The latest addition to my growing list of freediving kit is my new Sporasub SP1 freedive computer. This helps me with one or two of my frustrations which I am sure that I share with other new freedivers. How deep am I going? How long am I down for? How many dives have I done? One of the reasons I prefer freediving over scuba is the simplicity, so I really don’t want to clutter my body or my thought processes with anything more than i have to.
This is the perfect tool for me; as well as satisfying my curiosity, I con now benchmark one day’s diving against the next to see how my performance is changing over time.
Why did I go for the Sporasub SP1? Well, I started at the bottom of the price range (this cost £145 or $225), and worked upwards, luckily my criteria were satisfied by this one, which happens to be the cheapest on the market. It was also dropping in prices as the new Sporasub SP2 is available with wireless connection and heart rate monitor, and I wanted to snap one of these up before they stop making it.
What I wanted was simple:-
- Something that automatically kicked in to log dives without me having to remember to press any buttons.
- Something that allowed me to look at logs afterwards to see what I had done
- Something that logged surface time as well as dive time
What I didn’t want:-
- A scuba watch that also had a freedive function (watches with more than one button are confusing enough for me without having loads of extra functions I will never use).
- Something that relied on me having to press buttons before every dive (something else confusing that I can’t be bothered with).
- To spend double just to get extra functions that I won’t ever use unless I start training and competing at deep diving.
What you get with the Sporasub SP1 freedive computer:-
- Dive mode automatically kicks in when the watch is submerged by 1.5m, you don’t have to do anything, it just starts logging straight away, even if the last time you looked it was just showing the time.
- When you get back to the surface it automatically starts to count surface time (you should be breathing up on the surface for at least as long as your last dive before you go down again)
- It logs dive time, dive depth accurate to 10 cm, water temperature.
- It saves these records for you to look at later, up to 199 of them.
- Depth warning, it will beep for 30 seconds when you reach a preset limit.
- Switch between sea and fresh water
- Other stuff you would normally get on a watch, time, date, stopwatch etc.
Things you might get on a more expensive computer that the Sporasub SP1 doesn’t have:-
- Wireless link to a heart rate monitor (like the Sporasub SP2)
- USB connection to download and analyse your dive stats and save them for ever more. (Sporasub SP2, Mares Smart Apnea, Oceanic Aeris F10)
- Time warning, multiple depth warnings, (Oceanic Aeris F10)
- hydration reminders, descent and ascent speeds (Mares Smart Apnea)
Summary – It works first time and every time, logging all the dives I do accurately (when compared to another borrowed dive computer strapped to my leash in a recent test dive).
I found the controls a little infuriating to start with when I tried to look at the dive starts whilst the screen was still displaying surface time. But this is more about my not remembering the instructions than design fault.
Who would I recommend this for? Any recreational non competitive freediver or spearo who wants an easy way to log their dives.
Who would I not recommend this for? More serious competition divers who want to really monitor things like ascent speeds, who need 10m warnings and want to monitor heart rates while diving. Those guys probably want to go for something more swanky, but they are going to pay in the region of £100 to £200 more for these functions.
Am I happy with the SP1? Yes. It looks cool too, though my wrists are so skinny I won’t be wearing it as a fashion accessory.