GUE Fundamentals


The GUE Fundamentals course is by far GUE’s most popular program. It functions as a gateway into GUE training and it is an excellent way to personally experience what GUE is all about.

Some divers use the Fundamentals course as a way to improve on the less-than-optimal training they have received during traditional fast-track entry-level courses. Others see the course as a ticket to participate in GUE projects and activities. Many technical divers and even experienced instructors from other organizations use the course to improve basic skills and gain access to GUE’s cave and tech-training. It is not uncommon to have divers with very diverse backgrounds in the same class, which makes this course completely unique in the diving industry. Everybody will benefit, regardless of their current level of certification or experience. Graduating this course with a pass is something to be proud of, as the quality of a GUE Fundamentals diver is recognized all over the diving world.

For many non-GUE divers, the Fundamentals course is an “aha!” moment where everything falls into place. The standardized equipment configuration and standardized procedures are only a small part of the big picture. Realizing how a team-oriented approach can free up resources and increase situational awareness that can be used to maximize safety, efficiency, and fun is often a life-changing moment for Fundamentals students, and they walk away from the course with a completely new approach to diving.

Historically, the Fundamentals course was created to make sure that divers who showed up for more advanced training in GUE’s cave and tech courses were not struggling with basic diving skills. A solid diving platform is based on balance, trim, buoyancy and propulsion techniques. It is pointless to begin more advanced training before mastering these basic aspects of diving. It will only lead to over task loading, stress, and poorly-learned skills. Divers who struggle with personal skills will not be able to contribute to the team, nor will they have the required level of situational awareness needed in cave or tech training.


The GUE Fundamentals course provides all divers with an opportunity to advance basic diving skills. It provides the non-GUE trained divers (divers who are already certified with another recognized diving agency) with a gateway into GUE training.

It is a prerequisite for all GUE courses (apart from entry-level courses, Drysuit and Doubles primers).


Course outcomes include, but are not limited to: GUE equipment configuration and use, trim and buoyancy, propulsion techniques including backwards kick, valve management (the course can be done using a single tank or with a double tank configuration), gas sharing, and SMB deployment.

This course will supplement training that divers may have already received and will give them more confidence in their basic skills even if they do not desire to go on for more advanced training. The course also includes the theory and use of nitrox.

Applicants for a GUE Fundamentals program must:

  • Be a minimum of 16 years of age.
  • Be physically and mentally fit.
  • Be a non-smoker.
  • Be able to swim.
  • Obtain a physician’s prior written authorization for use of prescription drugs, except for birth control, or for any medical condition that may pose a risk while diving.
  • Be certified, at a minimum, as an autonomous entry-level scuba diver (or equivalent) from a recognized training agency.
  • For a full list of course prerequisites, click here.

The Fundamentals course is normally conducted over four days; it requires at least six dives and at least 30 hours of instruction and encompasses classroom time, land drills, and in-water work

Passing GUE Fundamentals class opens up many paths for a certified diver. The recreational pass allows you to enroll in GUE advanced recreational classes and primers to enhance your fundamental skills from ascending control, rescue skills or managing additional dive gear and tasks.  More training will increase your experience, confidence, and capacity that can lead to technical endorsement (equal to technical pass for Fundamentals) and progression to GUE technical or cave curricula.

Dive Alaska is excited to offer a resident instructor in Ron Fancher! Having an instructor in-house means that we can offer more flexible training that fits your schedule, while eliminating the need to fly in instructors from out-of-state. It also means that any additional training that takes place is offered with regular frequency.

Instruction tuition for Fundamentals is $850. This includes pool rental, gas fills, tank rentals, classroom, and other course-related expenses. Gear rental outside of tanks, food, lodging, transportation and dive site access fees are the responsibility of the individual diver.

Tuition is due at time of booking, and is non-refundable 45 days out. Full course payment is due 30 days prior to class, and is non-refundable upon payment. In the event there is a cancellation or you are unable to attend a course, all efforts will be made to fill the vacant spot, but this is not a guarantee that the spot will be filled.