Where to start

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

OP
Thombalabomba

Thombalabomba

Registered
Messages
37
Reaction score
16
Location
Netherlands
# of dives
200 - 499
@Thombalabomba hey, fellow Dutchie here! I'm in a similar spot as you: been diving on and off for years, now looking to get into tech diving with GUE – mostly to get a more solid foundation to continue building skills on. My "soft goal" is to dive wrecks in the Mediterranean (e.g. southern France) that are beyond PADI's recreational limits (e.g. 40-60 meters).

I've found out my local dive shop (4Divers in Veenendaal) is actually quite well known for their technical diving equipment and experience, which has helped a lot. What I've done so far, and am planning to do:

1. Move to a GUE compatible gear configuration (backplate, wing, primary light with goodman handle);
2. Ordered a dry suit – hoping to receive it in the coming 3-4 weeks;
3. Currently planning to do GUE Fundamentals later this year (September-ish) with Erik Wurz, a GUE instructor local to my area.

Let me know if you want to know more, or if there's anything I can help with. Sounds like we're on a similar trajectory :)
Hey Thyraon,

It indeed sounds like we're in a similar spot! I live in Den Bosch myself but everything is relatively close anyway. I'll contact you to get some thoughts if you don't mind, i am still figuring out tdi vs gue etc as well but gue fundamentals seems like a good place to start! I'll definitely start my dry suit sturing sometime soon and get myself acquainted with what gear i should invest in so that i don't have to switch around halfway. The scuba academie seems like a valid option and Veenendaal is not that fat either. There's also one in Hilversum that seems to be quite well known, but as others have pointed out the instructor is probably more important than the shop.
 
OP
Thombalabomba

Thombalabomba

Registered
Messages
37
Reaction score
16
Location
Netherlands
# of dives
200 - 499
It is a good starting point. A couple of things:
- If you start feeling narced at 35m (like me), it is wise to dive air/nitrox up to 30m (why? because narcosis may b enhanced by external factors like temperature, visibility, and, more than everything else, workload; you never know when you can have an issue, and when it arrives, you will be more narced because of some of these factors - so, better staying conservative)
- There are alternatives to GUE that you may want to consider; however, keep in mind that you don't have to check for the instructors' skills with GUE, while with other agencies, you should, and it can be a headache.
- I STRONGLY recommend you to speak with your instructor before taking any course to be sure that your personalities are compatible. No agency can ensure this, so you need to take care.
- Strictly speaking, you do not need any overhead training (except if you plan to do penetrations); however, I found the cave1/intro to cave course beneficial before the trimix course I did. It is very personal and might be very different from you.

I would suggest you do an intro to tec/fundamental course as the first step in a wetsuit (except if the instructor tells you otherwise), then I would move to the drysuit and, lastly, doubles/side-mount/rebreathers. Some notes about doubles/side-mount/rebreathers:
- the standard configuration for tech diving was doubles; I still believe it is the most common, but things are changing fast. It is probably the most straightforward configuration, so I like it.
- You may want to go for a side-mount configuration if you have problems with your back/knee or if you like it. Keep in mind that with GUE, the side-mount option is not available until you become a very experienced cave diver (the philosophy of GUE is the right tool for the job, and since side-mount is slightly more complicated than back-mount, they use it only for restrictions, which are typical of overhead environments). I think @Marie13 is a good reference for side-mount; you probably should ask her for some info if you are interested.
- you may want to consider a rebreather if you will dive a lot, but I am of the school that "first a lot of open water experience, then rebreather". It is definitely not the most common point of view in the diving world, so you also may want to check what you want to do; more precisely, if you decide that you don't need open circuit experience before the rebreather, do a fundamental course, then learn the drysuit, then move directly to rebreather.

Now, what I said makes sense if you only dive in warm water; in the Netherlands, most likely, you need a drysuit, so you should start here (in this case, speak with an instructor as soon as possible to understand what to do).

The GUE community in the Netherlands has quite developed thanks to JP and other instructors, but if you want to consider other agencies, you should probably check TDI, IANTD, UTD, and PSAI.

Lastly, yes, you need to dive more if you want to do tech dives - because you need to keep your skills up to the right level.

I hope this helps. If you want to know a bit more about GUE, feel free to send me a message, but keep in mind that I am not an instructor or a representative - I just know a (very) little bit of it.

