Technical Diving

Michael Bryant Ginnie Springs

Pictured: Michael Bryant Photo Credit: Jill Heinerth © 2014

Looking for a personal challenge?

Technical diving isn't for everyone, but if approached with the correct mindset it can be a challenging and rewarding experience. This type of diving is going to appeal to those interested in extending bottom time, going deeper, working in teams, and accomplishing a mission with requirements beyond the limitations of sport diving.

What is Technical Diving?

Technical scuba diving is defined as diving other than conventional commercial or research diving that takes divers beyond recreational scuba diving limits. It is further defined as and includes one or more of the following:
  • Diving beyond 40 meters/130 feet deep
  • Required stage decompression
  • Diving in an overhead environment beyond 40 linear meters/130 linear feet of the surface
  • Accelerated decompression and or the use of variable gas mixtures during the dive

Because in technical diving the surface is effectively inaccessible in an emergency, technical divers use extensive methodologies, technologies and training to manage the added risks. Even with these, however, tec diving admittedly has more risk, potential hazard and shorter critical error chains than recreational scuba diving.

Make no mistake, technical diving begins with dive gear!

We've included gear configuration diagrams with each course to simplify a complex topic and arranged the options into acceptable "configurations". Each configuration achieves the common goal of providing access to back gas via two separate first and second stage regulators and isolating of gas in the event of a regulator and/or o-ring failure. By providing a redundant gas source it enables the diver to deal with an emergency underwater which might cause a recreational diver to make an unplanned ascent to the surface. Technical divers deal with problems underwater not for bravado, but because access to the surface may be restricted by an overhead environment or a mandatory decompression obligation.

Through observation, we've noted boat divers often favor back mounted doubles whereas shore divers, some cave divers, and those with physical disabilities tend to favor sidemount. Your configuration choice should be carefully considered as a recreational diver will spend a significant sum of money to go from a purely recreational rig to a dedicated doubles/sidemount configuration. Be sure to review the course materials and ask you instructor for guidance before making any significant investments.

Please carefully review the limits of each course noting the courses can be taken together.

Tec Courses at a Glance
PADI Tec/Rec Center Award

PADI TecRec Center Alexandria, VA

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