The PADI Sidemount Scuba Diving Speciality Course teaches you:

How to learn 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.
Attain a greater comfort level as sidemount equipment and harness can be custom fit to each individual, accommodating divers of all shapes and sizes.
GrHow to take advantage of many skills including learning 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.
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.
How to configure equipment learning that one harness and BCD does it all. This statement is now true as the same sidemount equipment you use, can be used for more advanced types of diving i.e wreck, technical and cave diving.

 

What do I need to start?

All kit can be rented for the course if you do not own or have access to the basics.

The equipment list includes:

Mask, Fins & Suitable Exposure Protection (snorkel optional)
2 Single Tanks
2 Primary Regulators and 1st Stages
1.5 to 2m long regulator hose (recommend Miflex)
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 (whistle & SMB or signal mirror)
Reel & SMB (if required by local regulations)
Compass
Multi Pouch Or Pocket
Redundancy Equipment (spare bungee, double ended bolt snap, cable ties and mouthpiece)

What will I do?

Don and doff their sidemount 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 cylinders.
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 sidemount cylinders (especially when buoyant).
Sidemount bungee failure, replace with spare.

How long will it take?

The course is conducted over one evening of theory follwed by a confined water session to practice the new skills for sidemount diving you will learn on the course.
Two days are then spent doing a minimum of 3 training dives followed by practice skill sessions

What will I need?

You need to be a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or equivalent rating) and at least 18 years old with 25 logged dives

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 course itself integrates well with penetrating wrecks and caves and allows you to explore places you have only read and dreamed about