The GUE Fundamentals course is designed to cultivate the essential skills required by all sound diving practice, irrespective of level or environment. A prerequisite for all GUE classes, save Recreational Diver level 1 course, GUE Fundamentals performs a three-fold function:

  • it provides the recreational diver, who does not desire further diver training, with an opportunity to advance his/her basic diving skills, thereby developing more comfort, confidence, and competence in the water
  • it provides the diver with aspirations of more advanced diver training with the tools that will contribute to a greater likelihood of success
  • it provides non-GUE trained divers with a gateway to GUE training.


  1. Must meet GUE General Course Prerequisites as outlined in Section 1.6
  2. Must be a minimum of 16 years of age
  3. Must be a certified open water diver from a recognized training agency


The GUE Fundamentals class must be conducted over at least four full days, encompassing both classroom and in-water work. Course requirements include a minimum of ten hours of academics and five in-water sessions; at least two of these dives must include a depth of at least 25 feet / 8 meters.

Course Limits

  1. General Training Limits as outlined in Section 1.4
  2. Student-to-instructor ratio is not to exceed 8:1 during land drill or surface exercises, but cannot exceed 4:1 during any direct in-water training In-water ratios should be adjusted downward to account for bad conditions and/or poor visibility.
  3. Maximum depth 60 feet/18 meters
  4. No decompression
  5. No overhead environment diving

Course Content

Combining lecture and in-water sessions, this course focuses on cultivating the basic skills required for all sound diving practice. It is focused on increasing diving fun by reducing stress and increasing diver proficiency through proper control of buoyancy, trim, propulsion, teamwork, and other GUE principles.

Required Training Materials

  1. Doing it Right: The Fundamentals of Better Diving. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs, Florida.
  2. GUE Fundamentals Workbook.

Required Training Materials

Each student should have, and be familiar with, all of the following required equipment.

  1. Tanks/Cylinders: Students may use dual tanks/cylinders connected with a dual outlet isolator manifold, which allows for the use of two first-stages. Students may also use a single tank/cylinder with a K, H, or Y-valve.
  2. Regulators: One of the second-stages must be on a 5- to 7-foot/1.5- to 2-meter hose. One of the first-stages must supply a pressure gauge and provide inflation for a dry suit (where applicable).
  3. Backplate System: A rigid and flat platform, of metal construction with minimal padding, held to a diver by one continuous piece of nylon webbing. This webbing should be adjustable through the plate and should use a buckle to secure the system at the waist. A crotch strap attached to the lower end of this platform and looped through the waistband would prevent the system from riding up a diver's back. A knife should be secured to the waist on the left webbing tab. This webbing should support five D-rings; the first should be placed at the left hip, the second should be placed in line with a diver's right collarbone, the third should be placed in line with the diver's left collarbone, the fourth and fifth should be affixed to the crotch strap to use while scootering or towing/stowing gear. The harness below the diver's arms should have small restrictive bands to allow for the placement of reserve light powered by three in-line c-cell batteries (where necessary). The system should retain a minimalist approach with no unnecessary components.
  4. Buoyancy Compensation Device: A diver's buoyancy compensation device should be back-mounted and minimalist in nature. It should come free of extraneous strings, tabs, or other material. There should be no restrictive bands or "bungee" of any sort affixed to the buoyancy cell. In addition, diver lift should not exceed 50lbs for a single tank and 80lbs for double tanks. Wing size and shape should be appropriate to the cylinder size(s) employed for training.
  5. At least one time/depth-measuring device
  6. Mask and fins: Mask should be low volume; fins should be rigid, non-split
  7. At least one cutting device
  8. Wet Notes
  9. SMB
  10. One spool with 100 feet/30 meters of line per diver
  11. Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure
  12. Double cylinders with isolation manifold, and appropriately sized double-tank buoyancy compensation device.*
  13. One primary light: A primary light should be minimalist in design; its power source should consist of a rechargeable battery pack residing in a canister powering an external light head via a light cord. Primary lights should produce the equivalent output of 50-watt halogen/10-watt HID lighting or greater.*
  14. Two reserve lights: Reserve lights should be powered by two or three in-line non-rechargeable C-cell batteries, with a minimum of protrusions and a single attachment at its rear. The light should be activated and de-activated by twisting the front bezel.*

*Required equipment 12 through 14 applies only to students seeking admittance into Tech or Cave training. 

Note: Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with a GUE representative to verify equipment requirements. Whether or not a piece of equipment fulfills GUE’s equipment requirement remains at the discretion of GUE and its instructor representatives. Participants are responsible for providing all equipment or for making provisions to secure the use of necessary equipment before the start of the course. In general, it is better for the student to learn while using his or her own equipment. However, students should exercise caution before purchasing new equipment to avoid acquiring substandard equipment. Should you have any questions please contact Bryan Armstrong for further infomation 954.788.0208