What drives tec divers?
Tec divers- you may have met them on a dive boat. Prepped with enough gear and tanks to occupy half the dive deck, these guys look as if they have come straight out of a sci-fi movie. Once they have suited up- tanks hanging off their body and the all the gear attached to the d-rings, these guys move around as if they are from outer space. So, you ask another diver as to what they are up to and all you get is a flat reply, “They are tec divers,” as if that answers it all.
So what is tec diving?
According to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Technical diving is a term used to describe all diving methods that exceed the limits imposed on depth and/or immersion time for recreational scuba diving. Technical diving often involves the use of special gas mixtures (rather than compressed air) for breathing.
While this is a widely accepted definition of technical (tec) diving, let us simplify it. Tec diving includes one or more of the following: diving beyond 40m/ 130 ft, involves stage decompression, use of variable gas mixtures during the dive and use of extensive equipment and technologies.
Sounds exciting right?With recreational diving limiting the options of going underwater, the idea of exploring a cave deep beneath the ocean or merely staying underwater little longer or finding creatures of the deep is tempting enough for one to take the plunge.
However, tec diving goes beyond depth and time spent underwater. It involves meticulous planning, advanced training, and safety concerns. So what’s the motivation behind a diver entering the world of tec?
Excitement and novelty that you felt at the beginning: The magic and excitement that you felt when you first dived underwater tend to fade over time as you dive with time and experience, giving way to a much stronger but less thrilling love. A strong love for something that you like the most: diving. And when you venture into the world of tec diving, it is like renewing your relationship with scuba diving. There’s newness in the relationship- you explore things you hadn’t before and you fall deeper in love with diving.
Challenge and the urge to get out of your comfort zone: Tec diving is about challenging yourself to explore your personal limits. It requires you to get out of your comfort zone and push yourself into a deeper territory. You learn to overcome your fears, be self-sufficient and act effectively under stressful conditions.
The thrill of accomplishment: Matt Jevon, a sports psychologist, and technical diver, states, “It’s not a question of whether or not the experience rewards or satisfies the ego. For some, it’s all about the task and the process to reach the outcome.” There is a different thrill and a feeling of exhilaration when a diver successfully completes his dive.
A whole new world of possibilities: Being a tec diver means you can venture into territories which a recreational diver cannot explore. A wreck at 85 meters, diving under ice, exploring a cave- you can do all of this as tec diving widens your scope of possibilities.
You learn about equipment, advance planning, and new techniques: Whether a backmount or a tecsidemount, you will learn a whole new set of configurations. With tec diving, you are also able to perfect your buoyancy. Being a tec diver allows you to invest in complex and better equipment too. Also, these advanced skills help you add a little spark to your recreational diving as well.
Your safety becomes paramount: It is rightly said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” And this sentence particularly holds true in the case of tec diving. When you dive deeper, you learn new safety techniques and procedures. You learn about redundancy and problem-solving. You develop an ability to contemplate everything that might go wrong during your dive and therefore prepare better before you go underwater. All in all, you increase your safety.
For the love of diving: No matter how many reasons you have to learn tec diving, the first and vital reason is always going to be the fact that you love diving. Be it diving with complex gear or diving deeper, technical diving is nothing more than just diving. All it does is that it makes you better at what you love doing.
All in all, if you love diving, want to learn advanced techniques, are willing to take risks and are looking forward to new spine-tingling adventures, tec diving is your thing. So, if you are thinking, you are ready to be a tec diver, we encourage you to do so.