Book Review: Freediving — The Book of Freediving

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About the authors:

Kimmo Lahtinen, AIDA education committee 2005–2009, AIDA president 2010–2016. Freediving qualifications: AIDA instructor trainer and A-level judge.

Simo Kurra, AIDA education committee 2007–2009, the “father” of AIDA IT systems: EOS, CARS, JOS, AAT. Freediving qualifications: AIDA instructor trainer.

Ari Nissinen, D.Sc. (Tech) and freediver.

cover‘Freediving’ is a 159 page book designed for a reader wanting to take their skill set and understand their bodies beyond the level of casual snorkelling. The suggested training plans at the end are designed to take the reader to a high level of competitive diving.

The authors are extremely experienced Freedivers, and the Bibliography not only shows the amount of research gone into the book, but also gives the reader many avenues for further in depth reading around the subject.

One of the first things you notice when you pick up the book is that it is a quality product, and a quick flick through you can see that it is well presented with good use of pictures and separate text boxes for key points.

The scope of the book covers a brief history of Freediving. It covers diving physics and physiology, safety and rescue and a good section on nutrition. It then breaks the skill set of Freediving down into pool and open water freediving. It certainly guides the reader towards competitive diving, whilst discussing recreational diving and its merits.

p68The book reads like a breath of fresh air. So many times I’ve sat down to read something on the sport of freediving that is littered with blatant misinformation from a lack of understanding by the author. I’ve especially noticed this problem in mediums like magazines, newspapers and forums. There are many nuggets of useful information, which really can only be explained by experienced Freedivers. Advice and direction that is obvious to the experienced diver is often missed on forums and magazine articles; these are true Freedivers talking about their sport and trying to get their points across like a good coach would in a session. It is worth reading a section more than once so you don’t miss these important parts.

There are many in depth descriptions of pool and open water diving skills which are excellent – they give a really good overview of many of the types of equipment choices we have, why we would make them and then good descriptions on how to execute good technique. One part of the book I wasn’t completely comfortable with was the section on packing and mouthfill. It was only skimmed over, but I would prefer to designate an entire teaching to the subject and the pros / cons and also the potential injuries that could be caused from improper use. The author almost convinces you to not practice packing, and mentions that it is potentially fatal, but does overview the skill set so now the reader can go away and practice. This is the one skill that could really pose problems, even dry. I think a larger section in the book, if it is to be covered at all, would have been better.

p36Immediately after that section however is a good sized chapter on safety, a chapter I have rarely seen given so much time in any other book, so this is a good thing. It really highlights many of the systems we have so the reader is under no doubt of the need for full safety systems in place rather than risking solo diving or being looked after by a casual unqualified observer.

Clearly these authors are proponents of the philosophy I adhere to. Repetition of skills and depths, consolidation, relaxation and comfort, and enjoy to achieve. I almost feel this has become an old school philosophy but hope it isn’t lost. This philosophy is reemphasised throughout the chapters.

‘Obsessive pursuit of personal bests easily leads to near-miss situations and even blackouts’

In short this is a useful book for beginners, and intermediate Freedivers. It is also a great resource for use as course material for various types of class and training situations. Worth the money, a good read.

You can source it here: www.freexperience.com/freediving-book.html

And Amazon here.

The E-book is available for ipad and Android users. Kindle version in progress…

Steve Millard

Steve Millard

Steve Millard is a UK based AIDA Instructor Trainer who is the owner of Apneists UK freediving group. www.learn2freedive.com . Currently Chair of the British Freediving Association and the UKs leading competition organiser.

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