Sidemount diving is the current craze!! With sidemount, the tanks are mounted on either side of the diver instead of on the back of the diver. It is a popular configuration with advanced cave and techincal divers, as smaller sections of cave and wrecks can be penetrated and tanks can be changed with greater ease.
Its not just for cave and wreck penetration though. As you kit up have you ever thought ‘this hurts my back/ legs’ or ‘geez these are heavy’ or even ‘there has to be a better way’? Sidemount diving is growing in popularity with recreational divers:
- It offers great trim and buoyancy control making it easier to hover, perfect for photographers and videographers
- Results in a more streamlined profile, reduces drag and makes finning and moving through the water much easier and more efficient. Get as close to the free-diver experience as possible with Scuba!
- With no tank on the back its very comfortable. Its also very easy on the back/legs as you have the option of putting the tanks on/off in the water, making the entries and exits to dive sites much easier. This is great for divers with any disabilities.
- Sidemount equipment and harness are custom fit to each individual, accommodating divers of all shapes and sizes.
- The harness is very light so easy to travel with, and has an integrated bouyancy device so no more carrying around heavy bcd’s.
- The harness is used with two tanks, this gives you lots of gas to dive with – again a bonus for photographers.
- With two tanks and two regulators it is a truly redundant system, so has safety built-in.
The downside? You have 2 SPGs to monitor but this is easy to learn. You also need 2 regs, but isn’t that better than an octopus?
Try-it in Bunaken!
We have just acquired 2 sets of side-mount harnesses and guests are welcome to try a dive with them. If you want to take it further, PADI have just introduced the PADI Sidemount Diver Course and we can offer this course if you want. You need to be an Advanced Open Water Diver with at least 30 logged dives, and on the course you learn sidemount skills in a confined water session and four open water dives. Great fun! Check out this video to find out what its all about.