PADI Tec 40 in a Nutshell: Applying The Basics of Deeper Diving

Some people are turned away from technical diving, including instructors.  Just like scuba diving, itself, is not for everyone.  But before jumping to conclusions, you should look at expanding your knowledge with the PADI Tec 40 class.

Tec 40, is more or less, a basic introduction to deeper diving by actually applying basic skills to the real environment.  I think it is worth repeating… take the basic fundamentals, or skills, of deeper diving and actually apply them to the real world of scuba diving.  All of this can be done with a little more equipment, if you don’t have it already, than you would plan for standard deep dive.  With this in mind, it could be a good recommendation that every instructor teaching the PADI Deep Diver course should go through the PADI Tec 40 class to have a more in depth knowledge of deeper diving and actually apply what they learn.

To some, technical diving is more of a mindset than the actual dives themselves. Sure, someone can go through training and work themselves up to a 500ft dive in the Great Lakes or ocean, or they can spend more time on shipwrecks like the USS Oriskany.  The principles of technical diving start out with a mindset.  Technical divers plan for the ‘what if’s’ of every dive.  Here are some examples of ‘what if’s’:

What if you end the dive alone?

What if you actually do run out of air?

What if you exceed your plan depth or time?

What if you break the glass ceiling on a safety stop or decompression stop?

What if you are blown off the wreck by current?

What if your Buoyancy Control Device (BCD or Wing) punctures?

What if you misjudge the gas requirements for the dive?

What if this?

What if that?

These are similar questions you should be asking yourself on any deep dive, even if you are not breaking the no-decompression limits.  It’s all a mindset to become a better, safer diver.  These are principles that are not taught and actually applied in a typical deep diver class unless the instructor adds them in.  Even the PADI Deep Diver class talks about some of it, but doesn’t actually require you to apply them.  It’s more or less trying to increase your awareness to things while diving deeper.

The fortunate part, for almost every “what if” scenario, there is a probable solution or protocol.  Not every “what if” will have a perfect layout.  By accounting for it, you become aware of it and implement measure to try to insure it will not happen. Even in recreational diving, by preparing or anticipating problems, you become a more confident diver.  By being more confident and with experience, the likelihood of problems will drastically decrease.

The PADI Tec 40 class is not gear intensive as compared to the PADI Tec 45 or Tec 50 classes.  The Tec 40 class takes an average certified deep diver, or a certified deep diver instructor, one step more into deep diving to increase the safety of the diver.  As a scuba diver, we already know the safer we are underwater, the more we can actually enjoy the dive.  Enjoying the dive may not always have anything with going deep, but having the ability to stay longer at depths that the no-decompression limits prevent us from doing.  Increasing our enjoyment is the whole reason we all got into scuba diving in the place.

Butch Zemar

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