Rec 1 – Learn to Dive

Recreational Diver Level 1 (Nitrox) – Learn to Dive

Au Au CraterRecreational Diver 1, or “Rec 1” for short, is GUE’s Learn-to-Dive program for those who have never been certified to SCUBA dive or those who wish to revisit SCUBA instruction from step one. Rec 1 is one of the most detailed Learn-to-Dive programs in the industry. GUE is internationally recognized as the premier institution for dive training, research, and exploration.


Rec 1 is is a class suitable for those who have never SCUBA-dived, never obtained SCUBA certification, or certified divers wanting a thorough review. Whether this class is your only GUE class or the first class of a Cave/Tech diving adventure, you will experience a detail-oriented course based on the dive industry’s most rigorous qualifications for a Learn-to-Dive program! Common reasons to SCUBA dive include:

  • Explore the underwater world
  • Experience neutral buoyancy and three-dimensional freedom
  • Enjoy fish, reefs, shipwrecks, and beautiful topside scenery, both near home and in exotic destinations
  • Escape from cell phones, email, and everyday distractions for a few hours. Relax! Be present in the moment!
  • Learn basic diving skills
  • Learn how to be a great buddy
  • Learn dive/gas planning and ascent profiles
  • Learn how to get back to the boat/shore with a safe gas reserve
  • Learn how and why to dive breathing nitrox
  • Gain stability, buoyancy, control, and maneuverability that allows you to see more (and take better underwater pictures or video)
  • Learn how to stay together underwater and work as a team
  • Make “emergency” situations mere inconveniences
  • Gain capacity that will increase your safety and enjoyment while diving
  • Become part of a world-wide community of similarly trained and like-minded divers

What are your reasons for becoming a SCUBA diver?


The Rec 1 course introduces a student to SCUBA diving and the GUE method of diving from dive one, encompassing pre-study, classroom, dry-land field drills, and confined water (pool or a calm, shallow natural environment). The course culminates with open water training and supervised experience dives.

Classroom topics include:

  • water properties,
  • SCUBA mechanics and physics,
  • SCUBA equipment,
  • discussions on GUE System equipment: (backplate and harness, wing-style buoyancy compensator, long hose configured regulator, certain types of fins, etc.)
  • personalized equipment adjustments,DIGITAL IMAGE
  • why we do these things the way we do them with this specific equipment set-up,
  • underwater communication,
  • teamwork,
  • dive planning,
  • breathing gas reserves and gas use strategies,
  • ascent profiles,
  • pre-dive checks,
  • breathing gases and nitrox,
  • narcosis,
  • oxygen considerations,
  • gas analysis,
  • decompression strategies for the recreational diver,
  • dive safety and basic rescue
  • the variety in the underwater world,
  • GUE’s global efforts in conservation and exploration, and
  • video review and debrief of training dives.


The course starts with a focus on building your stable platform: buoyancy, trim, stability, control, propulsion, and maneuvering, as well as team diving and situational awareness. All drills and skills are done neutrally buoyant, in trim position, and utilizing your team (buddy/buddies), with attention to detail and many opportunities to practice and refine. Focus then shifts to challenging this stable platform and situational awareness by progressively increasing task loading using basic and more advanced skills.


In-water skills include:

  • underwater communication,
  • buoyancy,
  • body position (trim), stability, and control,
  • propulsion and maneuvering,
  • donating breathing gas to an out-of-gas diver,
  • traveling and ascending with an out-of-gas diver,
  • valve manipulation drills,
  • no-mask comfort and teamwork,
  • basic rescue skills,
  • other safety/contingency procedures,
  • surface marker buoy deployment,
  • basic natural and compass navigation,
  • controlled descents, and
  • controlled ascents in a variety of mock scenarios.


Benji calling the boatFrom the basics of body positioning and learning new kicks to more complex elements, skills are broken down into progressive steps and components. These components are first introduced in the classroom, demonstrated on dry-land, practiced by students on land, demonstrated in-water, and finally practiced with multiple repetitions underwater with in-water, surface, and often video feedback. Emphasis is on improving each diver’s skills from point A to point B, developing consistent execution and how to continue improving post-class, as opposed to running down a checklist of skills. This is a process unique to each individual and necessary to build competence, comfort, and confidence that leads to increased diver capacity. Each class will be unique based on students’ goals and day-to-day progression.

Duration & Content

  • 5-6 full days, depending on location and logistics (alternate or longer schedules available by special arrangement)
  • 1 or more students: Wet Rocks Diving policy is that we accept no more than two new-to-diving students into a Rec 1 class. The only time we allow a third is by the request of the students or if a previously certified diver getting a refresher joins.
  • Involves classroom, hands-on field drills, diving, and often video analysis
  • Upon successful completion, includes Nitrox 32 certification to 70ft/21m max depth
  • Classroom-only option available for those who do not qualify or do not wish to do the in-water portion (reduced tuition)
  • Rec 1 can also be offered in two parts: Recreational Supervised Diver which requires you to dive with a dive leader or instructor and limits you to 12m/40ft max depth, followed by Rec 1 Upgrade once a diver is ready to move up to full certification. If done in this format, training is typically 4 days followed by 2.5-3 days.

Requirement Highlights

  • Open mind, prepared to learn
  • Swim test: 300 yards in 14 mins and 50 foot underwater breath-hold swim
  • Basic GUE system equipment, single or double tanks, wetsuit or drysuit
  • For best experience, owning your own GUE system equipment is recommended
  • Rental equipment is available. Wet Rocks Diving requires each diver purchase their own: 1.Wetnotes, 2.Mask, 3.Neoprene booties (as rental booties are not available in some areas)
  • Complete course requirements available here

Find out why GUE’s Learn-to-Dive course is different.

Ready to start exploring the underwater world? Click here to Start Training with GUE or email us today.

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