A love of our oceans and the sport of spearfishing and diving brought people together on February 23 and 24, 2013, to celebrate the underwater world and all it has to offer – free diving, marine art, underwater photography and videography as well as some of the most influential professionals in the industry to share their experiences and interact with the public.
‘The Blue Wild’ was the Ocean Adventure Expo of the Year and was held at the Broward County Convention Center. Raffles, how-to-demonstrations and iconic scheduled speakers rounded out the event.
Each guest speaker has their own unique claim to fame but one of the most incredible individuals was Art Pinder. Art has enjoyed a colorful life and the ocean has always been his passion. As he speaks of some of his adventurous experiences, his eyes light up with an energy that cannot be replicated.
Art began spearfishing in the 1930’s and looked up to his two brothers who enjoyed the sport tremendously. That translated into good times and competition with respect and admiration in mind. His father taught him everything he knows about diving.
The ocean consumed him and at the young age of 7, he caught his first fish, a 7 1/2 pound snook which he was so proud of, thinking he had set a world record.
Art became the master of the sling and although power spears were gripping the sport as we slid into the 20th century, Art continued to use the sling to outwit those that felt that they could defeat him.
There is so much more to Art Pinder than meets the eye. He was considered the fastest and strongest skin diver in the world in his day. A long list of achievements to his name give him that all-star quality with a very humble attitude; charter boat captain, dive and fishing guide, commercial spearfisherman, restaurant and island resort owner, dive shop operator, pilot, movie photographer, stuntman and he also served in the Coast Guard. Art has appeared on television shows and has been seen on the cover of Sports Illustrated touching the lives of actress Esther Williams, multi-millionaire Huntington Hartford, Ambassador Clare Boothe Luce and more.
The sport of spearfishing has sometimes been given the name Pinder Fishing, an honor that puts Pinder and his brothers in a class of their own. He became one of the first inductees into the Spearfishing Hall Of Fame. Art was selected as spearfishing’s “Athlete of the Year” in 1953.
Pinder has been considered a risk taker but his love of water has always overtaken his fears. ‘The King of Sling’ has brought down a 7-foot sailfish, a 10-foot tiger shark and a 587-pound Goliath Grouper. There is even a book written about this underwater superstar called ‘Art Pinder, King of Sling’ by Sheri Daye.
Looking back and remembering some of those breathtaking experiences keeps Art Pinder in a young state of mind.
The crowds kept coming and ‘The Blue Wild’ enjoyed two very fortuitous days. It is an annual event that just keeps them coming back for more every year.