Side Mount Diver Course
Sidemount Diver Equipment Configuration
The PADI Side Mount Diver Course teaches a unique way of buoyancy control resulting in a more streamlined profile that reduces drag making finning and moving through the water easier and more efficient. You’ll attain a greater comfort level as side mount equipment and harness can be custom fit to each diving individual, accommodating divers of all shapes and sizes. Safety and assistance skills how to help any divers with any disabilities, as you carry the cylinder(s) separate from your harness to the water. Whilst within the water you would then attach your cylinders and weights, making the entries and exits to dive sites much easier. You’ll learn safer options in terms of air management as you have an easier access to your cylinder valve(s), first stage(s) and alternate regulator should a problem arise. The course teaches how to configure equipment learning that one harness and BCD does it all. This statement is now true as the same side mount equipment you use, can be used for more advanced types of diving i.e wreck, technical and cave diving.
What do I need to begin the Side Mount Diver course?
What are the pre-requisites?
- You need to be a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or equivalent rating) and at least 18 years old with 25 logged dives.
All kit can be provided for the course if you do not own or have access to the basics.
The equipment list includes:
- Mask, Fins and Suitable Exposure Protection (snorkel optional)
- 2 Single Tanks
- 2 Primary Regulators and 1st Stages
- 1.5 to 2m long regulator hose
- Sidemount Harness & BCD (approved by instructor prior to the course)
- Dive Tables, Depth Guage & Dive Timer (or Dive Computer)
- Divers Tool or Knife
- Slate with Pencil
- Two Surface Signaling Devices
- Reel and SMB
- Multi Pouch Or Pocket
What will I do in the Side Mount Diver Course?
You will have a lot of hardy dive side mount skills to work through within the course including but not limited to:
- Don and doff their side-mount cylinders whilst in the water.
- Conduct a buoyancy check at the surface.
- Donor and receiver to an out of air diver.
- Switch regulators to keep gas balanced in their independent clinders.
- Neutral buoyancy swimming using various finning techniques.
- Valve shutdowns exercise combined with gas switches (safety drill).
- Twin partial cylinder removal and swim neutrally buoyant.
- Neutral swim with one cylinder removed (hand-held).
- Simulate a regulator free flow and breathe from regulator using (valve fluttering).
- Maintain the correct trim of the side mount cylinders (especially when buoyant).
- Sidemount bungee failure, replace with spare.
How long is the Side mount Training?
The scuba diving PADI side mount diver course is conducted over one day of theory and a confined water session to practice the new skills for side mount diving you will learn on the course. Two days are then spent doing a minimum of 3 training dives followed by practice skill sessions.
Where can I go from here?
Go Diving! The next step is to practice your skills and become comfortable using the equipment and the configurations you have learned.
A lot of divers use this as an intermediate step into learning wreck penetration. The side mount diver course itself integrates well with penetrating wrecks and caves and allows you to explore places you have only read and dreamed about. Here in Pattaya and Jomtien Thailand we have a good number of ship wrecks with penetration. Mermaids also offer the PADI Wreck Diver Specialty Course.