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The Universal Apnea surf apnea course is a one-of-a-kind program designed to educate and up-skill surfers, surf lifesavers, ocean swimmers and ocean warriors in dealing with hold-downs, managing stress, breathing effectively and up-skilling in ocean conditions.

Our surf apnea course has been developed by a team of highly accredited professionals including World Tour surfers, accredited surf coaches (Surfing Australia), swim coaches (Swimming Australia), clinical scientists, freedivers (AIDA), paramedics and ocean lifeguards.

The course is highly reputable and is based on the most recent evidence based science and coaching methods. At Universal Apnea we are committed to providing our students with the best knowledge and experience possible in a safe and supportive environment.


This intensive 4-hour course is designed for beginners who want to acquire foundational skills in surf apnea breathholding. Participants will learn essential safety skills, breathhold techniques, survival skills, panic management, anxiety reduction strategies, optimal breathing methods, and performance enhancement techniques specific to surfing. Upon completion, participants will receive a Level 1 certification in Universal Surf Apnea.


The course will be conducted over a single 4-hour session starting at 8.00am - 12 noon.

8.00am - 9.00am Dryland education.

9.00am - 11am Pool session.

11.00am - 12 noon Dryland education, theory test and course completion.


Toukley Aquatic Centre

Heador Street, Toukley NSW 2263

Toukley is an indoor 25 metre heated swimming pool.


  1. Understand the fundamentals of surf survival, surf apnea and its application in surfing.

  2. Develop basic breathhold skills to enhance performance and safety in the water.

  3. Learn survival techniques for extended breathholding situations.

  4. Understand basic anatomy and physiology in regards to breathwork and survival.

  5. Gain techniques to manage panic and anxiety during breathholding.

  6. Explore optimal breathing methods for improved surfing performance.

  7. Apply specific exercises and drills to improve breathhold capacity and overall fitness.

  8. Familiarise oneself with safety measures and precautions.

  9. Achieve a Level 1 certification in Universal Apnea Surf Apnea.


Introduction to Surf Apnea Breathholding

  • Overview of surf apnea breathholding and its benefits

  • Understanding the physiological and psychological aspects of breathholding

  • Safety guidelines and precautions for practicing surf apnea

Breathhold Techniques and Survival Skills

  • Proper breathing techniques for surf apnea

  • Breathhold exercises and drills to enhance capacity

  • Survival skills for prolonged breathholding situations

Panic Management and Anxiety Reduction

  • Identifying panic triggers during breathholding

  • Techniques for managing panic and anxiety

  • Mindfulness and relaxation exercises

Optimal Breathing for Performance

  • Importance of efficient breathing in surfing

  • Breathing anatomy and physiology. Understanding the respiratory system

  • Roles of oxygen and carbon dioxide within the body.

  • Mind - body connection. Breathing and the nervous system.

  • Breathing exercises to enhance performance and recovery

  • Techniques for maximising oxygen uptake and utilisation

Breathhold Training and Performance Enhancement

  • Advanced breathhold techniques and strategies

  • Exercises to improve breathhold duration and control

  • Mental and physical preparation for competition or challenging conditions

Certification Assessment and Graduation

  • Level 1 certification assessment. Basic breath-hold and water skills are required for certification (physical components) and a 90% or higher pass on theory exam required for full certification.

  • Individual feedback and guidance on progress

  • Graduation ceremony and certificate presentation


This course contains both dryland, classroom style learning and in-water learning. Courses are delivered by highly accredited coaches with a maximum ratio of 6 students to one coach. Sessions are held at aquatic centres in heated, chlorinated pools.


Please note that the condensed nature of this course allows for an accelerated learning experience. It is recommended that participants have a basic level of physical fitness and comfort in the water. Wetsuits are not required however they do come in handy for the water session as we will be in the pool for two hours. Wearing a wetsuit is suggested. You may also wish to wear goggles.


Kim Eulo

Head of Performance - Universal Apnea Allied Health Committee​

Education & Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Health Science - Exercise & Nutrition, University of South Australia

  • Swimming Australia (STCA) Accredited Swim Coach

  • WWC / First Aid / CPR / Ocean Rescue

  • AIDA Freediver

Additional Work

  • Head Coach Elite Salt Academy

  • Extensive experience in swimming, surfing, SLS, diving & breathwork.

  • Over 20 years professional coaching experience.

  • Former surf coach (Surfing NSW accredited)

  • Specialist in aquatics, emergency services program delivery, mental health & PTSD, dryland education and athletic performance.


  • Former Australian national level pool swimmer

  • Former Australian national level surf life saver

  • Pan Pacific Masters Games open water 1km ocean swimming champion

All of our programs have been researched, designed and tested by our highly accredited in-house team of freedivers, surf coaches, swim coaches, clinical scientists, osteopaths, medical doctors, university lecturers, paramedics, registered nurses, rescue operations personnel, combat veterans and health scientists. We employ the best people in the industry to ensure high standards of quality in program delivery across performance, education, training and therapeutic use of breathwork practices. You can view our full team via the TEAM page.


Level 1 Surf Apnea Certification Course cost: $250 which includes pool entry. Parking at Toukley Aquatic Centre is free. If you require additional training sessions to pass the exam requirements, you may join our group training sessions, or secure private sessions with our coaching staff to help you achieve your goals. To book into this clinic please email our friendly staff at

BOOKINGS REQUIRED. Full payment must be made prior to reserving your spot.


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