Technical diving is scuba diving’s “extreme” sport, taking experienced and qualified divers
far deeper than in mainstream recreational diving. Technical diving is marked by
significantly more equipment and training requirements to manage the additional hazard this
type of diving entails. Tec diving isn’t for everyone, but for those who hear its challenge
the PADI TecRec courses
are the answer.
What is technical diving?
Technical scuba diving is defined as diving other than conventional commercial or research diving that takes
divers beyond recreational scuba diving limits. It is further defined as and includes one or
more of the following:
- diving beyond 40 metres
- required stage decompression
- diving in an overhead environment beyond 40 linear metres/130
linear feet of the surface
- accelerated decompression and or the use of variable gas mixtures
during the dive
Because in technical diving the surface is effectively inaccessible in an emergency,
tec divers use extensive methodologies and technologies and training to manage the
added risks. Even with these, however, tec diving admittedly has more risk, potential
hazard and shorter critical error chains than does recreational scuba diving.
Why would you want to be a tec diver?
Tec diving not only has more risk, but it requires significantly more effort, discipline
and equipment. It’s not for everyone, and you can be an accomplished, avid top-notch diver
your entire life without making a tec dive. That said, there’s a cadre of individuals who
want to visit places underwater that relatively few people can. Many spectacular, untouched
wrecks lie at depths well below 40 metres/130 feet. Deep reefs have organisms you don’t
find in the shallows. Some people enjoy the challenge and focus tec diving requires.
Still others love being involved with cutting edge technologies. These reasons make tec
How long has technical diving been around?
Most people would agree that cave diving is a form of technical diving. Cave diving
developed in the late 1960s and 1970s, developing into a discipline largely like it is
today by the mid 1980s. In the early 1990s, several groups of divers around the world began
experimenting with technologies for deep diving (beyond recreational limits) to explore
both caves and wrecks. These communities united and emerged as “technical diving” or
“tec diving” with the publication of aquaCorps (no longer in print), which dedicated itself
to this type of diving. Since then, tec diving continues to develop both in scope and in
The Scuba Gear You'll Use
Tec diving uses much more equipment than recreational diving. The technical scuba gear
typically uses two to four or five regulators, a dive computer, and some accessories.