Birthdate: March 19, 1974
PFI Assistant Instructor Trainer/ PFI Intermediate Instructor/ US National Record Holder/ 2012 USA Freediving Team Captain/ Coach
Ted Harty began his underwater career as a scuba instructor in the Florida Keys. He was first certified as a NAUI instructor in 2005 at Hall’s Dive Center, then began teaching in Marathon at Tilden’s Scuba Center. During that time Ted developed his passion for teaching and realized that there was a bit more to it than he first realized.
“I realized that every single student learns differently, some respond well with humor, some students are visual learners, while other require regimented step-by-step instructions.”
Over the years he became an SSI instructor and a PADI staff instructor. Whenever he was on the boat and did not have any students to take care, he’d jump off the boat with a mask, fins and snorkel and play around on the reef.
“Sometimes I’d have just five minutes to swim around without all my scuba gear. I loved it, 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.”
At that point Ted began trying to learn how to better his freediving.
“I couldn’t really find any information other than some advice from some other crew members and some books. I ended up ‘training’ in a very unsafe manner but at the time I didn’t know it was unsafe.”
In January 2008 Ted took his first Performance Freediving International (PFI) course.
“I couldn’t believe how little I knew freediving at the time. As a scuba instructor I knew more about diving physiology than the average Joe but quickly realized I knew nothing about freediving. Walking in the course I had a 2:15 breath-hold, but after four days of training I did a five-minute hold! I couldn’t believe it was possible.”
After Ted took the course, Performance Freediving started offering Instructor level courses. He signed up for the first available course and was afterward offered a job teaching with Performance Freediving, when he moved to Fort Lauderdale.
In 2009 Ted went to PFI’s annual competition. At the time he was about a 80- to 90-foot freediver and weighed 230 pounds. He wasn’t in good shape at all, but after three weeks of training under the tutelage of Kirk Krack and Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, he did a 54 meter (177 feet) freedive.
“I was blown away but what I was capable of.”
After that competition Ted spent a year working with Kirk and Mandy traveling around the country, teaching the Intermediate Freediver program.
In 2010 a much more fit Ted went back to PFI’s annual competition again. This year his new personal best was 65 meters dive (213 feet).
Ted currently runs classes in South Florida through Immersion Freediving. www.ImmersionFreediving.com