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Path to tech diving

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba Discussions' started by Efka76, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. chrisch

    chrisch Solo Diver

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    For me the issue with GUE is about attitude not skill levels per se. Your example of teaching deco to someone who cannot hold a stop is a good example. The GUE path requires the core skills to be there before advancement. For sure this is available with other agencies and GUE is not the only route. However, I have yet to meet anyone in GUE that would countenance the idea of letting someone push past their limits. In addition I like the "team" based philosophy of the GUE approach.

    Fundies is expensive, both in money and time and commitment. It is on my "to do" list but I have insufficient of all three right now. When I was younger and new to diving I would have benefited from Fundies and had the time and commitment and I guess could have found the money if I really tried. If the OP can, then why not? I doubt anyone would see it as a bad investment over time. It is only a dumb thing to do if (like so very many people) you stop diving after a few years for some reason.

    IMHO the GUE threshold is correct for overhead environment and caves specifically. You can get there other routes without doubt.
     
  2. RainPilot

    RainPilot OC/CCR Instructor Trainer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: UAE
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    The only reason you need a GUE-F card is if you want to progress further in GUE specific training.

    The skills that are taught on that course are definitely something I would argue every diver needs / could benefit from.

    The reason I bring up the difference.... many GUE/UTD instructors are also instructors for other agencies, so you may be able to get those skills taught to you, but without the expense etc of the GUE card.

    I am, for example, a UTD Foundational Instructor. That allows me to teach Essentials of Rec (basically GUE-F with a rec pass) in BM or SM. If someone comes to me for training, who is not planning to go further with UTD, but is interested in going into tech diving, I will most often incorporate all the skills from Essentials into their confined water sessions for whatever card is next for them (quite often an AOW or Deep cert as they are prerequisites for the tech course they are planning).

    Once I am a tech instructor, I plan to continue doing just that. Skills and cards and training are not the same thing, there are a lot of ways to get skills without necessarily doing the standard course progressions.
     
  3. ofg-1

    ofg-1 Course Director

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    The path to tech diving leads straight through the ATM and into the second mortgage zones.
     
  4. taimen

    taimen Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Europe
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    For those who don't know it, GUE-F does not cover deco tank handling at all, even for the tec pass.
     
  5. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
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    Right. To clarify, I was referring to learning the skill of doing stepped ascents. For example, what I’m trying to work on right now is to ascend 10 feet, stop, do a skill such as a valve drill or Basic 5 (a practice skill), ascend another 10 feet, stop, etc. Stay in trim, no excessive foot movement—things instructors have encouraged me to work on. I’m having a VERY hard time with this. But my understanding is that it will pay off when it comes time to learn deco tank handling.
     
    RainPilot likes this.
  6. divezonescuba

    divezonescuba ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Commendable that you are doing this. Some tec students come in cold with only rec skills. Don’t know if you are doing this in tec gear minus the deco bottles, if you are not, you should. Another thing to work on is a back kick and helicopter turn. This will help with the deco stop practice.

    Make sure you are doing the valve drills the way your instructor will be evaluating you on or you will need to relearn it.
     
    Lorenzoid likes this.
  7. taimen

    taimen Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Europe
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    That is a difficult skill and more demanding than anything I did on GUE fundies. We didn't do valve drills during ascents or midwater without stable reference. I thought that would be part of advanced training (after tech pass) in the gue realm.
    But obviously standards vary, even in GUE.
     
  8. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
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    I don't believe what I described is required for a tech pass--true "task-loading in mid-water without visual reference" is more than necessary. Nevertheless, it's my understanding that doing the Fundies skills right above a platform or similar easy bottom is not sufficient. From the feedback I have received, I got the impression I need to be able to go to some target depth such as 20 or 30 feet (likely within visual of the bottom or some other feature) as requested by the instructor and then do the skills, while maintaining that depth within the Fundies tech pass window (within 3 ft. of target depth, less than 20 degrees out of horizontal trim). Also, the "minimum deco ascent" (with SMB) requires 30-second stops at (at least for the sake of Fundies) 30, 20, and 10 feet. Granted, I believe the ascent is easier with the tactile feedback afforded by the SMB, which is what the Fundies skill entails, but if you're the teammate without the SMB then you need to control your depth more or less "mid-water."

    Edit: BTW, sorry for the semi-hijack. This thread isn't about me, I know. I am obviously just venting frustration with the pace of my progress.
     
  9. RainPilot

    RainPilot OC/CCR Instructor Trainer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: UAE
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    Actually, I find being the SMB-less one much easier, since the SMB buddy is a lovely reference. In a flat position with my computer turned so it is just an eye movement to cross reference, it is quite simple to check depth, look to make sure nothing is changing (ie totally neutral) and then use the SMB winder as a reference while occasionally cross checking my depth gauge.

    For a genuine, zero reference hover, I use solely my gauge but that is REALLY tiring and annoying. Not something I would even consider doing for an extended deco period. Thats why I have 2 SMB's, if I lost my buddy in blue water step 1 would be to blow a bag, then I have a reference.
     
    kensuf and Lorenzoid like this.
  10. sigxbill

    sigxbill Tech Instructor

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    Just curious - what is their philosophy towards tech diving that you like?

    Thanks,
     
    RainPilot and BlueTrin like this.

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