Technical diving, “tec”, is a type of scuba diving that exceeds the limits of recreational diving. First, we need to take a step back. Scuba diving is where a diver uses a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA). This means the diver has an air tank, usually filed with compressed air. This giver the diver greater more freedom to explore where they like within reason. The main limits to recreational diving are lack of air and depth. As a diver goes deeper the air in their tank shrinks due to the surrounding pressure, thus giving them limited time underwater. For example, at 100ft a diver would have 10 minutes of air to breath from. Also, as divers breath air at deeper depths they need to worry about decompression sickness. Decompression sickness, known as DCS, is a condition arising from dissolved gasses coming out of solution into bubbles inside the body. Simply put, as divers breath the air at deeper depths those gases in the blood take longer to come out of solution. If a diver quickly swam from 100ft to the surface, gases would bubble up from your blood, putting you at risk of death. Thus, scuba agencies limit the depth at which divers can go to 130ft. This is where technical diving comes in. Technical divers are trained to carry more oxygen and to make these things called decompression stops to go deeper, unlike recreational divers. These decompression stops help to release those gasses out of the blood stream slowly and safely enough. These stops are essential to keeping these divers alive, and extensive training is required to do them safely. Another big difference is what the diver breaths in his/her tank. After 100ft oxygen becomes toxic to the body, it won’t kill you at that depth; however, at deeper depth it is lethal. Because of these, the tec divers us a mixed with less percentage of oxygen and increased percentage of nitrogen and helium. Recreational diver’s breath about 21% oxygen in the mix compared to sometimes 5% by tec divers. Because of these low mixes tec divers can well beyond the limits of recreational divers. The world record for the deepest scuba dive is 1100ft. Most tec dives occur around 170ft-300ft. If you want to learn more about tec diving or just normal scuba diving visit PADI. And to encourage you to check out more about diving I’ll leave you with a few interesting facts. To dive down to 700ft it takes around five minutes; however, to come back safely up with all the decompression stops it takes over 10 HOURS! More people have been to the moon, that have dived to 700ft on an open-circuit scuba system.