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By James Thornton-Allan

When you think of Thailand most people envision crystal clear water, colourful fish, spicy food and idyllic conditions for scuba diving. Most people are unaware of the collection of winding untouched underwater cave systems with some exceeding 600ft / 200m in depth and the world war 2 wrecks including the U.S.S Lagarto. Technical Diving in Thailand is growing, every year more and more divers are getting into the cave and tech diving made possible by the natural evolution of the sport and equipment technologies.

Most “tekkies” in Thailand beg, borrow and steal from other divers coming from North America and Europe who have the gear we all drool about in the magazines. Thailand is famous for it’s excessive import tax on anything remotely exciting so diving companies tend to bring in diving gear by the boat loads, thankfully there’s no shortage of pink fins and snorkels. It’s increasingly difficult to get specialized equipment in Thailand and when it comes to extreme diving, specialized equipment is exactly what we need.

As cave increased in popularity last year and in turn more sites were discovered the technical diving community started finding ways to make their diving possible. Home made rigs for sidemount and low profile ccr systems for getting into the tight environments. Thailand also had a rough monsoon sinking new wrecks which we all wanted to get into but couldn’t with the standard technical diving setup. It was decided that we needed to get specialized equipment into Thailand that would be reliable and would boost the practice of sidemount diving.

Big Blue Tech, a dedicated technical diving facility based on Koh Tao Island off the coast of Thailand in the Gulf decided to take the gamble and import some equipment from the one company who’s dedication to the development of specializd diving equipment has distringuished them from the crowd; Dive Rite. Most of us had heard of Dive Rite before, some recognized their logo from diving manuals, others knew of the people who developed their equipment but little had actually tried any of their equipment. The major issue we found was how do we get it and what do we want.
Big Blue Tech brought in the first shipment of a collection of nomad sidemount rigs and reels. Some other unique things like glow in the dark arrows and orange finger reels were also added to check out for ourselves and show it off to the rest of the tech schools to see if this was something they wanted.

Looking through their online catalog we found Dive Rite had manufactured all the little things we made at home, finally a company that was thinking the way divers evolve rather then trying to force divers to evolve to their way.

As soon as the box got to Thailand it was like Christmas day for the tech and cave divers, furiously ripping open the box and pulling at each item. Putting the wings on, unravelling the reels and seeing how the work and generally playing with the new toys. After 45 minutes of play we were in the shallows to put it through its paces and then deeper to see if we could break anything. Nothing broke, nothing leaked and nothing fell off we were pleasantly surprised. Over the years we’ve seen equipment advertised “rust free” or “robust” but seem to completely disintegrate in contact with water, not Dive Rite.

Word started to spread across the technical diving community in Thailand that Dive Rite had arrived which meant cave instructors and wreck instructors could start providing sidemount options on professional equipment.

Certification agencies like SDI and ANDI who had already embraced the sidemount trend began to see a huge increase in their certifications as Dive Rite Nomads started rolling in. Last year Big Blue Tech wrote and received permission to offer their own sidemount courses and could only relate the success of that program through the cooperation from Diverite.

We started to see a shift in our business that now people wanted Advanced Wreck courses combined with Sidemount. To the traveling technical diver Sidemount diving was not just a way to reduce their profile but an option to have redundant air sources without a twinset.

One of the greatest stumbling points for the technical diver to practice his art is access to a twinset and all the dedicated equipment that goes with it.
At Big Blue Tech we had a customer who was diving in the United Kingdom, he loved technical diving but his dive school simply didn’t have any technical equipment. He was resorting to taking a high capacity single cylinder and a small stage of mixed gas. This clearly wasn’t a redundant option but he had little choice. As this customer returned to Thailand he looking at the wall of rental equipment in our shop and asked what was the weird looking BCD hanging up and it was a Dive Rite Nomad XT. We explained to him that with Sidemount all you need is some stage rigging kits, a Nomad BCD and some simple regulators and you can make your own twinset. This appealed greatly to the customer who immediately signed up for a Sidemount course, bought a nomad and is back in the United Kingdom happily diving Sidemount with redundant air sources in the wrecks off Plymouth.

