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Treat every dive like a tech dive

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by 2airishuman, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

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    Ah geez Louise Captain.
     
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  2. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

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    Well, I won't hold my breath then :wink:
     
  3. freewillie

    freewillie Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
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    I read most but not all the threads. I'm a basic recreational diver. I do have AOW training and that's it so far. I have no desire to dive cave, penetrate wrecks, or deeper than 90 feet. I don't care about double tanks, trimix gases, decompression calculations, or needing a long hose to air share single file. To say I'm less safe because I don't plan a recreational dive like a tech dive is somewhat condescending. I know my basic dive tables, know that with regular air in a single AL 80 tank at 60-70 feet max depth if I keep my bottom time under 50-60 minutes it's within NDL guidelines. I have a primary and an Atomic SS1 as my second. For me if I share air dive is over. You surface immediately with your buddy. The key is to watch your gauges and monitor gas so you don't have an out of air or low on air situation. Basic dive principles taught in OW. Let's not over think the issue. You don't need a "tech" mindset, you just need a "safety" mindset.
     
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  4. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

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    I guess I've been blessed in that way. I was a very experienced "rec" diver with over 1000 dives before I started taking technical training. My technical instructors were all friends and dive buddies of mine before I started training with them. In fact, I've been diving and involved in training divers for so long that one of them was even a former student! Another is a TDI instructor trainer and a PADI course director and literally one of the most solid divers I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot), yet another is a IANTD instructor trainer and aside from the extreme deep crowd, guys like Pim van der Horst, and the DIR vanguard in Europe, JP Bresser, is probably one of the most experienced divers in the Netherlands.

    All of them pushed me but none of them had the slightest interest in humiliating me. In each case, however, I was completely gobsmacked by how much tighter my diving could be than it had been before. My buoyancy control was perfect out of the gate but that was pretty much the only thing I had coming in that didn't need work. All in all it was an incredibly positive experience. Humbling, but not humiliating and deeply gratifying. I've also become a much better diver (and better instructor) because of it.

    Frankly, I think everyone who is teaching recreational diving should have technical training.

    R..

    ---------- Post added December 4th, 2015 at 11:39 AM ----------

    I think you keep moving the goal posts. It's hard to know *what* you want to say.

    You've said a couple of things that ring a bell with me, however. One of them is that experience is golden.

    I've known John for quite a while and he's one of my favorite people. He's one of the people on Scubaboard who you should really listen do. I believe he's calling you out because you're talking about technical diving and/or the training involved with a certain attitude of authority while you literally know nothing about it. I believe he's doing this because people who are not participating in the discussion will read this thread and he's trying to make it clear to the anonymous reader that the person on this thread who seems to be making the biggest claim of authority on the subject is literally fantasizing the whole thing.

    That said, getting back to your "gut feeling" that "experience reigns supreme" (actually you said "reins", which are the straps that you attach to a horse's head, so if you take nothing from my post you can at least take that).

    Nevertheless, I agree with you to a certain extent. Experience is definitely important. Accident statistics support that claim. However, what John is trying to explain to you is that RELEVANT experience is what matters when it comes to technical diving. Accident statistics support this as well. There are two main risk groups among divers. One are inexperienced divers and one is VERY experienced divers. The latter group would appear to be at risk because they are pushing boundaries, perhaps without the necessary training. One example of this can be understood by considering the number of experienced divers who have "accidents" related to blown deco stops but they are not adequately trained to be making dives beyond the NDLs. The number of technical divers who have accidents related to blown deco stops is very small even though they make the lion's share of such dives. It does happen, but it is rare. Accidents related to blown deco are almost exclusively a phenomenon related to divers not having the proper training for the dive they were trying to do.

    Many of those are "experienced" divers, but not "well trained" divers. This is the distinction I believe John is trying to help you understand.

