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I thought about becoming a DM, but I don't like the whole 'Glorified Assistant' thing.
I thought I would comment on this.
I think a lot of people who are in your situation and want to go on to bigger and better things with scuba think the only option is going the professional route, beginning with DM. I think it is great that you realize there are other options, and I wish more people did, too. If you want to become a dive professional some day, you can do that, and you will be a much better professional with the additional training and experience you are contemplating.
I'm another in the "not interested in DM or Instructor" went tech instead.
That being said, before you buy gear or start signing up for courses, find an instructor that can meet your goals as a diver and talk with them, they will give you all the info you need for gear etc. For example, I do all of my tech dives in sidemount, so I found a tech instructor who was also a very experienced sidemount diver and instructor. If you want to dive GUE style then you need to find a GUE instructor and talk to them long before courses.
A intro to tech, adv nitrox/deco course, GUE Primer, GUE Fundamentals are all great starting points into tech, but instructor first, they make all the difference!
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. ?
Have you considered that your uncle might actually know something?
---------- Post added August 5th, 2013 at 07:59 PM ----------
I agree that you should focus on the instructor rather than agency. Find one that you can work with. Ask lots of questions up ahead.
How do they teach their course? One on one, 2 on 1 or cattle style?
What equipment do they use to teach the PADI Tec 40? Regular BC with single tank and pony, backmounted doubles or side mount?
How many courses do they teach and how many fun technical dives do they do each year?
What is the maximum certification level they can teach and dive?
Do they practice check out dives before accepting you on a course?
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.
That's where I got my kicks buoyancy squared away. It was semi-brutal experience, but I learned a lot about all three in that specific class.
Originally Posted by FoxHound
find an instructor that can meet your goals as a diver and talk with them,
Find an instructor for the next step. People who train under only one instructor short themselves. I've learned from good, great and even crappy instructors. They all contributed a different view point to take or even to avoid. It's also important to dive, dive, dive between classes. I know a number of people, some right here on ScubaBoard, who have never or rarely dive apart from taking a class. Each class presents you with a new skill set to perfect. Take time to perfect them before adding new skills to the mix.
Don't limit yourself to.PADI. They are relatively new to the tech game. TDI, NAUI, IANTD, and ANDI is where I'd look first. Frankly would not even consider PADI at this point. Tell your uncle to do what he wants and let you decide your own path.
As a recreational DM he's likely the last person to go to for advice. He may be too indoctrinated and beyond hope.
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Last edited by Jim Lapenta; August 6th, 2013 at 04:22 PM.
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Some good advise thus far. I do however want to make the following comments if I may?
200+ dives over a 9 year period is not a lot of diving. Tech diving is a skill that needs to be practised on a regular basis. The costs associated can also be high.
Thus, the lack of regular diving and the investment ($$$) you want to make are you very sure what you want to do this??
There is nothing "glamorous" (used due to lack of better word) about tech diving even thou some divers make it out to be. It can also be a truely rewarding experience, but it's not for all.
I think my point is to make 100% sure that it's what you want to do and undertsand that it will take money and time. Do you have those? Are you prepared to "hang" for 60-90min deco after a deep dive with little bottom time not to mention the gasses required ($$$). If YES, the go for it but look at the bigger picture.
I wouldn't eliminate any agency from from your search and for another instructor to tell you to do that lacks a bunch of professionalism. Your best bet is to reach out to a few instructors in your area and interview them regardless of affiliation. Many very good tech instructors hold certs from more than agency. Find one who meshes with you and arrange to do an intro to tech or fundies course. This will give you a good baseline as to what you will need to improve on moving forward. The course should also include a discussion on proper gear config.
Have considered looking into what courses your college may offer? Several offer a dive program as part of the science classes or there may be a dive business type. I think UT or Texas A and M has a course. Getting DM might not be something you are interested in but in the tech world if you later want to be a guide you need a DM rating to get insurance. The NSS CDS just started a guide program for caves and you need DM.