Simon Pridmore's aim in writing this book was to examine and record where technical diving came from, how it developed, how it expanded across the world, who the important movers were and how the efforts of a few determined people changed our little field of human endeavour forever.
An enlightening trip down memory lane and into the annals of early technical diving is Simon Pridmores latest opus, Technically Speaking.
Yes, it is about technical diving but more about crucial events and turning points that have profoundly affected how we teach and practice both recreational and technical diving today. As such it puts our current practices into a historical context and teaching and procedures that we now take for granted or self-evident often only came about after a long and often twisted evolution.
As Simon Pridmore points out “when you execute planned decompression stop dives using mixed gas and multiple gases, with open-circuit or closed-circuit hardware, (…) whichever of the alphabet soup of agencies trained you in this kind of diving - you will be carrying the same equipment, configured in one of a few recognized, accepted and well-tried ways, and using similar combinations of gases, decompression tables and procedures. These methods and technologies were born among individuals and groups of sport divers in the USA several decades ago.”
As such this is a book every diver should read. It is not only educational, but it doesn’t hurt that it is also quite entertaining, like a documentary which could just as well play out on National Geographic or Discovery channel, only in book form. The chapters are self-contained and stand on their own, like episodes in a series – or what is termed ‘Talks”.
People. whose actions were laying the foundations for change are the core subjects of these talks All were pioneers, all had unconventional methods, and none could be easily confined or defined, as Simon Pridmore puts it. They would be the savvy entrepreneurs, inventors and engineers, charismatic prophets, tireless trainers, cosmopolitan travellers, gifted writers and natural marketers within the dive community who would carry the torch forward.