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The best buoy for freediving and spearfishing in Northern California

  • High visibility
    A good buoy should be easy for boats to spot. The best colors are red, orange, yellow and pink.
  • Mesh bottom
    A mesh bottom lets the water drain out of your buoy, making it much easier to lift out of the ocean.
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
    Older buoys contain a car tire inner tube, which you could (very slowly) deflate by hand but had to inflate at a gas station. Newer buoys have a quick-release deflation valve and can be inflated by mouth. I much prefer this newer style because it makes your buoy easier to transport in a car trunk or on a plane.
Best value: Fins and Foam buoy setup
$
195
The Fins and Foam buoy comes in high-visibility red or yellow, with room to add a dive flag to be extra visible to boats. It has a mesh bottom, strong handles and numerous D-rings onto which to attach mooring lines and carabiners. It has a quick-deflate valve and can be inflated by mouth.

In addition to this I have added the following to make it into a complete setup for freediving and spearfishing in Northern California:

  • 100 feet of high-visibility, diamond-braided polypropylene rope (for line diving or anchoring)
  • Octopus-style aluminum pulley (for easily lifting bottom weights or anchors)
  • Lanyard (for clipping onto the rope during deep dives)
  • Stopper (to prevent the lanyard catching on the net during deep dives)
  • 20 feet of line with carabiners (for mooring to kelp or other buoys)
  • Jumbo carabiner
  • Net (for holding a bottom rock or keeping ropes neat)
  • Whistle (for safety)
Another good option: 2bfree buoy
$
210 + shipping
This buoy comes in high-visibility yellow, with room to add a dive flag for extra visibility to boat traffic. It has drainage holes in the bottom, strong handles and numerous D-rings onto which to attach mooring lines and carabiners. It has a quick-deflate valve and can be inflated by mouth.

Some excellent features of this buoy are:

  • It has a mooring ring inside the buoy. Not many buoys have this, but it comes in handy for keeping stuff (like a spare mask) securely inside the buoy.
  • It has YKK zippers.
  • What this buoy lacks vs. the Fins & Foam buoy is that it does not come with the extras (pulley, lanyard, rope, etc).