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The best buoy for freediving and spearfishing in Northern California

What's good about this buoy

  • 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 prefer this newer style because it makes your buoy easier to transport in a car trunk or on a plane.

What to avoid when buying a buoy

  • No mesh bottom
    A buoy with a solid bottom won't drain, making it super heavy when you exit the water.
  • Low quality zippers
    Look for buoys with YKK zippers or similar. Low quality zippers will break and/or oxidize shut over time.
  • Car inner tube
    Not a dealbreaker, but if your buoy contains a car inner tube rather than being inflatable by mouth, it will take up more space in your trunk and be harder to travel with. On the other hand, the extra buoyancy provided by a car inner tube can be a plus if you are doing deeper (30-60m) free immersion dives. For dives less than 30m it doesn't matter.

Setting up your buoy for line diving

To turn your buoy into a complete setup for line diving up to 100 feet, order the Complete Buoy Setup.