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Apnea & Surf Survival course in Oahu, Hawaii

With the approach of the winter time, many surfers are starting to work out and prepare for the new surf season.  With this in mind, Hawaii Eco Divers is having back to back apnea & surf survival courses for all levels of surfers on the North Shore of Oahu.  This course is helping a lot of people to gain confidence in their waterman and breath hold skills.  The main core of the training is to teach surfers how to oxygenate their bodies in order to gain energy, stamina, increase focus and mind control during a surf session.  If you happen to fall, you will be able to hold your breath longer and safer.

This is what one of the surfers who attended the last class in September had to say:

“Surf apnea course:  300% improvement in 2 days”

“Ricardo is a magician. I took the surf apnea and safety course last weekend with some skepticism – I was hearing lots of big claims but things tend not to live up to expectations. This did! Hard work at times, but the confidence gained in hairy situations is priceless. On a personal note, I smoked a pack a day for 15 years, and left the course with a 5 minute static breath hold. Unbelievable!”

Dates for the next courses in Oahu:

October 14th and 15th

October 21st and 22nd

For more information about the course, email [email protected] 

Apnea class on September 28th/29th

Apnea class on September 21st/22nd










Apnea & Surfing Survival course in Hawaii

This course is designed with only one goal in mind; to increase your breath hold ability in tense situations underwater, while remaining calm and in total control of your mind.  In this apnea training for surfers, you will learn different techniques of apnea and breathing exercises to fully oxygenate the body, strengthen and increase capacity of the lungs . The class is designed to help you spend more time underwater through lectures, intense breath hold training and multiple breathing and swimming exercises. It’s purpose is to aid surfers in dealing with extreme situations where mind control and calmness are the main factors for your survival.

In addition to apnea theory and breathing techniques to maximize oxygenation and breath hold, we will be emphasizing High Surf Risk Management in order to recognize, minimize or avoid unnecessary risks found in the surf zone.  We will also present and work on many “Surf Rescue” scenarios encountered in the sport of surfing and other water activities.   We will cover the importance of providing CPR and Rescue Breath skills to unconscious victims.

This is a course that every waterman and woman should take!  It will make you and your surfing community safer!

This course is divided in three parts:

THEORY (4 hours)

We will study in depth the physiology of apnea through academic information. This information is very significant when we push our body to the limit. Understanding what causes our body to black out during breath hold training exercises, and how to identify signs and symptoms of hypoxia is crucial in order to train safely.  High surf risk management, emergency action planning, dealing with panic will also be studied in the academic development portion of the course.

Swimming Pool (6 hours)

At the pool, before we start the apnea training, we will present some rescues skills in order to train apnea safely with a partner.  We will put into practice proper ventilation and breath ups, in order to perform numerous underwater exercises.  Each exercise simulate a real situation found in the surfing environment. Surfers will work with a training partner through the entire class. 

Ocean (6 hours)

We will start the second day with CPR training and breathing exercises, followed by a full O2 table apnea practice. This is when people get their personal best (most get 3 minutes, with some people holding for 4 and even 5 minutes).  Later, in the water we will present more dynamic apnea and survival skills before we move into the surf rescue part of the course.  This is when surfers learn tools that could help them save lives. At the end, we will focus again on the stress apnea exercise simulating a wipe out or a long hold down. 

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.  

 You will be provided with a self studying manual that must be read entirely prior to the beginning of the class. You must complete the knowledge review and bring the answers to the first day of the training.

These are the main aspects of the training:

• Physiology of Apnea;

• Proper breathing exercises to improve ventilation and strengthening of the lungs;

• Safety;

• Static Apnea;

• Dynamic Apnea;

• Stressed Apnea;

• Risks and dangers of training apnea;

• Surviving a massive wipe out;

• Risk management and emergency action plan;

• Surfing Rescue skills;

• CPR and rescue breath.   

Videos of previous training.

Some of the North Shore surfing community took the apnea training.  This group included Jamie Sterling, Nathan Fletcher, Trevor Carlson, veteran Eddie Aikau competitor and Master Shaper Dennis Pang, City & County lifeguards Paul Smith and Ian Masterson (who is also a High Surf Risk management professor at Windward Community college), regular Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach surfer Tracy Yamato, Finn Masterson and a few other resident and local surfers.

Billabong team manager Rainos Hayes was also another professional surfer who benefit from Hawaii Eco Divers Apnea course on a previous training.  Rainos organized a class for some of the members of the Hawaiian Junior Surfing Team including the Moniz brothers. Mike and Chris Latronic also took the course and created a video for their TV show.

Apnea & Surf Survival course in Oahu, Hawaii

Ricardo Taveira @hawaiiecodivers
Paid Master Diver Trainer 
Rescue Diver & Apnea Instructor
EFR – CPR  Instructor at American Heart Association
Big wave surfer with 30 years of surfing experience.