Increasing your bottom time – Technical Diving

SwedTech Diving

On my trip to  Malta I came across many tech divers. This might be because Divewise is also home to Techwise. Techwise, unsurprisingly is home to the technical diving division of Divewise.

Most of them came from Sweden. It must be a time when Swedish diver go on holiday. Obviously they have been singing the praises of the their technical diving authority. Apparently there are courses that they do where people actually give up because they are so hard. That sounds like a challenge.

So why am I interested in tech diving. Well honestly I have reached a plateau. There are so many amazing wrecks down there, with many wonderful things to explore and see. I want more time. Since having completed the Tec Sidemount course, I have dabbled in the world of tech diving. Obviously, I have stuck to my NDL limits and I haven’t accidentally gone into deco. However, it is frustrating watching the other members of your group dive the site for another ten or so minutes, while you have to watch from above.

Tech diving isn’t necessarily about going deeper, it is also about staying down longer. Hence the title of this post: increasing your bottom time.

The Swedish tech divers that I have met are highly skilled. They have fantastic trim and really know what they are doing. They were apologetic to me when I had difficulty on a dive, because they didn’t notice that I was having difficulty. These are the kinds of divers that I want to dive with. Divers that care about the other divers that they are with. Divers who happily will talk to you about techniques, methods for doing things, and kit.

So where do I go from here?

Firstly, I am not going to give up recreational diving. I enjoy it too much, plus my friends do it and they won’t want to follow me down the tech route. So as planned I will become a PADI Divemaster and then perhaps looking into instructing.

Secondly, the kit requirement for tech diving is high. The guys and any tech diving operation have strict standards and obviously I want to make sure I buy right the first time.

  1. So I will get a backplate, harness and wing system. It is possible to use this with recreational diving so that is a big plus. Though I will need a BCD for instructing.
  2. All tech divers dive in a dry suit, so that’s another item to get but not until the end of the year (at the earliest), and that will have to be custom fitted. Regs are an important consideration as well.
  3. As I like to dive sidemount, I will probably buy a set of sidemouht regs. These can be used for any type of diving, so these are multifaceted. But I might buy them individually so that I can spread the cost.
  4. I need a better dive computer. The computer I have only allows one gas. I need a computer that allows at least 5.
  5. I want a sidemount harness.

What technical training will I undertake?

That’s a big question to answer. The Swedtech training sounds like it is amazing, difficult but it makes you good. PADI’s training, I haven’t heard that much about. But there are many others that I might look into such as GUE and DIR. But that is not for 2013.

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