One goal, one course: If it was 1986, it would make sense to learn to cave dive as we did in the 1980s. Guess what? It’s not 1986 any more. Consequently, it only makes sense to learn to cave dive the way today’s best cave divers actually explore underwater caves.
In the 1980s, we assumed there would be a significant number of students with little interest in going much beyond the Cavern Diver level. This led to the creation of a confusing assortment of training levels, including “Basic” and “Intro” Cave Diver certifications. What we have discovered in the years since is that no one really wants to be a half-trained cave diver, or be limited by the rather Draconian restrictions placed on Basic/Intro Divers. More importantly, there have been some very tragic incidents involving divers who discovered, the hard way, that ending your training half way through the complete Cave Diver curriculum just plain isn’t safe.
Bear in mind, it’s unreasonable to expect to complete an entire Cave Diver course in one sitting. That’s why it is helpful to have a stopping point mid-way through the course that allows students to take a break and, if need be, gain additional experience under controlled conditions before continuing.
Nevertheless, it’s important to think of the process of becoming a fully certified Cave Diver as a single course, rather than as a disjointed assortment of separate courses. If you commit to this process, it should be with the goal of going all the way through. One goal. One course.
Choose your agency
Cave diving is unique among technical diver training programs in that you can take one course, through one instructor, and qualify to receive cards from multiple agencies. No matter which agency issues your card, you learn the same material and cover the exact same skills.
By default, every student in our Cave Diver training program uses the NASE Cave Diver eLearning program and, if successful, receives NASE Cave Diver certification at no additional charge. If you want additional certifications from TDI, NSS-CDS or IANTD, these are available as well. Just be aware that you will have to pay for certification card processing and purchase that agency’s student manual. (A digital copy of the extremely comprehensive NASE Cave Diver manual is included with the eLearning course at no charge.)
|Cavern Diver||Cavern Diver||Cavern Diver||Student Cave Diver 1|
|Basic Cave||Intro Cave||Intro Cave||Student Cave Diver 2|
|Apprentice Cave||(n/a)||(n/a)||Student Cave Diver 3|
|Cave Diver||Full Cave Diver||Cave Diver||Cave Diver|
Prerequisites for this program include, but are not limited to:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Be able to unequivocally answer No to all questions on the RSTC Medical History/Exam form (or equivalent) or have obtained a physician’s approval for diving within twelve months of the start of training, and have had no significant changes in health or medical condition since.
- Be certified to the Advanced Open Water Diver level (or equivalent), as well as possess Nitrox Diver certification.
- Have logged at least 100 hours under water.
Prior technical diver training is desirable, but not absolutely required. Depending on your needs, Reggie can incorporate NASE Tek Basics, an orientation to deco procedures for cave diving and/or a sidemount equipment orientation as part of your training. This, however, may entail additional days and expense.
Assuming you have prior technical diver training, this program generally requires:
- Six to eight days.
- Sixteen or more dives.
- At least 600 minutes of bottom time.
Be aware that different students learn at different rates. Depending on student abilities, additional days, dives or minutes of bottom time may be required. Reggie may also recommend that students break longer courses into smaller segments, and use the time in between to gain additional skill practice and proficiency.
Few things are more frustrating than seeing a “one size fits all” course price, only to discover your specific situation may require you to incur additional costs. We work hard to keep course fees realistic and competitive. Nevertheless, fees may vary from one individual to the next depending on factors such as:
- Group size
- Your prior training and experience
- Any courses you may be taking concurrently with this one
- Additional time needed to accommodate special needs
We can give you a more accurate estimate of total course cost once we know more about you. Use the form at the bottom of the page to tell us more about your specific situation. We will get back to you with up-to-date pricing information.
You should be aware that course fees cover all instruction, NASE training materials, if available, and NASE certification, if earned. Students are responsible for:
- All personal dive equipment.
- All gas fills.
- Transportation to and from dive sites.
- Dive site admission fees.
- Any non-NASE training materials.
- Any non-NASE certification card processing.
Depending on the course, additional certifications may be available from organizations such as IANTD and NSS-CDS. If desired, students must pay for the cost of these agencies’ certification cards. These organizations will also expect you to buy a copy of their student manual, if available — even though you may not use it in the course.
If students will breaking the complete Cave Diver course into smaller segments, they are only responsible for paying for the segment they are taking.
Be sure to consult this page for the list and description of the equipment you will need to take this course.
Take the Next Step
Use this form to ask questions or begin the enrollment process. If enrolling in a course, be sure to include a brief summary of your prior training and experience.