Interested in Technical Diving?

So, you are ready for technical diving...

Deep Oceans… The final frontier…
These are the voyages of all Technical Divers.

Their continuing mission:
To explore strange new worlds…
To seek out new life; new crustaceans …
To boldly go where no recreational diver has gone before!

Ryan Custureri, Technical Instructor


Student pathways are extremely important to ensure you are gaining the necessary skills and confidence to move through the levels successfully. There are those instructors (many in fact) that will simply issue a certification card no matter if you meet the actual standards–It’s Scary to think, but true. For us, the certification cards you earn are because of your actual experience, mastery, and knowledge gained while enrolled. Secondly, skipping core courses is simply a disservice to you.

Many instructors don’t feel Intro to Technical diving is a necessary course. They want someone to spend $2k and go directly into a combined Advanced Nitrox and Deco Procedures (or equivalent course in another agency) in order to gain certification numbers.  Why?  Because at the professional level, Intro to Tech doesn’t enhance your professional technical career; only higher levels do. What does matter is the time you will spend underwater, and the techniques you will learn; the skills you acquire; and the failures you overcome. 

Our Technical Programs are challenging, fun, and will push your individual limits. This is why we require an evaluation dive AND a foundational course like Introduction to Technical Diving prior to any decompression related programs. This includes, Intro to Tech PRIOR to Advanced Nitrox (130fsw) and Deco Procedures (150fsw). Our program focuses on not only the physical requirements, but also the mental to determine if technical diving is actually right for you. We have many students that cross over from DIR (Doing it Right) agencies (Unified Team Diving, Global Underwater Explorers, Innerspace Explorers) and will assess on a case by case basis. Their fundamental programs don’t fall within the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) guidelines, and require separate evaluation.


Regarding Intro to Technical Diving…

Intro to Tech is a foundation course that not only prepares the diver for the mental challenge ahead, but also pushes the physical limits of the individual to understand Technical Diving. Our approach to this course is failure based training where the students learn about failures and emergency management. They learn how to deal with compromised divers and develop the confidence to lead a team to push beyond recreational boundaries.

Intro to technical diving is a course we feel strongly about. Unfortunately, many divers skip this course, or are talked out of it by an instructor that isn’t doing their student service and moving beyond their actual skill level. This course also serves as a chance to master your personal (and team) skills before pushing your limits.

Technical diving is not for everyone. A person considering this route should focus on their physical abilities, be healthy, and have true experience at the recreational level first.

As mentioned previously, all of our instructors are certified, and have gained years of experience, teaching at both the REC & TEC side. This means we know what an individual needs to work on, and can guide them properly to ensure their recreational foundation is solid. Remember, you are paying an instructor for their time to teach you what is necessary to keep you safe, and develop you as a technical diver. If more personal skills training is required, that is up to the instructor to have that one on one discussion and be honest. 

Our courses are designed to improve all your skills to ensure the foundation for building a technical diver is solid. We start with an evaluation dive to assess, and move from there.

If you have a previous video of you diving, then submit. We can tell fairly quickly what needs to be worked on. One thing to keep in mind is that practicing a skill, with bad habits, is habit forming. Oftentimes it is best to just come as you are, and we improve from there.

Typically, costs start at $300 / day, and is 3 to 4 days long. Most students end up doing 4 days to maximize the program. We personally spent years specializing in developing diver’s and working with physiologists to understand body mechanics. In short, we are able to achieve great results in a shorter period of time compared to just a uniform cookie cutter program.

Building blocks are essential when progressing through a proper program. At AQUI, our 4 day approach (more if necessary) is as follows:

  1. Day 1 is personal skills
  2. Day 2 is team skills
  3. Day 3 is critical skills
  4. Day 4 is a combination of each while managing ascent lines / deco bottle (filled with air)


By the time you are done, you are able to self assess and practice in preparation for further technical programs. 

If you don’t live in an area that allows you to tech-dive; no worries. About 35% of our customers fly in from somewhere around the world. Each week, we are working with new students to prepare them for their technical class, and continuing education for those that are ready to push their boundaries deeper–and longer.


We can not stress enough how instructors are not created equal. Many will issue you a certification as long as you pay. If this is okay with you, we are not the right training facility to learn from. Ask for referrals, and ask for photos & videos of CURRENT students. 

Learning technical diving from an instructor that only teaches it a few times a year would not be our choice.  


If you would like student references to speak with, we would be happy to provide. When you are ready, give us a call so we can guide you in the right direction. There is a deep and amazing world ahead, and much to continue exploring!


To summarize, we get applicants/students/customers/friends from all over the world that want to train under AQUI; however, some end up staying Recreational. Others progress to be great divers, and have since gone on to explore parts of the world you simply can’t do in a single tank.


AQUI Water Sports Team

Ryan Custureri

Landon Lasseter


Continuing Education

Check out these posts to continue learning how to become a true scuba dive professional. Our discussions range from exploring teaching techniques, to operating a dive business, becoming a full-time instructor, or planning events and more. 

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