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GUE - recreational divinig training and technical diving?
I was just reading up about GUE and they say ,GUE is known for a rigorous style of training that diverges from other diver training organisations. Does anyone know how it differs, do you learn more and become a better diver etc if the instruction is good under GUE?
Would you say a PADI instructor could learn a thing or 2 from GUE to improve their skills and knowledge?
What is GUE like for cave and technical diving courses. I have my advanced TDI but am thinking of another course, so was thinking of may be GUE for technical diving?
On a Tuesday?
A serious and informative article to digest, which may influence your decisions should you lean towards caving
GUE is an organisation that has a fairly rigorous standard of performance both for divers and instructors. For that reason it is both liked and disliked in equal measure. It is also quite strict about equipment standards and this too brings a polarised set of views to the debate.
In my opinion and experience it is a very good organisation and it's instructors are at the top of the game. There are other people out there equally as good but the consistency is not there with other agencies. If you wish to pursue technical or overhead diving you will gain a lot from GUE teaching. You might find the rigidity too much, if for example you smoke you cannot go GUE. Only you can decide if it is the right way to go. And yes the average OWSI could do a lot worse than GUE fundamentals.
If you are at all interested I can recommend a GUE experience day. I have done one (with John Kendall) and you will get a hell of a lot out of it.
In terms of moving on from TDI AdvEAN I would say that GUE will give you another way to look at things. If your TDI instructor was any good (most are) you will not be very far from a good start point with GUE. Normoxix or Triox would be cheaper/quicker but nothing like the GUE path to a Tec certification. You will have to work hard and spend both time and money in serious amounts to get to Tec in GUE. Personally I would say that GUE Fundies is a very worthwhile thing to do but be aware it gives you no additional certification, so you need to look at your specific needs as they are now. Maybe do fundies now, maybe later. I have yet to get round to it, but lack of opportunities to dive and lack of time are my issues. I will get round to it eventually.
For caves specifically then you also need to factor in the travel and time as there are so few places to dive in the UK. For UK look at Martyn Farr. Too scary for me - I like the French caves in the Lot region. Again GUE is the difficult way in but it is at a high level. You either buy into the whole package or you don't. If like me you are only half way there then you are not really there yet.
That's one of PADI's biggest issues. Their instructors are good at teaching recreational diving to their standards, but few of them have any current and ongoing experience for technical diving -- with many of them seldom diving outside of teaching. Of course some do, but the vast majority of PADI work is for recreational diving which is as far from technical diving as you can be.
Originally Posted by greatwhite
Everyone could benefit from the skills and protocols that GUE promote. Cannot recommend more highly a GUE experience day or progressing on to their Fundies course. As @Chrisch says, GUE can be rather polarising, but nobody can dispute their consistently high standards.
TDI's technical courses are great, as are their instructors.
The general advice is to choose your instructor over the agency. You must get on with them and their teaching style.
The one thing that's critical with technical diving is to get someone who actively walks the walk, not talks the talk. Being an instructor is only half the requirement -- fine for basic recreational diving, but not for technical diving. Being an active cave diver, an explorer, a deep diver is vital for it's the experience you're paying for.
When interviewing a potential instructor, find out what they do outside of instructing and how many dives to that level they've done in the past few months -- Typically this means someone who dives in different kit configurations according to the 'mission'; sidemount for caving (particularly in the UK); rebreathers for deep or long penetrations; multiple rebreather configurations; etc.