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View Full Version : Cavern class worth it?



St.jimmy
06-18-2008, 22:46
Hey all.
Last month, after me and my dad were doing our Nitrox course, our instructor recommended that we take a cavern course in the fall (for better buoyancy, air consumption, trim, etc). The course would be through TDI, and that's about all I know. So, to those who have taken it, is the course worth it? I got certified in December/March (had an issue with the December class, if ya wanna know, look in my old posts.), and I got nitrox in May (?). I dive a lot in a semi-local quarry,(Alabama Blue Water Adventures)a lot of cold, deep water, but anything I can get is good. My eventual plans are to go into full tech, trimix, rebreather, and possibly cave. (a LONG way away) so is cavern a good choice now?

ianr33
06-18-2008, 23:24
Yes! Cavern is absolutely a great class.

But you might want to get a few more dives in first.

CompuDude
06-19-2008, 03:04
Yes! Cavern is absolutely a great class.

But you might want to get a few more dives in first.

Agreed.

NitroWill
06-19-2008, 08:06
I'm not sure how TDI is run but one thing you may want to look into is the prerequisites. A lot of courses require you to be 18 and have AOW. Don't rush anything - just enjoy the fact you are a diver and get some diving in building on your core skills (buoyancy, trim, water comfort, etc) before working on new skills!

ianr33
06-19-2008, 09:21
Student Prerequisites TDI cavern:
Be at least age eighteen (18) or fifteen (15) with parental consent
Show proof of a minimum certification as a certified diver with a minimum of twenty five (25) dives

CompuDude
06-19-2008, 15:25
Student Prerequisites TDI cavern:
Be at least age eighteen (18) or fifteen (15) with parental consent
Show proof of a minimum certification as a certified diver with a minimum of twenty five (25) dives

I'd feel more comfortable recommending at least twice that min number of dives, but yeah.

TommyB
06-19-2008, 15:32
Yes it's worth it.
Here's a couple other's that are the biggies in /overhead training
=================
NACD prerequisites (National Association for Cave Diving
NACD Training (http://www.safecavediving.com/training.shtml#Cavern)


Cavern Diving The cavern diving course is taught in a minimum of two days and includes classroom lectures, field exercises, open water line drills and a minimum of four cavern dives. This course emphasizes planning, procedures, environment, propulsion techniques, buoyancy skills, problem solving, equipment modification and the focuses on the specialized needs of the cavern diver.

Purpose: To teach the safe exploration of the cavern environment within specified limits. The course develops and establishes minimum skills, knowledge, dive planning abilities, problem solving procedures and the basic abilities to safely cavern dive.

Prerequisites: Advanced open water or equivalent or 15 logged non training open water dives with open water certification.

Minimum Equipment: Mask, fins, 60 cubic foot or greater single cylinder, single hose regulator with an octopus and submersible pressure gauge, exposure suit suitable for diving location, BC with power inflator, slate and tables, knife, timing device, appropriate weight, reel, two battery powered lights.

NSS/CDS
CDS Training Programs Cavern / Cave (http://nsscds.org/training_new/trainingprograms.htm#CavernDiver)

For Overhead training I'd go with either the NACD or NSS/CDS

fireflock
06-19-2008, 15:49
For what you want to do, I'd look at TDI Intro to Technical Diving first. It will cover kicks, trim, gear, and a bunch of other stuff that will make you better prepared for Cavern or whatever else you decide to do (or better prepared for rec diving if you decide to stick with NDLs for a while).

ianr33
06-19-2008, 15:51
Prerequisites: Advanced open water or equivalent or 15 logged non training open water dives with open water certification.


So it would be within standards to take an NACD cavern course with what,10?? lifetime dives done during OW and AOW class and not a single dive beyond that?

Seems kinda low to me.

ianr33
06-19-2008, 15:54
For what you want to do, I'd look at TDI Intro to Technical Diving first. It will cover kicks, trim, gear, and a bunch of other stuff that will make you better prepared for Cavern or whatever else you decide to do (or better prepared for rec diving if you decide to stick with NDLs for a while).

Cavern is not considered a technical class. In fact you might have to argue to be allowed to use technical gear (doubles) in a cavern class.(makes no sense to me either)

I'm sure TDI Intro to tech is a fine course but its really not needed for cavern.

TommyB
06-19-2008, 15:56
Prerequisites: Advanced open water or equivalent or 15 logged non training open water dives with open water certification.


So it would be within standards to take an NACD cavern course with what,10?? lifetime dives done during OW and AOW class and not a single dive beyond that?

