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Technical Diving International

Getting Started in Technical Diving

If you are new to technical diving then this page is designed to give you all the basic information you need to get going.

First some of the most common questions:

Question: What is technical diving?
Answer; All non commercial diving is categorized as recreational and within recreational diving there is sport and technical. Sport diving includes your open water certification, advanced scuba diver, and many other specialty course. Technical diving picks up where sport diving ends generally at nitrox (a breathing gas with oxygen levels greater than 21 percent). A precise definition of technical diving is difficult as different people use it to mean different things. In general decompression diving, using rich nitrox mixtures for decompression or the use of Trimix or Rebreathers are all likely to be classed as technical diving

Question: Will technical diving allow me to go deeper?
Answer; yes. For many people expanding the depths that they can safely dive to is one of the main reasons to start technical diving. TDI has a range of courses that take you from 30m to as deep as 100 m and do so in a manner that each course builds on the last and each course takes you a little deeper. By receiving training in this manner not only are your skills and knowledge increasing but so is your comfort level.

Question: Do I have to go deep for technical diving?
Answer; No. Although technical diving is commonly thought of as deep, there are a lot of people who take these courses to improve their skills and increase their safety in the recreational depths ranges. Many UK divers may be qualified to dive to 50m from a recreational agency but technical training can increase the safety in this range as well as allow accelarated decompression to reduce the amount of decmpression that must be done in these ranges .

Question: What is my first step into technical diving?
Answer; Nitrox is most divers first step into technical but it has also become very popular amongst sport divers and most agencies now teach this to recreational divers. If you have absolutely no experience of technical diving then the TDI Introduction to Technical Diving is designed to give an overview of all aspects of technical diving and to act as an introduction for more advanced courses. For experienced divers who are used to a single cylinder then the Twinset Familliarisation gives a good overview of twinset diving. For those who have been diving with a twinset for some time then theTDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures course would be a suitable starting point.

Question: What equipment do I need?
Answer; Technical diving uses slightly different equipment to recreational diving. Although it is possible to use a single cylinder with an H or Y valve for most technical diving a twinset is the prefered option. It is essential that a diver is comfortable with buoyancy control on a twinset before progressing to more advanced courses. For divers with no experience with a twinset then the Twinset Familliarisation course gives a good overview of twinset diving.

The use of stage cyllinders for decompression gas is also common. Don't worry if you have never used a stage cylinder as the configuration and use of stages is fully covered in the TDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures course.

Various other types of equipment will be covered during your course. Your instructor will fully cover any equipment requirements before the course and will fully explain their use during the course.

Question: What skills will I need to start the course?
Answer; Technical diving requires a higher level of skill than recreational diving. Many people believe this means that all skills have to be mastered before they start the course. This is not true, the intention of the course is to provide you with the knowledge, training and practice so that you can master them by the end of the course. If you had to master them before you started then what would be the point of doing the course?

The following table gives an idea of the entry skill level required for each course.

CourseSkill Level Required At Entry
Twinset Familliarisation OW or equivalent
TDI Intro to TechOW or equivalent
TDI Adv Nitrox/Deco ProceduresOW or equivalent, buoyancy control in twinset, ability to hold safety stop, ability to deploy DSMB
TDI TrimixAs above, ability to hold deco stops and perform gas switches, comfortable with single stage cylinder
TDI Advanced TrimixAs above, a comfortable with two stage cylinders

Question: When are courses run?
Answer; We run courses throughout the year. The Twinset Familliarisation and TDI Intro to Tech courses are run several times a months and can be run on a one to one basis on most midweek dates.

TDI Adv Nitrox/Deco Procedures courses are run a couple of times a month. The TDI Trimix courses are run approximately once every six seeks with this course being run more often during the summer. The TDI Advanced Trimix course is run on demand.

During the summer months courses are run in the sea wherever possible. We use Weymouth, Portland, Plymouth, Scapa Flow and other sites. During the winter we run the courses at inlamd sites or abroad in locations such as Cyprus, Malta, Red Sea, etc.

Question: I still have more questions?
Answer; Drop me an email on info@dive-tech.co.uk or give me a call on 07770 864327 and I will try to answer any remaining questions.

TDI - Technical Diving International SDI - Scuba Diving International