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Sidemount diving…you may have heard of it…if your new to diving then maybe not…lets take a look at what it’s all about…
Firstly where do we wear cylinders when we’re underwater? On our backs right? Well since diving began thats been true and it kind of makes sense – a more natural, intuitive place. But more recently sidemount diving involving carrying one, two or more cylinders along your sides has been gaining popularity.
It can make divers more streamlined in the water, aids divers ‘trim’ (position in the water) and can be considered safer due to having all the valves where you can see them. As an additional bonus it can aid with carrying cylinders since you can put them on in the water and carry them one at a time down to the waters edge!
It does however have a few drawbacks…as you’ll be generally using two cylinders underwater it can take a while to get used to the gas management (since you’ll be swtiching between two cylinders), your buddy wont be used to the new kit set-up and finally it can be cumbersome if you have all your kit on before you get in the water…
I began sidemount diving a number of years back and whilst I don’t get much opportunity to get out and dive recreationally in my kit – it is always an ‘easy’ way of diving, since all the cylinders can be taken to the waters edge (so no carrying lots of weight on your back!) and then just clip them on as soon as you get in the water. It also works with technical diving since your already using ‘twin cylinders’ and adding a few deco cylinders doesnt make it any more difficult to your trim…
Sidemount diving came from cave divers but has moved into the recreational and technical dive area, whilst it will never take over these markets it is here to stay and suits some divers…
We run both recreational and technical sidemount courses……and if your really not sure why not ask us about our taster sessions where you can give it a go in the safety of the pool or confined water…..