The FKD Tech Upgrade is designed for divers who have previously completed the UTD Essentials of Recreational Diving, Rec 2, or Rec 3 class and wish to upgrade to the Essentials of Tech certification, thus allowing them to enter the UTD/FKD technical diving curriculum, without taking the entire Essentials of Tech class.

Tech Upgrade introduces the student to the doubles configuration and the proper use of a single deco bottle while still maintaining the core skills taught in our recreational classes, such as precise buoyancy control, propulsion techniques, team awareness and controlled ascents.

This is a personal skills class.  All skills 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. This is not a critical skills class.  No failures will be introduced by the instructor in this class.

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.  



This one day workshop prepares the diver to make the transition from single tank recreational diving to the more rigorous technical diving curriculum.  Since they already have a solid platform and foundation with the skills learned in Essentials of Rec, this adds to their toolbox, focusing on the skills taught and practiced in Essentials of Tech that are not part of the Essentials of Rec, Rec 2, or Rec 3 curricula, while not requiring the student to take Essentials of Tech, which can have overlap with Essentials of Rec.

It allows the student to gain knowledge, understanding and comfort with the hogarthian doubles configuration and also learn and practice proper gas switching procedures using a single decompression bottle (air or EAN32) for safe practice.

Students are expected to be proficient in the skills taught in their previous FKD courses prior to taking this workshop.


Tech Upgrade is designed to build on the student's current FKD recreational training platform, introducing skills taught in Essentials of Tech that were not taught in their Essentials of Rec, Rec 1 or Rec 2 training.

We'll start by spending some time on precise buoyancy control, trim and propulsion techniques with the new, added equipment of doubles and a deco bottle.  We'll also incorporate s-drills and controlled ascents.  

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 Essentials of Rec, Rec 1 or Rec 2 
  • Minimum 25 dives beyond Essentials or 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.


  • 1 day, minimum 2 dives

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