Desmond Thain

Spearfishing

What is your birthdate?
February 1984

Where are you from?
Honolulu, HI

What is your earliest memory in the ocean?
True story.... when I was about 4 years-old I remember getting pinched on my thumb by a massive A'ama crab and crying. As a result, my Dad threw that crab on the hibachi and grilled that puppy up. While eating it, me and my brother sucked every bit of meat out of the legs and claws and were so satisfied not only because it was delicious, I got revenge!!

How did you get into spearfishing? freediving?
My brother and I would surf from sun up to sun down all summer long on the south shore. However, when winter would roll around it'd be flat as a lake so my Dad bought us fishing poles and 3-prongs. I was never a good fisherman, at a young age and would catch nothing but trigger fish and needle fish. Diving was much easier for me and seeing turtles and starfish is what really captivated me to pursue diving more than fishing.

What other ocean related pursuits are you most passionate about?
Collecting reference photos with my camera for my artwork.

What is your bucket list fish and dive destination?
Everyone has a special fish, might be big, might be small, but being an artist a massive Cubera Snapper has captivated my heart since my first time seeing them in person. Their combination of pure strength and beauty is unlike any other. Coppers, greens, golds, silvers, yellows, blues, greens, browns and blacks just to name a few are colors that seem to be oblivious to some, but are what really fascinate me.

What advice do you have for the future generation of divers?
Always dive with a safe partner and be sure to prepare a float plan if you are by yourself. Know your limits, research weather forecasts before going out, take only what is needed, and respect the land and sea.

Isaiah Saragosa

Spearfishing

What is your birthdate?
May 11th 1993

Where are you from?
Oahu Hawaii

What is your earliest memory in the ocean?
One of my earliest memories in the water was when I was a young kid around 6 years old my Mom and Dad would bring me to Hanauma Bay. We would swim with the fish and my dad would teach me the different names of each fish. I remember never wanting to leave.

How did you get into spearfishing? freediving?
I got into spearfishing from my Dad. I remember seeing my Dad go out diving and I would always beg him to bring me but he always said it was too dangerous. Finally when I was like 11 he got me my own 3 prong, fins, and mask. I remember him telling me to practice shooting manini's. I remember when I shot my first manini I was so happy I was just instantly hooked from there. Every Christmas and birthday I always asked for dive gear, that is all I ever wanted. I just got addicted to diving from then on!

What other ocean related pursuits are you most passionate about?
Well before I got into diving my family was heavy into fishing and it was our family thing. I was really into fishing because I love eating fish and those were the times when the whole family would get together.

What is your bucket list fish and dive destination?
Damn thats a hard one! I have so many fish on my list, but I am going to say it has to be a dogtooth tuna. Destination: Wherever the big boys are at!

What advice do you have for the future generation of divers?
My advice for the future generations is to never give up on your dreams and goals. Always surround yourself with good people who have a positive attitude. Work hard because you will only get out what you put in. Dive safe and always be humble.

Paul Rodriguez

Gun Builder

What is your birthdate?
14 April 1994

Where are you from?
San Diego, CA

What is your earliest memory in the ocean?
My earliest memories of the ocean were growing up in Oahu as a military brat, learning how to spearfish from my dad. I remember shooting my first fish with a 3 prong, it was a little wrasse, it made me so happy. As I was coming back into the shore I put my fish and my fins on a rock and as I turned around to take the rest of my gear off a wave came up and sucked my fish off of my fins and an eel immediately came out and snatched the fish up. I learned that day about heartbreak from the ocean, although I lost my fish, I was hooked and that's where my Spearfishing journey started.

How did you get into spearfishing? freediving?
My dad took my siblings and me out surfing or Spearfishing all the time when we were very young and I immediately fell in love with Spearfishing. He taught me the right way with a 3 prong first. I learned how to dive properly, stalk a fish, and approach it for the kill before he let me put my hands on a gun. He then bought me my first gun, a little custom Aimrite, that was one of the happiest days of my life.

What other ocean related pursuits are you most passionate about?
Surprisingly, I'm more of a 1 trick pony when it comes to ocean activities. I am not very good at surfing or pretty much anything else besides diving. I do however love to build Spearguns which I would qualify as an ocean related pursuit. I have my own small speargun building company which, in fact is how I became associated with Waihana wetsuits!

