Essentials of Overhead Diving

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Introduction

The Essentials of Overhead Diving course is the first step to move you from  a recreational diver to an overhead diver.  Essentials of Overhead Diving gives you all the personal skills you need to move to a training program geared to an overhead environment.  The course may be conducted in either back mount or side mount with or without nitrox training.

Essentials of Overhead Diving takes place in 20'/6m to 30’/10m of open water.  It is a personal skills course that prepares you for overhead environments by advancing your control of buoyancy, trim, and propulsion, while introducing you to more advanced air-sharing procedures and running guideline.  The course also introduces you to more advanced gas planning.

Essentials of Overhead Diving acts as a bridge between conventional training and UTD’s more demanding overhead curriculum and focuses on training you to become a "thinking diver," regardless of whether you are going to move forward with overhead training, or are just looking to become a more highly skilled recreational diver.  If Essentials of Overhead Diving is taught with nitrox academics, a nitrox certification to a maximum depth of 60’/18m is included.

Course Information

The Essentials of Overhead Diving course is normally conducted over 3-day period combining lecture, practical in-water sessions and debriefings with a minimum of 24 hours of instruction.  This course focuses on cultivating the foundational skills required by all levels of diving.  It is focused on increasing diving fun by reducing stress and increasing diver proficiency through proper control of buoyancy, trim, propulsion, teamwork, and other UTD principles.  This course also introduces a student to the running guideline.

Course requirements include a minimum of 8 hours of academics and 4 in-water sessions.

Course Limits

  • Maximum depth 60’/18m
  • Standard gas is air (21% O2) or Nitrox 32
  • Must stay within no-decompression limits
  • No overhead diving

Requirements

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Must have completed UTD Recreational 2 or equivalent
  • Must have at least 50 dives beyond open water certification
  • Must have 25 non-training dives
  • Must complete UTD online registration process
  • Must be able to swim 50'/15m on a breath hold or demonstrate an air-share swim where out-of-air diver swims at least 50'/15m to the donating diver.
  • Must be able to swim 300 yards/275m in less than 14 minutes or swim 600 yards/550m in 18 minutes with mask and fins.
  • Must tow a diver in full equipment in the environment they will be diving in for 10 minutes
  • Must demonstrate the rescue of a diver simulating oxygen toxicity 
  • No smoking
  • Use of prescription drugs must be authorized by a physician prior to training

Equipment Requirements

Prior to the commencement of the course, students should consult with a UTD representative to verify equipment requirements.  All participants are responsible for providing all equipment or for making provisions to secure all necessary equipment before the start of the course.

In general, it is better for the student to learn while using their own equipment.  However, students should exercise caution before purchasing new equipment to avoid acquiring substandard or unnecessary equipment.  Please contact us prior to making any purchases.

Sidemount Equipment Requirements

  • Cylinders:  sidemount pluggable double cylinders with appropriate stage rigging and quick disconnects
  • Low pressure distribution system such as a Z-Distribution Block or Z-Isolator Manifold
  • Regulator system: primary second stage with a donatable 5’ or 7’ hose stowed in a wrapped fashion around the diver’s neck, and a backup second stage bungeed around the diver’s neck in a necklace fashion
  • Buoyancy compensator/trim device: rear inflation-type/wing or trim device
  • Z-System harness or equivalent
  • Depth-measuring device
  • Time-keeping device
  • Compass
  • Mask
  • Non-split fins
  • Cutting device
  • Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure
  • One primary reel per team, with a minimum of 200'/60m of line
  • Optional:  primary light and backup light
  • Optional:  spool with minimum 70’/21m line and a surface marker buoy
  • Optional:  wetnotes and writing utensil

Backmount Equipment Requirements

  • Cylinders: backmount double cylinders
  • Regulator system: primary second stage with a donatable 5’ or 7’ hose stowed in a wrapped fashion around the diver’s neck, and a backup second stage bungeed around the diver’s neck in a necklace fashion
  • Buoyancy compensator/trim device:  rear inflation-type/wing or trim device
  • Backplate and harness system
  • Depth-measuring device
  • Time-keeping device
  • Compass
  • Mask
  • Non-split fins
  • A cutting device
  • Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure
  • One primary reel per team, with a minimum of 200'/60m of line

  • Optional:  primary light and backup light
  • Optional:  spool with minimum 70’/21m line and a surface marker buoy
  • Optional:  wetnotes and writing utensil