Have you been on a great wreck or reef and found yourself running out of time before you run out of gas?…. Then Tec diving might be for you

So what’s Tec diving all about? Well it isn’t just about depth. It is about much more than that……

Tec Diver with pink cylinders!
Tec Diver with pink cylinders! I thought it all had to be BLACK

The key thing is that technical diving requires a change in your attitude and approach to diving. To some this is more important than the dive itself.  It’s true that some people will want to continue their training and complete 100m dives in Malta on some WW2 wreck, but for most people being able to go that bit deeper, and stay down much longer is more of an aim to complete the course.  For example being able to dive the more unspoiled UK wrecks such as the M2 off Portland at 38m or the Moldavia in 50 metres leaving from Brighton.  The principles of technical diving start out with a mind set. Technical divers plan for the ‘what if’s’ of every dive. Here are some examples of ‘what if’s’:

  • What if you end the dive alone?
  • What if you actually do run out of air?
  • What if you exceed your planned depth or time?
  • What if you don’t complete a safety stop or decompression stop?
  • What if you are blown off the wreck by current?
  • What if your Buoyancy Control Device (BCD or Wing) punctures?
  • What if you misjudge the gas requirements for the dive?
  • What if this?
  • What if that?

These are the questions you should be asking yourself on any deep dive, even if you are not breaking the no-decompression limits. It’s just preparation to become a better, safer diver. Even the PADI Deep Diver class talks about some of it, but doesn’t actually require you to apply them. It’s all about making you a better safer diver who can stay down longer at depth.

Students on a Tec 40 Course
Students on a Tec 40 Course

The fortunate part, for almost every “what if” scenario, there is a probable solution or protocol. Not every “what if” will have a perfect layout. By accounting for it, you become aware of it and implement measure to try to insure it will not happen. Even in recreational diving, by preparing or anticipating problems, you become a more confident diver. By being more confident and with experience, the likelihood of problems will drastically decrease

So what are all the different elements to the programme?

The programme is made up of three elements which can be completed separately or as one complete course. The courses are

  • Tec 40
  • Tec 45
  • Tec 50

I’ll let you work out what the numbers mean yourself?

Each course builds on the skills and knowledge of the previous course, hence they must be completed in sequence. The goals of each course can be found by looking at the PADI website or look up your local dive centre

So what about all that kit I see people using?

Additional kit is required to complete the entire tec Rec series, ie Tec 40 Tec 45 and Tec 50. But it is not always necessary when you start the course. For example Tec 40 can be completed with a twin set, or a pony set. However should you decide to go all the way then a twin set, harness and wing, and stage bottle with reg set will be required. Remember though, once you have invested in this kit you will be equipped to carry out more adventurous dives. You will also have almost all the kit you will need to go onto trimix

Divers checking out their deco cylinders
Divers checking out their deco cylinders

The PADI Tec 40 class is not as gear intensive as compared to the PADI Tec 45 or Tec 50 classes. The Tec 40 class takes anaverage certified deep diver, or a certified deep diver instructor, one step more into deep diving to increase the safety of the diver. As a scuba diver, we already know the safer we are underwater, the more we can actually enjoy the dive. Enjoying the dive may not always have anything with going deep, but having the ability to stay longer at depths that the no-decompression limits prevent us from doing. Increasing our enjoyment is the whole reason we all got into scuba diving for in the first place.

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