Written by John Kinsella
We spend a lot of time, rightly, pointing out that technical diving is not for everyone. It’s for experienced divers, we say. It’s for those who want to go beyond current limits and are willing to accept the added risks, training, investment and commitment it demands. That’s true, but be careful not to let it exclude anyone from trying Tec 40.
Tec training can benefit many more divers than you might imagine. Sure there are some serious prerequisites, but for anyone interested in being the best diver they can be, it’s a worthwhile and attainable goal.
An active Tec Instructor I know well (he served his time as a saturation diver in the North Sea and made a habit of exploring deep wrecks and decompressing on O2 before the term “technical diving” was even coined) was the one who got me thinking about this. A notable number of enthusiastic divers associated with his shop have taken his Tec 40 course and chosen not to continue with technical training or diving. He’s of the opinion that more recreational divers could benefit from Tec 40 training; including those who may have no interest in pursuing technical diving or making technical dives after the course. I asked why and here’s what he said:
Perfect dive planning.
Recreational divers are well trained to plan dives, and responsible recreational divers plan their dives well. But they don’t plan them like Tec 40 divers plan theirs. When “a good diver’s main objective is to live” and “being wary reduces all failures” are the refrains to which divers plan their dives and perform their pre-dive checks, it’s a fair bet that important matters are going to be properly and comprehensively addressed. This planning discipline carries directly over to rec dives.
Excellence in equipment.
Everyone loves dive equipment, but Tec 40 divers take equipment worship to a whole new level. They are never short of excuses to poke through the accessories in the bins and on the racks. They can tell you the lengths of their hoses to the nearest millimeter. They become masters of equipment preparation and set up and streamline better than an F15. Again, all that knowledge and expertise makes them better recreational divers.
No matter how good they think they are, Tec 40 Dive One stops them in their tracks. It’s a powerful leveler and there’s no slipping past the performance requirements. All who master them can rightfully hold their heads up. And those skills make them better recreational divers, even if they never look at stage or deco cylinders again.
And who knows? They may become technical divers after all…