The Ins and Outs of Technical Diving


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Also referred to as Tec diving or Tech Diving, technical diving is a form of scuba diving that exceeds the agency-specified limits of recreational diving. It is a much more complex, and difficult form of scuba diving that may impose greater danger to scuba divers who engage in it without the necessary training required, the right diving gear, and the right mindset.

The sport is often referenced as allowing you to extend your diving beyond recreational no-decompression limits. While this comes with greater risks, going beyond 40m also opens up a whole new diving experience. However, we recommend technical diver training for any dives deeper than 30m.


The Attraction of Technical Diving

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Albeit scary, technical diving opens up a new world of diving possibilities. Reaching great depths, squeezing through tight crevices and exploring dark underwater caves can be thrilling to many. In return for the risks, technical divers get to experience new terrains, encounter new species of marine life, and develop a stronger respect for the underwater world.

Risks of Technical Diving

There are many risks involved in technical diving such as exposure to the toxicity of various gases, decompression sickness, lost of gas, equipment failure, and more.


For scuba divers who are looking to pick up technical diving, there also comes a risk of attaching yourself to an under qualified diving instructor or dive shop. With the amount of risks involved, it is therefore paramount to look for the right training organization and review the process of how they qualify their diving instructors.


Technical Diving Equipment

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Like ordinary diving, technical diving holds a wide variety of diving equipment that can make a huge impact on the team’s safety, and ability to achieve the objective of the dives. In the case of technical diving, the environment plays a huge influential role on what equipment is required.

For instance, cave divers might prefer to use a Sidemount which are independent single tanks that are mounted to the side of the scuba diver’s body, attached onto the waistband of the harness and on the shoulders. This allows for easy donning and doffing of tanks, allowing cave divers to maintain a lower profile to fit into tighter situations.

On the other hand, there are also open circuit Twinset setups with two tanks attached to the back of the diver, allowing for longer bottom time and contingencies in the team, and rebreathers for extended dives at places where Trimix is difficult to access.

Technical Diving is a sport that is equipment, training, and diving experience intense. It does not suit scuba divers on tight budgets looking for cheap dive gear, or cheap dive training. The same analogy of not looking for cheap sky diving gear, or cheap sky diving training.

Due to the risks involved, technical divers prefer to use only the simplest, but best diving equipment available.

On the contrary, technical diving gear are only a part of a larger system. Proper diving education, fitness, mindset, and experiences are major pillars in cultivating a competent technical diver, that is an asset to the dive team. Always remember that the dive team is only as strong as the “weakest” diver.

Here at Dive Box, we strongly advise against using deep air. Instead, we utilise bottom gases that reduces inert nitrogen gas as much as possible, and also of equivalent narcotic depth of not more than 30m. For example, we recommend Nitrox 32 for dives above 30meters, and Trimix with technical diver training for any dives below.


How to get into Technical Diving in Singapore

If you are an experienced diver looking to pick up technical diving, there are several courses that one can take to pick up the certification.


Technical Diving Courses

We are strong advocate of diving organisations that focuses on getting clear on the basics, before allowing divers to take up any technical diving programs.

We also do not offer combo course, zero to hero packages, or guaranteed pass nonsense - in fact, the courses below do place divers on hold if they are unable to achieve the requirements.

Classes below strictly does not exceed 1 instructor to 3 students underwater.


Provided by Dive Box


SSI XR Foundation by Michael Leung

The SSI Extended Range (XR) Foundation course is a certified course that aims to provide scuba divers training to elevate their core foundation skills with the purpose of being a technical diver.

It serves to train divers in Buoyancy, Trim, Propulsion and Equipment skills and serve as a baseline for progression onto other technical level diving courses.


SSI XR Extended Range by Michael Leung

The SSI Extended Range is only accessible after being evaluated by our in-house instructor, and they are required to have good ratings of SSI XR Foundations. This class is not for everyone, and we will often go through an interview with the diver, to ensure the mindset adheres to our direction and philosophy.

This class teaches diver the basics of technical diving, allowing them to dive till no deeper than 45meters. It extends your bottom time, with the introduction of Trimix as back gas, and Nitrox 50 as decompression gas. It teaches divers to work as a team, to safely achieve the objectives of the dive.


Provided by Living Oceans


GUE Tech 1 by Gideon Liew


(Do be informed that GUE does not allow “cross overs” from other diving organisations, even if you are the “World’s Most Experienced Diver”. There are many sound reasons for this, and divers will have to attain a GUE Fundamentals Tech Pass, before being approved to sign up for a GUE Tech 1 class.)

The Global Underwater Explorers Tech 1 course helps prepare scuba divers who are looking to pick up technical diving. The course puts divers on the path towards technical diving safety, ensuring that post course, every diver would be confident and have a solid foundation of skills and knowledge.

The course also paves way to the GUE rebreather courses, to advanced technical GUE training, and to GUE Project and exploration diving.

Do note that GUE does not allow cross overs and students are required to complete the courses in progression, starting with GUE Fundamentals.



Technical Diving can be complex for many as it involves heavy knowledge of the diving gear that you use and the conditions that you are going to dive in. Aside from the potential risks that may come with this type of diving, scuba divers also get to explore worlds that lay far beneath the surface and experience the underwater realm on another level.

We suggest taking up technical diving only if you have a purpose for it, like exploring or documenting shipwrecks, caves, and will be technical diving frequently. Techincal diving is not considered a leisure sport nor hobby due to the amount of risk, diving gear intensity, and not forgetting the stringent training required.


Tags Types of Diving