Let’s start with what technical diving is not. Technical diving is not military diving or commercial diving. It is also not scientific diving or public safety diving. Like recreational diving, technical diving is “sport” diving; it is diving done for fun.
But technical diving involves going beyond the limits established for recreational scuba diving. Generally speaking a technical dive would involve one or more of the following:
- Diving below 130 feet
- Staying at any depth beyond the no decompression limit
- Penetrating a cave or wreck beyond the light zone
- Switching gases at depth
- Using oxygen, enriched air blends above 40 percent, trimix, or other special gases
But simply going beyond recreational limits is not technical diving. Any recreational diver can descend beyond 130 feet or stay down long enough to exceed a decompression limit. Recreational divers either inadvertently or intentionally do this all of the time, but we don’t call them technical divers. We call them “stupid” or “careless.”
So how is technical diving different? Technical diving involves planned dives that exceed recreational limits. Technical dives are also done with large amounts of special equipment that mitigates some of the risk involved in exceeding the limits of recreational dives.