ted is a true master of this art and has wrapped up more than one freediving class with an invitation to his students to join him for a culinary adventure they won’t soon forget.

For more info on Ted’s PFI-certification courses, visit Immersion Freediving.