Surf Survival Course

Go Bigger, Go Harder with Sydney Dive Safari

The Surf Survival Course turns stress and panic into calm calculated decision and skill use. Learn proper breathing techniques and take a deep breath like you never have before.


Surfing is one of the world's most demanding activities. The level of activity can vary from calm, slow, easy surfs to explosive, fast and extreme experiences. No matter what level of surfer you are, no matter what waves you surf, you could benefit from learning how to improve your breath hold and core strength. 

Each surfer is an individual and the feeling of dread as opposed to stoke can be brought on by a range of different conditions. In terms of size, what seems like a big wave for some is only medium for others. Regardless, what is a common and shared opinion amongst all surfers is that longer hold downs and being caught under on those 8 foot plus days is not fun. Whilst it’s a great conversation topic after a heavy session, in the moment it can be outright terrifying.

During the Surf Survival course, surfers can expect to not only gain the knowledge and skills to hold their breath but can also achieve what was once thought impossible by adapting specialised freedive breathing techniques. You'll learn about managing stress and as the breath hold aspect of surfing becomes easier, what was once a long hold down might even become a fun experience. This will ultimately allow the surfer to focus on more important aspects such as having fun in bigger waves and experiencing more excitement. 

Post course you will have the proper knowledge to train your breath holding ability to its full potential and with regular training using these highly developed techniques you can expect five minute plus breath hold times.

This program, while it shares commonalities with basic freediving courses also takes into consideration realistic surf conditions, the feeling of an exhausting paddle out combined with high heart rate, muscle fatigue, little recovery and no time to breathe-up.

  • Use breath hold techniques to reduce panic and stress.
  • Surf bigger and more challenging waves!
  • Training in conducted in a heated pool.
  • Maximum 8:1 student to instructor ratio.
  • Internationally recognised freediving certification.

The Surf Survival Course is made up of two components: online learning and a confined water session.

  • ACADEMICS. When you book onto an Surf Survival Course you will be given access to the SSI Online Training program. You can then learn at your own pace when it is convenient for you in the comfort of your own home. A multiple choice exam is conducted at our store before you continue to the practical training component of the course.
  • PRACTICAL TRAINING. This is where you will develop basic relaxation and breath hold skills in a controlled confined water environment. All breath hold training will be tailored to realistic surfing conditions. After successful completion not only will you be ready to hit the surf but you will also become a certified freediver!
  • The minimum age to participate is 12 years old (a parent's or guardian's consent is required for participants under 18 years old.)
  • All participants must complete a Medical Questionnaire. If any of the questions are flagged as "Yes" you will need to gain medical clearance from a doctor prior to participating. Please ensure you complete this Medical Questionnaire before the start of your Freediving Course.
  • You must be able to swim 200 metres without stopping. There is no time limit for this and you may use any swimming stroke(s) you want.
  • Transfers and cancellations are possible without penalty 14 days outside the scheduled dive course.
  • If you wish to transfer your booking within 14 days from your scheduled dive course or fail to complete the required online study prior to course commencement you will incur a 50% transfer/administration fee plus a $20 re-booking fee.
  • If you cancel your booking within 14 days from your scheduled dive course or fail to attend you will forfeit the full cost of the course. Refunds are not possible within 14 days.
  • All dive courses must be completed within 180 days of the original scheduled start date.
  • View Sydney Dive Safari's full Terms & Conditions.


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