Meet Our Team

We are a team of passionate freediving and spearfishing professionals who care about our community. Our sole goal is to ensure that important modern spearfishing/freediving safety training – proven to mitigate the dangers of this sport – is available to everyone who needs it.

Niki Stepanek

Niki Stepanek

Founder/CEO/NZ Freediving Record Holder

Niki hails from New Zealand and has been a Kona resident for ten years. She is a dedicated ocean athlete and holds the New Zealand National Freediving Record for diving down 60 meters without fins (breaststroke). She is the founder and CEO of FreediveSafe and one of the cofounders and former COO (15 years) of F.I.I.—the largest freediving education agency in the U.S. which has safely trained over 25,000 spearfishermen and freedivers worldwide —and enjoys sharing her passion for ocean safety by serving island communities. In addition to being a world-class freediver, she’s a former competitive swimmer, stand-up paddler, sports enthusiast and has a lifetime of ocean-related experience. She has logged two transatlantic crossings by boat and more than 30,000 nautical miles by traveling the ocean worldwide. She is deeply passionate about ocean safety and works to improve the safety around spearfishing, particularly for Hawaiian youth with deep cultural roots in sport. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking forest trails with her two rescue pit bulls, downwind SUP, and freediving in the deep blue waters off the Kona coast. On July 8th, 2022, Niki paddled across the Pailolo channel (Maui to Molokai - 27 miles) with fellow freediving instructor Cory Fults to raise awareness for spearfishing fatalities in Hawai‘i and FreediveSafe’s mission.

“Modern freediving safety training is an essential element to spearfishing practices, ensuring our divers can safely enjoy harvesting from the ocean. I am dedicated to ensuring this training becomes available statewide and is integrated into the tradition of handing down sports techniques to the next generation,” Niki says.

Tabitha Pupuhi

Tabitha Pupuhi

Board of Directors

Tabitha was born and raised on Molokai. She is a Maui Jim Ambassador enjoying the outdoor lifestyle that the island affords her. Tabitha is deeply involved in public safety as a Maui County Paramedic, former lifeguard, avid canoe paddler with multiple crossings under her belt, keen surfer, hunter, and former freediving instructor. Sharing the aloha spirit and caring for her community is a way of life.

Rebecca Montgomery

Rebecca Montgomery

Board of Directors
Jennifer Brant

Jennifer Brant

Board of Directors/Secretary

Jennifer has over 29 years of Operations/IT experience working for several large international banks. She has judged and competed in freediving on an international level as a member of U.S. Freediving Team and currently has 3 National Freediving Master’s records. She is passionate about organization, accuracy and transparency and utilizes her IT and database skills to support FreediveSafe! Hawaii.

Justin Lee

Justin Lee

Spokesperson/USA Spearfishing National Champion/Youth Program Leader and Mentor

USA National Spearfishing Champion & World Record Spearfisherman. As a Hawai’i Island local and one of the world’s top spearfishermen, Justin brings more than 28 years of spearfishing experience to our organization. Having been raised in the ocean, Justin has forged a special connection with the ecosystem beneath the waves and shares his experiences through storytelling on social media, inspiring a massive following in Hawai’i and worldwide. As a local boy from these waters, Justin knows firsthand the dangers of our sport, and he is passionate about ushering in a new era for this sport in Hawai’i—where every diver comes home safe.

“This safety initiative is a long time coming for Hawai’i. Everyone spearfishes out here; it’s a way of life for us. I want parents to feel confident knowing their kids are doing it safely.” – Justin Lee @bigisleboy24

Dylan Currier

Dylan Currier

Program Development Coordinator

A seasoned freediver and spearfisherman, Dylan has taught the sport of breath-hold diving in Hawai‘i since 2016. Having reached personal best depths over 60m/200’ bi-fins, he has learned under the direct tutelage of mentor Martin Stepanek, world champion and 13x freediving world record holder. Dylan specializes at freediving instruction where he has overcome countless barriers in his own journey of diving deep. Having experienced virtually every issue a diver can have, he knows what they feel like, what they look like, and how to overcome fix them. He strives to apply this knowledge by sharing his love for the sport with all who are ready to learn.

Dylan holds several professional F.I.I. freediving instructor certifications as a Level 1, 2 and Junior Freediver Instructor.

Daniel Koval

Daniel Koval

Education Outreach Officer O’ahu/USA Freediving National Champion

Daniel has gone on to become the deepest freediver in all of North America diving to depths over 110m/360ft on a single breath of air. Daniel started his freediving school in 2011 and has been making the freediving and spearfishing community safer with each and every course.

Daniel not only teaches freediving at the highest level, but also competes internationally in the most prestige competitions around the world. His dedication to the sport has earned him 6 US National records, 2 North American Continental records, and 2 consecutive years of bronze medals at the CMAS World Championships.

Heidi Hoover

Heidi Hoover

Education Outreach Officer Hawai’i Island

Heidi grew up along the Big Sur coast of California, but has called Kona, Hawaii home since 2007. Her life has always been centered around the ocean; surfing, fishing, paddling, and freediving. She has been teaching FII-certified freediving courses for the Hawaii community since 2017.

Living in Kona allows Heidi to enjoy surfing and freediving as a lifestyle year-round. She is deeply passionate about giving back to her ocean community and volunteers for FreediveSafe! and AccesSurf.

Garrett Moss

Garrett Moss

Education Outreach Officer Maui

Garrett Moss is a professional waterman, with a focus on spearfishing, freediving, photography/videography, and surfing, based on Maui. He spends his time spearfishing the warm & beautiful waters and sharing lifesaving freediving/spearfishing safety training with Maui’s water people. He is a proud team member for Alchemy Spearfishing and an Fii Level 1 Freediving Instructor. His specialty is hunting deep reefs, looking for Uku(grey snapper), Ono(wahoo), Yellowspot Trevally, Mu(big eyed emperor), Mahi, Ahi(tuna). His spearfishing travels have lead him to destinations such as Fiji, Bahamas, Florida, Dry Tortugas, California, and all over the Indonesian Archipelago.