Sidemount Diving Courses in Australia
As the name suggests, sidemount diving takes a cylinder that would be on your back, and straps it to your side. But why would you want to do that?
Smaller divers find it easier to transport cylinders individually to the water. The same goes for older divers or divers with leg or back problems. Other divers like the freedom of independent cylinders. Having two independent gas supplies with the valves, regulators and hoses in plain view and easy to reach is very reassuring. It allows a solo diver easy access to any problems occurring in that area and eliminates the need to carry a bailout cylinder as solo Back Mount divers do. Some solo Side Mount divers still carry an extra cylinder to further increase their safety.
- Your most flexible body part, your back, no longer has rigid metal strapped to it so it can bend again. Making diving very, very, very comfortable.
- You can put the cylinder on IN THE WATER so no more walking to the dive site in full, heavy gear under the blazing WA sun! Put the BCD on (without cylinders), walk into the water, clip the cylinders on- ready to go, comfort, ease and simplicity.
- The added safety factor of a full-sized, second cylinder is enormous, think a pony is the answer? Think again.
- Dive Travel is easy. Take a lightweight sidemount BCD and that's it!
- Resorts all provide rental cylinders so strap those on, use their regulators or take your own and enjoy a comfortable dive with an unsurpassed safety margin and spend much, much more time diving- your dollars spent per minute diving is GREATLY reduced as a result.
- Easy, excellent trim and buoyancy control- especially great for UW photographers.
Isn't this Technical Diving?
NO. It is a recreational SDI specialty course. It is for Open Water students and above, from 15 years of age. So if you are at that level or above, then this is for you.
Can it be Technical Diving?
Yes, Sidemount is an easy transition to technical diving. Popping stage cylinders on is easy- very, very easy and ALL levels of technical diving can be taught in sidemount. No need to buy twin cylinders, manifold and bands.
The background story on Side Mount Diving.
The advantages of sidemount diving first resonated with advanced and technical divers who realized that wearing cylinders on the side of the body created a lower profile in the water than traditional backmounted cylinders, thereby allowing access to, and the exploration of, small spaces without disturbing the environment. Less silt equalled greater access. Wreck divers discovered they could push a tank ahead of them into a small hatchway by simply unclipping the bottom portion of the tank from the buttplate.
Sidemount configurations are proving a good fit with the increasing popularity of rebreather diving. Because of the cluttered front presented by rebreather hardware, the sidemounted "bailout bottles" provide an unobtrusive way to carry an emergency air supply. The sidemount cylinders also provide a ballast of sorts, creating a more streamlined profile and manageable centre of gravity.