1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Most sensible tech progression...

Discussion in 'Technical Diving' started by Alex Denny, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    76
    Hi all,

    I don't want to ask the usual "what is the best tech diving course" and be told "choose the instructor, not the course" - my question is a bit more nuanced (especially as several of the best instructors can teach multi-agency and/or there are great instructors with each agency).

    My question is this - I am a multi-agency trained diver myself, having started with PADI, crossed over to BSAC and picked up a smattering of other things along the way - mainly by choosing the instructor (PSAI cavern, IANTD intro to cave, SSI sidemount, SDI Solo etc).

    My most obvious qualifications to call out at this point are PADI deep diver and BSAC accelerated deco - so I can do deco dives on a twinset to 40m and use rich O2 nitrox mixes for deco, but no other mixed gases and no deeper.

    I'm not looking to suddenly push to extreme depths - I would like sensible progression (over the course of a few years); but, for example PADI Tech 40 is pretty useless to me and I don't think my other qualifications are viewed as equivalents by PADI themselves.

    Clearly there is BSAC sports mixed-gas diver as an option, though no-one in my club can train it and regional SDCs are rare - so is there a better route to go? Does one agency make more sense than another here?

    Thanks
     
    Wibble likes this.
  2. timmyg

    timmyg Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    169
    Alex

    As a BSAC, PADI & TDI instructor I can be a little bit impartial so here goes.

    PADI. Honestly don't bother.

    BSAC. You are correct about SMG, but, TBH, regardless of where you actually live you'll need to do at NDAC due to the depth. TBH, that can be said for all UK technical courses in a U.K. quarry. You could then go to EMG (60m).

    TDI. You could just do Helitrox as you already have the AN piece which will get you 45m with a squirt of helium, so nearly SMG. Or go straight to Trimix (60m).

    Your call really. Happy to offer advice on SMG, EMG of Helitrox. Unfortunately I can't teach TDI Trimix but Mark Powell would be the obvious choice.

    However, a word of caution. Sometimes the ADP course gets a lot of flack because of how it is taught. Sometimes justified. There are good & bad instructors. Depending on your setup or ability you may have to do some initial prep work.

    Any questions please ask.


    TG

    Sent from my iPhone using timmytalk
     
  3. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    437
    There are a few options to you (other than the BSAC course);

    GUE Fundamentals followed by GUE Tech1
    TDI Advanced nitrox and Helitrox
    TDI Entry level Trimix (if your current cert will allow)
    IANTD Advance Recreational Trimix (if your current cert will allow)

    Who do you normally dive with and what is their training? No point you looking at something like the GUE courses if you don't buy into their way of doing things.
     
  4. timmyg

    timmyg Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    169
    ADP is equivalent ish to AN/DP therefore he would only need to do the Helitrox part.


    TG

    Sent from my iPhone using timmytalk
     
  5. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    1,977
    Get a rebreather. OC Trimix is for chumps. ;)
     
  6. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    76
    That sounds even more terrifyingly expensive...
     
  7. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    76
    Thanks TG, that's really helpful. I may well take you up on the offer of chatting through the different courses and if you're running any later in the year, it would be great to know! (Realistically I can't do anything til October now)
     
  8. timmyg

    timmyg Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    169
    Feel free to message me at any point. I have spaces on a Helitrox course during the last week of August if interested.


    TG

    Sent from my iPhone using timmytalk
     
  9. barrygoss

    barrygoss Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    74
    Don't do ADP.
    (And I teach it and am currently running it for 7 students and I gave them this advice as well)
    The ox-stop tables are scary, and if you're looking at accelerating deco, then look outside of the club to get a bigger world picture.
    I did SMG on open circuit twice. The first time I didn't learn anything. So took the course again with a different instructor and learnt stuff. The standard of variation of instruction means you won't know if you get a good instructor or a bad one from BSAC and this is your first step into accelerated deco, it's worth paying a bit more to make sure that's the best you can get.

    B
     
  10. timmyg

    timmyg Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    169
    He already has ADP unfortunately.

    As I alluded to in the last paragraph of my first post, I fully agree.


    TG

    Sent from my iPhone using timmytalk
     
  11. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    76
    I'm keen to do it right!

    (JB I may do GUE fundies one day to see what the fuss is about, but I'm not going to end up 'diving gue'). I like sidemount and independent twins too much, and I dive with too many BSACers to get all identi-kit...

    Happy diving manifolded twins if someone tells me I absolutely have to, but with proper gas management, I still can't see how it can ever be safer to have connected cylinders if for some reason you find yourself unable to close the valve... (Probably makes me plain "wrong" but I still believe it. GUE won't even let me get past Fundies on indies as I understand it).
     
  12. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    1,977
    Do it first or don't bother. Why would you struggle through tech courses and then do the course that would them easier?
     
  13. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    76
    To be fair, I may very well not bother... it's on a maybe list. I guess it depends on whether I struggle on the other courses or not? Why struggle through an expensive extra course just to save myself from struggling on a different one?
     
