Whether you are learning to freedive, or are a more experienced freediver – there are lots of books that can help you learn more about the sport and be a better freediver.

We’ve gathered the top 10 essential books in the universe that any Freediver needs to have on their collection.

The Top 10 Essential Books for Freediving

Manual of Freediving

This is generally regarded as the bible of Freediving.  The 362 pages are packed full of physiology, physics, techniques, and safety, but also contains a practical training guide developed by World Champion Umberto Pelizzari.

Homo Delphinus

Jacques Mayol is the grandfather of Freediving and is well known to a wide audience from the (albeit fictional) account in the film “The Big Blue”.  This book is straight from Mayol himself and takes the reader on a journey through his history of world record-breaking dives to 100m on a single breath as well as his passionate belief in the marine world.  Combined with stunning photos this is an amazing coffee table book for any Freediver.

The Last Attempt

Carlos Serra, the right-hand man, and confidant of Pipin Ferreras detail his chilling perspective on the run up to the tragic death of Audrey Mestre in 2002.

Neutral Buoyancy

Tim Ecott gives the reader of this unique book a guided tour of the history of undersea exploration and the emergence of diving culture. He tells the extraordinary story of man’s attempts to breathe underwater, from the sponge divers described by Aristotle, to the development of sixteenth-century diving bells, to the invention of modern scuba equipment.


This unique book takes a different slant to others in that whilst it is an educational book it isn’t about diving specifically.  Inside this book, you’ll find smoothie recipes, stretches, visualizations, stories, philosophy and lots and lots of science presented in an engaging style.

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

A more controversial entrant to the list as James Nestor take a look at a number of ocean-related topics and how they relate to us as humans.  From Freediving to the deepest depths of the ocean.  The freediving sections did draw some critism for accuracy at the time of publishing but the book has been a popular starting point for many getting into their freediving career.

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

Adam Skolnick, a writer who is often found on the pages of the New York Times or Outside Magazine, takes a deep look into the story of Nick Mevoli – the first US freediver to hit 100m who died in the Bahamas during the Vertical Blue freediving competition.  It reads like a thriller and is totally gripping from page 1.

BlueWater Hunting and Freediving

This book takes basics of Freediving and explains how to take your first steps into Spearfishing and Underwater Photography.  Another coffee table hardback book that is very popular with readers.

The Dive: A Story of Love and Obsession

This is Pipin’s story of how he met, fell in love with, married and lost his wife Audrey Mestre.  An entertaining read as ghostwritten by Miami Herald writer, it is annoyingly full of technical errors common in these sorts of books and by no means provides any closure on matters around Audrey’s death, however, does provide a very good read none the less.


Freediving legend Umberto Pelizzari this time took time to write a vivid narrative of the records and adventures that defined his life and sporting career: from the beginnings in the pool, to the discovery of his own ability, the training, the teamwork and acquaintances with the historic figures of the underwater world.

Continue reading more from the DeeperBlue.com Beginners Guide to Freediving.