What is your bucket list fish and dive destination?
200+ Lb. Dogtooth Tuna, and anywhere one of these beasts may reside.

What advice do you have for the future generation of divers?
Never dive alone, never put yourself or your dive buddy in jeopardy, no fish is worth your life.

Dustin Kawika K'aui

Spearfishing

What is your birthdate?
July 12th 1989

Where are you from?
Island of Kaua’i , Wailua Homesteads

What is your earliest memory in the ocean?
One of my earliest memories in the ocean that had a significant impact upon me, but ironically made me stay away from the sport of spearfishing and freediving was when I went 3 pronging for the first time with my cousin L.j. I remember having one side of a glove and it was just my luck that it wasn’t the side that I was pulling the 3 prong band with. I Rocked surf shorts, a rash guard and bodyboarding fins. My mask didn’t mold to my face so after 5 minutes of snorkeling I was staring at what looked like clouds. I remembered not being able to equalize more than 5 feet due to inexperience, being cold, and finding it impossible to come close to even the state fish if I wanted to. I started shivering after 10 minutes with a blister on my right hand from not having a glove on. I remembered thinking to myself, how is this sport fun at all!?? Fast forward to 23 years of age I decided to give “snorkeling” a shot one more time. My mask didn’t fog for the first time ever and the water was crystal clear. I was sold at that moment on making it a point to break through this barrier that I developed during my whole life as a kid.

How did you get into spearfishing? freediving?
I initially got into spearfishing from that moment I shared previously when I went snorkeling at age 23. At that time I was already heavily into bodyboarding so I had a solid enough wetsuit to stay warm. I remembered purchasing my first 3 prong and shooting my first fish which ended up being a Mamo in 5 feet of water on the east side of La’ie. As lame as that sounded, I was soooo pumped to go home and fry it up and say that I provided this meal. I went from a mamo, to a Manini, to a goat fish, from 3 prongs to a 75cm gun where I went on my first official dive trip on a boat with my cousin L.j. who brought me out spearfishing for the first time when I was a kid. From what I thought as a miserable moment at that time as a grom with my cousin L.j., to a sleepless night of excitement knowing I was going on my first dive boat trip with him at age 23 just goes to show you never know where life will take you. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought to be so involved and passionate about a sport that basically scarred me when I was a kid. As I got more involved in this sport I was humbled by the offer to be an ambassador of Kap Spearguns by Russel Kapuniai. From then on my passion and desire to better my relationship with the ocean grew.

What other ocean related pursuits are you most passionate about?
One of the other ocean related pursuits that I am most passionate about is bodyboarding. As a kid my whole goal was to become a professional bodyboarder. I remember entering as many contests as possible in O’ahu and Kaua’I in hopes of making it to the top. I went on my first official trip to Indonesia with one of my drop knee idols, Manny Vargas and also Kainoa Lum who happens to also be a Waihana Ambassador!

What is your bucket list fish and dive destination?
My bucket list fish is probably a dog tooth tuna. Their raw power and ability to tax and damage and crush spearos dreams of landing them gets me so pumped to land one some day. One of the key drives in landing this fish is that I have heard they are amazing to eat! The dive destination that I would be pumped on is Ascension Island. The video footage and life in that area is just next level!

What advice do you have for the future generation of divers?
The advice that I have for future generation of divers is the same advice that was passed down to me from a professional spearo and friend named John Dornellas. That advice is, “Always be aware and watch out for your dive partners, it’s not if one of you will black out, it’s when one of you will black out.” When he told me it really opened my eyes to the seriousness and danger of this sport. Ever since then I make a strong effort to be aware of my partners and our surroundings etc. I’ve performed 7 black out rescues in the ocean and many where if I wasn’t there they wouldn’t be alive today. At the end of the day you can’t control the many variables that make this sport dangerous, but to be mindful, attentive and utilizing the man up man down technique to the best of your ability Is what will improve your diving skills more than any other practice.

Kainoa Lum

Spearfishing

What is your birthdate?
August 1986

Where are you from?
The Garden Island Of Kaua'i

What is your earliest memory in the ocean?
As a young boy at the age of 6, I was sent off to Oahu to spend the summer with grandparents and my grandfather would take my cousin and I to Canoes; a popular surf break in Waikiki. We would boogie board and play on the beach all day while my grandpa would get in his daily workout which consisted of a swim out to threes and back, then paddle back out on his homemade repurposed fiberglassed bodyboard/hydrofoil and ride a few waves till it was time to go home to Manoa.

