The Art Of Holding Your Breath

Whether you’re free diving, spearfishing or surfing big waves, improving the time you can spend under water can be highly beneficial.

One man who is well versed in holding his breath is Italian free diver, Davide Carrera. Among other things freediving, he trains big wave surfers to hold their breath for long periods of time.

After winning the 2001 Freediving World Championship in Ibiza and setting the individual world record in free immersion with –91 metres in Capri (Naples), he spent several months in India, at the Mysore’s Schools. Eventually returning to society, in 2003 he set 3 national records, –93m in free immersion, –101m and –103 meters in constant weight. 

In between all these feats, he lived solo on a 9m Trimaran, sailing all along the Mediterranean, living off fish and spending his time freediving and observing nature.

Bottom line, the man knows how to dive. Very well. So who better to prepare you for a 3 minute hold down at Teahupo’o.

This incredible footage of Davide floating to the bottom of the ocean demonstrates the power of relaxing and letting your body slow to a near complete stop. He spends upwards of 4 minutes sitting on the ocean floor, before coming out of his meditative state and returning to the surface.

Davide’s main rule for apnea training is to not push it to an uncomfortable place. It’s not about trying to go as deep as you can, it’s about enjoying the moment.

He says:

– Find a calmness deep within yourself

– Listen to your natural instincts rather than your thoughts

– Meditation isn’t compulsory. It’s something that just comes, you shouldn’t search for it; 

“When we’re in touch with nature and surrounded by silence, it’s natural for us to slow down and enter into a deep meditative state.”

– When you’re moving under water you use more oxygen than when you’re still. So you have to try to be as relaxed as possible, even when you’re moving.

– You need mental and spiritual training, as well as physical.

While Davide’s longest static apnea is 7 minutes, the longest time anyone has held their breath under water is 22 minutes and 22 seconds.

Davide Carrera is one of the many athletes in the film ‘Don’t Crack Under Pressure’. Among all the breathtaking freediving footage, Davide’s segment gives an incredible insight into his life under water. If you’re looking to improve your apnea skills, this film is a must watch. 

Always train with a partner. Deep or shallow, waves or no waves, you don’t want to pass out in water with no one around.


Screening in select cinemas across Australia from May 11. Don’t miss your chance to see this movie on the big screen!

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