Technical diving, what it is and how to become a technical diver.

Technical diving is a more advanced form of diving than recreational diving. In technical diving, you usually spend more time underwater and need more than one breathing gas. In recreational diving, you used normal air for breathing, the same as on the surface.

In technical diving, you will also use air, but also nitrox and pure oxygen. In the next stages and deeper depths, you’ll start using another gas, which is called trimix.

Why is it worth becoming a technical diver?

Let’s clear it up from the beginning. Technical diving is not for everyone. The same as hiking in the mountains can be practiced by everyone, but climbing Mt Everest requires other resources and predispositions. So why is it worth becoming a technical diver?

These skills will allow you to stay underwater longer and enjoy better sensations. Do you want to see a wreck that is sunk 35 meters underwater?

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Technical diving, what it is and how to become a technical diver?

In recreational diving, you only have a few minutes to see it before time runs out. In technical diving, you can stay longer and see more. This is the advantage of technical diving. You just can do more.

However, technical diving involves greater responsibility for yourself and your partner. It doesn’t matter what your degree in recreational diving is, whether you are the PADI Advanced Open Water diver or you are an instructor.

Before you want to cross this magical barrier and stay under the water longer, you must take the appropriate course. This is very important because technical diving requires the use of more equipment and different procedures than those known from recreational diving.

Any attempt to exceed the limits for recreational diving without appropriate training is foolishness that can lead to death.

Ok, you have decided that you want to become a technical diver and take the appropriate course. So let’s explain what technical diving training looks like.

What does the technical diving training look like?

There are many organizations that offer technical diver training. I am going to use the PADI program as an example, because that is what I know and use every day.

The first stage of technical diving – PADI TEC 40

The TEC 40 course is the first step towards technical diving. In this course, you will learn the basics and rules of this new type of diving. The program of all PADI TEC courses has been prepared by DSAT – Diving Science And Technology.

dsat padi

It is one of the world’s largest research and development companies, offering the latest system of training technical divers in the world, created on the basis of many years of experience in this field.

What you will learn in the PADI TEC 40 course:

  • how to plan a technical dive
  • how to use computer decompression planning programs
  • how to use a gas cylinder for decompression – oxygen content up to 50%
  • how to think like a technical diver

What are the requirements for the PADI TEC 40 course?

To start a technical diving course, you must have previously completed several basic courses:

  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certificate or equivalent,
  • PADI Enriched Air Diver certificate or equivalent,
  • PADI Deep Diver certificate or proof of at least 10 dives to 30 metres/100 feet
  • a medical form signed by a doctor within the last 12 months.
  • minimum 30 dives made
  • at least 18 years old 

If you are not sure if you qualify for a technical diving course, be sure to contact your instructor. He will surely clear up all your doubts.

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Technical diving

What qualifications will you get after the PADI TEC 40 course?

  • diving to a depth of 40m with decompression not longer than 10 minutes
  • use of a stage tank with gas up to 50% of oxygen

However, completing the course is only the beginning of the technical diver’s path. You are already on this side of the force, but there is still a long way to go. This is the most beautiful thing. Maybe you are an experienced recreational diver and have already done many dives.

Maybe you thought that nothing would surprise you anymore and that you have nothing more to discover. But that’s not true! Technical diving is a way to discover many places you haven’t had access before.

Also remember that you are now like a cosmonaut. You can be in places most people never get the chance to be. It is such a great feeling!

What equipment is used for technical diving?

The equipment configuration of technical divers differs significantly from recreational diving standards. There are new elements and additional equipment.

You will learn everything during the technical diving course. In short, technical diving requires more tanks. Two main breathing gas tanks and additional decompression tank.

Many technical divers use a “backmount” set, where two connected tanks are kept on their backs, and an additional tank is strapped to the side – the so-called “stage”.

However, this is not the only option and the “sidemount” set is becoming more and more popular. In this option, all tanks are placed on the sides and evenly distributed on the left and right side. This system comes from cave diving, but is now even used in recreational diving.

Do I need to buy my own technical diving equipment?

The rule is simple. It’s best to have a full set of your gear and take care of it personally. Then you know perfectly what happened with your equipment and when.

However, if you do not have all the equipment, you do not have to worry. In the diving center, which organizes technical diving courses, you will certainly be able to rent everything.

At our center, for each diving course, equipment is rented on request. Of course, all diving equipment is clean, decontaminated and checked. There are no shortcuts here.

Over time, you will be able to purchase all the necessary technical diving equipment to have your own set.

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How to become a technical diver?

I am already a technical diver. What’s next?

The PADI TEC 40 course is just the beginning. To become a well-trained technical diver, you should take the next grades, PADI TEC 45, PADI TEC 50. After completing the “50” course, you will be able to take a technical diving course, in which you use a gas called “trimix” to breathe.

These courses are PADI TEC TRIMIX 65 and PADI TEC TRIMIX DIVER. After completing this last course, you will be able to dive below 90m! It’s already impressive, isn’t it?

However, the most important thing after completing each course is gaining experience. During the course you learned what and how to use it, now it’s time to start using all the new knowledge.

Don’t rush yourself with next courses and just take your time to gain experience. Make at least a few or a dozen dives before taking the next step. It will be best for you. Remember that diving is not a race.

If you do not have a partner for technical diving, it is best if you ask your diving center if they organize trips for technical divers. Certainly your instructor will be happy to help you with your education and gaining experience.

Technical diving course – summary.

Diving is a great sport and gives us many amazing experiences. The depth doesn’t really matter, because even while snorkeling you can see great things. However, there are places where humans cannot reach without the proper equipment. Fortunately our desire to search and explore allows us to see more.

This is also the case with technical diving. It opens a locked door for us. Not everyone will be able to go through them, but those who dare will see much more.

As I mentioned, technical diving is not for everyone. But that doesn’t mean it’s not for you. So, do you dare?

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