GUE Equipment Configuration

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GUE is renowned for its standardization of equipment and diving procedures. A good base scuba configuration should work for all stages of your diving, from beginner to cave, so that the addition of items specific to each dive does not affect the usability of the primary equipment. The familiarity that comes from using the same configuration within a team allows for reduced task loading and faster resolution of gear-related problems.This series was created to provide viewers with an overview of the equipment pieces that comprise the GUE configuration, including the reasoning for certain choices, how to setup various components, and things to look for when choosing new gear.

A brief equipment introduction provided by GUE Instructor Meredith Tanguay of

Why minimalist and standardized?

A good scuba equipment configuration should allow for the addition of items necessary to perform a specific dive without interfering with or changing the existing configuration. Diving with the same configuration as your team not only helps solve problems, it prevents them.

Recommended vs meets requirements

What equipment do you need for GUE Fundamentals or other GUE courses? The GUE equipment requirements can be found here. Look up your class in the GUE Standards to see what additional course-specific equipment is required.

Unlike in the early days of GUE, there are now many types of gear on the market that meet GUE's requirements. This often includes gear that is compliant, but not the best to support the most efficient learning and improvements or your dive goals. Others have been before you; benefit from the well-trodden path of the specific features and designs that will make your training easier and your diving more fun!

Will I need to get all new gear?

No. Once you have a backplate, harness, and wing, most students are able to adapt much of their current scuba gear. GUE instructors can make recommendations based on your goals and budget. In some locations, rental gear is available. Ask your instructor.

Focus on these five major components of the GUE equipment system:

  • Backplate with harness: Rigid plate. Continuous webbing.
  • Wing: Single internal bladder (or bladderless design); no bungees or elastics.
  • Regulators: Modern, not a compact octo, not an “AIR2” style. Downstream design.
  • Gauges: Depth and bottom time is (or can be) available on your wrist/forearm.
  • Fins: Rigid, paddle-style fin. Not a split fin.

Consult a GUE instructor for pre-class gear configuration questions and assistance.

Brand specifics

GUE-compliant equipment is feature-specific, not brand-specific. GUE instructors may recommend certain brands (and several of them) and certain models due to their track record of durability and design that work with you to get the most out of your training and dives.

Does GUE gear = DIR gear?

The GUE equipment configuration was originally called the DIR configuration, but there are differences, with GUE’s requirements being slightly more specific for team and standardization purposes.