Tech Nitrox and Decompression Combination class   

This is the beginning step towards learning about technical diving.   Going beyond the no-stop times on the table requires special training and skills,  which are included in this class.   Haven't you ever been on a great dive and wished you could stay a bit longer?   The types of dives this class would qualify you for, would be for example making a one hour dive on the Duane, or perhaps, drifting the deep reef after diving the jupiter hole in the wall for an extra 30 minutes.  My buddies and I dive on most Wednesday nights off Ft. Lauderdale, and make exactly these types of dives.   We often spend a full hour on the bottom, and even use our scooters to travel between wrecks.

The class combines the Technical Nitrox Certification  which certifies the use of Nitrox Mixes up to 100% with the Decompression Techniques Certification  that certifies divers to dive to depths up to 130ft using extended bottom times and decompress using nitrox.   All training dives use 50% nitrox for decompression

I do not normally teach these two classes separately unless you really want to,  because the Technical Nitrox Certification is specifically geared towards those gases used for decompression that don't have a great deal of use for other purposes.  However if you want to separate them  Tech Nitrox is a prerequisite class for Deco Techniques and must be taken first.

Class prerequisites:
Minimum Age 21
100 logged dives
Nitrox Certification

After the class you will be certified to plan and execute dives that go beyond the NDL's on the tables in the depth range up to 130ft.   You will be trained to use one gas 50% nitrox for decompression, and will be certified to use mixes up to 80% nitrox.   This class is not about going beyond recreational depth limits, it is to train you to extend your bottom times and minimize risk.   However the techniques learned are those that  must be mastered before considering safely diving deeper than 130ft and the class is a prerequisite for trimix.

Required Equipment: Must be provided by the student for this level of diving.
If you don't have any equipment already I strongly recommend you talk to me about what to buy before the class so that you don't wind up getting the wrong things:

Back Gas Tanks:   The most popular tanks for this class are Double Aluminum 80's.    These tanks allow you to have a nice long dive and still retain enough gas for a safe ascent for both yourself and your buddy.  It is not necessary to have double tanks a large single can be used but double's are strongly reccommended.   Also any dives using double steel tanks require the use of a drysuit.

Valves:  Double tanks require a manifold.   This should be of the Din Valve type, and must have an isolator valve the design of which should utilize barrel O rings.   For single tanks a Y valve is reccommended, these are available from Beauchat, however in general double tanks are much better for the class anyway.  All should be DIN either 200 or 300 bar.

Decompression Tanks:   The standard size used in class is an AL40cuft tank.  The tank must be rigged as you would a stage bottle, and should be O2 cleaned ready for use

Primary and backup regulators:  Both need to be high performance class A regulators.    The primary regulator must be rigged with a 7ft hose and a lp inflator hose for the BC.   The backup regulator must be rigged with an SPG, and drysuit inflator hose if diving dry, and a neckace bungie to hold it in place.   DIN regulators are recommended.

Decompression Regulator: People frequently downgrade the regulator used for this purpose since it is not one that is used at depth, and the performance therefore is not as critical as those used for the back gas.  Having said this, please don't go to extremes, using an old clunker can be both uncomfortable and dangerous in terms of CO2 buildup, so I recommend a good regulator for deco as well.    This reg should be compatible or cleaned for use with nitrox mixes greater than 40%.  It should be set up with a small SPG placed on a 6" hp hose, and the regulator hose length should be long enough so that it can be looped behind the divers head from left to right and breathed comfortably, without having an excessively long loop that is a potential snagging hazard.     I use an Octopus  hose for this, but I am a pretty short person if you are a big guy or tall I would try something like a 34-38 inch hose.

Buoyancy control device: The best equipment for this type of diving is a backplate with webbing harness, and a wing for buoyancy control.  Not only is this the best configuration, it will be useful for EVERY kind of diving you might decide to take on in the future, including cave diving, trimix diving, or even catching lobsters on the reef.    I have not dived with a regular BC for years.    Wing size will vary depending on the tanks you are using (talk to me about what configuration you are considering so that we can work on wing sizes).  Back inflation is mandatory for the class, a jacket style BC will not allow you to perform the required skills properly.

SPG for back gas and separate SPG for deco gas.
Wrist Mounted Compass
Wrist Mounted Depth gauge and bottom timer plus backup depth gauge and bottom time.
(A computer can be used for this purpose, but will not be used in computer mode for the class)
I use a UWATEC deep timer, a wrist watch, and I keep an older oceanic data plus in my pocket for backup.

Backup Mask (one per dive team)
Two Lift bags, one needs to be 50# capacity.
Two spools or one spool and a reel.  One must have at LEAST 100 ft of line
Note:  Split fins will not work for this class.
Cutting Device,  either small knife or shears.
One Light is required, two is better.   Pistol Grip lights are not recommended.
Suit Pockets are recommended (these can be glued on  your wetsuit and will make your life alot easier)
Wetnotes.  ( A  slate can be used but the wetnotes are much more effective.)