Do you have dive experience beyond open water, and a few hundred dives to show for it? Congrats! You have reached an enviable level of knowledge and proficiency that is necessary for exploring the underwater world further. Now, if you are looking for something more than just diving within no-decompression limits down to 40 meters but not quite ready yet to take on technical diving - boosted recreational diving could be exactly what you need. This type of scuba experience has different names depending on your preferred diving organisation (BSAC, PADI, TDI or SSI), but widely known as Extended Range Diving - it focuses mainly on boosting your skillset above regular open water levels to maximize the enjoyment and exploration of diverse dive sites up close.
Reason to move into extended-range diving:
- Stay underwater longer and explore deeper your favourite dive sites
- Expand knowledge in the physiology of diving
- Learn how to plan and execute decompression dives
- Learn how to use additional scuba equipment beyond just one tank
- Learn to use nitrox up to 80-100% for decompression
If you’re a scuba diver looking to take your passion further, then extended-range diving is the best way to do it. It’s a more advanced form of recreational diving and entails learning new techniques, using different gas blends and even entering into decompression territory – something usually only experienced by technical divers. Extended-range diving training differs from one dive agency to another so it is essential that you choose carefully before jumping in. And don't worry — on any course worth its salt, you'll get lots of support and advice as well as plenty of training for how to plan dives with higher oxygen mixes or when introducing helium into the equation. So let's take a closer look at what extended-range diving holds in store!
Extended Range Diving with Different Agencies
- TDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures and Extended Range Diver
- SSI Extended Range Diving
- PADI Tec Program
- BSAC Accelerated Decompression Procedures
Extended Range Diving Equipment Considerations
Exploring the underwater world with extended range diving is extremely exciting and rewarding experience. However, anyone who has made the plunge into extended range diving knows that having the right equipment is essential. Not only does it make the dive safer, but it ensures you go as deep or longer than your dives call for. Fortunately, leading companies like Mares and Scubapro have come up with specialised collections of gear designed to meet those needs. Scubapro, for instance, launched their Scubapro S -Tek range in 1984, offering entry-level and full-on technical dive equipment range. Likewise, Mares offer their Mares XR range of products dedicated to open circuit and closed circuit extended range experience. Predominantly scuba divers engaging in extended range diving will be using Tecreational Diving equipment, such as:
- Wings and harnesses and backplates systems
- Cold water diving regulators
- Extended range technical Dive Computers
- Suitable Exposure Wetsuits or Drysuits
Dive computer for extended range diving
Now, with modern advances in dive computer technology and breathing gas mixes, you can take dives further than ever before! Of course, that brings some added complexity - rather than just diving on air within no-decompression limits like recreational divers would do, your dive computer needs to switch between different gas mixtures depending on how deep you are. But don't worry - we'll help make sure your gear selection process is painless and successful! With these full-featured dive computers, switching between multiple gas mixes has never been easier! So let's get into it...these are our top picks for an extended range dive computer:
- Mares Quad Dive Computer - best value for money extended range dive computer with air and nitrox modes for use with three different nitrox mixes.
- Suunto Vyper Novo Dive Computer - best value for money extended range dive computer with gas switching and air integration.
- Shearwater Peregrine Dive Computer - gas switching nitrox dive computer for nitrox extended range diving.
- Scubapro G2 Dive Computer - gas switching enabled dive computer with nitrox, trimix, air integration and optional heart rate monitor.
- Suunto D6i Novo - best value for money, extended range watch style dive computer and offering nitrox diving with up to three mixes and air integration.
Do you want to find out more about extended range diving?
Whether you want to extend your diving skills and dive for longer using equipment you already own or experience entry-level technical diving with commencing extended range diver, you can be sure that you will learn new skills and procedures that will help you enjoy your scuba diving more and explore the sites you already know from a different perspective. If you have any questions regarding Extended Range programmes, drop our resident tech instructor Shem a line on firstname.lastname@example.org