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Tek Virgin

Discussion in 'Tech Trip Reports' started by Scubadreams82, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. flyingDiver75

    flyingDiver75 Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Fort Walton Beach, FL
    I recently completed TDI AN/DP/Helitrox with Below 130 Diving in Pensacola, FL and it was more impactful on my diving than any prior certifications. It was also by far the most challenging and rigorous. Our class required 6 full days of diving/instruction split over 2 weekends and we all had over 15 hours in the water before we finished. Planning to take Trimix later this summer.

    Do as much as you can before hand to prepare for tek - especially if you're traveling for a class.
    • Strive for 'perfect' buoyancy & trim on every dive. Expect to get task overloaded as part of training - valve drills, mask loss, shooting dsmb's ... all during simulated deco when you need to hold specific depths and try to move on time
    • Practice shooting dsmb's from depth and then doing ascents in 10' increments with your reel or spool
    • Consider diving in backplate / wing if you don't already. It's not a big difference from a back inflate BCD but familiarity helps. It also lets you get your harness dialed in. Simple, web harnesses are better than 'delux' ones
    • If you dive dry-suit, make sure your dry-suit skills are current and 2nd nature
    • If you have sufficient dives to do a solo or self-reliant cert, the basic skills in using an AL30 or AL40 tank as a backup are similar to what you'll do for your deco bottle. AL40's are the mainstay of deco bottles for beginner tek dives.
    • If you know you'll be doing your tek course backmount or sidemount, get experience with the tank configuration prior to class if at all possible. I jumped right into AN/DP having never dove doubles. The 1st couple days were rough!
    You'll have some equipment decisions to make ahead of your class. Most instructors can rent / loan equipment but verify before reserving a class spot that the instructor can provide what you're missing.

    As in all Scuba training, vet your instructor heavily.
    • How long / much have they been tek diving? Tek instructing?
    • What types of dives do they do for "fun"? Often? (ie do their diving interests match yours? are they practicing what they're teaching?)
    • Specific gear requirements for their classes?
    • How do they address skill issues with students? What happens if a student 'fails' the class? (at this level, passing should not be a given if there are unresolved skill deficits)
    • What experience do they require/desire for students (above agency mins)?
    • Are they willing to provide references from past students?
  2. Compressor

    Compressor ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: NYS
    Plenty of options.
    TDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures is the course I would recommend. NAUI and PADI have similar courses as well as other agencies.
  3. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Missouri

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