“Going sidemount” is a term you might have been coming across more and more over recent years. The sidemount setup is gaining popularity rapidly. And for good reason!
It is called “Sidemount” since the tanks are mounted on your side, as opposed to your back. This configuration was designed by cave explorers that had to squeeze themselves through narrow passages. Since then, it has been picked up by the recreational diving community because it is a really fun and comfortable way to dive. When your gear is set up correctly, it is also really easy to maintain your trim. During the course you will learn to size and fit the equipment, don tanks in and out of water and crucial sidemount-specific dive skills.
Although every sidemount diver has their own preferences, the most common recreational setup has a long hose on your right side tank, coming across your chest and going around the back of your head so that the second stage is on your right. When not in use, it is clipped off to a D-ring on your right shoulder strap. Your left side tank has a shorter hose, that also goes around the back of your head to your right side, where the second stage hangs in a necklace. Your tanks are clipped to the BCD to D-rings on the webbing. The BCD is specifically designed to keep the air cell low on your back.
There are many advantages to sidemount diving over backmount diving, but we find the most important are:
– Twice as much air at your disposal means more dive time or redundancy.
– Increased buoyancy and trim control.
– Less drag underwater means less effort.
– No need to walk around in full equipment to get to the water. Simply have someone hand down your tanks and clip them on.
– Two completely separate air systems make sidemount the ideal setup for Solo Divers.
– Perfect for those looking to get into Technical diving in the future.
The SDI Sidemount Diver course consists of one afternoon of fitting and theory, followed by two dives. Certified sidemount divers can rent the gear for additional dives.
Graduates of the SDI Sidemount diver course get 20% off Hollis sidemount equipment (MSRP pricing) through Pure Diving Aruba! Inquire here!