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Tec, Where to begin??

Discussion in 'Technical Diving Specialties' started by Zackery, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. Zackery

    Zackery Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Thomaston, Ga. United States of America
    52
    0
    0
    I am about to turn 18, and I want to become a technical diver. I have been diving for almost 9 years. I thought about becoming a DM, but I don't like the whole 'Glorified Assistant' thing:no:. (Sorry to all DMs out there) My uncle is a DM and he tells me just to stick to my rescue certification:depressed:. My uncle and I have the same skill set (I have a little on him), but the thing is I still have years of diving ahead of me. He has been diving for many years before he got certified. My question here is that I honestly have no idea where to start. I want to start off with deep tec diving. Then eventually move on to wreck penetration and cave diving. I know padi has a Tec40 course, but other than that clueless:idk:. I have about 200+ dives. A couple of them are small deco-dives. I have guided people since I was 16. I have even worked with instructors, but my craving for deeper depths and more knowledge leave me aching for more.. Any guidance would be appreciated (costs, courses, locations). I currently dive in the Florida Keys (Islamorada). I go about every summer, and try to make it down there a couple extra weeks a year. I an about to graduate High School, and may take a couple of weeks off of school and go down there.:D
     
  2. tplyons

    tplyons Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Easton, PA
    594
    159
    0
    I'm in the same boat you are, a little older, a few less dives, but essentially in the same place. But I am going through my divemaster as well. Regardless, that doesn't affect the situation below.

    As far as requirements, you will need a couple specialties on top of your AOW and have some Nitrox dives deeper than 60 feet under your belt.

    The prerequisites for Tec40 are as follows:
    • Be a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or hold a qualifying certification from another organization)
    • Be a PADI Enriched Air Diver (or hold a qualifying certification from another organization)
    • Be a PADI Deep Diver (or hold a qualifying certification from another organization)
    • Have a minimum of 30 logged dives, of which at least 10 dives were made with enriched air nitrox deeper than 18 metres / 60 feet.
    • Have a medical form signed by your physician

    The PADI website also has ways to search for TecRec centers as well. But don't forget about other agencies as well.

    Either way, good luck, and fill us in with your progress!
     
  3. NetDoc

    NetDoc Chairman of the Board

    42,363
    8,161
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    May I suggest something that will really get your neutral buoyancy, trim and propulsion squared away. Cavern is a great start and if you don't like that, start with just a propulsion, trim and buoyancy class. Without that control, you'll be fighting your instructors all the way.
     
    mtngoat2674 and Hapkiman like this.
  4. ucfdiver

    ucfdiver DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Orlando, FL
    3,339
    498
    83
    Hey Zack,

    I would suggest starting out with a GUE Fundamentals course. Meredith Tanguay, Doug Mudry, Mark Messersmith, and Errol Kalayci all live in FL and offer this course. Doug, Mark and Meredith all live in North Florida, so you could easily take a course to start with from them. The course will cover a lot about tech diving gear, and likely save you the cost of the course in not having to rebuy gear. FLUE is a fairly active group in South Florida and you could start talking to them to get a feel for what's ahead in tech diving.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/GUEFL/

    What gear are you currently diving? You can find the following fairly cheap on the used market
    • Backplate (any brand)
    • Regs: Scubapro MK25/G250v go for about $75-125/stage depending on service date
    • Doubles Wing - $200ish used or less
    • Bottom timer (you don't need a computer) $75 for a used Uwatech, I've had mine for about 6 years now without issue, dives up to 4.5hrs in duration and depths >200ft.
    Drysuits are harder to come by, but double AL80's won't require a drysuit at first.

    I would suggest getting all this squared away BEFORE taking an overhead class. A 2 day cavern class is going to be busy enough just learning about overhead specific things, and while it will help your stability and control in the water, that's not the primary focus of the class.
     
  5. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

    # of Dives:
    Location: Woodinville, WA
    36,350
    13,508
    0
    I would highly recommend starting with a class to refine your existing skills, and introduce you to the standard of performance that's required for technical diving. And I am, of course, going to recommend GUE Primer or Fundamentals, because I think it's a predictably good class which you can take in a single tank. You go down to Florida often -- stop in High Springs and take the class with Doug Mudry or Meredith Tanguay.

    Of course, that is predicated on the idea that you have already adjusted your equipment toward what technical divers use. That means going from a standard BC to a backplate (so that you can support doubles), adopting a long hose/bungied backup regulator arrangement, and a good, stiff paddle fin. Although there are differences in details, most agencies teaching technical diving use something that looks like the gear described in THIS essay.
     
  6. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    19,530
    10,354
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    I suggest you check out a variety of technical diving agencies and see what is available in your area. Look around and find a good instructor who will be available and who is someone you want to work with.

    The agency is also important. The path to completion of your deep diving certifications is really surprisingly different among some of the agencies. Check out the path of the respective agencies to see what is required along the way. You don't want to go down a certain path for a while and decide you would like to switch agencies. I started with one agency and then because of circumstances beyond my control had no choice but to switch to another one, which led to a lot of repeated steps as I completed the cross over requirement. Then, after going down that second path for a while, I realized that I really, really didn't like what was gong on with that agency and its requirements for the advanced certifications, and I switched again, which was an additional headache.

    If you check, you will find that with some agencies, it is almost impossible to cross over, so if you want to end up with your top training from that agency, you have to go with them from the very beginning. With others, the switch is relatively simple.

    One often overlooked aspect of the choice is the ability to practice skills. A shop that has its own pool where you can rent time at a reasonable rate is a plus.
     
  7. Zackery

    Zackery Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Thomaston, Ga. United States of America
    52
    0
    0
    I'm diving with a BC vest (oceanic) but I want to go to a hybrid style BC. I have pretty good buoyancy. I usually use a scissor fin kick, but I like to switch it up. I have a computer, but need to get a new one. I am nitrox certified, about 10 dives with it @100 ft. My gear set up right now is mainly rec because my uncle doesn't really like the fact I want to begin tec training. How much do you think the costs would be at get started (gear, fees, and all)?
     
  8. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    19,530
    10,354
    113
    Full tech equipment will be very expensive. If you really want to go tech eventually and want to save money in the long run, when you switch from your current BC, go with a back plate and wing. That will probably cost you the same amount as your planned switch to a hybrid, or maybe less. A back plate and wing is not just for tech diving--it works just fine for any kind of diving. Next, get new hoses for your regulator so that you can dive with a long hose and bungeed alternate. That is a very inexpensive step. Once again, although that setup was born in tech diving, I believe it works better in all kinds of diving for several reasons. If you take those few steps, costing little or no more than you were already planning, you will be able to work on tech diving skills while still doing the kind of dives you are doing now.
     
  9. ucfdiver

    ucfdiver DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Orlando, FL
    3,339
    498
    83
    If I were you I would NOT buy any more gear until you start working with an instructor. Eventually you're going to have to have gear that complies with their requirements, and buying stuff in advance of that will likely result in wasting money. Stick with what you have for now, and you can sell that stuff once you know what gear you need to meet your goals.

    Lynne provided you with an excellent link about gear configuration. If you buy based on the requirements in that article, I think just about any agency will allow you to take a class in that gear. Here's the link again.
    Equipment Configuration | Global Underwater Explorers
     
  10. muzikbiz22

    muzikbiz22 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Southern California
    911
    253
    63
    Hmm, interesting.
     

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