Find out the 1o signs that your are cut out for dives deeper than 130 feet
Technical diving (sometimes referred to as tec diving) is a form of scuba diving that exceeds the conventional limits – especially depth and bottom time – of recreational diving. Technical diving exposes the diver to significantly higher risks than recreational diving, including paralysis and death, and therefore requires extensive experience, advanced training, and specialized equipment. Technical diving also often involves breathing gases other than air or standard nitrox.
Technical dives may be defined as being dives deeper than about 130 feet (40 m) or dives in an overhead environment with no direct access to the surface or natural light. Such environments may include fresh and saltwater caves and the interiors of shipwrecks. In many cases, technical dives also include planned decompression carried out over a number of stages during a controlled ascent to the surface at the end of the dive.
Think you have what it takes? Below is the excerpt from Scuba Diver Life
Here we’ll take a look at 10 signs that you may be ready to enter the realm of technical diving.
You’re within your comfort zone at recreational limits
While the dive-training agencies such as PADI, TDI and IANTD require a minimum number of prerequisite dives to begin the first level of tec-diving courses, you won’t just have met these required minimums; rather, you’ll be quite comfortable at these maximum depths, while maintaining a constant awareness of your time and gas level during the dive. Divers who are at ease in the water have a high level of environmental awareness and situational skills, such as assessing strength and direction of currents and reading dive buddies’ behavior.
Buoyancy and trim – you walk the talk
These fundamentals are covered in most entry-level scuba classes, yet while all divers learn about these skills early on, many still struggle to attain not only precise buoyancy control but also horizontal body positioning on descents, during the dive, on ascents and safety stops. Buoyancy and trim are the drill sergeants’ equivalent of “head up, chin in and chest out.” If you can maintain a steady depth in your dive profile — especially on a safety stop — with minor fluctuations, and dive most of your profile in a horizontal position, with your thighs in line with your torso, calves at approximately 90 degrees, and fins above the rest of your body, then you’ve got the fundamental skills down.
You’re intrigued by technical divers
Maybe you’ve heard technical divers discuss their plans on board a dive boat or seen them gear up; perhaps you’ve observed them descend below you at a dive site or return from deeper depths, and this also awakens a desire to learn more. You may look up to these divers as sport role models. Most technical divers are good role models and eager ambassadors for the sport, so choose the right time and ask them about their experiences.
Your inner explorer awakens at 130 feet (40m)
Most divers have an inner explorer; it’s this hunger for discovery that led us to diving in the first place. After a time, some recreational divers find that diving to the maximum limit is not enough anymore, and they’ve got an insatiable curiosity about what lies beyond 130 feet. Next time you’re diving on a deep wall, if you find yourself wondering what else is beneath you, it might be time to consider the next step in your diving evolution. Many phenomenal dive sites are beyond recreational limits, and technical training will allow you to explore these safely.
You have an interest in wreck diving
In concert with the above point, many wrecks, particularly those that were not purpose-sunk, lie beyond recreational limits and make world-class dives. Wrecks such as the Andrea Doria in the U.S. and HMS Victoria in Lebanon require technical training due to their depths and locations, but others may sit within recreational depths. The Zenobia in Cyprus and Thistlegorm in Egypt are within recreational limits but, due to their size, may require a planned dive time that takes you into required decompression stops.
Gear on deck
Dive tables and decompression physiology make sense
Even if these topics don’t yet make sense, you’ve got an interest in them and don’t shy from study. While most modern-day technical dives are planned using desktop software and advanced multi-gas dive computers, it’s still important to know the theory behind their workings. Tissue loading, decompression theory, off-gassing, oxygen window and gradient factors are some of the topics covered in the theory sessions, and if it’s been a while since you last planned a dive using tables we recommend reviewing your air/nitrox tables again prior to enrolling in a technical diving class.