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Intro to Tech Class review/reflections

Discussion in 'Great Lakes Wrecking Crew' started by wreckless1, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. wreckless1

    wreckless1 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Chicago, IL
    111
    0
    0
    There's nothing to do at work, so I thought I'd post about the Intro to Tech class I took last weekend with Duane Johnson (ppo2_diver here on SB) of Precision Diving - The Great Lakes and Chicago Premier SCUBA Dive Training.

    Compared to my previous courses, this was a breath of fresh air :)shakehead: I'm not going to be good with language today so please bear with me). The course was logically laid out and included a lot of supplementary materials provided or created by Duane, including PowerPoint slides. It's based on Duane's sound educational philosophy and focuses on expanding one's diving capacity. They say "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach," but this is clearly not what's going on here. What I found was a completely higher level of diving practice for me to aspire to. I'm sure many of you have dived with Duane and know what I'm talking about.

    Although not a prerequisite to any TDI technical diving course, Intro to Tech introduced the mindset and skills necessary to be successful in those courses and in technical diving in general. Topics covered included gas planning, efficient non-silting kicks, the Basic 6 skills and gas sharing. The skills were first discussed and demonstrated on land, then demonstrated in the water, and finally Duane captured us doing the skills on video for post-dive critique. I especially liked how the kicks were broken down into the loading and power phase so it became much more clear to me. Not that I was able to do them properly ;-) but at least I know what movements I am trying to recreate under water.

    Going in, I was very overconfident. Although my ego wasn't shattered, it was undermined and collapsed of its own weight. Not only does the video not lie, but my course buddy, Dan, was an excellent diver who outdid me in every one of the skills. Keep in mind, the ego-reduction was a positive experience for me. Because of this class I've decided to slow down and concentrate on improving the basic skills covered in the class. There are plenty of things to do within recreational limits to keep me busy in the meantime.

    Anyway, I'm glad I took this course at the level I'm at now so that I can focus on practice without some of the bad habits I might have picked up otherwise. (Not to mention the things I learned that will keep me from reinventing the wheel.) Also, my goals have become more tangible, and I like to have tangible goals! I recommend the class to anyone who wants to take their diving to a proficient level, especially those considering moving on to tech.

    --Peter
     
  2. PvtStash

    PvtStash Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Toledo, Ohio
    758
    6
    0


    I too could stand to be taken down a few pegs (safely)... unfortunately these "Intro" tech courses are like $500 ... which seems like alot for the transfer of secret knowledge...

    I think I'd put that kinda money into a drysuit before continuing education...
     
  3. MgicTwnger

    MgicTwnger Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Springfield, IL
    1,018
    3
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    I too the course with Duane last year, and he and it are all you said. I'm still working on skills before I move on.:crafty:
     
  4. Divin'Hoosier

    Divin'Hoosier PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Central Indiana
    4,564
    288
    83
    Duane's course is $250 according to his website, not $500. ;) Link

    If you aspire to more advanced diving or if you simply want to improve the critical basic skills, you can't go wrong with Duane's class. IMO continuing education, whether paid or via mentoring from more experienced divers, is critical.
     
  5. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

    # of Dives:
    Location: Woodinville, WA
    36,350
    13,498
    0
    In a way, it's almost too bad that these classes are entitled, "Intro to Tech". I think it puts off people who aren't interested in technical diving, but would really enjoy the challenge to their skills, and the expansion of their capability. I know that taking Fundies hugely impacted my purely recreational diving, making it less stress and more fun, and I took the class before I even had the thought of ever doing any diving outside of the traditional recreational range.

    Enjoy your practice, and I hope, like me, you see the value of the training in the increased FUN you have underwater.
     
  6. wreckless1

    wreckless1 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Chicago, IL
    111
    0
    0
    Oh, I agree. Perhaps a "Better Diving" class that ditched the doubles could sell?
     
  7. Gombessa

    Gombessa DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NorCal
    4,436
    222
    63
    Great write-up!

    The whole overconfidence/ego thing is so true with a good skills-based class. You just don't know what you don't know, and the first five minutes after getting into the water with a really skilled instructor can be enough to really open your eyes and see you can be aspiring to, whether you're interested in tech or not. I simply marvel at how controlled, still and effortless good divers are in the water column, they seem to position themselves wherever they want to be, and complete complex actions, by thought alone. The video camera truly brings into stark relief the difference in the skill level of a great instructor and "the rest of us" :)
     
  8. 616fun

    616fun Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Indianapolis, IN
    848
    122
    0
    As Jim said - Intro isn't $500, more like $250. Put your money into a class worth it - take Duane's Intro course. I did it last year. $250 is a small price to pay for the honest review you'll get of your diving.

    Look at it this way - you probably paid $250 for an AOW that was not much more than following an instructor around for 5 more dives.
     
  9. StreetDoctor

    StreetDoctor DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Front Range, CO
    1,263
    2
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    Peter I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to join in the class with you, the weekend prior I got a nasty ear infection (still not back in the water actually). I've taken a few other classes with Duane and did a couple dives with him as an observer while he was teaching an intro to tech class and he is top notch, can't wait to go through the class myself hopefully in the next two months.
     
  10. PvtStash

    PvtStash Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Toledo, Ohio
    758
    6
    0
    $250 is alot more doable than $500 ... , I was ballpark guessin' really based on what my LDS wants for thier "Xtreme" Tech XR Intro class...

    What is the class format? class & dives? just dives? how many dives?
     

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