How did you get into spearfishing? freediving?
I got into Spearfishing not knowing I would be heavily addicted at a later age, reason being as I grew up I was always the bag boy and would only scour the shallow reefs for Octopus with my father using a three prong, we rarely went out to spear fish so I was never really into it. As I got older, I got more into it and decided that I wanted to try my luck at spearing fish. I only had dove with a three prong so I would get manini, kole, menpachi, aholehole, aweoweo, moana and if I was lucky enough I would score a kumu. I got my first speargun at the age of 16. It was a Picasso Basik 75cm, a pretty small gun but it was perfect for the reef fish that I would target and I was also able to try my luck at different species that were harder to hunt. Even though I owned a speargun I was loyal to my 3 prong, so I barely used the gun. Fast forward 15 years and a lot has changed with my hobbies and priorities in life.

What other ocean related pursuits are you most passionate about?
I am very passionate about fishing and wave riding. My father was a commercial fisherman so I've spent a fair share of my life out on the ocean learning different fishing techniques which I have applied to my technique today. I grew up as a competitive bodyboarder and competed all throughout my early teen years into my twenties. I enjoyed island hopping and traveling the world with my friends to score some amazing waves.

What is your bucket list fish and dive destination?
My bucket list fish would have to be shooting an Ahi In Hawaii, and my dive destination would be Ascension Island.

What advice do you have for the future generation of divers?
Respect the ocean and harvest only what is needed.

Jeremy Selg

Charter Operator

What is your birthdate?
August 10th, 1977

Where are you from?
The beautiful, yet all to rainy, Pacific Northwest. More specifically a somewhat rural town about 30 minutes north east of Seattle called Woodinville, which is increasingly less rural these days.

What is your earliest memory in the ocean?
Visiting my uncles property on Lopez island in the San Juan's, digging for clams, dropping crab pots and fishing for salmon and halibut. My first sentence was ``I need blue boat,`` referring to my uncles Bayliner. The ocean has always called to me.

How did you get into spearfishing? freediving?
I started surfing in junior high on the cold Washington coast. My friends and I would find our way from Seattle out to a small coastal fishing town called Westport, where the surfing was accessible and decent. As the surf went flat and night would fall we'd begrudgingly slide our freezing wetsuits back on, grab a lantern, rake and bucket and we would make our way down to the bay. Wading out into the dark, cold water at low tide we would use the lantern to find Dungeness crab, then rake them up into our buckets to later feast upon in our campsite, VW bus or if we were lucky our hotel room. We kept seeing fish swim by the light of our lantern, so it was decided that spearguns were in order. Once I got my first JBL there was no looking back. We dove the cold waters of the Puget Sound, coastal Washington and the Olympic Peninsula as often as we could for the next 4 years or so, not once meeting another crew of freediving spearos. In my early 20's while diving near Alki Point in Seattle I met a crew of guys that had moved to Seattle from the Big Island, local boys that were born and raised spearfishing. They quickly became friends and schooled me in the methods of spearfishing they had learned back home in Hawaii. Eventually I took a trip to Hawaii, felt the warm clear water and knew that would be home soon enough.

What other ocean related pursuits are you most passionate about?
My relationship with the ocean is ever evolving and I skew towards the conservative side of harvesting from the ocean these days. I've found a great passion in photography and capturing the light of the world below the surface. Recently I've invested more time in learning rod and reel fishing and traditional handline fishing, which is finally starting to pay off. I also do a lot of spearfishing for invasive species that cause an imbalance in our reef eco-system here in Hawaii. Through invasive species spearfishing tournaments, the harvest of invasive species through my business Top Shot Spearfishing and dedicating lots of days to harvesting invasive fish off our Hawaiian reefs, I've probably taken close to 10,000 invasive Roi from Hawaii's reefs.

What is your bucket list fish and dive destination?
Still working on my 100lb Ulua, 100lb Hawaiian Ahi, and the never ending pursuit of the state record Kole! I've done some dive trips over the years, but I really appreciate what I have right here in my backyard of Big Island. I enjoy getting up, making a strong cup of Kona coffee, loading up my boat and searching the Kona coastline for that 1000lb Marlin. I would however like to take a trip to Africa, specifically Latham Island.

