With the upcoming 2019 CMAS World Championships in August we will be profiling each of the members of 2019 Team America. Enjoy their stories. Get to know them, and we hope that you find a nugget of inspiration from their story.
LANCE LEE DAVIS
How long you’ve been freediving?
It’s hard to say. My earliest memories are of being in the ocean. I’ve always loved swimming both above and below the water—competing in pools since I was 6 years old and exploring oceans, lakes, and rivers. For most of my life, I’ve never made much of a distinction between ‘freediving’ and just swimming. I was born on an island and spent my infancy by the ocean until we moved inland. After 11 years of competitive swimming I was burnt out on pools and developed other interests, although I still loved to play in the ocean. It was nearly 8 years ago as an adult now living in Los Angeles that I discovered spearfishing and it was then that I bought my first pair of long fins, wetsuit, and a speargun.
What, or who, inspired you to freedive?
I really love good seafood, and I love the ocean and the water, so when I discovered that it was possible to spearfish off the coast of Los Angeles, I immediately blew my tax return on a speargun, cold water freediving gear and the rest is history. I did my first freediving pool comp I think that same year—they were doing them somewhat annually here in Los Angeles at the time and competing in pools was very natural to me given my background—so I got to rub shoulders with some excellent divers who did their best to introduce me to the concept of ‘safety.’ And so, I started training occasionally without a speargun in hand, and because I saw great gains in my spearing from the training, I got deeper into apnea science and training.
Why do you freedive, and what has it done for you?
Well, now I freedive more or less for a living—teaching classes as a PFI affiliate, a day here and there as a spearing guide, and stunt work for film and TV. The teaching thing is newer for me, as I had never taken a freediving class until a year and half ago when I started training to be a PFI instructor. I didn’t expect it to become a ‘full time’ thing, and while I dive less now for pure recreation I absolutely love all the work I do. Even better is all the people I’ve met. Freediving attracts incredible people!
What are your future freediving goals?
That’s easy—keep diving deeper and keep the freezer well stocked with delicious eats! I unofficially broke the US constant no fins (CNF) record about a year and a half ago with a dive to 72M in Kona at Two Step. Because my time was so limited for that attempt, I didn’t even have the opportunity to do any other disciplines, so to this date my deepest dive is a 72M CNF. I’ve been training depth for years here in Los Angeles but while our waters build very strong divers, the cold makes it hard to post big numbers and I have to go elsewhere for that. The 72M CNF was a very clean dive though and I’m in better shape now than I was then, so I can’t wait to see what I can do with CWT and FIM, and I’d like to nudge my CNF numbers a little deeper.
What is your profession and other hobbies?
Before I was diving more or less full time, I worked in film and TV, both as an actor and a filmmaker behind the scenes. There was also a bit stint when I was doing a lot of martial arts, competitive Muay Thai mostly. I still love the acting and do the occasional non-water projects but nowadays on the filmmaking side am rarely dry. When I’m out of the water I like to be in my little workshop, tinkering. I develop some custom spearing gear and dive electronics, most of it very freedive friendly with an eye towards shooting on and under water. My company is SoCal Spear-It, and I publish as @socalspearit on youtube and instagram.
What advice about freediving would you like to offer readers?
There’s no wrong way to ENJOY THE WATER as long as you’re being smart and coming home safe!!