That story is not unique to most of our customers in Thailand who get hooked quick but return home to find their certification logistically difficult to perform. Cave and Wreck divers have long enjoyed the art of sidemount diving which was typically exclusive to those types of divers. But now, thanks to Dive Rite we can give our customers more options for their normal open ciruit diving so they can keep their skills sharp, dive with redundancy and save their backs from lugging their twinsets up and down the beach/pier

So next time you think of Thailand remember there’s a big group of us just waiting for the next wreck or cave to be discovered and looking forward to Dive Rite to provide the equipment to make the dives safely in comfort and style.

SDI Sidemount Open Water Diver Course | Technical Diving Thailand - Big Blue Technical Diving
 

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bulging sweaty dirty putrescent member
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At Big Blue Tech we had a customer who was diving in the United Kingdom, he loved technical diving but his dive school simply didn’t have any technical equipment. He was resorting to taking a high capacity single cylinder and a small stage of mixed gas. This clearly wasn’t a redundant option but he had little choice.
what a load of cobblers :eek:mg:
they can provide mix but not a set of twins hahahahaha
 

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So in short what you're saying is that if I brought my tech setup to Thailand on holiday, did a week of diving with you guys, you'd buy it all off me at an inflated price that would probably cover the cost of my flight? Deal.

Digs.
 

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Dive tart, just can't say no :-)
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Yet another thinly veiled piece of advertising? :(
What was thin about that? Seemed like a "we have expensive equipment and training that we want to sell you" message with nothing offered back to the boards.
 

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aka Chimp 1 or Mavis...
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Mal has already pointed BBS to Jay with regards to paying for advertising and also been given a heads-up that if the advertising continues without payment, don't be surprised when the login is banned.

I noticed yesterday that the BSAC forum has been equally 'spammed'.

Regards
 

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Mark Milburn
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Technical diving has been in Thailand for years! Mark Ellyatt was instructing trimix in Phuket back in 02/03, there were more twinsets then you could ever want as well as wings etc. In 2003 I was doing my Adv Tmx at the same time as the Japanese Course Director from Big Buddha (forgotten his name) on Koh Tao so he could then instruct via DSAT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
what a load of cobblers :eek:mg:
they can provide mix but not a set of twins hahahahaha
I can't remember the name but it was a club that got mix from a local dive shop but didn't have any actual twin sets. Some divers had their own sets but not ones he could borrow.

For divers that travel in different place and want the comfort of two tanks but can't find it in tropical or remote places can make their own quite simply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Technical diving has been in Thailand for years! Mark Ellyatt was instructing trimix in Phuket back in 02/03, there were more twinsets then you could ever want as well as wings etc. In 2003 I was doing my Adv Tmx at the same time as the Japanese Course Director from Big Buddha (forgotten his name) on Koh Tao so he could then instruct via DSAT.
Mark and others have been doing tech in thailand for a long time. The article was in reference to the growth in fringe technical diving like CCR Cave Sidemount diving. Advanced Trimix teaching was done on standard twinsets which are in abundance and been around a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So in short what you're saying is that if I brought my tech setup to Thailand on holiday, did a week of diving with you guys, you'd buy it all off me at an inflated price that would probably cover the cost of my flight? Deal.

Digs.
The import tax in Thailand is very high and not clear, sometimes we get billed 100% in addition to the cost. So some customers bring us some swag. I've heard of people bringing CCR's over and the cost of the flight was cheaper than import so they did get a deal.

I'm not a fan of "Dive Gear Mules" but when you live in a jungle on a tropical island sometimes there's little option.
 

