So what is Technical Diving anyway...??
Nitrox diving was considered to be Technical Diving only a few years ago….now it's the norm.
Many diving associations still differ on what they consider to be Technical Diving, and the more Technical they are – the more definitive and restrictive they seem to be. (making it harder to understand)
However a lot of these agencies have common ground in the general order of things, and we'd like to give you a basic idea of what constitutes a technical dive.
The most simple explanation, is that a Technical Dive is one that goes beyond normal recreational range limits. So - does this mean that anyone can be a Technical diver just by diving past their qualified depth and time ? – NO….
We like to think - that qualifications beyond recognized recreational diving, allow for everyday divers to become Technical Divers.
Decompression diving for example - has a separate qualification due to the extended time required compared to No-stop diving. Not only is additional time needed to allow the off-gassing of excess Nitrogen, but enriched air can be introduced to reduce the decompression time needed.
Specific procedures and qualifications are needed for this, and are classed as Technical.
Wreck penetration introduces a sealed overhead environment, and conditions inside a wreck can change in seconds. If divers are not trained in specialist techniques to overcome this and act as a team, they'd put buddies at risk. This is over and above a normal recreational wreck course.
Cave or Ice diving - where penetration in a cave or under sheet ice prevents a direct ascent, is considered to be Technical Diving.More qualifications….
PADI for instance, defines technical diving as "diving other than conventional commercial or recreational diving that takes divers beyond recreational diving limits. It is further defined as an activity that includes one or more of the following: diving beyond 40 meters/130 feet, required stage decompression, diving in an overhead environment beyond 130 linear feet from the surface, accelerated stage decompression and/or the use of multiple gas mixtures - in a single dive.
NAUI defines technical diving as "diving beyond the limits of the defined recreational diving limits" which is currently set at - diving to 40 meters/130 feet, use of nitrox above 36%, multiple mix gas diving, penetration diving past the daylight zone and any form of decompression diving.
Because of the additional safety factors needed, most technical training (but not all) – involves the use of twin tanks on the divers' back. These can be reduced in size to accommodate smaller divers if required (twin 10's or less) – so heavy weights are not necessarily the norm.
So - Technical Diving can be quite an easy thing to achieve, if you're already qualified in Nitrox - start with a course in Extended Range or Decompression Techniques (or a Tec Rec) – and take it from there.
Or better still - contact us, and we'll get you there…firstname.lastname@example.org