A couple of days ago I received a message from an Instagram follow. This person said that after following my Instagram page they were inspired to start tech diving and asked me for some advice and tips for beginners. So, this article is for that follower and anyone else who may be considering tech diving.
Here are 5 things that people who are interested in tech diving need to know
- Feel comfortable in the water. In tech diving, you are going to need a lot of gear (backmount doubles, stages). You need to be comfortable and relaxed in the water. You need to control your gear in an intuitive manner. Imagine to yourself there are two divers – the first diver feels comfortable in the water, knowing exactly where all of their gear is. The other diver is all tensed up – touching and adjusting their gear. If a malfunction were to occur the relaxed diver will handle and solve the malfunction much quicker and easier.
- Buoyancy – buoyancy has a big role in tech diving.To make a safe and enjoyable dive you need to control your buoyancy 100%. As you descend to your desired depth during a dive, gas volume is decreasing and as you ascend the gas is expanding (Boyle’s law). A tech diver needs to control that reduction in volume by inflating or deflating their BCD, bladder, or drysuit. A diver always will strive to remain neutrally buoyant. As you begin to conduct deeper or longer dives that will require decompression stops you will need to control your buoyancy to make those stops.
- Redundancy – in tech diving it is all about redundancy. You need to switch your course of thinking. In recreational diving you are diving with a single tank of gas and you’re limited to the NDL table. With almost any case of malfunction, you can always do CESA (Controlled emergency swimming ascent) alone or with your buddy and nothing will happen. However, as you tech dive your cells are absorbing N2 to your bloodstream if you try a CESA in such dives it will cause you DCS.
- Punctuality – in tech diving you need to be punctual. You need to take the time to do a lot of measuring and planning. You need to be accurate when you prepare your dive gear and planning your dives. A mistake mixing up two stage, one with 21% O2 and the other one with pure oxygen can be fatal.
- Knowledge of decompression theory.Decompression theory is theory that scientists nowadays don’t fully understand. So how are we going to know what are the restrictions in such dives? I’m glad you’re asking; all of the tables are made by an empiric sighting and experiments. Decompression theory is always evolving, and different methods are always adding up. You need to always be thrilled to learn and gain advanced certifications.
Don’t worry! All of the above is up to you. Gain experience as an open water diver, take an appropriate course such as intro to tech, follow what your instructor teaches you and you will enjoy yourself in the water!