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 Underwater on a single breath
by Umberto Pelizzari & Stefano Tovaglieri

Published by Idelson Gnocchi 2004



From theory to practise: The first entirely illustrated and complete guide to freediving.

I have been an avid swimmer for 30 years and a scuba diver for 17. I have done the courses, seen all the, put you to sleep, training videos and consume discovery channel offerings on the ocean and mans inroads therein like a sponge. Most of this material is inspiring or safety orientated but limited in that it doesn’t begin at the beginning and link all they key elements together in way that would allow me to learn new techniques to improve my in water skills to achieve my own goals. This book is based on a text book format containing masses of information from our physical bodies and physiological methods of dealing with the ocean and breathhold, to equipment, training, water skills, and safety. While I am not a pure freediver, I have been doing a lot more free diving photography over the past two years than in my previous 15 yrs.  

This book is a veritable bible on how freedivers, spearfisherman and scuba divers could become more efficient and learn skills and techniques to better their whole ocean experience and goals.Some of the topics covered range over, the art of apnea (holding your breath) to finning skills, equalizing techniques, muscle training for water exercises and breathing techniques (all of which are also extremely relevant to scuba divers at some time or another). Other topics covered include safety, cross training, ocean use, rescue, gas effects on the body, stretching, swimming, ascent and descent techniques and breath hold disciplines. I would use this book to understand particular issues that you want to improve as one needs to, or if you are aspiring to use your body in the ocean in different ways with higher levels of performance then read it beginning to end. The book is officially sanctioned by the Apnea Academy and also includes a full history of freediving. It uses simple illustrations to show what the theory and practise look like but unfortunately has no colour photos included.

This is a 360page book containing a great deal of knowledge in an easily understandable writing manner ( even the medical & science stuff) which can only be added to as science and man break further barriers in the art of immersion on a single breath. I recommend it to any person using the ocean who wants to improve their use of a breath to experience water and its environment.

The book is available at R350 incl VAT but x postage from Louis Hattingh at Rabitech CC who imports it specially for our freediving community, you won’t find it in a book store so rather support our local dive industry and call Louis on 0825732794, landline 27-21 903 3905, email:


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