Seems kinda low to me.

Read again :)


...15 logged non training open water dives with open water certification

But I don't think any instructor is going to take you as a student unless your at least advanced + have some good diving skills

TB

Charles R
06-19-2008, 15:56
Yes! Cavern is absolutely a great class.

But you might want to get a few more dives in first.

Agree as well it is a great class be prepared for alot of work. This is not a easy PADI specialty class.:smiley20:

ianr33
06-19-2008, 16:02
Read again :)


It states AOW OR 15 dives.

i.e if you have AOW then you dont need the 15 dives :) :)

texdiveguy
06-19-2008, 16:50
OP.... congrats on your entry into a great sport/hobby!!!

At 15 YOA I might suggest at this stage continuing your local training dives.....pick up some additional experience from time spent just diving. I do like the idea of yours to be lookging ahead!!

Cavern is a course you can take on down the road.

The main thing is you have fun and strive for getting the most out of your local diving while studying and gaining knowledge regarding diving in general.

Good luck and be safe!!

fireflock
06-19-2008, 17:01
Cavern is not considered a technical class. In fact you might have to argue to be allowed to use technical gear (doubles) in a cavern class.(makes no sense to me either)

I'm sure TDI Intro to tech is a fine course but its really not needed for cavern.

Intro to Technical Diving isn't a technical class either. I took it in a single tank with a jacket BC. One guy in the class had an Air2. There is a theory portion that might or might not be useful to someone taking cavern, but the in-water skills are a real benefit I think.

When you come into Cavern class with at least the concept of decent buoyancy and trim, knowing how to frog kick and hover, etc... it makes life a lot easier when you start adding the extra tasks that go along with Cavern.

I've taken both in the past 3 years, FWIW.

in_cavediver
06-19-2008, 17:26
I say take the class. You may not complete it or even see a cavern if you lack the skills. You will get exposed to a LOT of risk management techniques. Number of dives is less of concern to me than skill technique and attitude. Attitude is probably the biggie to me. Everything else can be learned.

If you do the NACD class, you'll get a waivor you have to sign twice with a waiting period to think about it and it states you may DIE. You also have a lot of lecture, mine was 8-12 hours plus another 4-5 hours of land drills. This is all before your repeat some of the land drills in OW. If you pass this, you then would get to do a cavern dive. At any time, your instructor could pull the plug and tell you to come back. (and I have heard several cave instructors do just that. Tell you where your deficient and show you where you need to be and to come back then)

I second the nod for a NACD or NSS-CDS class.

oddbod
06-20-2008, 05:54
Hey all.
(for better buoyancy, air consumption, trim, etc).
As they say in the movies DIVE, DIVE, DIVE, practice is what is really needed. It sounds like your instructor is drumming up business. :smiley29: Use the courses when you want to know something new and then practice what you learn.

Mycroft
06-21-2008, 22:30
I second the nod for a NACD or NSS-CDS class.

This is the class I am in. Have to finish up as I still lack some in cavern time, and ran out of time on one drill.

My instructor is a real stickler for all the requirements, but sinc ehe is a founding member of NSS-CDS, I would expect that.

Even not having finished the class yet, I have learned a lot.

gregor
06-22-2008, 00:12
I think a cavern course is one of the absolutely best courses a person could take no matter what their goals and aspirations are in this sport. You learn a ton of information that directly carries over to every aspect of your diving. If you are a new diver, get comfortable in the water and then go take the class, i think 50 dives is a pretty good number for cavern training. It's an intense course for people who have only taken Naui/padi type classes.

As for going with TDI i'd pass on that, go to florida and take the class from a person who lives there all year, teaches alot (NSS/CDS, NACD), and dives even more. The instructors in cave country are at a whole different level, they look like they were born in caves and are diving in them day in and day out, go to where the pros are and take in everything you can from them.

Black-Gorrilla
06-23-2008, 10:07
go to florida and take the class from a person who lives there all year, teaches alot (NSS/CDS, NACD), and dives even more. The instructors in cave country are at a whole different level, they look like they were born in caves and are diving in them day in and day out, go to where the pros are and take in everything you can from them.

thats what im planning on doing when i get to that point... im gonna be doing my AOW this summer (if i have time :( ) and then some time next year go up north and do cavern with someone from the land of the caves.

