Guest Blogger – Dannie Holmstedt, PADI and TDI instructor on Tech Diving

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Why do a tech course?

How does being a tech diver change the way you are?

I started working at Evolution 2 years ago, as a dive instructor with 4½ years experience around the world. I considered myself to be a more than competent diver, with a sound knowledge of dive theory – equipment, physics, physiology and decompression theory. As I was accustomed to looking after students, I also believed that my general awareness and multitasking skills were more than adequate.

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Then I started a technical diving course – I completed my Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures with Matt, and progressed to Extended Range (max. 55m) shortly after with David.

It was during this training that I realised how much I had improved as a diver, particularly in three key areas – buoyancy, situational awareness and multitasking!

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In my opinion every diver should do a tech course. Even if you are not planning to continue into tech as a regular activity, you will greatly expand your knowledge, skills and technique, making you a far more competent diver!

I often hear other divers say that they have done their Dive Master course to become a better diver and learn more about diving, but that they don’t intend to work as a professional. I believe a tech course will teach you a much more relevant skill set in this case, with a heavier focus on trim and buoyancy – components that will immediately translate into improvement in your recreational diving.

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After my tech courses, I have also changed a lot of my teaching methods with recreational students – if you are an instructor this is even more reason to do a tech course. Spending more time on buoyancy control with Open Water course students with emphasis on diving in proper trim right from the beginning of their dive training. The Peak Performance Buoyancy component of our Advanced Open Water course is also a full 60 minutes spent on fine tuning buoyancy and propulsion techniques. With Nitrox courses we teach much more than PADI require, and with students on deeper dives – why do we do deep stops? Why we are ascending so slowly and even slower the last metres? so with the wider knowledge from the tech diving I believe that I’m teaching much higher quality courses and students are gaining more knowledge and a thorough understanding of the training they receive at Evolution.

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Further levels of technical training are fun and challenging also – why not try cave diving? Wrecks? Sidemount? It’s all there to expand your knowledge and awareness and become a much better diver!

So why not try tech??

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