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Elevating Brazil’s Surfing Talents Through Apnea Training with Hawaii Eco Divers

In an exclusive collaboration that marks a significant moment in the world of competitive surfing, Hawaii Eco Divers had the privilege of hosting apnea training sessions for two of Brazil’s premier talents on the global circuit: Filipe Toledo and Adriano de Souza. Under the expert guidance of Ricardo Taveira, a seasoned apnea instructor and diver, these athletes embarked on a transformative journey designed to elevate their physical and mental game to unprecedented levels.

The training unfolded during the first week of December, a time when the anticipation for the Pipe Masters Finale at the iconic Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore was at its peak. In a unique twist, Toledo’s family also joined the sessions, making it an enriching experience for all involved. The curriculum was meticulously crafted, blending theoretical insights into the physiology of apnea with practical breathing exercises aimed at enhancing mental control—a crucial aspect of surfing at the elite level.

A Fusion of Mind and Body

The essence of the training centered on expanding and strengthening the respiratory muscles, a vital component for surfers who often face the formidable power of the ocean. Participants were introduced to static and dynamic apnea techniques, as well as stress-induced apnea exercises that simulate the intense conditions of wipeouts. These high-pressure simulations are designed to escalate the athlete’s anxiety levels, mirroring the challenging conditions they face in competition, thereby preparing them to maintain composure and control in the face of adversity.

Filipe Toledo and Adriano de Souza displayed remarkable focus and dedication throughout the training, fully immersing themselves in the rigorous regimen. Their commitment was evident in their ability to quickly assimilate and apply the techniques, showcasing their readiness to tackle the mental and physical demands of the Pipe Masters Finale.

Beyond the Waves

The significance of this training extends beyond the immediate preparation for competition. It’s a testament to the holistic approach to surfing that Hawaii Eco Divers champions—an approach that emphasizes the synergy between mind, body, and the elemental force of the ocean. By integrating apnea training into their regimen, Toledo and De Souza are not only enhancing their lung capacity and mental fortitude but also deepening their connection with the sea, a connection that is fundamental to the soul of surfing.

Witness the Transformation

For those eager to delve deeper into this captivating journey, a video chronicling the training sessions offers a glimpse into the rigorous preparation and the profound moments of breakthrough experienced by Toledo and De Souza. This visual narrative captures the essence of their journey, from the intense focus during exercises to the serene moments of reflection, offering inspiration to aspiring surfers and enthusiasts alike.

Watch the training video here and experience the dedication, resilience, and spirit of two of Brazil’s finest surfers as they prepare for one of the most prestigious events in the surfing calendar.

As the Pipe Masters Finale unfolds, the surfing community watches with bated breath, hopeful that the rigorous preparation and the indomitable spirit of these athletes will lead them to victory. Regardless of the outcome, Filipe Toledo and Adriano de Souza have already achieved a remarkable feat by pushing the boundaries of what is possible, both in and out of the water, inspiring a new generation to explore the depths of their potential.

Hawaii Eco Divers remains committed to fostering excellence in the water, offering training sessions that not only prepare surfers for competition but also instill a profound respect for the ocean and a deep understanding of the mental and physical harmony required to excel in this demanding sport.

Benefits of Apnea Training for Surfers

Apnea training, a discipline focusing on breath-hold techniques, has emerged as a critical component in the arsenal of elite surfers. This specialized training transcends the conventional boundaries of physical preparation, delving deep into the mental and physiological realms that define peak performance in surfing. The collaboration between Hawaii Eco Divers and renowned Brazilian surfers Filipe Toledo and Adriano de Souza underscores the transformative impact of apnea training. Here, we explore the myriad benefits of this training, supported by scientific research and expert insights.

