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Tec training in freshwater or ocean? Which is better?

Discussion in 'Technical Diving Specialties' started by Taiwanate, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Taiwanate

    Taiwanate Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Kaohsiung, Taiwan

    I am looking at starting my journey into the world of technical diving and while looking at my various options for training have come up with a question I could use some help figuring out. Is there a benefit learning technical diving in the open ocean where conditions may be a little less favorable in terms of viz and currents as opposed to learning in a spring or lake where mostly conditions are more favorable. I plan on doing tec dives in both environments so I am kinda leaning towards an ocean course being more useful or practical, but I would like to get some other divers opinions.

    Thanks and take it easy,

  2. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kentucky
    I would suggest that you train in the environment you are most likely to dive in. For me, I do 90% of my diving in a flooded rock quarry, so that is where I trained. Each environment has its own unique challenges, from cold, dark, murky, to currents, waves & such. You can always start out in 1 environment & then with a little more training &/ or mentoring, learn to also dive the other. Niether is better, harder, easier or worse than the other, just different & may need a slightly different skill set to dive safely.
  3. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    Agree with Tammy. My main tech dives would be in the great lakes. So a quarry or lake is closest. That and under the ice to get used to 38-40 degree water. I wish I could do ocean tech dives in balmy 55-60 degree water.

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk
  4. elan

    elan DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    The two guys have summed it up.... Train where you usually dive. Diving Great Lakes even in summer you get 41F on the bottom. Training in St. Lawrence will present extra challenges in terms of current and sometimes not that good visibility, environments are different. There were deaths in the river when people were doing dives under the ice. Those were well trained technical divers. The combination of the conditions was very unfavorable. So you cannot say in one case it's easy in the other it's not, there are many variables that you have to evaluate.
  5. dumpsterDiver

    dumpsterDiver Banned

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999

    Seriously...??? The world's oceans are no harder than a rock quarry?? :shakehead::shakehead::rofl3::rofl3::rofl3:
    smellzlikefish likes this.
  6. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kentucky

    Unless diving the arctic/ antarctic,... you don't typically see 38- 42 degree temps. The coldest ocean temps I have dove in was about 50 degrees in the Galapagos. in the oceans. Those temps can be harsh enough for some people. Of course the are no waves, tides or currents to contend with, but I've dove visibility in that quarry from less than 5ft- over 50 ft. I stand by my statement that each environment has its own set of challenges.
  7. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    Never dived on fresh water so no comment.
    But I do agree with Tammy that each environement has its own set of challenges , unless it is in a bath tub or swimming pool.
    An knowledgeable instructor would be the most important to guide you through.
    Have fun.
  8. wmperry

    wmperry DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Bloomington, IN
    I personally enjoyed my tec training in 85-75 degree water in St Croix. But then I will also have to effectively start from scratch when I go to do a tec dive in a drysuit in 48° water in Seattle waters, or colder water back in the quarries of Indiana and Ohio. Which may be why tec may be a warm water sport for me. :)

    Doing the training in the most demanding conditions is what I would go for (I know, I know, St Croix isn't very demanding... Just happened to be living there when the tec bug hit), and depending on your local lakes/quarries they could win. My training was all ocean based and we had great viz all the way through TriMix. Boarding the boat can be challenging, but a lot of shore entries in recreational gear have been more challenging than getting back into the boat with doubles and three stages, even in moderate seas.

    Definitely let the instructor dictate where you go -- find someone you trust with a good reputation first and then go there. And get ready to have one hell of a good time!
  9. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

    I've done deco in 41 degree water in Saanich Inlet.

    In the long run, it won't matter where you train. If you think the class will be pushing your limits, train in the most familiar and comfortable environment. Then you just need to realize that you are NOT ready to take those skills to more challenging environments and do the dives at your training limit. You will need a few dives to solidify the skills in a more variable and dynamic setting.

    Quarries have advantages, in that the training won't be interrupted by bad weather, swell or chop, and sometimes the logistics can be better, too. All of these things need to be taken into consideration when deciding where to take a class.
    aquaregia likes this.
  10. Taiwanate

    Taiwanate Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Kaohsiung, Taiwan
    Thank you all for your insights. I guess I should have been a bit more clear on my planned environments. I mostly plan on tec diving the Florida Springs and Atlantic Coast.

    I agree that every environment has it's own challenges and I respect this thought, which is why I am interested in diving in a variety of environments, not just one. I do think the Atlantic might hold some harsher conditions than the springs though which is why I am curious about if I got my tec training in a spring, would I have to restart everything going into the Atlantic.

    I am starting to realize that my best option will probably be to get my training in either environment and then ask an experienced instructor to accompany on my first couple dives in the other environment to help with any unique issues or concerns.

    Again, thanks to everyone for their insight and have some fun safe dives!

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