Over the past few years that I’ve been taking part in technical diving I have heard many people say that they have no interest in taking part in the activity, with they’re main reasoning being the danger that is associated with this sort of diving. While technical diving is definitely a dangerous activity if you choose to constantly challenge yourself, the concepts associated with it will actually allow you to become a better open water diver!
Plan the dive, dive the plan
While recreational diving does have a dive planning component to it, it does not compare to the extent of dive planning technical divers do. The usage of apps and desktop software to plan decompression profiles can also be used to plan multilevel and no-stop (recreational non decompression dives). You can use the software to easily set conservatism levels, thus making it possible to adjust the plan to your experience level. Above all of this you will get a much better understanding of what is happening with your body and how you can bring this in to your dive planning.
Nowhere during recreational training are divers introduced to concepts such as gas planning, the rule of thirds or SAC rates. Since I started diving my mission was to simply jump in the water and watch my dive computer, making sure it does not enter decompression, and keeping an eye on the gauge to make sure I don’t go beyond 70bar before ascending. During technical diving training you will be exposed to tools that will help you calculate exactly how much time you have at your desired depth.
One of the biggest concepts in technical diving is juggling between “less is more” and redundancy. Because of this we have seen some amazing innovations in equipment where you are able to have a rig that is more streamlined than most recreational divers, yet we are able to carry two of everything! During your technical diving training you will learn about making your equipment able to break away or cut in the event of an emergency. You will also learn how to be creative with clips and bungee to make sure there is nothing dangling. Above all of this you will learn to be self-reliant, even though at the heart of it technical diving is a team sport, you are always planning for every single “what if” you can possibly think of.