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What is technical diving?

So for this ramble and to coincided with the launch of our new tec course offerings,  I thought what better topic than technical diving.

First of all what is technical diving?  Most people associate this with going deep but that is just one scenario which is likely to create a “technical” dive.  In fact this is part of the issue in that there is no agreed definition of technical diving.  However in simple terms most organisations consider the difference between a technical and recreational dive to be that in recreational diving you can go straight to the surface, albeit at controlled rates, without stopping.  Safety stops are just that, they are for safety / contingency.  This type of diving, and I will tend to use the term “technical” introduces mandatory stops or a “ceiling”. So even a 30m dive (like the M2) can be a technical dive if you stay down long enough (around 30 minutes in this case).

Not being able to come directly to the surface therefore introduces several requirements

  • Being able to deal with a whole load of new “what ifs” as a result of going direct to the surface no longer being an option.
  • Knowing what depth and how long stops need to be
  • Being able to hold those stops, yep it’s that buoyancy control thing that comes up on every course

Many modern dive computers will advise what depths and how long the stops need to be.  But as I’ve just highlighted this is just one aspect.  For those of you that have exceeded your no decompression limit on a dive computer, have you really considered what you are doing?  To put in into perspective, equipment configuration and planning, ie the foundations for dealing with the new “what ifs” is around 30% of most technical courses.  Plus unless you have the training you have just said good bye to any insurance cover you had, and that assumes your insurance covered none recreational diving in the first place.