FII Blog
  • Čeština (CZ)
  • English (UK)
  • Espaňol (ES)
Freediving…. To breathe or not to breathe?


Instructor Errol Putigna. Freediving Courses with FII (Freediving Instructors International). Find more on apnea training at www.freedivinginstructors.comBy Errol Putigna


To be honest, both are correct at the right moments. As freedivers and spearos, we're always looking for different ways to improve our breath-hold. But how often do we seek to be better breathers and to really take advantage of the benefits of proper breathing? I mean, really? We breathe about 30,000 times per day!

I have been doing some research; personal experimentation and I have trained breathing with the top freedivers in the world. I figured since I have to breathe each and every day for mere survival, I might as well get it right. Not only will improved breathing-techniques help you hold your breath longer and improve your bottom time for that mutton snapper swimming just out of the reach of your speargun, it will enhance your life in most ever aspect; from increased energy levels, experience a positive attitude, faster metabolism and even weight control. In combination with spearing and freediving, it will allow you to be in some of the best physical shape of your life!


At one point in time I weighed all time high of 84.5kg (186lbs), which for me at 1.78m (5'10") was quite heavy. I got back into freediving and spearing, took a FII Freediving level 2 class with Martin Stepanek and within 6 months of learning how to breathe properly, proper diet (and I didn't even make an effort to eat better, it was my body simply craving healthy foods and not junk) and the awesome exercise that freediving and spearing provides, I lost 14kg (30lbs) and I've not been able to gain any of it back! Take that Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers!


Some great and easy tips to get you on track is to really make breathing part of your lifestyle; to make it a conscious part of your day and to use it to your benefit through deep, diaphragmatic breathing. It will take you out of the "fight and flight" mode we are in most of our day when we're in the work force and it will bring us to the "rest and digest" mode, which is where our bodies need to be more often. By holding our breath for a short time (no more than 30 seconds out of the water), it will bring us into further relaxation and meditation, which brings additional benefits to our bodies and minds. I take just 2 minutes at night, while lying in bed, to do slow diaphragmatic breathing before I go to bed and I've found that I sleep much better at night. It's that simple!

Professional apnea training with FII (Freediving Instructors International) -

When spearfishing, I will usually do around 5 minutes of relaxed diaphragmatic breathing on the surface and I'll achieve a super relaxed state to be able to start my day of diving out right.

The last thing fishwants to see is a guy/gal all-amped up on adrenaline attacking him! If you're nice and relaxed, you'll have a higher chance that the fish will approachyou. You'll kind of send an "inviting" signal. Through correct breathing, this can all be achieved.


Of course, when we're not diving, yoga is a great way to achieve proper breathing (Yogis have been getting it right for about 3,000 years... they know a thing or two about breathing.). Stretching is also fundamental to truly take advantage of proper breathing (Check out Martin Stepanek's Stretching for Freediving DVD). This will allow all of that wonderful oxygen to get to your muscles and tissues. Make sure you don't just jump into these activities without getting the proper instructor and training.

I hope with these simple tips, I was able to give you the initiative to breathe or not to breathe!


Safe diving!



Errol Putigna

Errol Putigna is an FII Instructor Trainer based in West Palm Beach, Florida. He has been working with 13 Time Freediving World Record Holder & FII's Founder, Martin Stepanek since 2008 and offers private & public FII freediving courses throughout South Florida & Canary Islands.  Click here to view Errol's course listings.



Captain Nemo Freediving Fins 101


Captain Nemo Freediving Fins 101



With so many manufacturers fighting for market share in the booming business of freediving fins specifically fiberglass fins, it has become paramount to educate yourself on what makes one fiberglass fin better than the other, and what to look for when making your purchase.


Waterway Ukraine is the world leader in fiberglass for finswimming and freediving. They have over 17 years of experience in Capatin Nemo Freediving Fins || Take a certified freediving course from FII (Freediving Instructors International). www.freedivinginstructors.comthe finmaking business and are now the fin of choice for nearly every World Record Freediver or Finswimming World Record Holder.



Waterway fiberglass are extremely durable and can withstand even the most careless ownership. This is because Waterway uses the 'high pressure pressed' fiberglass method as opposed to the cheaper and much weaker, 'vacuum pressed' fiberglass option; the HPP fiberglass will not change its properties (snap) with normal use whereas the VP does with each use. Waterway backs this with a guarantee that their fins will not change properties up to 2000 kilometers of use. Though the distance is more relatable for finswimmers, for us freedivers this literally means a lifetime of diving.