    For example, in the Netherlands (where I live) the technical community is fairly large %-wise but of the 55 or so accidents per year related to blown deco, not a single one of them over the last 5 years, to the best of my knowledge, involved divers with proper training. All of them would have involved "experienced" divers but not "well trained" divers. What John is trying to make clear to you is this.

    R..
     
  5. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    The word recreational has many meanings and mostly the definition must be in context with something else. the definition for recreational is different when looking at it as opposed to
    occupational/professional vs hobby
    serious vs casual / relaxation
    intensive/complex vs basic
    mastering of skills vs minimum standards
    highly advances vs basic



    you may not be able to tell if a diver is technically skilled but you can tell when they are not

    Also the classification of the dive and that of the diver is not locked together necessarily. One would hope that if you make a technical dive you are equally skilled.

    The issue of recreational being non paid diving IMO is rec in context to occupational vs recreational. and that definition being incorrectly being used in a different context such as highly skilled vs basic. the definition with out the context is not transferable.

    With out knowing John outside of SB, i would assume he is a apt technical diver and now one that has an even greater set of honed technical skills. for me its either rec or tech and there are many degrees to each. as such those doing rec dives can and should aspire to hone their diving skills towards technical grade skills and dive with them whether doing a rec or tech dive. Should everyone teaching have tech training? I think that would be fantastic so long as it is the minimum tech level of training that is required. aow courses should IMO contain some skills that would be of the tech catagory. The level of mastery would be low to pass but it introduces AOW students to higher level of skills and then when on their own they can work on them at their leisure and desire. Very much like the navigation and deep exposure. The first tech class should not be the first time you try a frog kick or achieve neutral horizontal trim. Just the trim aspect being introduced in AOW becomes a guide for gear purchase ,,,, fins especially come to mind. BPW hoses and the like should be something the student has been introduced to when he leaves. AOW can be a very fun and enlightening experience. The grad would already be on their way to technical style diving as it applies to the rec environments they will be diving. If you can send them out with a hunger to learn more I think everyone makes out on the result. Instead we dump them on the waters with many times absolute minimal skills and unless they find a mentor to take them further they sit stagnant. These are the folks that threads about coral destruction is about. If you don't know what to aspire to if you don't know what is out there. Why??? because you don't know what you don't know. The most impressive dive i ever made was at south padre island on the texas clipper and the group i dove with was technical skilled recreational divers. My thought was "wow I'm not the only one with horizontal trim. There was perhaps a dozen of us no more than a few degrees out of perfect trim at the safety stop and none holding the down line. ON the trip out i wondered about the group because of all the BPW's on board. One look at the gear being used and how it was being handled told me that this dive may be an eye opener. I actually felt a bit intimidated. I doubt anyone learned anything from me but I picked up a lot from the others. The next week at clear springs divers at 30-45 degree trim angles, dog paddling through the water at 20 ft. There were a lot of fingers pointing at me that day as I inhaled to change depth and frog'd through the sunk plane with out silting. I will admit it... long term frog kick is foreign to me but i want to get reasonable good backing up so i can take pics. Each to their motivations. In regards to technical minded vs safety minded, i view them as somewhat the same as technical minded has a lot to do with being safe and avoiding problems. One is the stepping stone to the other.
     
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  6. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

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    Agreed, but I believe that in order to achieve this, training, as well as experience, is required.

    Agreed. At the shop where I teach most of us, from the beginning instructor to the shop owner, are technically trained. I believe it makes a difference in how well we prepare our students as compared to shops that don't have that kind of experience in their staff.

    R..
     
  7. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS
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    Agree on both accounts. You complete OW and you dive with an experienced diver and they can quickly get you globaly right. Then you take classes and get the refinement that you get when you,,,, for the most part,,,, are already there.

    Training is almost always a must.


     
  8. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

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    ... getting paid makes it a commercial dive, not a technical dive ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  9. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

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    Please don't take this the wrong way, but was your instructor/salesman aware of what your goals were when it came to diving?

