Mike & Cherryl Damms came from South Africa with a love for the water and freediving.
Mike was able to get some of the best equipment from his friends back home. It seemed only natural to start a small business to share the goods with new friends he met in the states. They began using their garage in Clewiston, Florida in 1999 to store all of the merchandise and then graduated to a small shop in 2002. Two years later, they moved to Palm Beach County and got a bigger shop off of US 1.
In 2006, they upgraded again to a larger space across the street (where Florida Freedivers is still located) with three bays. Then in 2010 they rented another open bay next door to store all of the stock. In 2011 they expanded the retail space into the third bay, and in 2012 they wanted to pass the shop to see it continue to grow even more. In June of 2012, Mike and Cherryl sold the shop to Jonathan and Kelsey Dickinson. Since then, half of the fourth bay has been converted to a classroom to host FII Freediving Courses.
As we continue to grow we hope to continue to impress and give outstanding service to every customer we serve. We love to brainstorm about improving the shop, so if you have any ideas we’d be eager to hear them!
If you want to stay updated on all of our latest adventures (ie: Bahamas, Paint Balling, etc.) make sure to like us on
Facebook. We’d love to see and get tagged (@www.flfreedivers) in your fish pictures and get to know you better too!
Meet the Owners:
My husband, Jonathan, and I (Kelsey) started dating when we were 14 years old and finally got married in 2011.
Right out of high school in 2006, Jonathan signed up to be a rigger for the
Air Force and in 2008 he and and his dad (John) bought Scuba Works, in Jupiter, Florida.
In 2009, Jonathan met
Martin Stepanek, a 13 time world-record holder and founder of FII, at The Blue Wild Spearfishing Symposium. Later that year, Scuba Works was hosting an Intro to Freediving Seminar that featured him. Martin played a big role in teaching Jonathan the Level 2 Freediving Course, and Level 1 Freediving Course (yes, he did it backwards), and then certifying him as a Level 1 Instructor. Jonathan loves teaching, which works great with his outgoing personality. Matthew , Rodman ,and Kelsey our other resident instructors who also have a knack for blowing away students.
Since Jonathan is the bold, leader in the relationship, I tend to be the quieter,
naturally funny one (at least I think so). It’s a good thing I’m the one typing this. I’ve always grown up on boats, so it was an easy transition into being a part of Jonathan’s family. I got certified to scuba dive when I was in college, and have loved diving ever since. My favorite sea creature is the arrow crab. I remember him being the first thing that blew my mind when I was scuba diving. I graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University with degrees in Cross-Cultural Studies and Graphic Design. I worked at Apple and started my own design company before buying the shop.
Most recently, we welcomed our first little baby boy freediver into the world on May 4, 2015 (also my birthday, good timing little one). His name is Cruz, and he was born at home, yes, on purpose. No, I didn’t have any drugs, some like to call me superwoman. He was born in water, we figured it was fitting, and it was the most life-changing experience. PS- I did the freediving breath up the entire time, and it
worked. It’s almost like women’s bodies were meant to freedive and have babies…it’s pretty incredible.
Since then, it’s been all about the shop….