Skin Diving History



Father: Art Pinder

Art Pinder in his heyday as a diver was simply the fastest, strongest skindiver the world has ever seen. He was a fine all around athlete, combining strength and quickness on the football field at Miami Jackson High school where he was a linebacker and fullback and was also the State of Florida Archery Champion. He has been a charter boat captain, a dive and fishing guide, a commercial spearfisherman, a restaurant and island resort owner, a stuntman and movie photographer, a dive shop operator and a pilot. His reputation as somebody you did not want to mess with, whether he was mad or not, was well founded and hard earned. At six feet tall and 220 pounds, with incredible hand strength and exceptional quickness, he was the complete package with a quick trigger personality to match.

Art Pinder did not claim to be the deepest free diver, the single greatest individual competitor or the greatest fish finder and fish shooter of all time, but he was so good at all of them, coupled with his great athletic ability and underwater smarts, that he will always be considered the best all around skin diver / spearfisherman of all time. The one thing that set him apart from other divers besides his strength and speed was his courage under fire. If you wanted someone to be a dive partner while spearfishing, ride shotgun over you with aggressive sharks chasing around in bloody, dirty water, he was the man.

In the early 1950's the Encyclopedia Britannica gave an explanation of spearfishing, they called it Pinder Fishing and said it was named after Art and his two brothers, Donald and Fred, who were also among the great world class divers of that time.

Whether he was in the company of famous personalities from television, movies, politics, sports, or shaving underwater with toothpaste in a TV film, doing a Timex commercial with John Cameron Swayze, or appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show, he was always the star of the show. If he was linked romantically to a Hollywood movie star, a famous publisher, a schoolteacher, a diplomat's wife, a biologist or just the gal next door, he was irresistible.

At the first Annual Spearfishing Hall Of Fame, Art Pinder and Jim Christiansen became the first inductees. Both were National Champions, Art with the Miami Beach Tritons, and Jim with the Long Beach Neptunes. Both were selected spearfishing's "Athlete Of The Year", Art in 1953 and Jim in 1957.

Art who was one of the first exponents of deep diving, has been seen by millions of people who have watched many of his television appearances. Art was a leader and a team man first last and always. His spearfishing exploits, such as, spearing a sailfish and a tiger shark, both with free shafts, will remain legends always.

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