Dive-aholic
06-23-2008, 10:49
Hey all.
Last month, after me and my dad were doing our Nitrox course, our instructor recommended that we take a cavern course in the fall (for better buoyancy, air consumption, trim, etc). The course would be through TDI, and that's about all I know. So, to those who have taken it, is the course worth it? I got certified in December/March (had an issue with the December class, if ya wanna know, look in my old posts.), and I got nitrox in May (?). I dive a lot in a semi-local quarry,(Alabama Blue Water Adventures)a lot of cold, deep water, but anything I can get is good. My eventual plans are to go into full tech, trimix, rebreather, and possibly cave. (a LONG way away) so is cavern a good choice now?

My recommendation is for you to get some more experience in the water. I also recommend taking a rescue course before moving on to cavern. It's well worth it. As for a cavern course teaching you better buoyancy, air consumption, and trim, you're instructor is way off the mark there. You need to have good buoyancy and trim before you begin a cavern course. An overhead environment is not the place to learn these things. Get yourself to the point where you can be horizontal throughout your dive and control your buoyancy to within a foot either direction. Then begin practicing skills in this orientation. Flood and clear your mask. Remove and replace your mask. Task load yourself. Make sure you have a buddy right next to you to help out should you have any issues. You will be removing and replacing your mask in cavern class. You shouldn't take the course until you can do it in horizontal trim without losing buoyancy control.

I'm at Vortex about once a month and will be alternating with Morrison once it reopens. Come on down and dive with me sometime and I'll help you with your buoyancy.

beperkins
10-16-2008, 14:19
A rescue course before cavern is a great idea, I thought it was required.

tndiverdude
12-30-2008, 13:28
Is there a text book that a prospective student can get.

UCFKnightDiver
12-30-2008, 14:33
for a cavern class, you could get either the nacd or nss/cds text books, also I am sure tdi and iantd have cavern textbooks too

SiscoKid
11-16-2009, 15:30
Hey all.
Last month, after me and my dad were doing our Nitrox course, our instructor recommended that we take a cavern course in the fall (for better buoyancy, air consumption, trim, etc). The course would be through TDI, and that's about all I know. So, to those who have taken it, is the course worth it? I got certified in December/March (had an issue with the December class, if ya wanna know, look in my old posts.), and I got nitrox in May (?). I dive a lot in a semi-local quarry,(Alabama Blue Water Adventures)a lot of cold, deep water, but anything I can get is good. My eventual plans are to go into full tech, trimix, rebreather, and possibly cave. (a LONG way away) so is cavern a good choice now?

I would suggest getting all the endbetween then your advance Nitrox TDI Deco to 150 ft. Then make the switch to CCR . Get you some time on the CCR 100 hr. are so. If you like depth go for full Trimex, then full cave. Full Cave go's so much easer with the experience you have behind you now. My course in Genie Springs We made Two dives 103 min. long ea. 2300 ft In never left the water on our surface interval, at surface we talk about 10 min and made another dive. My Instructor was Lamar Hires,I am using the Optima CCR, my onboard gas was two 20 cub. and ball was two 40 cub of 32%. Dove dry using 4 lb's Best diving I have aver don in my life. We dove 6 deferent places

jj1987
11-16-2009, 17:18
Hey all.
Last month, after me and my dad were doing our Nitrox course, our instructor recommended that we take a cavern course in the fall (for better buoyancy, air consumption, trim, etc). The course would be through TDI, and that's about all I know. So, to those who have taken it, is the course worth it? I got certified in December/March (had an issue with the December class, if ya wanna know, look in my old posts.), and I got nitrox in May (?). I dive a lot in a semi-local quarry,(Alabama Blue Water Adventures)a lot of cold, deep water, but anything I can get is good. My eventual plans are to go into full tech, trimix, rebreather, and possibly cave. (a LONG way away) so is cavern a good choice now?

I would suggest getting all the endbetween then your advance Nitrox TDI Deco to 150 ft. Then make the switch to CCR . Get you some time on the CCR 100 hr. are so. If you like depth go for full Trimex, then full cave. Full Cave go's so much easer with the experience you have behind you now. My course in Genie Springs We made Two dives 103 min. long ea. 2300 ft In never left the water on our surface interval, at surface we talk about 10 min and made another dive. My Instructor was Lamar Hires,I am using the Optima CCR, my onboard gas was two 20 cub. and ball was two 40 cub of 32%. Dove dry using 4 lb's Best diving I have aver don in my life. We dove 6 deferent places
Just curious, why is being 2300ft back in a cave needed (or even good for that matter) during training? I know of DPV courses that don't go that far back. Not criticising, just IMO there's better places to teach full cave...which is more about navigational decisions and dive planning...than 2300ft back in the cave, where you were no more than 2 jumps off mainline. Places like expressway in ginnie, young siphon or horseshoe circuit in JB, etc are easily obtainable on open circuit and provide conflicting arrows for the student, circuits, and flow that changes direction during the dive.

