Technical Diving

Technical diving is the range of specialisations that a scuba diver can learn once he is fully qualified. Technical dives exceed the limits of scuba diving in a range of ways.

  • Depth. Technical diving goes deeper at dives of greater than 40 metres.
  • Decompression. Because of the depth involved multiple decompression stops will be needed in order to allow nitrogen bubbles to leave the blood stream.
  • Gases. Different gases than the standard air mix are often used to allow longer breathing times at greater depths. Nitrox, Trimix and rebreathers are sometime used.
  • Difficulty. Technical diving gives access to more dangerous underwater environments, such as the insides of caves and wrecks. Environments where the diver is prohibited from accessing the surface directly, due to either obstruction or depth are classed as technical diving. Deep Diving, Ice Diving, Wreck Diving and Cave Diving are all examples of technical diving.

Technical diving is not a natural progression from scuba diving, as the difficulty and personal risks are greater and outweigh the benefits for many. Nevertheless we are lucky in the UK that some technical diving components are included at the uppermost levels of BSAC recreational sub aqua qualification. A qualified BSAC scuba diver will have experience of decompression stops and various gas mixes for example.

Specialities such as cavern and wreck diving can be taken on a modular basis with PADI, meaning you don’t have to be a fully qualified technical diver to enjoy those habitats. With such a qualification you will not have the freedom of a technical diver, your depth and degree of penetration will be limited.

Technical diving requires specialist equipment. Many scuba divers moving onto technical diving are dismayed to find out that their precious equipment does not meet the standards necessary for diving at such depths. Regulators, vests, special harnesses and masks must be able to resist greater pressures. Wet suits need to be warmer or be replaced with costly dry suits, and tanks have to be filled with different mixes. If you are sure that you are set on taking diving all the way to technical, you may want to consider your future options when buying your scuba equipment.