What advice do you have for the future generation of divers?
Respect the roots of spearfishing. Pursue your passion with a deeper understanding of where we come from, where we've been and especially where we are going. If we learn the culture of where we harvest and respect the ways of old, only then do we start to see the bigger picture of what we leave behind for the future generations. Take the time to seek out those who swam these waters before us for they have seen, learned and forgotten more than we may have the opportunity to know. Seek the generational knowledge that is greater then what any one of us is able to learn in a lifetime. The old man who sits in his fishing shack, staring out at the ocean, longing for the days of old will happily talk story if you humbly ask. After all, we are all just fisherman with a story waiting to be told.

Nolan Omura

Ocean Photography

What is your birthdate?
October 20, 1997.

Where are you from?
Kaimuki, Oahu

What is your earliest memory in the ocean?
Going fishing with my dad when I was a child. We would always go to Wailupe Beach Park by the piers and catch papio.

How did you get into spearfishing? freediving?
I would go fishing all the time when I was in middle school. However, we would catch every once in a while. I decided to learn to spearfish when I realized that fishing is more patience rather than action. I craved the action so I started diving!

What other ocean related pursuits are you most passionate about?
I take a lot of photos. Specifically waves and ocean photos, such as dolphins or turtles.

What is your bucket list fish and dive destination?
Bucket list fish is probably a state record goat fish. I don't really think about trying to find state record fish, but I love large goats!! I would love to dive with whales. Whether it is Tonga or Tahiti, etc. I would love to experience that.

What advice do you have for the future generation of divers?
Be smart and be safe. With social media, everything may seem so cool, however, there are risks. Educate yourself and practice free diving safely! It's a whole new world down there!

Oliver Em

Spearfishing

What is your birthdate?
March 14th 1987

Where are you from?
I was born in Honolulu Hawaii with a Tahitian Mother and a French father. Living in Tahiti.

What is your earliest memory in the ocean?
My earliest memory was my first Ume (unicorn fish) when I was 12. I remember seeing him run into a hole and then spent maybe an hour extracting him from it. It was a really special day because this fish is one of the most delicious here.

How did you get into spearfishing? freediving?
My uncle introduced me to fishing when I was 8. We did a lot of line fishing with just one hook at the end and a little bait. I was really attracted to the ocean and what was going on under the sea, so at 9 years old my parents bought me my first little speargun, mask, and snorkel. I was hooked right away.

What other ocean related pursuits are you most passionate about?
I love catching lobsters, deep drop fishing, and going into the river looking for wild shrimp.

What is your bucket list fish and dive destination?
My number one target is dogtooth tuna. Then all large game fish generally. I have heard about Ascension Island. It would be great if one day I could get there to look for big yellowfin tuna. That being said I live in French Polynesia, and we have so many islands that are really fishy, I don't really want to go anywhere else in the world but here!

What advice do you have for the future generation of divers?
Dive safe. Always have a buddy with you. Enjoy spearfishing.

Garrett Andrew Moss

Freediving

What is your birthdate?
10/23/1984

Where are you from?
Born and raised in Miami Florida.

What is your earliest memory in the ocean?
I've been going to the beach since before I can remember. I do remember going to the beach at the Eden Rock Hotel on Miami Beach and my parents liked it there because that's where they stayed for their honeymoon.

How did you get into spearfishing? freediving?
I grew up on a spring fed lake in Miami with good visibility, swam competitively, and played water polo. As a teenager I would go lobstering with friends and we would bring our Hawaiian slings and pole spears out to hunt fish. I eventually bought a speargun on consignment at Florida Freedivers, fell in love with spearfishing, and moved to Maui.

What other ocean related pursuits are you most passionate about?
Surfing, freediving, spearfishing, photography/videography, trans-ocean travel, and ocean conservation.

What is your bucket list fish and dive destination?
I dream of landing a big doggie in Fiji with my Fijian ohana . So far I've I've shot 2 and lost both.

What advice do you have for the future generation of divers?
Freediving and spearfishing is a team sport, never dive alone. Become educated on proper freediving safety.

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