The Essentials of Technical Diving course is designed to prepare the diver for technical diving by cultivating the fundamental techniques required for sound technical diving. Essentials of Tech functions as a common (though not required) technical entry point for all previously certified divers wishing to enter FKD’s more demanding technical diving curriculum.

Essentials of Tech focuses on the divers’ bottom skills and introduces higher emphasis on ascent skills.  The training is centered on the use of double cylinders, deco bottle mechanics, precise buoyancy control, propulsion techniques, team awareness and controlled ascent procedures, including simulated decompression stops, gas switches and smb deployment.

The equipment  is centered on the Hogarthian configuration, which includes a backplate and wing in lieu of a traditional BC, and a long hose for the primary regulator and short, necklaced hose for the backup. The class must be completed in double tanks with a decompression bottle, though this is NOT a decompression course and students will not enter into any decompression obligations.

UTD’s Essentials of Tech class continues the student's path as a “Thinking Diver” and brings an increased awareness of the underwater environment. While preparing the diver for more advanced, technical dive training, the Intro to Tech student will also develop excellent diving skills for use in recreational diving situations.

This is not a critical skills class.  No failures will be introduced by the instructor in this class.  All skills being performed will be discussed and practiced on land before entering the water.  All dives will be briefed prior to entering the water and all skills will be rehearsed.  



Many divers find all the adventure they need in recreational dives to 100' or less. However, some are looking for a new challenge, and others want the ability to safely execute dives currently beyond their skill level.  Still others want a higher skill set or want to participate in exploration projects that are deeper than 100'.

This class introduces a whole new set of skills to prepare the diver to enter the world of technical diving.  This class starts with the basics of buoyancy, trim and kicks, teaching the diver to hover, motionless, move forward and backward without disturbing the bottom, while wearing doubles and a deco bottle.  

We'll then move on to gas sharing, proper ascents with simulated decompression stops and surface marker (smb) deployment.  

Major focus is also on double cylinders ("doubles") and deco bottle use.

Academic discussions include decompression, gas planning & management, team positioning, communication & protocols and an in-depth overview of the Hogarthian gear configuration.

This class will build your foundation for your future exploration by developing your skills, knowledge, confidence and competence, making your diving more enjoyable and opening a new world of diving.

Sound like a bit more than you had envisioned?  Check out our Essentials class, or email us  


Essentials of Tech is centered around building a foundation of skills of which you can incorporate immediately to not only work toward your technical diving goals, but also improve your overall comfort and confidence in the water.

We'll show you how to properly configure your gear to fit you, step 1 of making your underwater life easier.  Once the gear is fitted, we'll put it use.

We'll spend at least 4 dives working on the positioning skills mentioned above, as well as introducing team skills.

Early focus will be on precise buoyancy control, trim and propulsion techniques (frog kick, helicopter kick, back kick) in double tanks and deco bottle configuration.  

Team skills are then introduced, including valve drills, decompression bottle gas switching, stowing and passing, descents/ascents, fine tuning equipment configurations, refining underwater communications and team diving procedures.

We will "dry run" all skills.  Dry runs allow the student to practice the skills on land under the watchful eye of the instructor(s), allowing them to practice and discuss the skill prior to performing them underwater.

You will be evaluated during the class to obtain the UTD "Essentials of Tech" certification. This certification will allow you to enter the FKD / UTD Technical Diving program, starting with Tech 1.


In addition to the many informal discussions throughout the course, we'll have in-depth discussions on:

  • Hogarthian gear configuration and how to properly fit it, and more importantly why it's configured that way
  • Decompression - "Min Deco" & introduction to Ratio Deco and other decompression models
  • Gas planning & management
  • Proper decompression bottle rigging marking
  • Communication

Our diving days end with video review of the day's dives.  All FKD classes are video'd for educational and review purposes only.  We believe it is invaluable for students to visually focus on their individual in-water skills, situational awareness, communication and team diving.  Learning to self evaluate is an important aspect of the class.  

Our focus is the complete dedication to your diving skills, knowledge & in water practice.



  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • UTD Rec 2 or equivalent
  • Minimum 25 dives beyond Rec 2 certification


  • Maximum depth is 60’.  Average depth 20 - 30'
  • All dives are to maintain a working PO2 of no greater than 1.4
  • Standard gas is air or 32%
  • Double tank configuration
  • No stage decompression
  • No overhead environments
  • Instructor to student ratio maximum 6:1 in open water, adjusting downward for environmental conditions.


  • 3 days, minimum 4 dives, 8 hours of academics

All UTD / FKD classes are video'd for educational and review purposes only. We believe it is invaluable for students to visually focus on their individual in-water skills, situational awareness, communication and team diving. Learning to self evaluate is an important aspect of the class. 


  • Complete the academic materials (online or book)
  • All UTD & FKD classes are non-smoking
  • The use of prescription drugs must be authorized prior to the onset of diver training by a physician
  • Must be able to swim a distance of at least 50 feet/15 meters on a breath hold
  • Must be able to swim at least 300 yards/275 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping 
  • All participants must be able to tow a diver in full equipment, in the environment they will be diving in at least 400 yards in 16 minutes
  • All participants must demonstrate a rescue of a diver simulating oxygen toxicity