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Is somewhere else!
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Mark and others have been doing tech in thailand for a long time. The advert was in reference to the growth in fringe technical diving like CCR Cave Sidemount diving. Advanced Trimix teaching was done on standard twinsets which are in abundance and been around a while.
Corrected that for you mate. :)

An example of an article can be found here.
Garf here has some long standing as a YD poster and when he posts an article its just an article. You might end up thinking that he knows a bit, and might choose him as an instructor, but he was writing articles and posting them on YD from before he was an instructor. We know who he is as many of us have met and dived with him.

An example of an advert can be found here.
Some new name turns up, and starts posting stuff that looks like advertorial in a dive-mag come holiday-brochure. We've no idea who he is, but there's link on his advertorial to a website with lots of broken links. If it looks like a fish and swims like a fish and its in the sea, its probably a wrasse.

I commend you for wanting to give out info about SM etc, but why not just chat and join in? Maybe start a thread about SM that isnt just punting your dive centre?
Tell us about a dive you did, but dont write it like your talking to strangers reading a magazine, write it like your talking to mates in the pub.

2p
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Corrected that for you mate. :)

An example of an article can be found here.
Garf here has some long standing as a YD poster and when he posts an article its just an article. You might end up thinking that he knows a bit, and might choose him as an instructor, but he was writing articles and posting them on YD from before he was an instructor. We know who he is as many of us have met and dived with him.

An example of an advert can be fou nd here.
Some new name turns up, and starts posting stuff that looks like advertorial in a dive-mag come holiday-brochure. We've no idea who he is, but there's link on his advertorial to a website with lots of broken links. If it looks like a fish and swims like a fish and its in the sea, its probably a wrasse.

I commend you for wanting to give out info about SM etc, but why not just chat and join in? Maybe start a thread about SM that isnt just punting your dive centre?
Tell us about a dive you did, but dont write it like your talking to strangers reading a magazine, write it like your talking to mates in the pub.

2p
Broken links because we overloaded our server. Should be fixed tomorrow.

The article was written and published in a magazine. However the magazine is not available in the UK so that's why it's on here for people that might find it interesting.

If people take it as advertising then perhaps it is, but then again every article i write about diving in some way will seem as advertising since i represent a dive school. Taken out of context that i am a rep from a dive school then it seems rather valid.

The reference in the story was about a UK diver, which is why i share it here.

I think it's also important for people to know how Dive Rite performed since we're been through and thrown out all the other popular tech brands and this product line stands up to the test.

perhaps if i was the UK rep for Dive Rite then i would be advertising but i'm not and i don't export so take it as you like.
 

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Is somewhere else!
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I think we all took it as an ad for your dive school. Why not write about something else?

Have you seen one of Claire's trip reports of cave diving in Mexico? If not then you should - now she's a DIR instructor but it isnt mentioned once in the whole report.
You could be doing similar about the caves in Thailand. You never know - people might think it was a great place to go on their next holiday or something.
You might even get trade as a result.
 

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A Moderate from 04/01/07-24/12/12
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Hi Guys
Just to reconfirm - Mr Big Blue BSAC is currently deciding whether he wants to be a spamm0r, a regular member of YD or a sponsor of YD. Once that's decided then everyone will be clear on the nature of his posts and how to take them.
In the meantime can I ask we don't give him such a hard time, please? He already knows it's an advertorial :D
Thanks
Mal
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think we all took it as an ad for your dive school. Why not write about something else?

Have you seen one of Claire's trip reports of cave diving in Mexico? If not then you should - now she's a DIR instructor but it isnt mentioned once in the whole report.
You could be doing similar about the caves in Thailand. You never know - people might think it was a great place to go on their next holiday or something.
You might even get trade as a result.
We did but they never get published, once you add a piece of equipment you can get some print. Unless i use the word PADI it doesn't seem to get past the editor.
 

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Is somewhere else!
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Who's giving a hard time? I'm being friendly, constructive and attempting to show ways in which our new chum can engage.

But consider it dropped.
 
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