  14. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    76
    (My reason for saying I may do GUE later is that I would be interested in seeing the teaching techniques themselves and how they differ... I'm keen as an instructor to know the language and techniques of as many agencies as possible for when I come across them in the future)
     
  15. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    1,977
    Because Fundies is the fundamentals of diving. Bouyancy, trim, propulsion, teamwork. If you think you don't need those to go gas diving, you probably don't have the right mindset to go gas diving...

    You don't have to do Fundies to get them, but it's the best way I know of to ensure they are in place.
     
  16. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
    UKD Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Messages:
    4,985
    Likes Received:
    1,073
    Well... big hole, water at the bottom...

    I did the Advanced Nitrox + Deco Procedures + Helitrox last year and it's completely changed my diving. It's like the shackles were thrown off with the end of the NDLs - these are now just numbers now that accelerated deco is the way to go.

    The Helitrox aspect wasn't a big thing, but it's nice to have a clear head when diving to 45 metres. (As an aside, it was doing a recompression chamber 'dive' which really highlighted to me just how off my face I was at 40 metres with narcosis)

    I'm doing my Extended Range + Normoxic Trimix with Mark Powell next week. This will open up opportunities to use full-strength Trimix and get down to all the Channel wrecks. I'm doing this before I move on to a box as I want to be sorted with my open circuit before going back to basics with Mod One on a box.

    If I survive the course, I'm intending to do a year of so moaning about the price of helium. And get in the benefit of the diving, both deep and, more importantly, for much longer at shallow depths - an hour's bottom time at 40 metres is perfectly achievable with two stages.

    I'll do a write-up of the trimix course afterwards.
     
    Alex Denny likes this.
  17. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    76
    As I said, I train and practice a LOT. Do I have perfect buoyancy? Almost certainly not. Do GUEists? I'm pretty sure it will be good, but not perfect either. Anyone who thinks they're perfect probably isn't. My reason for avoiding identikit is my buddies won't be in it (teamwork). The focus of the other 'tech' courses I've done (which is cave overhead stuff) has been massively on buoyancy, trim and propulsion. Oh, and teamwork. Blindfold air sharing neutrally buoyant I suspect isn't in fundies.

    My big issue is people hinting the only way I can know I'm good enough is with GUE. If IANTD, TDI, PSAI or similar pass me for a course, have I not met the required standard? Are the instructors not good enough to teach the standard? I'm not saying I will be the best (or anything near) but if I remain careful (which I generally am), will I be safe?

    Hopefully with the stack of relatively pointless cards and huge collection of very useful books, I'm not a complete waste of space...

    As for my mindset, I will let those that dive with and train me make the judgment...
     
    Big Joe likes this.
  18. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    1,977
    Go for a dive with some T1 divers then ask that question again.

    That's not what I said but GUE do have the highest consistent standards of any agency I am aware of.

    The only thing you can be sure you have done is meet the minimum standards. Regardless of what other agency advocates say, they are lower than GUE's minimum standards.

    It's a free country, you dive with who you like, how you like. I'm not saying you have to do Fundies to be a good diver, I'm saying it will help you on your journey.
     
    Tribal Chestnut likes this.
  19. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    76
    Indeed! As I said, I haven't ruled it out - I would love to learn the various GUE techniques at some point. I reckon all of the courses I have done have helped me become a better diver (I am careful not to say "good" and haven't claimed to be at any point). Even the bad courses have helped, and I've often known they weren't great while I was doing them.

    Before doing ADP, I was required to do the BSAC Buoyancy & Trim course. I got a top mark "black belt". I suspect there is no way I would have even passed fundies with the same standard. The course itself I think is pretty pointless - go down a shot and come up it slowly. Repeat ad nauseam. I may be unusual in thinking that my PADI peak performance buoyancy course (great instructor in Lanzarote) was waaaaay better - because the instructor was good. The course was both instructive and fun. Regardless of both, my buoyancy wasn't improved much until after spending loads of time doing valve drills with and taking cylinders off and on again, laying lines etc. with IANTD, in 2.5m of water. The course wasn't fun (it was bloody cold in Stoney) but each dive was nearly two hours and focused almost exclusively on buoyancy.

    I wasn't intending to be argumentative - but I'm not sure that GUE fundies gets me where I want to be at the moment, so I will leave it for a bit. I've done both PADI recue and BSAC sports, PADI DM and BSAC DL in full which many would view as repeats of the same course. So even if I don train the next stage with, say, TDI, I'll probably go back and do loads of it again with another agency to keep the skills up. Why not eh?
     
  20. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    1,977
    From your posts (not just in this thread) I don't think GUE as an agency is right for you, but do think that Fundies, as a stand alone course, is right for pretty much everybody who wants to progress into tech. You don't even have to do it on a twinset, but you can't do it on indies or sidemount.
     
    Alex Denny likes this.

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Our UKDivers community has been around for many years and prides itself on offering unbiased, helpful discussion among people of all disciplines and abilities. We are working every day to make sure our community is one of the best and friendliest around.
  • Support us!

    The management works very hard to make sure the community continues to run reliably. Care to support us? All donations go to the running costs of the forum: hosting charges, software maintenance, etc. We'd really appreciate it!

    Choose option:  

    UKD Username: