The two diving skill sets every passionate diver should consider

This post about skill sets is for serious divers who are truly passionate about diving all that this world has to offer, every ocean, every lake, every river. If that’s not you, then read no further!


The world is your oyster!

To me, any body of water is diveable given the right skills and logistics, it’s just a matter of whether it’s worth your time or curiosity.

My endless curiosity has always made me wonder what’s just a little deeper, just around the corner, underneath the surface.

Over time, I’ve built up a set of skills that I think truly allows me to look at any body of water on earth and think seriously about diving it.


All the time in the world

The first limitation in diving is one of time.

No decompression time limits and gas volumes limit most divers to about an hour on each recreational dive.

However, with technical diving, these limitations are made irrelevant with the appropriate logistics and skills.

Technical diving

In a technical diving course, you’ll learn how to manage different gas mixes, allowing for deeper dives and extensions of bottom time.

You would also learn how to calculate the decompression time and gas necessary to accomplish this.

Once you have the ability to dive with multiple tanks, then gas volumes also become irrelevant.

It just comes down to how many tanks you can carry or stage during your dive. It becomes a question of logistics.

Technical diving isn’t only about depth, but rather about decompression.

This can be calculated for a 2-hour dive at 25m, or a 1-hour dive at 75m.

Either way, doing a technical diving course allows you to go past recreational depths and time limits, whilst ensuring that you have the knowledge to plan enough bottom gas and deco gas to complete the dive.


It’s only cold in space

After getting technical diving skills, the next limitation most people face is the temperature.

Extended duration dives tend to suck the warmth from you, even in 28C water.

Warm water diving is actually limited to only a few degrees of latitude north and south of the Equator, and only tens of meters below the surface.

Once past the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn, and you’re definitely in cold water country.

This leaves large areas of water that you’ll definitely need a drysuit to dive in.

Why limit yourself to Earth’s wonders that are only in warmer locales?

What about diving between continental plates in Iceland, or the wrecks of the North Sea?

Diving a drysuit

So, the next most important skill set is learning how to dive with a drysuit.

This does take some time to get used to, as managing thick undergarments is no walk in the park.

But once you do, then all the wonders of the northern and southern latitudes will open themselves up to you, as well as longer dives in warmer waters.


Get wet anywhere!

With these two skillsets, I truly believe it enables divers to dive anywhere in the world you might want to.

Overcoming depth, time and temperature limits are not easy and will take some time to accomplish.

But just imagine knowing you can dive anywhere in the world. What a rush!


Bonus skill – getting in over your head

As a bonus, here’s the third set of skills that I think a true explorer should learn – cave diving, the last frontier.

I personally learned cave diving not because of the caves, but rather for the skills and knowledge of how to do dives in overhead environments.

These skills come in very handy when diving in wrecks, sea caves, or any kind of environment where you don’t have a direct ascent to the surface.

The true skill here is in learning how to better plan and manage your gas supply to guarantee that you and your teammates can safely ascend to the surface.

Laying line

Another important skill set that cave diving teaches you is line management.

This is very useful in any survey or mapping exercise and keeps you on your toes as far as navigation is concerned.


Now, get out there and dive!

And there you have it, my three picks for the skill sets that you should consider to be a limitless diver!

Leon Boey is a GUE, HSA and PADI instructor based in Singapore and Bali. He runs the dive education centre Livingseas in Singapore, Bali and Jakarta. Diving since 2005, he first fell in love with wrecks. He enjoys all sorts of diving, and loves being surrounded by fish.

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