GUE Fundamentals, often affectionately called “Fundies,” introduces certified divers to the GUE method of diving, including GUE System equipment (backplate, wing, harness, long hose, fins, etc.), stable platform, propulsion, basic skills useful for everyday diving and more advanced diving alike. This is GUE’s most popular course useful for new divers, experienced divers, and cave/tech-bound divers alike.
The course starts with a focus on refining your stable platform: buoyancy, trim, stability, control, propulsion, and maneuvering, as well as team diving and situational awareness. Focus then shifts to challenging this stable platform and situational awareness by progressively increasing task loading using basic and more advanced skills. Skills include: underwater communication, donation to an out-of-gas diver, traveling and ascending with an out-of-gas diver, valve manipulation drills, no-mask comfort and teamwork, surface marker buoy deployment, controlled descents, and controlled ascents in a variety of mock scenarios. All drills and skills are done neutrally buoyant, in trim position, and utilizing your team (buddy/buddies).
Classroom topics include discussions on GUE System equipment and personalized adjustments, why we do these things the way we do them with this specific equipment set-up, minimum gas and gas use strategies, ascent profiles, dive planning, pre-dive checks, breathing gases, narcosis, oxygen considerations, gas analysis, decompression strategies for the recreational diver, dive safety, and GUE’s global efforts in conservation and exploration. For those not yet nitrox certified, certification to dive 32% nitrox is available through successful completion of this course.
GUE Fundamentals offers two possible levels of certification
- A Recreational Rating means that the graduate has mastery of basic diving skills which we believe are important for more safe and enjoyable recreational diving. Recreational Rating may be earned utilizing either single or double tanks and qualifies graduates to take Rec 2 (Triox), Rec 3 (Trimix), DPV-1, Documentation Diver, or Fundamentals Tech Upgrade.
- A Technical Rating means that the graduate has mastery of basic diving skills at a level sufficient to enter GUE Cave or Technical classes without further practice. A Technical Rating must be earned utilizing double tanks and includes additional rescue, light-use, and double-tanks-specific skills not required for the Recreational Rating. This is a challenging standard that ensures that graduates are truly ready to learn the new skills for the cave or technical environments and helps protect your investment in future training.
GUE Fundamentals is a class suitable for certified divers with 5 or 5,000 dives. Whether this class is your only GUE class or the first class of a Cave/Tech diving adventure, you will learn something new and useful! Wet Rocks Diving even offers certain Fundamentals class dates reserved for experienced cave divers, gearing this class towards cave divers’ unique background and considerations, while challenging and improving the basic diving skills used in the cave environment and beyond. Common reasons divers take this class include:
- Be a better buddy
- Be a safer diver
- Refine basic diving skills
- Refine your dive/gas planning and ascent profiles
- Discover how to get more bottom time by being more efficient with your UW movements
- Learn how to get back on the boat/shore with a safe gas reserve (aka “back with 500 psi”)
- Learn how and why to dive nitrox
- Put new “tools” in the bag (e.g. new kicks, including kicking backwards!)
- Gain stability, buoyancy, and control that allows you to see more
- Attain maneuverability that allows you to take better UW pictures and video
- Learn how to work as a team and stay together, especially on descents and ascents
- Gain confidence in deploying a surface marker; great for your next drift dive!
- Make “emergency” situations mere inconveniences
- Gain capacity that allows you to make the most from your next class, especially for those wanting to move to advanced recreational, technical, cave or professional diving.
- Gain capacity that will increase your safety and enjoyment while diving
What are your reasons for taking Fundamentals?
From 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. Both new and experienced divers will benefit, as the emphasis is on improving each diver’s skills from point A to point B and developing consistent execution, 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.
The Wet Rocks Difference
Wet Rocks Diving is one of the most active schools for GUE Fundamentals — we teach in 9 or more US states and internationally in both warm and cold waters; benefit from our experience. Email us to find out about our Summer Fundamentals Quarry Tour! Each student will be provided with individualized, constructive feedback and specific steps to improve their skills both during class and those to re-enforce the lessons learned in class so that the improvement trajectory can continue past the end of the class. Wet Rocks staff are students of Human Factors and non-technical skills; translation — we know that how feedback is delivered is just as important as what improvement techniques are provided. Wet Rocks Diving believes that learning is based in understanding why. To learn more about the Wet Rocks philosophy, please see our Mission Statement page. Evolve. Excel. Explore. Enjoy!
- One of the most active schools for GUE Fundamentals in North America
- “Why”s matter
- The Wet Rocks DIving team of professional is learning-based
- Human Factors topics added to many of our courses
- We pride ourselves in balancing high standards, solutions, and psychological readiness to learn. How you’re taught can matter as much as what you’re taught.
- Small class sizes
- Instructor to student ratio 3:1 in-water (max 4:1 with 4th seat only available to those who have already been through the entire Fundamentals program previous)
- Focused on community building
- Pioneers in the use of high-quality online and distance-learning exclusive to Wet Rocks Diving to allow your learning to extend beyond class, go deeper, have more in-depth conversations during class, and get better knowledge retention
- Gear-impartial: we have specifically chosen NOT to get involved in equipment sales, thus our advice is impartial.
- Our goal is long-term relationships with students – not about selling you a course, it’s about the right progression for you!
Duration & Content
- 4 days, in some places 5 days depending on logistics (or longer with special arrangements)
- Class can be taught on consecutive days or two 2-3 day sessions
- 2 or more students
- Involves classroom, hands-on field drills, diving, and often video analysis
- Classroom-only option available for those who do not qualify or do not wish to do the in-water portion (reduced tuition)
There are now two possible ways to take GUE Fundamentals. Email Us to figure out which schedule is best for you and your diving goals!
- As one course: over 4 consecutive days or two 2-3 day sessions within a month or so
- In two parts: 2-day Part 1, followed by 3-day Part 2 at a later date
- Pre-requites for Part 2 are the same as Fundamentals PLUS: must be either have successfully completed Fundamentals Part 1 OR GUE Recreational 1.
- 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
- More detailed Equipment Information here
- For Technical Rating: double tanks, primary light, back-up lights, and a back-up mask
- For best experience, owning your own GUE system equipment is recommended for this class
- Complete course requirements available here
- Additional Recommended Materials: Beginning with the End in Mind PDF book (UPDATE: Now included in your student materials, Fundamentals students DO NOT need to buy separately)
- Check out our article How to Prepare for Your Fundies Class in 5 Steps
Ready to take Fundamentals and improve your diving enjoyment? Click here to Start Training with GUE