Shaving Methods

Waterway Captain Nemo Freediving Fins || Freediving courses with FII (Freediving Instructors International)

Waterway fiberglass is hand-shaved! With strips of 'high pressure pressed' fiberglass in-hand, expertly trained staff hand-shave each blade to the listed stiffness. This time consuming method involves chipping off exact layers of fiberglass (see right) to achieve the desired properties. Captain Nemo Freediving Fins have around 7 - 9 layers, depending on the stiffness.


Captain Nemo: Full Set or Blades Only?

Captain Nemo Freediving Fins are available in either the full set fin or the 'blades only' option. The full set is ideal for anyone who want to purchase a fin and use it without customizing it, the blades are glued in and are not interchangeable, but you are ready to go. The 'blades only' are for people looking to swap out their blades (soft for shallow diving, medium for deeper line diving, etc) or if you have a pair of foot pockets you absolutely love. The blades can be fitted to many different foot pockets (Omer, Beuchat, the old Sporasub, Captain Nemo, etc) and to fit you simply drill the holes in the fiberglass aligning them with the screws on the foot pocket. You can ask your local store if they can customize them for you,  Florida Freedivers (online store & shop front in West Palm Beach) have plenty experience with customizing these blades to different foot pockets.


Review of Stiffness Options

Stiffness #1 (Soft) - These are the blade of choice for most girls.  They are ideal for recreational freediving up to around 66ft and perfect for freediving on reefs, marine interactions or spending a lot of time on the surface swimming. The only downside of these blades is the lack of burst speed.

Stiffness#2 (Medium)- This is a very universal blade. You'll notice most FII Instructors are using this blade as they offer a nice snap for increased speed, but they are still soft enough not tire you out after a long session of deep repetitive freedives. This is Martin Stepanek's go-to blade for teaching, spearfishing and recreational freediving. He has also comfortably taken this fin to 91 meters during a XTB World Record training day in 2o11!

Stiffness #3 (Hard) - This is what we have classified as the hard fin, although there is one stiffness higher, this is really as high as you need. It is ideal for deep divers 100ft +, whom have strong legs and needing to push a bigger surface area through the water. This fin is not recommended for those whom do a lot of surface swimming.

Stiffness #4 (Extra Hard)-  Although applicable to the finswimming arena, we feel this option is too stiff forCaptain Nemo Freediving Fins || Freediving courses with FII (Freediving Instructors International). freediving purposes.


Fiberglass Color

Most retailers are choosing the black colored fiberglass as it is universally more popular, and while there is no difference in the properties of these blades, some people prefer the yellow because it is raw and unaltered (with dye).  If you are interested in the yellow blades you may need to special order them from your nearest store.


Care and Maintenance

Always rinse your Waterway Captain Nemo Freediving Fins in fresh water and dry out of direct sunlight.  Always stand your fins on the foot pocket end as opposed to the blade tip end and do your best to minimize sun exposure on the boat.


If you have any further questions regarding the Waterway Captain Nemo Freediving Fins, or to purchase directly, please contact one the exclusive USA Retailers below:


USA East Coast Retailers

* Florida Freedivers, 561-848-0678,

* Pompano Dive Center, 954-788-0208,

*Austins Diving Center, 305-665-0636,

*Spearfishing World, 305-827-4929,


USA West Coast RetailersNiki Roderick Freediving on the Reef || Take a freediving course with FII (Freediving Instructors International).

*Dive Addicts, 801-572-5111,

*Speardeals (online spearfishing store),

*James and Joseph Spearfishing Supplies, 619.295.3705,






2013 FII Bonaire Camp - July 22-28


2013 FII Bonaire Freediving Camp - July 22-28


Freediving Bonaire with Freediving Instructors International ||

Bonaire is located in the Southern Caribbean about 50 miles off the northern coast of Venezuela. Surrounded by stunning reefs it provides year-round world-class freediving conditions just meters from shore. This Ultimate Freediving Camp Getaway offers a professional training set-up for all skill levels, and includes gorgeous modern apartment accommodations (300 meters from dive site), expert guidance from 13-time World Record Freediver Martin Stepanek along with an array of exciting land, cave and sea adventures.    

REGISTER HERE                                                                                


Trip Dates: July 22 (in) – July 28 (out), 2013  (6 nights / 7 days)                                                                                        


Pre Requisites: Open to certified freedivers only. There will be a Level 1 Freediver course running on Bonaire from July 20 – July 21, 2013.

