GUE Primer Course

Hollywood Divers

  • $350.00

GUE Primer Course taught by Karim Hamza

GUE Primer

Course Outcomes

The GUE Primer course is designed to: 1. Provide the recreational diver with an opportunity to advance his/her basic diving skills, thereby developing more comfort, confidence, and competence in the water; and 2. Provide an introduction to GUE training while demonstrating the techniques necessary for success in future GUE courses.


Applicants for a GUE Primer course must:

  1. Submit a completed registration form, a medical history, and a liability release to GUE Headquarters.
  2. Be physically and mentally fit.
  3. Hold insurance that will cover diving emergencies such as hyperbaric treatment, e.g. DAN Master-level insurance or equivalent.
  4. Be a nonsmoker.
  5. Obtain a physicians prior written authorization for the use of prescription drugs, except for birth control, or for any prior medical condition that may pose a risk while diving.
  6. Must be a minimum of sixteen years of age.
  7. Be a certified GUE Rec 1 diver or be certified as an open water diver from a recognized training agency.

Course Content


The Primer course is normally conducted over one day and includes three dives and a minimum eight hours of instruction, encompassing classroom, land drills, and in-water work.

GUE Primer Specific Training Standards

  1. Can be run with one trainee
  2. Student-to-instructor ratio is not to exceed 8:1 during land drill or surface exercises; ratios cannot exceed 4:1 during any in-water training
  3. Maximum depth 60 feet/18 meters
  4. No decompression
  5. No overhead environment diving

Training Materials

GUE training materials and recommended reading as determined by the course study packet received via online download after GUE course registration.

Academic Topics

  1. Introduction: GUE organization and course overview (objectives, limits, expectations)
  2. What is the GUE Primer?
  3. Why this discipline?
  4. Developing diver capacity
  5. Pre-dive overview
  6. Equipment
  7. Buoyancy
  8. Body position
  9. Trim
  10. Propulsion
  11. Situational awareness

Land Drills

  1. Pre-dive sequence
  2. Body positioning
  3. Trim and balance
  4. Equipment overview & fitting
  5. Propulsion techniques
  6. Team Communication

Required Dive Skills and Drills

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in safe diving techniques; this would include pre-dive preparations, inwater activity, and post-dive assessment.
  2. Demonstrate awareness of team member location and concern for safety, responding quickly to visual indications and dive partner needs.
  3. Demonstrate a safe and responsible demeanor throughout all training.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in underwater communication.
  5. Demonstrate basic proficiency managing a GUE equipment configuration.
  6. Demonstrate safe ascent and descent procedures.
  7. Comfortably demonstrate at least two propulsion techniques that would be appropriate in delicate and/or silty environments.
  8. Demonstrate comprehension of the components necessary to maintain good buoyancy and trim.

Equipment Requirements

GUE base configuration as outlined below.

Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with the GUE representative, Karim Hamza, to verify equipment requirements and appropriateness of any selected equipment.

The GUE base equipment configuration is comprised of:

  1. Tanks/cylinders: students may use a single tank/cylinder with a K-, H-, or Y-valve. Students may also use dual tanks/cylinders connected with a dual-outlet isolator manifold, which allows for the use of two first-stages. Consult course specific standards and your instructor to verify size requirements.
  2. Regulators:
    • Single tank: one second-stage regulator must supply a 5 to 7 foot/1.5 to 2 meter hose (2 meter long hose is required for all cave classes). The first stage must supply a pressure gauge, inflation for the buoyancy compensator (BC), and a means to inflate a drysuit where applicable.
    • Double tank: one of two required first stages must supply a pressure gauge and provide inflation for a drysuit where applicable. The other second stage must supply a 5 to 7 foot/1.5 to 2 meter hose and an inflation source for the BC.
  3. Backplate system:
    • Should be held to the diver by one continuous piece of webbing. This webbing should be adjustable and should use a buckle to secure the system at the waist.
    • A crotch strap is attached and looped through the waistband so as to prevent the system from riding up a divers back.
    • The continuous webbing should support five d-rings;
      • The first placed at the left hip
      • The second placed in line with a divers right collarbone
      • The third placed in line with the divers left collarbone
      • The fourth and fifth are placed on the front and back of the crotch strap where divers plan to use advanced equipment like DPVs.
    • The harness below the divers arms has small restrictive bands to allow for the placement of reserve lights. The webbing and system retains a minimalist approach.
  4. Buoyancy compensation device (BC):
    • A divers BC is back-mounted and minimalist in nature.
    • It is free of extraneous strings, tabs, or other material.
    • There are no restrictive bands or restrictive elastic affixed to the buoyancy cell.
    • Wing size and shape is appropriate to the cylinder size(s) employed for training.
  5. At least one time/depth measuring device.
  6. Wrist-mounted compass.
  7. Mask and fins: Mask is be low-volume; fins are rigid, non-split
  8. At least one cutting device.
  9. Wet Notes.
  10. At least one surface marker buoy (SMB) with spool per diver.
  11. Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure.

Additional Course-Specific Equipment

  1. Where required, bottom gas, decompression, or stage cylinders are marked in accord with GUE standards and configured in line with GUE protocol. They should be as close to neutral as possible with a relatively small swing from negative to positive during the use of the cylinder.
  2. Where argon bottles are applicable, they should be sized appropriately for the environment; small tanks are placed on the backplate with larger supplies affixed to the divers left back gas tank.
  3. Surface marker buoy: where required, the SMB should be appropriate for environmental conditions and deployed using a spool with at least 100 feet/30 meters of line.
  4. One reserve mask is required for some classes.
  5. Underwater lights:
    • Where required, back-up lights should be powered by alkaline batteries (not rechargeable) and stowed on the d-rings at a divers chest.
    • Reserve lights should have a minimal amount of protrusions and a single attachment at its rear.
    • The primary light should consist of a rechargeable battery pack and be fitted with a Goodman-style light handle.
    • Where burn time requirements create the need for an external battery pack, it should reside in a canister mounted to the divers right hip.
  6. Guideline devices, as required during cave diving activities:
    • A primary reel is required for all cave diving and provides a minimalist form factor with a handle designed to support a Goodman or hands free handle operation.
    • The primary reel should contain at least 150 feet/45 meters.
    • A safety spool is required for each diver while cave diving and should contain at least 150 feet/45 meters of line wrapped on a simple spool.
    • A jump or gap spool is required during Cave 2 dives and should contain at least 75 feet/23 meters of line wrapped on a simple spool.

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