There is a popular joke In our openwater classes. We ask the new divers what is the most important consideration when choosing dive gear. After allowing them to struggle with great answers like, “fit,” “safety,” “comfort,” and “convenience,” we say, “No! It’s how it looks! Ya gotta look good in your gear!” Everybody has a good laugh and it’s a lighthearted segue into a discussion about correctly choosing dive equipment.
Safety is the correct answer and the remaining features and functions of ideal equipment are pretty universal. Your equipment should not only be safe but it should be convenient, comfortable, reliable, easy to use, and give you the tools you need for your dives. This applies to every diver from the newest student to the most advanced technical diver. We all want our gear to perform well and safely meet our needs.
So what is the big difference between “openwater” gear and “technical” gear? The main difference most divers notice is that openwater BCDs are jacket style with the air bladder surrounding the diver’s body. This tends to float the diver in a vertical position while the technical BCD has the air bladder in the back and it floats the diver in a more horizontal position. The jacket style BCD is sort of a “one size fits all,” with pockets, clips, attachment points, and accessories permanently attached while technical rigs are modular and allow infinite adjustment and modifications. The bottom line is that a good diver can use any type of gear and look good in the water so what is the most important consideration? Get the gear that is the safest and most functional.
This site is built on the premise that the type of gear most divers call technical gear is actually an ideal choice for all types of divers. It is robust, streamlined, functional, and versatile. It can be adjusted to meet the needs of all types of diving and can be configured to deliver safety, comfort, and convenience.
And we don’t stop there! The fundamental skills of the technical diver can be applied to all types of diving to enhance not only comfort, and fun but can increase safety and reduce environmental damage. Adapting the technical skill sets and gear configuration to recreational openwater diving will make SCUBA diving a better experience where divers are safer and have more fun! Ride the wave and become a better diver!