Top 10 Inspiring Freediving Books For Beginners To Pros

Whether you’re an aspiring freediver, just getting started, or a trained expert, the right inspiration will make a huge difference. And let’s face it — nothing gets you motivated like a good book!

To help you learn, get inspired, and reach your goals, we’ve put together this list of the 10 most epic freediving books. These novels and guides will tell you everything you need to know about the world of freediving. 

Want to learn more about the science behind breathing? How about a true-crime freediving mystery? There’s something here for everyone, so read on to find the perfect book that will boost your passion. 

The Top 10 Freediving Books

There is no shortage of freediving books out there. To help you find what you’re looking for, here’s our review of the top 10 books across all genres. 

1. Manual of Freediving: Underwater on a Single Breath

Let’s start with the most popular freediving book out there. The Manual of Freediving is sometimes referred to as the “freediving bible,” and it’s not hard to see why!

Written by Umberto Pelizzari and Stefano Tovaglieri, this book is a must-read guide for beginning to intermediate freedivers. It contains everything you need to know, including techniques, safety, and the physiology behind every dive. 

Umberto Pelizzari is a world champion freediver. In this manual, he shares practical, real-life training and tips to help every diver learn. 

2. Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly freediving book, this is a great option. Neutral Buoyancy by Tim Ecott explores the detailed history of diving culture. 

Starting in Ancient Greece, this book takes the reader through humankind’s fascination with the ocean. Learn about every mission to breathe underwater and how modern scuba equipment developed. Even someone who has never dived before will find it fascinating. 

Neutral Buoyancy is an awesome gift for a freediver or history buff. The combination of historical facts and thrilling adventure make it impossible to put down. 

3. Bluewater Hunting and Freediving

This book is a popular choice with divers and fans of the ocean. It delves deep into the essentials of freediving, spearfishing, and underwater photography. 

Written by champion freediver Terry Maas, Bluewater Hunting and Freediving features colorful illustrations and tons of helpful tips. It profiles 12 bluewater species that spearfishers and photographers can capture, including tuna, marlin, and sailfish. 

Even if you aren’t a freediver, this is an awesome book to keep on your coffee table or give to a friend. Just flipping through the pictures is enough to make you miss the ocean! 

4. Homo Delphinus: The Dolphin Within Man

If you really want to get inspired, you have to check out this book by Jacques Mayol. It features stunning photographs and first-hand accounts of his record-breaking dives. 

Mayol, commonly known as the grandfather of freediving, has an intimate connection with wildlife and nature. He broke tons of world records in his time as a legendary diver, including a 100-meter dive on a single breath. 

This book is guaranteed to help you connect with your inner dolphin and get inspired for your next dive. It also makes an awesome coffee table book to impress your guests. 

5. The Last Attempt

Written by Carlos Serra, The Last Attempt tells the true story of Audrey Mestre, a world champion freediver who died under mysterious circumstances while preparing for her next dive. It’s an epic combination of freediving book and true crime novella. 

Serra, a friend of Audrey and her accused husband, Pipin Ferreras, details his perspective on her chilling death and the events leading up to it. If you’re a fan of true crime, this one is a must-read. (But don’t worry — it won’t scare you out of your passion for diving.)

6. The Dive: A Story Of Love and Obsession

Speaking of Audrey Metre, if you can’t get enough of her story, check out The Dive

This book is ghostwritten, so it isn’t a first-hand account. But it is written in beautiful prose and contains tons of rich insights into the world of professional freediving. You’ll follow the couple’s romance and Audrey’s eventual death from Pipin’s perspective. 

While this book might not inspire you to fall in love, it will definitely fuel your love for freediving — with a side of intrigue. 

7. Breatheology

This book isn’t about freediving specifically, but it is a fascinating educational text that can help divers of all levels. Breatheology is all about how we breathe — and it turns out, most of us are doing it wrong. 

This guide will help you learn to breathe consciously. According to the author, conscious breathing can help lower your stress, give you more energy, and allow you to live a healthier life. On top of that, it’s a huge help for divers who have to hold their breath for minutes at a time. 

As a freediver, breathing is a huge part of your life. This book is a great way to see it from a whole new perspective. 

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

James Nestor was fascinated by freediving and the ocean. That’s what led him to write Deep, a look into the most mysterious place on Earth and how it relates to us as human beings. 

Sounds like a lot to cover in one book, right? That’s why this is a great novel for a deep-thinker. It isn’t an instructional guide for freedivers, but it is an inspiring look into the deepest parts of the ocean. Some parts of the book touch on the amazing things freedivers do and how it shows our human capacity. 

Be warned: some critics have complained about a few inaccuracies in the freediving chapters of Deep. Still, it’s an awesome read that will undoubtedly inspire you to get back in the water. 

9. One Breath: Freediving, Death, and the Quest to Shatter Human Limits

If you follow competitive freediving, you probably recognize the name Nicholas Mevoli. He was a talented American freediver who tragically died at the Vertical Blue competition in 2013. 

The accident rocked the world of competitive freediving and challenged the future of extreme sports. But that’s not all Nick Mevoli is remembered for. 

This book delves into the details of Mevoli’s life and his passion for the sport. It’s packed full of scenes of incredible dives and the challenges professional freedivers face. Even if you have never dived before, you’ll get a thrill out of reading this novel. 

10. Deeply

Last up on our list is another epic book by Umberto Pelizzari. Deeply is his autobiography, life story, and reflections on the human drive to explore. 

This book is an amazing insight into Pelizzari’s personal life, as well as the world of professional freediving. It comes with stunning pictures and stories that will definitely motivate you to set out on your next dive. 

Fans of Pelizzari will love Deeply, but it’s also a fascinating book for someone who knows nothing about diving. If you’re interested in adventure stories, this is a great read. 

A Few Other Freediving Books Worthy of Mention

The 10 freediving books we already covered are great. But there is so much amazing literature out there, it’s hard to narrow it down to just 10!

With that in mind, here are a few more fascinating books you should check out. 

  • Blue Mind: Ever wondered why you love the ocean so much? This book is all about the science behind our connection with water, and how being in the water makes us healthier and happier. While it isn’t about freediving specifically, Blue Mind is an interesting read that divers will really connect with. 
  • The Art of Not Breathing: If you’re more into fiction than non-fiction, The Art of Not Breathing is a wonderful read. It follows the story of Elsie, a teenage girl who becomes fascinated with freediving. You won’t find any real tips to become a better diver in this book, but it is a fun and engaging novel for anyone who loves the ocean. 
  • Glass and Water: The Essential Guide to Freediving for Underwater Photography: Talk about a niche topic! This book is a complete guide for freedivers who want to develop their underwater photography skills. You’ll find techniques, equipment, and tons of advice inside. Best of all, Glass and Water can be bought at a super affordable price for the value. It could be your first step into a thrilling new hobby!

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Dive In

You don’t have to be a professional freediver to learn about this sport. It’s an engaging, mysterious, and fun topic that all kinds of readers will love. 

Whether you want to become a better diver or just enjoy learning about the culture, any of the books on this list will get you inspired. Find the right book for you and start reading — you might discover a new passion you never knew you had! 

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