Try something cool
A little sidemount history
This style of diving developed by cave divers, since in closed environment sidemount style has many benefits. Easily accessible valves, redundant gas sources, streamlined equipment are just a few of them.
Recently sidemount diving is gaining popularity between recreational divers and open water tech divers as well. For recreational divers it is mainly the increased gas supply without carrying heavy twinsets, furthermore, you can transport your tanks one by one to the entry point. Also, it is possible to attach them on the surface, helping people with back problems. Buoyancy and trim are really great in the water using this setup!
One disadvantage I’ve found is the surface time… It is really not comfortable if you have to spend a long time waiting for the others. Also, task loading (you have to keep the gas level balanced in the tanks) and purchasing new equipment can be a turndown.
For technical divers using more than 2 deco stages this setup starting to get uncomfortable. (But it is entirely up to you if that is what you are used to, keep it)
Honestly, I really fell in love with sidemount diving, when I did my cave courses.
How long does it take?
The course takes a minimum of 3 days to finish.
After gaining knowledge and experience with Sidemount configuration, you can progress to Technical Sidemount.
What are the prerequisites?
- certified Open Water (technically you could do the OW course in sidemount but I really don’t recommend it.)
- According to my experience, you will benefit more to learn it after logging at least 20 dives
- 18 years old (15 with parental consent)
What do you need to prepare?
TDI Sidemount Diver Manual or eLearning
What is this course about?
If you feel like sidemount is your style, this course will teach you how to place and handle all your cylinders in this setup. Here you won’t learn about decompression diving, but I promise you will remove and replace your tanks a lot! 😀 Furthermore we practice shutdowns, safe gas changes, buoyancy, team awareness and communication. This is also a great course if you would like to refresh your skills.
You have 2 options: either you are already into technical diving and would like to change from backmount to sidemount, or you can take this course before engaging with technical diving.
If you are not sure whether you should go to sidemount or stick to backmount, I wrote my thoughts about sidemount diving.
- Minimum of 18 years old
- Certified Sidemount diver
- You can progress straight from recreational sidemount course to the technical level. This course can be combined in many ways.
How long does it take?
It depends a bit on your experience. If you are already familiar with this configuration, it takes a normally of 2-3 days
It can be combined with the basic level of sidemount, in 5 days.