Californian GUE Demo Day 2010

Author and photographer: Karim Hamza
Support: Hollywood Divers, Cleveland High School, Regeda CA

Los Angeles GUE instructors Karim Hamza from Hollywoodivers and Steve Millington from LA Scuba Diving organized a GUE Demo Day for the local diving community at the Cleveland High School pool in Reseda, CA. Single-tank setups and doubles setups were prepared for people to take out for a test dive. GUE divers Thomas Mann and Joe Tugas were there to assist.

Altogether, 13 people came to participate or help out. Steve and I did a small briefing regarding the philosophy of GUE, explaining what the agency stands for as a non-profit organization focused on exploration, education, and research to protect our underwater realm.

I reviewed the gear configuration, including backplate and wing, long hose, redundancy of doubles, and regulators. Questions about hose length, argon bottle significance and usage, and canister lights were asked by a captivated audience. Hollywoodivers provided the Halcyon rental backplates and wings, single tanks, and double setups.

After setting up and adjusting the gear, Steve took the participants into the pool where he went over proper buoyancy and trim and the delta position. I took pictures of the participants while they practiced their positioning in the water. It was impressive how quickly the divers picked up these skills, especially those with very little experience.

After a while, Steve showed proper finning techniques. And just as the previous skills, participants picked up the propulsion techniques quickly. It was wonderful and exciting to see the divers gliding in the water with such ease.

Steve Millington, Tom Mann, and Jason Buehler led the participants to the deeper end of the pool where they worked on propulsion techniques and proper trim and buoyancy. Some practiced ascent drills, as well. I hung a mirror for people to see their positioning in the water and to allow them to make slight adjustments to improve their form. They definitely appreciated the instant feedback and watching their reflections in the mirror.

Steve and I were extremely happy about the turnout and how engaged the participants were. Some of the people present are moving on to take GUE Fundamental classes, or a GUE drysuit course, or a GUE doubles course, or even the GUE Fundamentals primer course. This last course, as some of us know, is one to help students learn the proper techniques and skills, so that they can practice and then attend a GUE fundamental class without feeling overwhelmed.

Steve and I are planning more Demo Days for this year including a DPV Demo Day, which will include scooters from the following manufacturers: Gavin, Halcyon, Hollis, Silent Submersible, and X-scooter. Please feel free to give us any feedback that would be beneficial to make Demo Day a more successful event. We thank you for your time and interest. Stay tuned.

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