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Tech diving gear generates many questions when you get your first certification related to tech specialties. On the other hand, this type of equipment arouses a lot of curiosity in non-initiated divers. Who hasn’t seen those divers loaded with tanks and rebreathers on a trip? In this article we talk about the essential tech diving gear and we will try to satisfy your curiosity.
Should I buy my tech diving gear to do the course?
Every technical diver was a recreational diver before, Some diving gear items will still work properly in this new underwater adventure. However, other parts of the equipment will not be useful, and you will have to replace them with new essentials more adapted to your new needs, but you don’t know which ones yet.
Tech diving involves diving beyond the normal limits of recreational scuba diving. Imagine you want to do the PADI Tec Sidemount Diver. Technical divers usually choose 2 cylinders for side mounting, bi-bottles (2 tanks joined by stainless steel bands and a tap that connects them). In this case, you will have two options, either rent the gear at the dive center, where you will take your certification, or buy it. Our advice is to choose this last option only if you are determined to go for technical diving as your first choice. Keep in mind that there are many specialties, and the context in which you will be diving will also influence the type of tech diving gear you will need. It is not the same to dive in hot water as in cold water, the sidemount may be your option, at this moment, but in the future, you may think that rebreathers are more suitable to your needs, just because you love cave diving.
What Are The Essential Parts Of Tech Diving Gear?
The computer is paramount in tech diving gear. As we know, in recreational diving, it is not necessary to make decompression stops. However, this is not the case in technical diving. Now the depth will be extreme. We have to take it into account because technical stops will be a must. Therefore, having a computer programmed for technical decompression stops will be essential.
Besides, it would be convenient if your computer could be adapted to the gas mixture you will use during any dive. It ought not matter if it is Trimix or TEC 50, your computer should be able to calculate your needs in each case.
Hogartian configuration conditions your tech diving gear. This configuration is preferred by technical divers, although it is also used by many recreational divers. Originally, it was conceived by Bill Hogarth, all components of the equipment are integrated to facilitate diving with it. It’s organized, clean, simple, safe, and cheap.
This configuration means you’re going to need:
– A regulator with a hogarthian configuration with a long hose on the main one and a rubber band around the neck of the secondary one. It is recommended the regulators be high performance. This is because when diving deeper, the gas one breathes becomes denser and it costs the regulator more to provide the right amount of it. Technical divers compensate for this effect by using helium to reduce the density of the gas.
– Pressure gauge and wing inflation.
– Backplate with harness and wing. There are several options, stainless steel, aluminum and even carbon fiber back plates. Try them out before choosing and consider the rest of your tech diving gear to make a decision.
Tech diving gear accessories.
The accessories are going to depend a lot on the type of technical diving you want to practice. There is a short list of some of them: dive knives, diving lights, bi-bottles, rebreathers, stage tanks, bailout bottles, dive spools with long thread, safety buoys, etc.
You already know a little more about tech diving gear, if you want to take the leap, take a look at our courses.