We thought it would be worth writing some useful information about the GUE Fundamentals course. We get asked questions like these on a regular basis. To save you some time, and to help you learn a bit more about some of the details of the course, here are 10 things that students ask about the GUE Fundamentals course.
1. Is GUE Fundamentals a Technical diving class?
No, not at all. It focuses on some very basic skills, such as buoyancy, propulsion and gas sharing, but it is not a technical class at all. It is required for progression to technical classes within GUE, but the technical skills and materials come later, not in the GUE Fundamentals class.
It simply looks at all of those skills you learned at open water, and makes sure you can do them to a very high level.
2. Do I have to use a twinset?
Absolutely not! This is one of the most common misconceptions about the course. It can be done in a single cylinder and a wetsuit if that’s what you want. There are some specific requirements for the equipment, but a twinset is not one of them.
3. Why do I have to use Halcyon equipment?
You don’t – who told you that! The equipment you need has to fit certain parameters, but the manufacturer is not one of them.
4. Can I rent or borrow equipment from you?
Yes, you can. I have several sets of equipment, single or double cylinders, that you are free to use for the class (UK only). You do need to arrange this with me before the class, as demand is often quite high for this service.
5. I’m not certified to use Nitrox. Can I still take the class?
Of course you can! The class includes Nitrox certification, so we will teach you all of the important information as well. If you are already certified in the use of mixed gasses, then the class includes more detailed information on the way that GUE uses nitrox, and how it fits into decompression and other logistics.
6. Should I bring my stage cylinders?
Please don’t! We will be busy enough as it is refining basic skills, and stage cylinders are simply not needed for the work.
7. Can I take the class over 2 weekends?
You certainly can. Most of the upcoming classes at Wreck and Cave will be in this format, and you will be able to put in breaks as well, splitting the class in a way that suits you best.
8. How much does the course cost?
For the 4-day continuous class, the course fee is £600. There is also a USD95 registration fee that goes to GUE for your materials and administration.
The split classes are priced as follows. Part 1 is £250, and part 2 is £350.
You should also expect to pay any site entrance, gas fills, accommodation and subsistence during the class.
9. Am I experienced enough to take this class?
The Fundamentals course is pretty unique in that it can deliver to any level of diver. We have taught divers with 10 dives after open water, and also technical instructor trainers with thousands of dives. The material can be tuned to make sure that whatever your level of diving, you will make improvements. And experience level is no gauge on how you will perform either!
10. What should I do to prepare for the class?
This is an age-old debate. Some people practice the specific skills for the class. This is all very well, but if you’re not guided in what you do, then there’s a chance you can work on the wrong thing and end up spending your time on the class unpicking what you have learned. If you work with a community of GUE trained divers, then it does have some value.
Without exception, the most important thing to work on prior to the fundamentals class is your buoyancy.
- Do a proper weight check- empty your cylinders down to 50bar, and see if you still sink.
- Remove weight until descending at this level is only possible by emptying your wing and breathing out.
- Once this is done, refill your cylinders and work on your buoyancy. Try to maintain your position in the water without moving your hands or feet. Don’t worry about trim too much. Just stay as still as possible. This is all about getting the right amount of gas in the wing, and having your breathing pattern relaxed and comfortable. Stop moving everything and see whether you sink or float. Adjust as necessary.
- Make sure your equipment is serviced, and compliant with the GUE gear requirements.
Just going through these steps will make sure you show up ready to dive, able to receive feedback and instructions from your instructor, and comfortable to learn some very cool new skills.
Check our or class list here. And don’t forget to leave us a comment below – did we miss any questions out?