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Last Updated: January 11, 2024

History & Tips from Professional Free Divers

We’ve put together a list of the top rated books on free diving all in one place! Topics include history, safety and insider tips and techniques to help you become a better free diver.

All of the books listed here are rated 4 stars and above by Amazon customers. 

Click on the title below to take you directly to the summary of the Free Diving book, or keep scrolling to see them all.

Oxygen: A Memoir

Oxygen: A Memoir - William Trubridge

Exquisitely written, Oxygen is exquisitely written, mind-altering and immersive coming-of-age story about a boy who grew up on a sailing boat, with the sea his classroom and playground. It is about fighting the trappings of life on land, and pushing the limits of human physiology, to become the world's greatest free diver.

Free diving is a sport where failure usually means blacking out. It's a free diver's daily life to contend with narcosis, suffocation, lactic acidosis, hallucinations, compressed lungs, and immense water-column pressure - while diving into depths of a black ocean.

This is one of the most mesmerizing books about the ocean you'll ever read.

Freediving – The Guide for the First 10 Meters

Freediving – The Guide for the First 10 Meters

Yannis Detorakis is a free diver with 30 years of experience as an instructor and designer of free diving courses. He has certified more than 1.000 free divers in the 3 levels of diver training. He's structured this book as a manual for the 1st level of free diving technique.

It provides a step-by-step method of free diving the first 10 meters. Every step is explained in detail and its chapters are nicely structured and provide a logical chain of skills. Techniques are explained and presented through plenty of impressive underwater photos of real diver training. Even possible mistakes in performing the dive skills are analyzed and explained.

Yannis Detorakis says,

A book cannot of course replace training or an entire dive learning program. Today however, our era might offer great training programs and excellent instructors, but no remarkable books or comprehensive technique guides.

So the mission of this book is to accompany the new free diver into the sea and to help him, step by step, in building an excellent technique and achieving new goals in free diving, like his best trainer and dive buddy.

Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves

Deep - Freediving Renegade Science and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves

Deep is a voyage to one of the most mysterious places on Earth - from the ocean’s surface to its darkest trenches.

James Nestor is fascinated by the competitive sports aspect of free diving. As he unlocks his own freediving skills, Nestor finds whales that communicate with other whales hundreds of miles away. In his journey, he also discovers sharks that swim in unerringly straight lines through pitch-black waters.

Nestor learns that these abilities are reflected in our own remarkable and often hidden potential—including echolocation, directional sense, and the profound bodily changes humans undergo when underwater. 

Manual of Freediving Underwater on a single breath (Second Edition)

Manual of Freediving Underwater on a single breath (Second Edition)

The Manual of Freediving by Umberto Pelizzari is the number one best selling book on free diving. This is the only fully comprehensive manual for the Beginner to Intermediate free diver.

This second edition has been updated and has more than 500 pages. It now includes the latest research in dive physiology, new training methods and in-water techniques.

This has been is superbly translated from Italian by William Trubridge. Trubridge is a current world record holder and very highly respected in the free diving community.

Dry Training for Freediving

Dry Training for Freediving

This is a detailed book written by expert authors that help boost performance in free diving. It covers training methods that allow both freedivers and spear fishermen to identify and customize training programs.

These programs are aimed at improving their freediving performances. The book also includes analysis and management of physical preparation, training stages, and physical and mental training for free divers.

Breatheology – The Art of Conscious Breathing

Breatheology – The Art of Conscious Breathing

Most of us breathe inefficiently. Breathing incorrectly causes us to lose out on a lot of energy. Life is often lived in the fast lane and when we're stressed, we tend to use only the upper part of our lungs. We forget to breathe deep down into the stomach.

Only after you become aware of your breathing and how to train it, you will be able to learn to breathe properly.

After learning to breathe correctly, your body will immediately absorb more oxygen. After a short time, you'll have more energy and gain greater mental calmness.

One Breath - Freediving, Death, and the Quest to Shatter Human Limits

One Breath - Freediving, Death, and the Quest to Shatter Human Limits

Competitive freediving is a sport built on diving as deep as possible on a single breath. This tests the limits of human ability in the most hostile environment on earth.

The unique and eclectic breed of individuals who freedive at the highest level, regularly dive hundreds of feet below the ocean’s surface. They reach such depths that their organs compress, the light disappears, and one mistake could kill them. 

One Breath is a gripping and powerful exploration of the fascinating sport of freediving, and of the tragic, untimely death of America’s greatest freediver.

Longer and Deeper: Cross Training for Freediving and Spearfishing

Free Diving Book - Longer and Deeper by Jaap Verbaas

To keep fit and in shape, most free divers and spear fishers need to do cross training. Cross training with techniques used in other sports will help to improve your diving. You'll learn techniques and exercises from sprinters, weightlifters and free divers.

Longer and Deeper teaches you not only the most efficient exercises to do, but also how to schedule your workouts and recovery, and how to keep track of your training. 

To keep you in shape, the cross training exercises included in Longer and Deeper can be done on land, all year round. 

You will learn:

  • How your muscles work
  • What to do if CO2 tables fail
  • How to reduce leg burn 
  • How to delay the onset of contractions
  • How to adapt muscles to hypoxia 
  • How to minimize drag
  • How to stay fit all year long
  • How to recover from exercise

Dive Atlas of the World, 2nd: An Illustrated Guide to the Best Sites

Dive Atlas of the World

The Dive Atlas of the World contains some great information on diving places all over the world. Although this is aimed at the Scuba community, it's still well worth a look.

This is a big, beautiful hardcover book and a great way to keep the diving dream alive. It's definitely a coffee table book with lots of photos and lots of useful information and maps.

A perfect gift for anyone interested in any type of diving.

4.5/5 - (4 votes)

About the Author

Jace Garcia

Jace Garcia started diving in his late teens and will go as often as he can. He is keen to continue to tick off the best diving spots on his Bucket List. Read more about Jace on our About Us page.

Author Web Link

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  • “One Breath” is a Free-diving book that explains a perilous, and at times deadly sport, certainly not for the faint-hearted.
    It is far in advance of what most of the other books on the same subject are. It is a recent edition and priced to sell well.
    The story is about an American Competitive free-diver by the name of Nicholas Mevoli. If you don’t know what the sport is about, you will after this read. Basically how deep can you go on one breath of air? Dangerous? YES!
    Nicholas died in the sport he loved and conquered. His death actually brought the sport into question.
    As a free-diver myself, I couldn’t put this book down. It is well-written book on a very fascinating sport, and the author is spot on with his story telling.
    This book will keep you hooked until the very last page. Great value.

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