Welcome to ScubaBoard, an online scuba diving forum community where you can join over 205,000 divers diving from around the world. If the topic is related to scuba diving, this is the place to find divers talking about it. To gain full access to ScubaBoard (and make this large box go away) you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:
Participate in over 500 dive topic forums and browse from over 5,500,000 posts.
Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
Post your own photos or view from well over 100,000 user submitted images.
Gain access to our free classifieds marketplace to buy, sell and trade gear, travel and services.
Use the calendar to organize your events and enroll in other members' events.
Find a dive buddy or communicate directly with scuba equipment manufacturers.
All this and much more is available to you absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact the ScubaBoard Support Team.
Looks like PADI just released the details on their entry into semi-technical diving. The first two courses are called Apprentice Tec. The second one is Tec Deep Diver.
Apprentice Tec is a sub-course for Tec Deep. This is designed for divers whom want to begin developing the skills and knowledge needed for technical diving. Basically it qualifies the diver to make gas-switches, using upto 60% O2 and technical diving gear to 130 feet. The prerequisites are the be AOW, Enriched air and Deep cetified with at least 50 logged dives. 10 of those dives need to be Nitrox, and 6 need to be deeper than 100ft.
The Tec Deep Diver course picks up where the apprentice course leaves off. For this you also need to be at least Rescue certified and have 100 logged dives. 20 of them need to be Nitrox, 25 need to be deeper than 100ft. This basically traines divers to dive safely to 165ft.
To be certified as an instructor for the above courses you need to be certified as a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer. Be a Nitrox & a Deep Specialty Instructor. Be Tec Deep Diver Certified. Have 270 logged dives with at least 25 stage deco dives deeper than 130ft. Certify at least 10 divers as Nitrox and/or Deep divers. Assist with at least 2 Tec Deep Diver courses or 1 TD, 1ATD course. Successfully complete a Tec Deep Instructor Standards Exam and Tec Deep Instructor Theory and Practical Application Exam. As well as meet a Peer Review Waterskill requirement.
Looks like the Instuctor requirements are pretty well thought out. I have all of the prerequisites I need (a few times over) I'll have to find the time to take the exams and get evaluated. I guess I'll be driving upto PADI headquarters in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA soon. Any one else?
This is not unexpected (I have know about this for about a year) and in my opinion the prerequisites are at the minimal end and probably need to be greater. A number of divers that meet these criteria will still be unsafe and pose a significant risk to themselves and any companions diving at this level, because of inadequate skills and knowledge.
In addition I am very curious about the knowledge requirements for decompression planning and gas choices and the equipment requirements. The level of knowledge required for decompression diving versus recreational diving is comparable to the difference in a high school education and graduate studies in a specific discipline.
Also did PADI recognize the benefits of Trimix diving? I suspect that it was and is not addressed. BSAC has endorsed the use of trimix for extended depths but deferred the training program(s) to already established one by other training agencies. In the US trimix is still regarded as a voodoo gas much like nitrox was.
Welcome to the boards, it's nice to see you jump in. The first time I heard about PADI entering the Tech scene was around mid 99, during a PADI headquarters walk through in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. They wouldn't share too much info though.
I can't really comment on the content until:
1) I go through it myself and
2) I get my hands on a course outline.
Next you say: "A number of divers that meet these criteria will still be unsafe and pose a significant risk to themselves and any companions diving at this level, because of inadequate skills and knowledge."
Unfortunatly I agree, and further I beleive that this is the case for not just this level of diving. How it all fairs in the end we'll have to see.
PADI needs to stay out of this area of diving, what next will they be teaching cave or commercial diving? They need to get their O/W & AOW standards down right before venturing into new ground. They need to leave this area of diving to the real pros and the agencies that do nothing but teach Technical Diving.
They are in this for the MONEY, pure and simple, and DEATHS WILL RESULT FROM THIS ACTION.
They have no busisness in this area. The have gone too far on this.
I know Walter is out there chomping at the bit on this one.
Discalimer: My opinion on this issue does not in any way reflect how I feel toward the instructors on this board. They are all fine and upstanding instructors with the highest standards in the industry.