    When I made the decision to lay down the deposit for my OW the next thing I did was start researching. I signed up on this board a month before I became certified. I was reading articles, watching videos and learning about diving. I borrowed my neighbors gear and familiarized myself with what it felt like to breath from a reg underwater and control buoyancy with a bc while in my pool. I even did a few drills like mask clearing/removal and air sharing all before I even met my instructor. My approach may not have been the norm and not everyone would have access to a friends gear or a pool, but my point is I wanted to learn how to scuba dive and the research I did also led me to realize I needed to determine the type of diving I wanted to do. At the end of the day it's my responsibility to know this, not anyone else. So when I did my certification it was a breeze, I already did most of the things they teach you and when I went to buy my gear I already knew what I wanted, with some exceptions that were worked out during talks with my instructor. If I told my instructor all I want to do in the future is open water tropical dives or didn't tell my instructor anything why would he sell me a long hose and two equal primaries when we all know a yellow octo is perfectly fine for benign tropical diving?

    Perhaps one could say "moving the goal post", there are many levels and types of technical diving, right? Some that are pretty basic, relatively speaking, like open water single stage decompression diving to full on cave diving, right? The OP's blanket question of apply tec to rec for the rec diver for me is hard to make sense of. That's why I made the point about Nitrox once being considered technical and comparing that to experience level. You could have two technical divers with vastly different goals and levels of training. Also, for the sake of this discussion let's assume no one is doing dives outside their training.

    Take me for example. In talks with my instructor about progressing my diving he asked me why do I want to do technical diving? One of my answers was to shoot a trophy fish. Like a Warsaw grouper which would likely require deep diving and decompression. Well setting gas training aside, I assume my training for that is going to be much different than if I said I want to penetrate caves at Weeki Wachee. So again bring this back to applying tec to rec. How would that type of training benefit an open water dive at 60 ft? I'm not trying to be argumentative. If the next week I want to do a 60 fsw dive is the tech training I received going to make me a safer diver? I wouldn't be diving doubles or bring a stage bottle at 60 fsw. So the gas switching and valve drills I learned wouldn't really apply.

    Now, for example, if you tell me that at any level of tech training you're going to be hit with rigorous drills like unexpectedly having your mask ripped off your face, your reg pulled from your mouth all while in a current. Well hell yes, that could be beneficial in a rec dive. Is that kind of training to be expected at any level of tech diving? And then how could a rec diver apply that technical training to a rec dive when they never learned it? Should that type of training be applied to the basic open water curriculum? I don't know. Dumpsterdiver makes a great point. We're diving for fun, right? That kind of drill would probably keep a lot of people from ever diving again and also calls into question would it be safe. Student divers die without that kind of training, so I think it's probably a bad idea. But an experienced rec diver with a lot of dives under his belt may be able to handle it because he's had one or more of those things happen in a real life situation. I read the stories in the "near misses" forum and I have to assume those experience make them a better diver. A final question, how can a diver apply technical training to recreational diving when their level of training stops at open water?

    I don't think the question apply tec to rec for the rec diver can be answered with a simple yes or no answer. And that would also make for a boring thread. So why not "move the goal post around"? :wink: I've asked a lot of questions in this post in the hopes to further the discussion.

    As far as John, I'm sure he's a great dude and obviously has much more experience than me, but compare Bob's response to my post and John's. I understand tech diving isn't only about gas planning, but I believe it's a big part of it. Am I wrong? I admitted I could have used different language. I also stated twice I'm not a technical diver. And my intention was not to act like an authority, so I apologize if that's how it came across. I'm also not holding any grudges, maybe he was having a bad day, maybe I interpreted his response the wrong way. Maybe I'm an idiot and don't know what the hell I'm talking about, but im learning. :)

    As far as my grammar, please forgive my smart "I" device. I do make an effort to proof read and go back and change mistakes if I see them. I don't see the need for saying "if nothing else, maybe you'll take this grammar lesson away from my post." I also don't see the need to make fun of the OP's profile picture. But I realize it's easier to attack the person rather than the content. Human nature I suppose.
     
