1. WHAT WE CALL TECHNICAL DIVING?
Mickael Menduno, an English man, created the term technical diving in 1990. At that time it was a term used to call the type of dives done by the "crazies" in the dive community.
The goal was to standardize equipment and procedures and to gather divers doing the same kind of dive activities as wreck penetration, cave diving, deep diving...
As a general rule, technical diving (tec diving) can be applied for any diving types or specialties as soon as the diver exceed safely the recreational dive limits by using advanced procedures and specific technical diving gear.
Then the dives are called decompression dives versus the no decompression dives inherent to the recreational diving.
For decompression dives, the decompression stop is mandatory.
The tec diver generally have longer decompression stops! Some professional tec divers even have a little screen with them to watch a film waiting that it becomes safe to ascend!
The definition of technical diving may vary depending on the scuba diving agency proposing the related training courses.
For example PADI consider Ice diving and the use of semi closed rebreather as recreational diving when NAUI consider those as technical diving.
It's interesting to see the evolution of diving, as this sport is now getting more and more popular.
If we take the example of the dive computer; when the Orca Edge (the first reliable electronic dive computer) dive computer were released in 1984, it was considered by the dive community as a technical gear only for extreme divers.
Nowadays, not only professional and technical divers got his own dive computer but some certification agencies will not allow a beginner to dive without a dive computer even for a pool dive.
2. ABOUT TECHNICAL DIVING GEAR
Tec diving requires specific diving gear and specific trainings. Check out the scuba diving agencies specialized in technical diving in our guide.
Because technical diving is usually for depths more than 40 meters, the air blend used cannot be normal air like that used in recreational diving. The tec diver will need several tanks (and stage bottles) plus back up gears to enhance his safety. The air blend can be oxygene, nitrox, trimix, heliox, heliair or hydrox.
Trimix is a mix of three breathing air: Oxygen (O2), Helium (He) and Nitrogen (N2) and is used in the deepest part of the dive to avoid nitrogen narcosis. Pure Oxygen or Oxygen mixtures as Nitrox is used at the beginning and ending part of the dive. This practice reduce the time needed by the body to release inert gas remaining in the body tissus.
Following tec diving trainings is a great advantage for the experienced diver who loves going deep to spot wrecks: ships or aircrafts resting on a deep seabed.