Just my opinion, but I'd love to hear one that conflicts in the interest of open debate :smiley2:

SiscoKid
11-16-2009, 18:40
[quote=St.jimmy;188182 Hey all.
Last month, after me and my dad were doing our Nitrox course, our instructor recommended that we take a cavern course in the fall (for better buoyancy, air consumption, trim, etc). The course would be through TDI, and that's about all I know. So, to those who have taken it, is the course worth it? I got certified in December/March (had an issue with the December class, if ya wanna know, look in my old posts.), and I got nitrox in May (?). I dive a lot in a semi-local quarry,(Alabama Blue Water Adventures)a lot of cold, deep water, but anything I can get is good. My eventual plans are to go into full tech, trimix, rebreather, and possibly cave. (a LONG way away) so is cavern a good choice now?

I would suggest getting all the endbetween then your advance Nitrox TDI Deco to 150 ft. Then make the switch to CCR . Get you some time on the CCR 100 hr. are so. If you like depth go for full Trimex, then full cave. Full Cave go's so much easer with the experience you have behind you now. My course in Genie Springs We made Two dives 103 min. long ea. 2300 ft In never left the water on our surface interval, at surface we talk about 10 min and made another dive. My Instructor was Lamar Hires,I am using the Optima CCR, my onboard gas was two 20 cub. and ball was two 40 cub of 32%. Dove dry using 4 lb's Best diving I have aver don in my life. We dove 6 deferent places
Just curious, why is being 2300ft back in a cave needed (or even good for that matter) during training? I know of DPV courses that don't go that far back. Not criticising, just IMO there's better places to teach full cave...which is more about navigational decisions and dive planning...than 2300ft back in the cave, where you were no more than 2 jumps off mainline. Places like expressway in ginnie, young siphon or horseshoe circuit in JB, etc are easily obtainable on open circuit and provide conflicting arrows for the student, circuits, and flow that changes direction during the dive.

Just my opinion, but I'd love to hear one that conflicts in the interest of open debate :smiley2:[/QUOTE]

CCR your limited to the gas's to get out in case of a catastrophist failure with CCR after my two long dives I steal had 1500 in each tank, are my back gas. I felt purity safe with my instructor Lamar Hires owner of Dive Rite. Diving caves in Florida he wrote the book. It was a vary good course I thought

UCFKnightDiver
11-17-2009, 20:42
Old thread, though since it was kind of reopened, where else did you end up diving in your class Sisco

j1j2j38
01-18-2010, 14:32
Can a cavern course be completed in a weekend if we travel in friday afternoon for it and do classroom work beginning in the evening, then 2 full days sat and sun?

CompuDude
01-18-2010, 19:19
Can a cavern course be completed in a weekend if we travel in friday afternoon for it and do classroom work beginning in the evening, then 2 full days sat and sun?

Totally depends on the instructor and the specific cavern class in question. Some, probably, but not all.

j1j2j38
01-19-2010, 13:58
ok thanks. If I can find an instructor who will do it in a weekend, is there any reason not to do that if my main goal with the course is just to see if cave diving is something that I have any potential interest in doing in the future? I'd be traveling to FL, so anything more than one weekend is probably not feasible at this point.

in_cavediver
01-19-2010, 17:39
ok thanks. If I can find an instructor who will do it in a weekend, is there any reason not to do that if my main goal with the course is just to see if cave diving is something that I have any potential interest in doing in the future? I'd be traveling to FL, so anything more than one weekend is probably not feasible at this point.

Do yourself a favor and check with some of the NSS-CDS or NACD instructor who teach down in North Florida. From what I recall, my cavern class was 2 days (though I combined it with intro for another 2 days).

You do a lot of lecture (3-4 hours), 1/2 day or so of land drills followed by an OW dive to practice drills prior to doing a cavern dive. You'll then do 4 cavern dives in, if possible, 2 or more systems.

Its a good class and will teach you a lot about trim, positioning, gear configuration, gas management and the like. I would not recommend it unless you have good buoyancy control. (you'll see what good buoyancy really looks like with your instructor though).

Atomic_Diver315
02-06-2010, 15:32
It is worth it, You will love it, just don't take the course and then leave the cave diving sport, most likely it won't happen, because you will end up addicted to it...