Dive safe :)
Thanks for the great info! So you're saying gue fundies is less dependent on the instructor? Herman Lieven is right around the corner of my house and i just found out they also host a gue fundies course which would be incredibly convenient for me
 

Lorenzoid

ScubaBoard Supporter
Staff member
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
11,607
Reaction score
8,671
Location
USA
# of dives
I just don't log dives
So you're saying gue fundies is less dependent on the instructor?
GUE has perhaps the highest quality control standards of any agency. In other words, all GUE instructors are held to a high standard and teach nearly the exact same material. At the end of each course, students fill in course evaluations for QC purposes. I would not hesitate to choose an instructor for Fundies based on the convenience of their location to you. For more advanced courses, the considerations may be different.

Nevertheless, as instructors are human, there may be other factors, such as personality traits, that might make one instructor a better fit than another. If you're concerned about these factors, read some course reports written by former students to see if you can get a feel for the instructor. And of course don't hesitate to speak with the instructors. You might just hit it off with a particular instructor.
 

wetb4igetinthewater

Instructor
Scuba Instructor
Divemaster
Messages
7,552
Reaction score
6,146
Location
Seattle
# of dives
500 - 999
Thanks for the great info! So you're saying gue fundies is less dependent on the instructor? Herman Lieven is right around the corner of my house and i just found out they also host a gue fundies course which would be incredibly convenient for me
I don't think the content for GUE courses varies by instructor. Different people of course have different personalities, different styles, and how you connect with one will vary.

If I were you, I'd go with the local person over traveling. You may want to consider after fundies to hire a different GUE instructor to find your limits and help you with them. I did that with a different instructor and it was quite useful.
 

ginti

Contributor
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
904
Location
Lyon, France
# of dives
200 - 499
Thanks for the great info! So you're saying gue fundies is less dependent on the instructor?
In a way, yes. See the previous answers from @Lorenzoid and @wetb4igetinthewater . To be more precise, given two different GUE instructors:
- the core of the course will not change (some minor differences about details are possible);
- the level of the skills required to pass the course will be exactly the same (it is standardized, and GUE has a system that incentives instructors to always guarantee at least the minimum standards);
- equipment configuration, communication, etc. will be the same.

Surely there can be some minor variations about details, but nothing you should worry about. If you go on the GUE website, you'll find a document with more than 100 pages about the standards; furthermore, course material is standardized.

However...
1) instructor's personality will obviously change, and this is a BIG point to consider;
2) keep in mind that GUE has a special philosophy, you need to want to taste it if you go for it.

Herman Lieven is right around the corner of my house and i just found out they also host a gue fundies course which would be incredibly convenient for me
Get in touch with the instructor, if you like them, why not? Maybe an even better approach is to start diving with some GUE divers before booking the course, just to be sure that you like the environment. Indeed, to progress with GUE without a group of buddies is a bit harder than with other agencies.
 

Thyraon

Registered
Messages
43
Reaction score
15
Location
The Netherlands
# of dives
100 - 199
Hey Thyraon,

[...] I'll contact you to get some thoughts if you don't mind, i am still figuring out tdi vs gue etc as well but gue fundamentals seems like a good place to start! [...]

Sure, feel free to reach out here or via private message. Happy to help where I can :)
 
OP
Thombalabomba

Thombalabomba

Registered
Messages
37
Reaction score
16
Location
Netherlands
# of dives
200 - 499
So i just had a long chat at my lds and they suggested going for SSI foundation instead of fundies, mainly because of the restrictiveness of the gue system to other systems and they find ssi foundations to be a very good interpretation of fundies.​
What do you guys think of this, any experience? In particular they seemed to like the SSI extended range offerings. They offer both courses.​
 

crofrog

Contributor
Messages
241
Reaction score
208
Location
Maryland
# of dives
100 - 199
So i just had a long chat at my lds and they suggested going for SSI foundation instead of fundies, mainly because of the restrictiveness of the gue system to other systems and they find ssi foundations to be a very good interpretation of fundies.​
What do you guys think of this, any experience? In particular they seemed to like the SSI extended range offerings. They offer both courses.​
Are you saying they offer both ssi foundations and GUE fundamentals?
 

Thyraon

Registered
Messages
43
Reaction score
15
Location
The Netherlands
# of dives
100 - 199
Personally I would go with GUE Fundamentals, but I'm a bit biased as I'm already committed to that path.

The reason I went with GUE Fundamentals is because the consensus seems to be it's one of the best fundamental courses in diving (regardless of your future diving goals) and because I really like the standardization (in configuration and in procedures) that GUE adheres to.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/
http://cavediveflorida.com/Rum_House.htm

Top Bottom