  1. Enhanced Lung Capacity and Oxygen Efficiency. One of the primary benefits of apnea training is the significant improvement in lung capacity and the body’s oxygen utilization efficiency. By regularly engaging in breath-hold exercises, surfers can increase their vital lung capacity, allowing them to hold their breath for longer periods under water—an essential skill during heavy wipeouts or when pinned underwater by large waves.
  2. Improved Mental Resilience and Stress Management. Apnea training is not only about physical endurance but also mental fortitude. The controlled exposure to high-stress situations, such as simulated wipeouts, prepares surfers mentally to remain calm and composed in life-threatening scenarios. This aspect of training is invaluable, as mental resilience often distinguishes between successful navigation out of dangerous situations and panic.
  3. Boosted Anaerobic Performance. Surfers frequently rely on short, intense bursts of energy to paddle into waves or to perform dynamic maneuvers. Apnea training, particularly through exercises like dynamic apnea, enhances the body’s anaerobic capacity, enabling surfers to maintain high levels of performance even when oxygen is scarce.
  4. Increased Focus and Mind-Body Connection. The practice of apnea demands acute focus and a deep connection between the mind and body, as surfers must be keenly aware of their physiological signals and emotional state. This heightened state of mindfulness enhances their ability to respond intuitively to the rapidly changing conditions in the water.
  5. Strengthened Respiratory Muscles. Regular apnea training involves rigorous exercises that target the diaphragm and other respiratory muscles, strengthening them over time. This not only supports longer breath-holds but also improves overall breathing efficiency, crucial for surfers paddling out or engaging in intense physical exertion during competitions.

Incorporating apnea training into the regimen of competitive surfers offers a comprehensive approach to improving their performance, resilience, and safety in the water. The experiences of Filipe Toledo and Adriano de Souza with Hawaii Eco Divers illuminate the profound impact of such training, serving as a powerful testament to its benefits. As the surfing community continues to explore and embrace these techniques, the potential for growth and development in the sport is boundless, rooted in a deep respect for the ocean and the pursuit of harmony between athlete and element.


Incorporating testimonials from individuals who have experienced the transformative effects of apnea training firsthand adds a personal and relatable dimension to the narrative. These testimonials highlight the real-world impact of such training on athletes, surfers, and individuals seeking to push their limits, enhance their performance, and deepen their connection with the ocean.

Testimonial 1: Maria, Amateur Surfer and Environmental Scientist:

“Apnea training with Hawaii Eco Divers was a game-changer for me. As someone who loves the ocean but has always struggled with anxiety under waves, the techniques I learned have not only improved my surfing but fundamentally changed how I relate to the ocean. I’ve gained a newfound respect and a sense of calm, enabling me to face challenges with clarity and confidence.”

Testimonial 2: Alex, Professional Big Wave Surfer:

“Competing in big wave surfing demands more than just physical strength; it requires an ironclad mental state and an intimate understanding of your own limits. The apnea training sessions were intense, pushing me beyond what I thought was possible and teaching me to remain composed in the most critical situations. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these skills have been lifesaving.”

Testimonial 3: Elena, Yoga Instructor and Freediving Enthusiast:

“Breath control is central to both yoga and freediving, but apnea training introduced me to a whole new level of discipline and awareness. The focus on static and dynamic apnea, combined with stress management techniques, has enriched my practice and teaching. It’s a reminder of the power of breath, not just in sports but in every aspect of life.”

Testimonial 4: Jordan, Competitive Surfer:

“The mental and physical demands of surfing can be overwhelming, especially when facing the unpredictable nature of the sea. Training in apnea with Ricardo and the team provided me with the tools to enhance my lung capacity, but more importantly, it taught me how to harness my focus and remain calm under pressure. These lessons have been invaluable in competitions and in personal growth.”

Testimonial 5: Lucas, Adventure Sports Enthusiast:

“I’ve always been drawn to the thrill of adventure sports, but apnea training opened up a new frontier for me. Learning to control my breath and confront the discomfort of being underwater has not only improved my surfing but also my approach to challenges across all areas of my life. The training was both empowering and humbling, reminding me of our incredible potential when we push beyond our perceived limits.”