Updated: Mar 10
What is Sidemount diving and is it for me??
Sidemount divers wear two totally independent tanks with regulators on either sides of their bodies.
Really the question should be "Why would I NOT become a sidemount diver...?
Sidemount diving is a new and ever more popular configuration for scuba divers.
It was first developed a few years ago by cave divers that were wearing double tanks on their backs, to reduce their profile and easily fit into ever smaller caves...For a few years cave divers made and adapted their equipment to suit their needs.
But the large mainstream dive equipment companies soon started to make and promote their own variations of the sidemount system and hence sidemount diving has became increasingly popular around the world.
If you ask any sidemount diver why do they dive sidemount you will probably get the same answer....The freedom. Not having a tank attatched to your back will feel so much more relaxing and it will give you much more flexability..
Is Sidemount Diving only for Cave Divers?
No definetly not.
Many different types of divers can benefit from this style of diving, they include...
Professional Photographers; while taking pictures and moving from group to group they probably wont have a designated buddy, somebody to share air with should a problem arise.. Having two totally independent tanks and regulators, this scenario is easily fixed.
Recreational divers that might like the thought of having more gas. Typically divers do two dives,first a deeper dive, then later a shallower dive. Why not wear both tanks from the beginning, thus giving you more gas available on the deep dive should a problem occur and if not use both tanks again for the shallower second dive...
Divers wanting longer bottom times for one dive. This is the first step towards using sidemount for technical diving. Especially useful if you use NITROX.
Divers with lower back or knee problems will benefit from the ease of carrying the tanks
The Sidemount Course
The course can usually be done over 3 days with time spent learning how to adjust the harness and wing to fit you perfectly, learning how to rig the tanks so the tanks sit exactly how you want them, and mounting the regulators and optimizing hose routing for better trim and comfort.
Here are some examples of correctly trained Sidemount Divers and some poorly trained Sidemount Divers.
Please get in contact if you have any questions or would like to become a Sidemount Diver.