Pee in wetsuits - 3
7 Truths and Lies About Peeing in Wetsuit
February 17, 2021
apps de buceo - principal
The 6 Best Free Scuba Diving Apps
March 3, 2021
Show all

Cave Diving Certification: What Does It Take?

Cave diving certification - principal

Obtaining a cave diving certification is the door that many scuba divers open to take their first steps in technical diving. Therefore, getting your cave diving certification will require a greater effort on your part, specific and highly advanced skills, and training worthy of the best divers. The payoff will be just as grandiose.

In previous articles, we already saw the difference between cavern diving and cave diving. We recommend that you read the Everything You Need To Know About Cave Diving In Mexico, to understand the qualitative leap meant by your cave diving certification.

In today’s article, we consider the following points: who can opt for a cave diving certification, what you will learn in the course, and what equipment you will need to practice it safely. To answer these questions, we talked to Victor Cordoba, our Human Resources Director, who is also Course Director and Technical & Full Cave Instructor, among many other titles. As if this were not enough, he is a professional with more than 3000 cave dives in his logbook.

Cave diving certification - 3

Who Can Do A Cave Diving Certification?

The first thing anyone wanting to do cave diving should know is that it is safe diving provided it is done with the proper measures and procedures. “I’m not going to lie to you, these conditions require rigorous training and refinement in diving techniques that are available to few divers” – Córdoba tells us.

According to our expert, it is not enough to be a diver in search of strong emotions, it is necessary to fulfill a series of prerequisites. Our advice is to prepare well before applying for a cave diving certification. This happens by:

  1. having an advanced open water certification;
  2. having made more than 100 dives;

This last point may catch your attention, but keep in mind that obtaining the cave diving certification implies diving in very narrow places where the sunlight does not reach. Do you know how to communicate in a low-light diving environment? How would you react when the slightest movement means brushing against the cave walls? And, when the only possible way to come back is to keep going because there is no room to turn around. Would you be OK?

Not to mention that often, the limit of 40 meters/ 130 feet is exceeded. When you are passionate about cave diving, Mr. Córdoba assures us, knowledge of deep diving, gas mixing, dry suit diving and decompression stops will be an extra.

Of course, your navigation, buoyancy and finning skills must be perfect, if they are not, improve them first.

How Does a Cave Diving Certification Work?

There are several agencies specialized in training to obtain a cave diving certification. Some of them are Technical Diving International TDI, Global Underwater Explorers GUE, International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers IANTD, among others.

In general, all training in overhead environments begins with cavern diving, which is a specialty of recreational diving. Overhead environments are those where you cannot ascend directly because there is a physical barrier that prevents it. In cavern diving, you will however never miss the sunlight.

The next step is an introduction to cave diving, whose conditions are that the students cannot consume more than 1/3 of the tank or 1/6 if they carry a bi-bottle. They are also not allowed to pass bifurcations or make jumps. Sorry, but to know how it is possible to jump into a cave, you will need to get your cave diving certification. 😊

Among the knowledge you’ll acquire in the most basic cave diving certifications are the techniques that will allow you to safely make a limited penetration into these environments (reel use, navigation, and communication in low visibility environments).

Also, you will improve your dive planning skills and understand all about the handicaps of cave diving, stress management and emergency procedures.

Cave diving certification - 4
Cave diving certification - 4

In general, all training in overhead environments begins with cavern diving, which is a specialty of recreational diving. Overhead environments are those where you cannot ascend directly because there is a physical barrier that prevents it. In cavern diving, you will however never miss the sunlight.

The next step is an introduction to cave diving, whose conditions are that the students cannot consume more than 1/3 of the tank or 1/6 if they carry a bi-bottle. They are also not allowed to pass bifurcations or make jumps. Sorry, but to know how it is possible to jump into a cave, you will need to get your cave diving certification. 😊

Among the knowledge you’ll acquire in the most basic cave diving certifications are the techniques that will allow you to safely make a limited penetration into these environments (reel use, navigation, and communication in low visibility environments).

Also, you will improve your dive planning skills and understand all about the handicaps of cave diving, stress management and emergency procedures.

Afterward, the diver can complete his or her training with more technical and specialized courses. The more advanced cave diving certifications focus more on technical skills for navigating, without visibility, through the corridors of submerged caves.

In both cases, you will spend more than half of the course with your eyes closed. This is not a joke!

Each of these cave diving certifications lasts an average of 5-6 days. At the end of the initiation and specialization course, you will have done a good number of dives, between 16 and 24, which is a good starting point to gain experience. Remember that this is an environment that is not suitable for everyone.

Cave diving certification - 2

Equipment for a Cave Diving Certification

As is often the case in diving, equipment and training go hand in hand. It is not possible to practice diving at each of its levels if you lack one or the other. Victor Cordoba, our cave diving instructor, insists on the importance of having a good kit for your cave diving certification, as recreational equipment is not useful in these environments. Why?

  1. You will need more thermal protection. We cannot forget that these are submerged environments, often at great depths, where the heat of the sun does not reach. Seriously consider buying a dry suit.
  2. You will need better life support. If you are going to descend to decompression depths or spend many hours submerged, it is more than likely that you will need to carry different gas mixtures and, of course, enough to go, come back and 1/3 for what may happen.
  3. Cave diving specific tools. Reels of line, markers, knives, cave diving specific flashlight, and a double set of everything. At several meters below sea level and inside the earth, it’s better to have redundancy, don’t you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *