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Blog posts from Gareth, Imogen and Neil

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Gareth Burrows

Gareth Burrows

Gareth Burrows is a GUE Instructor trainer, and a personal diving coach for recreational and technical divers of all levels, specialising in improving buoyancy control, trim and stability, in-water confidence, and ascent management. He has trained with PADI, TDI, IANTD and GUE as well as serving as a DO in a BSAC branch. He has been diving cold water wrecks in Europe and around the UK for over a decade, and can usually be found diving out of Brighton, Portland or Plymouth. He is qualifying later this year as a cave diver and looking to become a GUE tech1 instructor in the 18 months. He has trained or coached hundreds of divers from newly qualified open water divers, to course directors and technical instructors.

Posted by on in Theory

I've touched on weighting in other articles, but decided it was time I write something a little more in-depth on the subject. I really don’t know why I haven't started ranting about it in the past to be honest, as it's my personal bug bear.

You see, I have no idea how many people I taught or coached last year, but let's say it was 50, which sounds reasonable. Going through the list I can identify three people that I considered to be correctly weighted. Three. Of the people who were not correctly weighted, 100% of them were incorrectly weighted in terms of carrying too much lead. 100%.

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Posted by on in Skills

This is an expansion on request of an earlier article I wrote about trim that now includes some images to try and explain what I was talking about, and also includes some tips on how to actually improve trim in the water. Let’s start with a definition: what the hell is trim anyway?

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Posted by on in Skills

There's a few tricks I've picked up over time teaching people that I thought I would share about the risks involved in putting up SMB's, and how best to avoid any problems.

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Posted by on in Skills

This article outlines the process and reasoning behind the GUE approach to a valve drill. The basic valve drill involves closing and opening all three posts on a twin set starting with the right post, then the isolator, then the left post. First of all, here's what it is supposed to look like....

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Posted by on in Skills

Firstly, let’s clarify a few issues. The name. GUE calls it a “valve drill”. I have heard instructors from other agencies call them the same, but divers from all other agencies refer to it as a “shutdown”. There is a reason behind the alternative wording, but for simplicity's sake I am going to ignore the semantics and use the terms interchangeably.

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Posted by on in Skills

There are many cues to buoyancy control, but most of them are tied into our need for a visual reference. It's incredibly comforting and reassuring to look at something and know that you are stable in the water. Watching something move also provides instantaneous feedback about whether you are moving in the water column. This week's article, and indeed the exercise at the end of it, is focused on the use of these visual references.

Posted by on in Skills

A while back I wrote an article on the importance of buoyancy control, for which I received some awesome feedback. A lot of people asked me that if it was so important, were there any useful tips and tricks I can use to further explain the concept. Well, of course there are :)

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