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TDI Intro to Tech or AN/DP?

Discussion in 'Technical Diving Specialties' started by Kyle0692, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Kyle0692

    Kyle0692 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: NE Florida
    24
    38
    13
    Hi all,

    I’ve been diving for a little over a year now and am interested in seeing if technical diving is right for me due to my interest in wreck diving. I have done about half a dozen deep wreck dives, 100+ ft, and have really enjoyed these dives,but wish I could stay down longer to explore more. I’ve been reading these forums and other info online and tech diving has me interested. I am looking for some advice on which tech course to take.

    My local dive shop referred me to an independent instructor that they know that teaches technical courses. I reached out to him the other week and gave him my diving experience/background. I have about 60 dives now with a dozen dives at or below 100 ft and am PADI AOW/Nitrox certified. I explained that I am interested in technical diving, specifically the Intro to Tech course, to see if it is right for me and to try some of the technical gear and improve my existing diving skills. I made it clear that I have never dove doubles before and do not have any tech gear myself.

    The instructor replied to my email and recommended the AN/DP TDI course combo in lieu of Intro to Tech as he believes there is not much to be gained from the Intro course. I haven’t emailed him back yet as to why he feels that way. He does have an extra set of doubles, regulators, deco bottle, etc. that I would get used to in the pool prior to advancing with skills. The instructor made it clear that they were OK with me not being used to the gear and would spend some extra time with me to get used to it.

    Looking at the differences between the Intro to Tech course and AN/DP, the ladder is clearly more advanced and I will learn many more skills and gain more experience. The Intro class requirements are clear that there is no deco diving done for the certification. I would like to at least simulate, if not perform actual deco dives in the course so that I can experience one of the big parts that is involved in tech diving.

    Initially, I was thinking to take the Intro to Tech course prior to discussing with the instructor, and then buying my own set of technical gear based on their recommendations after the course if I liked/thought I would enjoy furthering my tech diving skills/experience. With his recommendation though, I would gain quite a bit more experience and learn more skills performing actual deco dives. In terms of equipment, I would get used to one set and then have to re-learn another if I don’t buy the same gear used in the course. There are potentials to buy some used equipment from local guys I know, but buying all the gear is a significant investment of probably $2,500-$4,000 depending on new/used purchases.

    Any thoughts and advice you guys have, I would appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    Kyle
     
  2. RyanT

    RyanT Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    1,475
    1,101
    113
    To me, the intro to tech really does seem like a "try it, to see if you like it" sort of thing. With a good instructor, I'm sure it can be a valuable course as you will learn some skills. On the other hand, if you decide to go down the tech road, you can learn all the skills you need in the AN/DP course without spending the course fee on the intro tech course. Here's something else to consider.... You don't have to do the AN/DP as a combined course. You can also do them as independent courses. A lot of folks will say (and I don't disagree) that AN is not very useful without DP. But what you can gain by splitting them up is taking your tech training at a slower pace. You and your instructor can work on all the requisite tech skills in the AN course. Once you feel like those are solid, you can then jump into the DP course. This is what my buddy did when she was at a similar place as you. Likewise, if you take just the AN course and then decide that tech isn't for you, you can also avoid paying the additional course fee for DP. So in essence, you can use the AN as an intro tech course.
     
    Kyle0692 and Graeme Fraser like this.
  3. Kyle0692

    Kyle0692 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: NE Florida
    24
    38
    13
    Thanks for this perspective
     
    RyanT and Graeme Fraser like this.
  4. Graeme Fraser

    Graeme Fraser Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Narnia
    165
    159
    43
    This is sound advice. Regarding the equipment, for the same reasons, why not use their hire kit for AN before making a significant financial decision. Most doubles BP/W are based on a similar theme so you won't need to relearn as such. Following AN you will also have more experience and knowledge to make more informed purchases. Good luck and enjoy!
     
    shoredivr and RyanT like this.
  5. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Great Lakes
    4,259
    2,635
    113
    Depends on where your skills are now. I’m doing ITT before AN/DP as I need the extra in water work. YMMV.
     
    DavidFL likes this.
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Orlando, FL
    343
    229
    43
    +1 to what @Marie13 posted. I had a very abbreviated ITT/Dry Suit course, then did AN/DP. The ITT did confirm for me that I could manage backmounted doubles out of the water (I was concerned about the weight and my bionic hip) and watching other divers attempt sidemount from a boat for the AN/DP dives confirmed that I'm glad I decided on backmounted doubles.

    But my underwater skills with the combination of doubles and drysuit, needed a lot of work. I ended up doing GUE Fundamentals Part 1; and I will either do fundies Part 2 or a full fundies course before I finish my Trimix class in the ocean.

    I wish I had done ITT with a full skills refresh and practice in the doubles and drysuit configuration. You can do all the basic skills work for deco without actually doing deco profiles.
     
    seeker242 and Marie13 like this.
  7. seeker242

    seeker242 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL
    943
    481
    63
    When I was doing my AN/DP class, all the instructors I spoke to said AN/DP is NOT the class to learn to dive doubles.
     
  8. RyanT

    RyanT Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    1,475
    1,101
    113
    My guess is that a lot depends on the instructor. If the instructor and student have an understanding of where they are starting from, and plan to develop the student's skills (particularly with AN as a stand-alone class), then it can be an ideal course to develop those tech skills.
     
  9. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Great Lakes
    4,259
    2,635
    113
    I’m going to have nearly a full season diving doubles under my belt before ITT. I’ve been in the pool with them for several hours at a time since the beginning of the year. Got them trimmed out and I’ll take them out to the quarry several times before I hit the Great Lakes with them.
     
    markmud and DavidFL like this.
  10. RyanT

    RyanT Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    1,475
    1,101
    113
    Just to follow up on my previous post, this is also where it is important for the student to find an instructor that they mesh well with. My buddy and I were fortunate in our training that we found just such an instructor for us.
     
    markmud likes this.

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