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Where & How to start learning the skills for GUE?

Discussion in 'Technical Diving' started by Jim-SAR, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Jim-SAR

    Jim-SAR Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Kenosha, WI
    Hello :cool2: I've been lurking around the Tech forums for a while, and I've been reading a lot of the Fundies reports, and also watching some GUE skills videos. Now I'm curious about where to start learning some of the GUE type skills for bouyancy, trim, stability, and kicks to begin with. I tried searching, but maybe I was being too specific with my wording.

    My current cet level is PADI Master Scuba Diver, and ERDI Level-I PSD (Level-II PSD w/ Cont Wtr coming in Oct). I was going through the PADI divemaster program until a motorcycle wreck caused a detour, then I missed the cutoff for their holograph logo stuff, so I will be starting the SDI Divemaster program in a month or two. Being from the Midwest, and being a PSD, being in cold water with with limited/zero viz doesn't bother me. Okay, zero viz pretty much sucks when you can't even see your DC or guages, but I'm normally tethered at that point. :wink:

    I'm 47 years old, so I'm not sure how far into the Tech world I want to go, or how much I could actually afford. Right now, my goals are better control in the water column. I doubt I'll ever venture into a cave, or do any deep penetraions on wrecks.

    So...enough of the background stuff...

    1. Other than watching YouTube videos, where/how does a person start learning at least the basics? (3' Bouyancy window, Kicks)

    2. If a course is needed, what's the average cost?

    3. Is a BP/W an absolute must for the basics?

    Thanks for your help,

  2. PfcAJ

    PfcAJ Orca

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: St Petersburg, Fl
    The best place to learn is in a GUE class. The full-on Fundamentals class seems to run around $650 these days. Primer will be less, but will not qualify you for continued education. You'd need Fundamentals for that, and a tech pass to pursue Cave 1 or Tech 1. Imo, you'd probably be best served with the Fundamentals class over Primer.

    Backplate, wing, longhose, bungeed backup, nonsplit fins are all required.

    Practicing the wrong stuff, or practicing incorrectly will slow down your progression (law of primacy and all that). If you must practice stuff, work on being still in the water. If you can't be still, you can't watch the instructor's demonstrations in class and you'd be kinda wasting your time.

    Hope this helps!
    eelnoraa, ScubaSam and Jim-SAR like this.
  3. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    You can learn these things through the videos and no doubt other routes, such as a mentor, but the point of taking the Fundies class is that they teach you.
  4. HenrikBP

    HenrikBP Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Mexico
    Like AJ wrote, I'd suggest working on being still in the water. I spent many (many ... :)) hours hovering above the platform, trying to keep my hands and feet from "flailing" around. Using the platform as a reference for horizontal trim.

    But I'll second the suggestion, that getting correct instruction is key. Practice doesn't make "perfect", it makes "permanent". Better to start practicing the right thing from the beginning.

    Some of my buddies have seen great benefit from taking Primer to get started on the basics.
    lv2dive and ScubaSam like this.
  5. Jim-SAR

    Jim-SAR Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Kenosha, WI
    Thanks for the information :cool2: Taking the class is what "I know" needs to be done, but financially, it isn't feasible right now with my DM and ERDI classes coming up, not to mention the gear cost. It is something I'll start looking into for locations and scheduling though. Maybe next year, you'll be reading my own Fundies report, who knows.
  6. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    Remember that the GUE Fundies class was initially designed as an intro class for cave diving. I would guess that most tech agencies teach the same skills in their introductory classes. Those skills are not unique to GUE. I teach them in my Intro to Tech classes (TDI). I even teach a PADI distinctive specialty called TecReational Diver that teaches those skills.
    Doppler likes this.
  7. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    To learn this stuff, you really need feedback from somebody. If your budget, at present, doesn't include ANY instruction other than what you have listed, that means you have to find somebody who is willing to work with you on this and provide feedback but not charge for it. If you can find any GUE-trained divers in your area, they often are willing to dive with folks who are interested in the system, and give them some tips. If not, see if you can find somebody who is cave trained. If all else fails, you can go diving with a "normal" buddy, and ask them to give you some feedback on your trim, at least.

    Buoyancy control you can certainly work on on your own -- set yourself some goals. Go through the "Buoyancy Masterclass" articles on THIS website, and play with the exercises.

    If all you want is skills refinement, you can work on your own or eventually take a class like the one John mentioned, or a cavern class, or an Intro to Tech from someone who is cave trained. A lot of people think the skills are what GUE diving is about, and that is only a small part of the picture. The GUE system is a way of diving that involves a highly standardized approach, from gear to gases to procedures, and a very strong focus on working as a team. To be a good part of a team, you have to have strong skills -- but you can have strong skills and not be a team diver at all. GUE training, in addition to holding high standards on individual performance, stresses situational awareness and communication, and solving problems as a team. If this appeals to you, then you will eventually have to standardize your equipment, because standardization is a big part of the system. If all you want is to learn better buoyancy control and non-silting kicks, you can do that any number of ways.
  8. Jim-SAR

    Jim-SAR Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Kenosha, WI

    Thanks John. Since my LDS is PADI/SDI/ERDI, I'll look into the TDI portion. I'm not sure if we have any Tech Instructors or not.

    Thanks! I think you nailed it with your explanation concerning GUE and the bigger picture concept. My current goal is skills refinement, with the possibility of more in the future. I used to a be Navy Instructor, so I understand the principles of learning and the importance of feedback/evaluation to the learning process.
  9. razorbackdiver

    razorbackdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Little Rock, AR
    I took the fundies course about a month ago. I got a provisional rate but more importantly I real view of where I am at with my trim. If you are wanting to get a jump start on the fundies course you really need to get someone to video you. It's hard to fix if you don't know whats broke.
  10. ucfdiver

    ucfdiver DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Orlando, FL
    I read a lot about "equivalent" classes, but I have yet to see an agency produce as consistent results from intro to tech courses as GUE does. I would not feel comfortable directing someone to TDI or any other agency who is expecting a fundies quality course.
    ScubaSam, HenrikBP and elan like this.

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