What is Tec Diving?
Technical Diving allows you to extend your diving beyond recreational “no stop” limits. This allows you to plan longer dives at shallower depths, or to plan dives to more advanced depths and locations. Technical (tec) diving allows you to greatly expand your diving skills and knowledge and can provide you with experiences and exploration opportunities in places very few people will ever see:
- Increased Range - Exploring deeper than 40 metres/130 feet
- Increased Diving Environments - Diving in caves, shipwrecks or other special environments
- Increased Skills - Using specialized gas mixtures and decompression procedures
- Specialized Equipment - Using highly specialized equipment, like a rebreather
PADI's full open circuit Tec Deep Diver program consists of three courses: you'll start with Tec 40 and proceed to Tec 45 and Tec 50 courses. If your pre-requisites allow, you may take all three back-to-back or one at the time and continue to build up over time.
You’ll start with your basic scuba diving equipment and add technical equipment, which essentially means you’ll begin to double up on gear. You may dive with backmounted or sidemounted cylinders. Minimally, you must have additional breathing gas and redundant regulators in case of emergency. While sidemount or backmounted twins are required for Tec 45 and beyond, a Tec 40 can use either a larger cylinder with an H or Y-valve with two independent regulators or they can use a single cylinder with standard regulator setup, but carry a pony bottle.
- Compass, slate, delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB) or lift bag, emergency signaling devices, Z-knife, shears, and safety reel/finger spool.
Full Technical Rig
In recreational diving you use one scuba tank, but tec divers typically wear twin cylinders either backmount or sidemount, plus one or more additional tanks, each with different gas blends. They usually have two or more completely independent regulators and dive computers, as well as other dive gear backups. Here is what a typical tec diver might use:
- Primary mask and backup mask
- Fins -Tec divers often use dry suits, requiring large style, open-heel adjustable fins.
- Wing-typed BCD and harness -or a Sidemount Harness
- Primary and secondary regulator – one for each cylinder. These are usually DIN
- Twin cylinders, decompression cylinders/stage bottles – These should have DIN valves for a more secure connection.
- Multigas dive computers and submersible pressure gauge (SPG)
- Dive computers, one primary and one backup, track and display decompression requirements, and allow tec divers to switch to different kinds of gas - blends to optimize decompression.
- Compass, slate, delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB) or lift bag, emergency signaling devices, backup dive tables, Z-knife, shears, and safety reel/finger spool.