Sidemount Diving

For bookings and more info, call the store:
617-277-2216

The Sidemount program provides you with the training necessary to independently plan and conduct dives, using sidemount equipment configurations and techniques, within the depth limits allowed by your certification level, and with an equally, or more, qualified dive team. This course will teach you how to dive with two (2) sidemount cylinders to the depth you are currently certified to. It will also allow you to continue your training in a sidemount configuration. For those that choose to, you can select the Extended Range Sidemount course add-on to add technical sidemount diving skills to the course including stage bottle rigging and use.

 

Why dive sidemount?

Sidemount diving is an adaptation to the traditional way scuba equipment is worn. It moves the scuba cylinder or cylinders from behind you to beside you. This has a list of benefits including:

  • More streamlined equipment so it’s easier to move through the water.
  • Better balanced equipment so it’s easier to change and hold positions.
  • You have easier access to your cylinder valves and first stages so it’s simple to see any issues if they happen underwater and less likely for an issue to arise since they are protected.
  • The whole system is modular so it’s easy to replace or repair a single piece should an issue arise.
  • It’s also a great course for anyone interested in deep diving, technical diving, and cave or wreck diving because it’s so easy to carry additional gas once you learn the basics of the system.

The list really goes on and on. The sidemount equipment configuration can also be used in many different styles of diving. If you are diving to no-decompression limits but not beyond, many divers choose to dive with either one sidemount cylinder or two smaller sidemount cylinders. Deep divers, cave divers, and/or wreck divers will choose to dive with both full-size cylinders and perhaps even a stage bottle or two. For divers with difficulty carrying more than one cylinder at a time due to size or injury, many sidemount divers will enter the water and then put their gear on to avoid having to lift too much weight out of the water. This is a great option for divers with leg or back injuries or divers without the stature to lift large sets of doubles.

Before Class

Before attending your class you will need to complete some paperwork. The links to the documents are under the “Class Forms” section of this page. These forms must be completed prior to your session and contain important information.

Pay close attention to the medical form as you may also require a physician’s approval before we can let you into the water.

This class also has a helpful online training component hosted by SSI. Please complete your online training prior to your classroom session. If you have not already registered with SSI, look for an email from divessi.com. You can access online training materials, certification cards, and more at my.divessi.com or the MySSI app on your iPhone or Android.

If you have any questions give us a call at the store on 617-277-2216 or shoot us an email training@ecdivers.com.

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Minimum certification of Open Water Diver
  • Diving medical signed by an MD
  • Industry approved sidemount harness with appropriate lift
  • One (1) delivery system that has a regulator with a 6 to 7-foot hose and breakaway attachment
  • One (1) delivery system that has a regulator with a 20 to 30-inch hose and neck retainer
  • Two (2) cylinders with independent valves appropriately configured for sidemount
  • Submersible pressure gauge with a 6 to 10-inch high-pressure hose (all cylinders must have an SPG attached)
  • Integrated depth and timing device or dive computer
And
  • Mask
  • Fins
  • Exposure suit appropriate for the environment with appropriate ballast
  • A cutting device
  • A signaling device for deploying from depth (red and yellow surface marker buoys are recommended, but follow local guidelines)
  • A reel or spool (appropriate for the maximum planned depth)
  • One (1) surface signaling device (whistle or similar)
  • Logbook (physical or digital)
  • Underwater writing tool plus dive planning sheets

Minimum Extended Range Sidemount Total Diving System Add-on Equipment:

  • Stage cylinder(s) with delivery systems that each have a 6 to 10-inch hose and attached SPG
  • Additional depth and timing device or dive computer

And

  • Additional mask
  • Additional cutting device
  • A compass
  • Additional signaling device for deploying from depth (red and yellow surface marker buoys are recommended, but follow local guidelines)
  • All academic sessions and online training
  • Sidemount Diving final exam with a passing score of at least 80%
  • Equipment configuration session
  • Water fitness evaluation
  • One (1) pool/confined water skill development session of 60 minutes or more
  • One (1) half-day shallow open water environment (Pond) development session of 90 minutes or more
  • Four (4) open water training dives (this is the average time it takes to complete this program. Any additional training needed will be at a pro-rated fee)
  • 120 minutes of total open water runtime or more
  • Maximum of four (4) students per instructor

Extended Range Sidemount Add-on

The Extended Range Sidemount course add-on expands upon the Sidemount Diving course to include skills and techniques unique to advanced sidemount diving. These skills are specifically focused on the needs of deep decompression and overhead sidemount divers. The most obvious being the rigging, mounting and use of a stage cylinder. Other skills introduced in the Extended Range Sidemount Add-on include:

  • Remove and replace back-up equipment
  • Primary mask failure (mask removal and replacement)
  • Failed primary buoyancy (redundant buoyancy deployment)
  • Free-flowing primary inflator (mitigation and oral inflation ascent)
  • Advanced free-flowing second stage management (valve fluttering)
  • Stage cylinder removal and replacement
  • Sidemount cylinder removal and replacement (no-mount)

 

Also, this add-on includes the following additional sessions:

  • One (1) pool/confined water skill development session of 60 minutes or more
  • One (1) half-day shallow open water environment (Pond) development session of 90 minutes or more
  • Two (2) open water training dives (this is the average time it takes to complete this program. Any additional training needed will be at a pro-rated fee)