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Talking Tech with John Kean
Discount Tech Diving?
it is possible to start technical diving training for little more than it
takes to start an open water course using much of your own favourite
gear. this will allow you to see if you like it and where you might go in
technical diving can be costly, but there are ways to cut your budget putting it to use. technical dive operators generally don’t opt for the
without compromising safety. John Kean shares his thoughts. same discount methods as for other type of diving and snorkelling
activities on offer; nonetheless, you should avoid spending more than
in the nineties there was a great series of tV adverts for stella beer.
you bargain for.
stella being the artois Belgian brand that sponsors a lawn tennis
let’s not pretend that anything in this world is for free, especially life-
tournament in West london. the idea behind the adverts was that
support equipment and the training that goes with it. technical diving
despite costing a bit more than other brands stella artois was indeed
requires equipment, gas, tuition and logistics. there is nothing worse
worth the extra. a clever sales pitch.
than making a booking and then at the end of the week you receive
technical diving is sometimes perceived as being costly when
a bill for additional extras. to help you, here is a list of things you will
compared to ordinary recreational diving. the reason you pay more
need to complete an entry-level technical diving course in the red sea
is that there is much more equipment involved and specialist skills
by boat:
required. you also have to opt for high performance gear, which often
costs a lot more than the basics required by the recreational diver.
1) technical diving scuba equipment. it is often assumed you own
the suit, mask, dive computers, fins and belt etc leaving technical
one of the larger technical gas blending facilities in sharm el sheikh,
regulators, wing, harness, plate and accessories. you can also rent
for instance, was founded with an investment of 250,000 euros. a
the former if necessary.
senior instructor teaching up to trimix level will more than likely have
2) the training agency instructional manual for your course.
invested close to 20,000 euros in diving education, equipment, yearly
) a certification document for when you pass.
renewals and insurances to obtain that rating over several years. His
4) technical diving cylinders and the gas that goes inside them.
or her expertise will not just be limited to retailing a standardised
5) tuition, boat and transport to and from your hotel.
product.
reaching 100m on mixed gas will involve an instructor wearing 4,000
normal extras may be lunch, and in areas such as sharm, a visitor
euros worth of personal dive equipment, not to mention the helium
fee of about five euros to marine national parks and a day diver fee
and the attitude and experience that goes with it. Very few, however,
towards the upkeep of the hyperbaric chamber facility.
actually go out and buy all their gear at once. a ‘tech rig’ generally
evolves over several months or years. much of what a recreational
there are many websites and pricelists but make sure you know what’s
diver wears can be used for technical diving such as suits, masks,
included and what is not. they don’t always state this; nevertheless,
fins, computers, slates, reels and surface marker buoys (smB’s). good
you certainly need these extras. low quality gear and inexperience
quality regulators and some wings and plates may also make the
have no place in technical diving but you can help yourself by
crossover.
planning and asking the right questions.
many technical divers begin by renting equipment on their early
Technical diving…reassuringly expensive!
courses and most clubs include it in the price. Divers simply add items,
perhaps renting a few additional pieces until they have their own.
a well-known name in technical
diving in the red sea, John kean
is a long-term resident of the sinai
and has worked in the diving
industry for 11 years. Both a
paDi master instructor and a tDi
trimix instructor, he still actively
teaches and guides at all levels of
diving. John has more than 1,000
student certifications and over
4,000 red sea dives to his name.
He is the author of ss thistlegorm:
the true story of the red sea’s
greatest shipwreck and also writes
regularly for european-based diving
magazines.
reassuringly expensive...
issue 2 august / september 2009 www.cdws.travel 41
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