You will be limited to the maximum depth of your certification (i.e. Lvl 1 Freedivers are limited to 66ft/20m; Level 2 - 130ft; Level 3 - unlimited).

Participants must be in good physical condition – See FII Medical Release.


General ItineraryKralendijk

Day 1 / Mon 22 July: Arrive at Flamingo International Airport (BON). Airport picks-ups will be provided - from the airport it is approximately a 10 minutes drive to the apartments. For divers that arrive before 2pm we will be running a late afternoon relaxed freedive training (check your gear, check buoyancy, get to know the location, enjoy the reef, freediving photography).

Day 2 /Tues 23th July: AM – Opening meeting. AM- Daily scheduled freediving depth

training sessions with FII’s world-class instructor team in Kaya Gobernador Debrot 103 (300 meters from your apartments). This special dive site provides optimum training conditions for participants to work on their goals, at their own pace, with as little or as much training guidance as they request. Freediving training runs daily from 8am – 12pm and afternoons are open for adventuring!

PM- The evening will bring a specialized equalization clinic from 13-time World Record Freediver Martin Stepanek. Martin has been to depths of over 130 meters!

Day 3 – Day 5 / Wed 24th – Fri 26th July: Same as above. Adventure trips will be running in the afternoon. These include caving adventures, island explorations and more.                                                        

Day 6 / Sat 27th July: AM - Freediving Training Session. PM - Closing party & dinner.

Day 7 / Sun 28th July: Departure Day. All airport transfers provided.


Additional Information 

Bonaire average water temperatures:78° - 84° F

Bonaire air temperatures in July: Average high 88F/31C, average low 79F/26C

Currency: USD   ||    Language Spoken: English


Freediving Training: You will need to bring a 3mm Freediving/Spearfishing Suit, a mask, snorkel, freediving fins, rubber weight belt, small weights, and freediving computer.                                                                                                                                           

Additional Items: Water bottle with carabineer clip, wide brim hat with neck tie and a Mini Flash Drive (for your photos & videos).

FII Apartments Bonaire



The FII team worked hard to secure you affordable, comfortable modern apartments within close vicinity to everything. Your apartment is located a mere 350 meters from the depth training site and 3 miles from the main township. The apartments are two bedroom (twin beds)/two large bathrooms, stainless steel kitchen, and private balcony. There is a pool & outdoor lounge area and lovely bars & restaurants nearby. And, of course they have internet!

Please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for private room rates.

FII Apartment Balcony Bonaire



Price $1190.00 USD (based on twin share accommodations, please contact us for private room rate)

What's Included:

  • 6 nights accommodation, twin share room, modern stylish 2 bedroom/2 bathroom apartments w/ full stainless steel kitchen, living area and balcony (350 meters from dive training site)
  • All airport transfers and transportation to events. shopping expeditions, etc. 
  • Six days of freediving tuition from World-Renowned Freediving Instructors including 13-Time Freediving World Record Holder, Martin Stepanek
  • Daily HD videos of your freedives
  • Quality HR underwater images of you freediving
  • Exclusive Equalization Clinic (Clinic covers both Frenzel & BTV (Hands-Free))
  • Apartment cleaning fee, tourist accommodation tax.


Not included:

  • Return Flights to Bonaire. Airport code: BON (check for the best rates. Currently showing $390 MIA-BON round trip. Otherwise, is also good.)Freediving courses with Freediving Instructors International ||
  • Car rental (this is optional for anyone wishing for more independence from the group)
  • Additional tours with Flow Bonaire such as caving, hiking, kayaking, etc.
  • All Food & Beverages
  • $75.00 cash apartment security deposits (due on arrival, refunded at end of trip) 


Payment Policy & Deposit:

  •  A deposit of $250.00 is required to secure your spot.
  •  Full payment will be due by May 22, 2013.
  •  All payments on ‘Trips’ are non-refundable. . Please call us with any questions before payment on + 1 954 323 2222 / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



A Camp Bulletin with a fully detailed day-to-day activity schedule will be sent out one month prior to the camp commencing. If you have any other questions prior, please do not hesitate to call us anytime.


We look forward to your joining us on this adventure of a lifetime in beautiful BONAIRE!



Thank you,


2013 FII Bonaire Camp Instructor Team


This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / + 1 954 323 2222 (EST) /






Page 4 of 13
1-954-323-2222 Instagram