  10. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

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    ... you have been assimilated ...:D

    Not that that's a bad thing, mind you ... but the Kool Aid definitely comes with a rather narrow perspective of what constitutes "best practices". There are pros and cons to every choice you can make ... and they're not equally applicable in all aspects of diving ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)

    ---------- Post added December 4th, 2015 at 06:43 AM ----------

    Same here ... the guy I took most of my NAUI Tech classes from was someone I first met when he was taking a Rescue class from me ... :)

    He went on to become one of the best tech instructors in our area ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)

    ---------- Post added December 4th, 2015 at 07:26 AM ----------

    I'm going to start off by repeating something I said earlier ... there's a big difference between knowing and understanding. That's an important distinction, and the one I believe John is trying to make. Reading, talking to more experienced people, interacting on social media ... these things all help you "know" something. Understanding it involves putting it into a context that helps you determine why it matters ... and sometimes when it matters, because what may be beneficial under some circumstances could inhibit or even endanger you under others.

    There's a phenomenon in scuba diving that many of us more experienced divers recognize ... in part because we see it on ScubaBoard all the time, and in part because (if we're honest with ourselves) that was us at one point in time. It's uncharitably called "the 50-dive expert". Please don't take that as a put-down ... it's just a term meant to characterize the fact that at around 50 dives ... give or take, depending on the diver ... many people begin to develop sufficient context to feel comfortable that we've got things pretty well figured out. And to a certain degree, we do. To a larger degree ... not so much. Been there ... when I read some of my earliest posts on ScubaBoard I sound way more confident about what I "knew" than I do now ... to a degree, it's embarrassing to look back at how certain I was of things that in hindsight I realize I didn't truly understand. I think that's what John's trying to point out ... not as a put-down, but because he recognizes it ... he was there once too.

    You have some valid points and issues ... but there are nuances to those that you're clearly not aware of yet. Talking and listening can help clarify those nuances ... both are important components. Many of us on social media have to learn how to listen as well as talk ... some of us never really get good at it. But in THIS forum ... where there are many impressionable readers ... those of us who teach, who have experience with new divers, and concerns about what they read and how they interpret it, will voice our concerns when we see people saying things that we know aren't quite right, or require some clarification or boundaries. Please don't take it personally, or as condescending ... we've all been there, and there's nothing to be condescending about. Besides that, it just deflects from what could be useful information.

    For example, your take on gas management ... you are absolutely right, in my opinion ... it's the most important topic that doesn't get taught at the basic level. I've been on that soapbox for many years, having written and promoted an article on the subject that's been a part of my AOW curriculum since I began teaching in 2004. Many instructors who've read it either added it to their curriculum or created something like it of their own, because they recognize the value in teaching people at the basic level that it's better to be proactive by making gas planning part of your dive plan than it is to be reactive by simply reading a gauge (that you WILL someday get distracted and neglect to keep track of).

    What I'm trying to say is that I think it's great you're thinking along these lines, and putting so much effort into learning. Please try not to be defensive or dismissive of those who are attempting to point out where your conclusions are getting off the main point and onto some tangential line of thought that eventually takes you away from the main point of the topic. It's something we all do to one degree or another as we progress. The irony is that as we gain experience and knowledge, we become less certain of what we know ... I don't have nearly the certainty of my answers now that I did in 2001, when I was sitting at the 50-dive mark ... the more we expose ourselves to different environments, different circumstances, different diving styles and solutions, different dive buddies and different perspectives, the more we come to realize that the only certain answers in this activity begin with the words "it depends". Drives me nuts sometimes, but that's the nature of the business.

    Oh ... and split fins will definitely kill you ... :D

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
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