Rec 1 training focuses on introducing brand new divers to the in-water skills similar to that of Essentials of Recreational Diving from the very beginning of their dive training. This will include proper balance and trim, precise buoyancy control, propulsion (frog, helicopter, back kicks), controlled descents and ascents, gear manipulation, regulator manipulation (s-drills) and smb deployment.  It also introduces team diving procedures and protocols.

Rec 1 trains the non-certified diver in the foundational skills at the Essentials level, capitalizing on the law of primacy.  It focuses on the fun of underwater exploration while teaching safe diving practices and solid foundational skills while also emphasizing safety and respect for the marine environment.

This class doesn't just certify divers.  It creates safe, confident, comfortable divers who are able to plan, execute and enjoy their own dives and underwater explorations and adventures to depths up to 60' using a single tank of air.

Who is this class designed for?

Anyone who wants to experience our amazing underwater world.  Rec 1 is conducted in a friendly learning environment where new divers will learn from the very beginning the foundation of UTD configuration and UTD philosophy similar to that learned in Essentials of Recreational Diving. The class is designed for the non-certified diver who wants to learn team recreational diving from the start.  In other words those who want to become a recreational diver (single tank, no decompression diving) and want to apply the UTD principles into their recreational diving practices to increase both safety and fun.​

Sounds like a bit more than you want?  Check out our Open Water class,and feel free to contact us.  We're happy to provide more information to help you make a decision that best suits your goals.

Why take this class? 

The Rec 1 class focuses on the foundational skills of recreational diving using the building block approach.  Many aspiring recreational divers want to begin their diving career with a solid foundation and also ensure the skills and knowledge they learn now will be consistent with their future training and equipment needs and desires.

Rec 1 introduces the skills taught in the Open Water class, but also introduces and incorporates team diving skills and protocols, more precise buoyancy control and multiple propulsion techniques and SMB deployment, similar to Essentials.  

In short, Rec 1 can be viewed as a combination of Open Water and Essentials of Recreational Diving.   The result is a highly trained, competent diver with an understanding of team diving from the start of his/her diving career.

Class Information

The UTD Recreational 1 course is normally conducted over a 5-6 day period, and cumulatively involves a minimum of 50 hours of instruction designed to provide an introduction to the UTD/Hogarthian equipment configuration, basic scuba diving physics and physiology, minimum decompression, including history of decompression and practice, physics, physiology, tables, and operational considerations including situational awareness and understanding the scuba environment.  The in-water skills will be first conducted in a confined water environment prior to entering the open water. These skills will include, but not limited to, snorkeling techniques, buoyancy, trim, propulsion, basic 6, air sharing and valve management. 


All UTD/FKD classes are videotaped for educational and review purposes only as we believe this is invaluable for students to visually focus on their individual in-water skills, situational awareness, communication, and team diving. Learning to self evaluate is an important aspect of the class. You will be evaluated during the class to obtain the UTD "Recreational 1" certification. This certification will allow you to scuba dive unassisted by an instructor or divemaster  within your certification limitations and to continue within the UTD Recreational training curriculum. 

Our focus is the complete dedication to your diving skills, knowledge & in water practice.


Minimum 16 years of age

Overview/Course limits

Maximum depth is 60’

All dives are to maintain a working PO2 of no greater than 1.4

Standard gas is air

Single tank configuration

No stage decompression

No overhead environments

Long hose primary, and necklace style backup regulator hose configuration

Instructor to student ratio maximum 6:1 in open water, adjusting downward for environmental conditions.


Complete the UTD academic materials (online or book)

All UTD classes are non-smoking

The use of prescription drugs must be authorized prior to the onset of diver training by a physician

Must be able to swim a distance of at least 50 feet/15 meters on a breath hold

Must be able to swim at least 300 yards/275 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping

Required Equipment

See our Equipment Requirements Page for Essentials of Recreational Diving

Rentals are available for most equipment. If you have any questions on equipment requirements or rentals, please contact us prior to registering.

Course requirements include 10 hours of academics and 6 hours of confined water work, 8 dives, 2 of which will be experience dives as defined in the UTD standards and procedures.  

The initial 2 dives will be conducted in water no deeper than 30 feet (9 meters) to evaluate the diver’s ability and to transition from the pool to the open water environment while still maintaining the required skill levels.  

The last two dives are to be at depth for experience, within the certification limits of the class.

Recreational Diver 1 (Rec 1) course is one of two entry level classes we offer (the other being Open Water).  It's designed to teach non-certified divers the wonders of diving. UTD’s Rec 1 class builds a solid diving platform using the law of primacy as the greatest teaching tool. 

This extensive class is designed to prepare divers for recreational diving using proper equipment, diving techniques and safety procedures by introducing basic scuba diving theory, knowledge, equipment configuration, dive skills and emergency procedures, allowing each student to see the big picture while they learn to think in the water.