I gotta agree with Don on this one, guys. The reason I do is that I just don't think PADI's (and others) phylosiphy of "Diving is for everyone" fits into technical diving. But hey, I can't blame them for wanting a piece of the action. I do however, fear that as a result of "recreational" organizations venturing into technical diving that we will see more deaths as a result. If for no other reason than, the training will be more accessible and therefore there will be more tech divers venturing into the depths. But I do think that a well trained PADI instructor is just as capable of training in these aeras as any other. But 1 problem with that is that there are alot of recreational instructors that just hand out cards for the money, no offense meant to the good ones that don't. You just don't see many tech instructors willing to do that. They tend to be the drill sergeant type and demand excellence, as they should. But you know, ultimately, it rests on the individual divers' shoulder as to whether or not they feel they are adequately trained and capable to make these type dives, always has been and always will. And I think that most divers are intelligent enough to make that decision for themselves.
I don't have you guys great experience with technical diving. But on this note I want to tell you about the nitrox course (ITAND)I just completed in the weekend. I was surprised that there was so little theory. About 25 regular pages. Two equations and a little about physiology. 3 times as much would have been better.
Never the less. When it came to the dives the second dive was to a wreck at 30m on a EAN 32. However, one bloke had so many problems with his buoyancy control that we had to abort the dive after app. 10 min at 26m (Deck of the wreck). Total divetime 25 min. :fury:
Of course it was the right decision to abort the dive. However, the skills levels was serious off. You don't do a dive at 26-30m in cold water, 4m vis. and a ripping current (top 10-15m) if you don't have a good control.
It's truely a shame that you felt the course you attended was incomplete. Have you spoken to your instructor about getting some more in depth theory and diving experience? Most instructors will assist you further, if you ask.
I said so to the instructor. His reply was that more information is covered in the advanced cource. This requries more equipment (2*15l bottles - connected and extra regulator set) and it costs a bundle. So at least I'd like to get in a few nitrox dives before going that direction.
By the way: You're absolutely right that the Cobra is easy to handle on nitrox.
The owner of the place hinted at some compensations for the aborted dive yesterday. But what, when and how (and if) still remains to be seen.
And to be honest some of the participants seemed to have difficulties just handling the theory currently in the course. So maybe I'm just asking too much.
I have been talking to a few people that are familiar with the new PADI TEC program, one is a course director. The first point that was made is that the use of helium (i.e. Trimix) was not addressed in this program. However, a normoxic trimix program is strongly being considered for introduction within the next 2 years.
That being said, the obvious fact is that PADI is in effect promoting a deep air program. When this point was brought up, the 165 feet on nitrox/air was said to be under "ideal" conditions (warm water, good viz etc). In addition, this criteria was justified with the explanation that it is what the typical European agencies have set for their programs.
This rationale in my opinion is very short sighted and a genuine risk is being ignored. It is interesting to note that IANTD and others have been moving away from courses that advocate deep air (deep air being greater than 130 feet). For PADI to come out with a deep air program is ludicrous when there are proven and known methods that will reduce the risks associated with deep air.
When the issue of is PADI just doing it for the money was asked the response was predictable. PADI expects only 5,000 or so TEC certifications the first year. This represents a inconsequential amount when they certify in excess of 750,000 a year world wide (their words).
In my opinion, PADI is one of the few agencies that has the financial and personnel resources to develop a good program. It is too bad that they have not taken the effort to become a leader in this area of diving. (and no I am not affiliated with PADI)
It seems to me that there is room for an agency to step into the technical training arena and develop a comprehensive quality program but no one is stepping up to the plate. Yes, I am aware of GUE and their training philosophy but it appears to me that they are just now starting to realize the demands that this type of approach requires and that they just do not have the wherewithal to meet those demands. In addition, there is the questionable connection to a manufacturer when this type of relationship is publicly denounced by those affiliated with them.
It appears to me that PADI is simply lowering the bar that defines "technical" diving. Today, 165' on air (or up to EAN 26) is "deep air" or "advanced nitrox." But with their promotional juggernaut brought to bear, they will co-opt the term despite the efforts of the other "technical" agencies, and we'll be left to find new names.... oh, well, such is life.
So long as PADI assures that their "PADI technical" divers have their limits indelibly burned into their brains, I, for one, don't see any great disaster looming on the horizon, but rather a temporarily uncomfortable exercise in the etymology of "technical" as it pertains to diving.