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This has probably been asked many many times before, I'am going to be starting the Tec 40 / Intro to Tec program in June and was looking for some tips and advice on skills that could be practised before the course begins?
I'll be diving with a single cylinder for back gas and Al 80 for stage / deco use as well as a long hose
Any tips or advice would greatly appreciated
If you plan on progressing through tec45/tec50/etc I would suggest doing tec40 in doubles instead of a single larger cylinder.
Mask-less breathing/swims if you have any issues there. I really hated having my eyes open without my mask and had to work on that for the 4 cylinder drill in TriMix. Reading cylinder markings mask-less was fun.
Can't hurt to put together a stage bottle from scratch.
Practice being as flat and as still in the water as you can, with good posture. This will not only be the platform for the skills you will observe and perform, but for the non-silting, precise positioning kicks you will be using.
I only teach Intro to Tec & Tec 40 in Doubles, if you are going to learn about an aspect of diving, learn in the correct way right from the start. Gloves shouldn't matter but you are in Vancouver, dives are typically longer, go with dry gloves. Skills to work on Buoyancy, trim, OOA, No Mask, Bag Deployment etc..
Doubles for sure! something you can practice is deploying a lift bag while maintaining zero trim and not deviating from your depth. Your tek class will increase your work load and the first thing to go is your trim and then after that is your buoyancy.
If you can come into a technical class (any entry-level tech class) with a solid, stable platform, you are ahead of the game. Rongoodman is right to say practice being still, but I would add that practice in performing your basic skills -- mask flood/clear, remove/replace, regulator exchange, long hose deployment -- while maintaining buoyancy, trim and position, is very useful. If you can tolerate the task-loading involved in those things without changing depth, losing trim, or losing the line (or whatever positional reference you have), then moving on to more advanced skills will be much easier.