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    The Manual of Freediving - Actionable Tips!

    April 24, 2023 4 min read

    The Manual of Freediving - Actionable Tips!

    The Manual of Freediving is a comprehensive guidebook for individuals looking to master the art of freediving. Written by the world-renowned Italian freediver, Umberto Pelizzari, the book provides a detailed and systematic approach to learning and practicing freediving. The book covers everything from the basics of breathing and relaxation techniques to more advanced topics such as equalization and diving physiology. Pelizzari also provides practical tips on how to increase endurance, improve technique, and overcome mental barriers.

    Throughout the book, Pelizzari emphasizes the importance of safety and the need for proper training and equipment. He also addresses common misconceptions about freediving and offers insights into the psychology of the sport. With its clear and concise writing style, comprehensive coverage of the subject matter, and practical tips and advice, the Manual of Freediving is an indispensable resource for freedivers AND it’s also pretty cool for spearos as I found out when I spoke with Tim.

    Tim McDonald is the current Australian Spearfishing Champion alongside Bryson Sheehy and he knows his stuff. I’d describe him as a natural hunter with an extremely analytical mind and an absolutely frothing love for spearfishing. For this reason and because he’s just a cool bloke, I’ve had him on the Noob Spearo Podcast twice and so when he started talking about Pellizari’s Manual of Freediving, I took some notes. Here is what he had to say.

    "There wasn't much around to learn from when I got started (spearfishing). Probably when I first kicked off, it was just with a couple of mates and none of us had any idea so I read a book - Manual of Freediving by Umberto Pelizzari"

    "Honestly I took two things away from that book that I still think about 15 years later. He made two statements in there that have stuck with me:

    1. "Breathup is not about getting oxygen into your body, breathup is about relaxation."

    I'm boiling down a couple of chapters but it's one of the things that’s stuck with me. I've really thought about this because the ability to hold your breath (and relax) is such an important part of spearfishing and hunting well".

    1. "The other major one I took away was that holding your breath is great but surface time is critical".

    One of the things I took into my spearfishing early was to have three times the time on the surface as you spent on the bottom. Now that sounds crazy for every competition diver out there, but for me I evolved my spearfishing early into hunting fish that are often a bit more difficult and are probably a little deeper so this advice has served me really well. I've been diving 15 years and never had a blackout, never had a samba, I've never really been close to those things and yet I've seen it happen to a few others. Probably the reason I have not is that I took these two bits of advice seriously from very early in my spearfishing.”

    How to Make Tim’s Takeaways Super Actionable

  • Consider getting a dive watch 
  • A divewatch will allow you to easily track your surface intervals and help you be more conservative. If you just did a dive for 50 seconds, that means you have at least a 2:30 surface interval BUT if you still aren’t feeling ready to dive, then tidal breath for longer and try to relax. I personally use a Suunto D4F as they are affordable, robust and they display the info I want really well. There are a tonne of great options available right HEREhttps://spearfishing.com.au/collections/freediving-and-spearfishing-watches . If you do decide to purchase one, I know a secret discount code you could use 🤫🤫 NOOBSPEARO for the win:)

  • Learn how to do a body scan
  • Mindfulness training has brought us some neat skills that can help us to relax. One of them that is practical while you are laying on the surface enjoying your surface interval is the body scan. It’s a powerful tool to cultivate mindfulness and relaxation. To perform a body scan, start by closing your eyes. Begin by bringing your attention to your breath, taking a few deep breaths to settle in. Then, slowly and systematically scan your body, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, noticing any sensations, feelings, or tensions as you go. Avoid judging or analyzing these sensations, simply observe them with curiosity and openness. If you notice any areas of tension, try to breathe into them and release any tightness. Continue to scan your body for several minutes, focusing on the present moment and your body sensations. As you finish the practice, take a few deep breaths, slowly open your eyes and get ready to fin forward and begin a super zen dive. With regular practice, the mindfulness body scan can help you develop greater awareness, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being.

    Further Resources