Sidemount is a configuration of the scuba diving equipment which has usually two or more diving cylinders mounted - as the name implies - alongside the diver, below the shoulders and along the hips, instead of being on the back of the diver.
There are several benefits in using sidemount configuration comparing to the traditional back-mount:
It puts less physical strain on the diver. The equipment is smaller and lighter than the traditional doubles. It is also on the sides, so it does not put a load on the divers back. Anybody who ever carried double cylinders on his back would really appreciate that
Accessibility and safety – diver has direct access to the cylinders tank valves and regulators. So sidemount configuration allows immediate gas-loss identification and provides the diver with access to alternative safety procedures; such as regulator swapping (between cylinders), valve-‘feathering’ to access gas within a cylinder whose regulator is malfunctioned/free-flowing or even breathing directly from a tank valve.
Also, in the sidemount configuration, valves and regulator first-stages are more protected from collision, impact and abrasion damage, or accidental shut-down through contact with a ceiling. It also significantly reduces the risk of entanglement behind the diver, where it is least easy to rectify.
Streamline profile -with the cylinders placed under the diver’s armpits, in line with their body, sidemount diver has a more streamline profile compared to the traditional back-mounted configuration. This decreases water resistance (improving air consumption and reducing fatigue) whilst also allowing the diver to pass through smaller restrictions than would otherwise be possible. The flexibility to remove tanks, and propel them in front, allows the diver to pass through small passages which really helps in the shipwreck and cave diving
- PADI Open Water
- At least 15 years old
The class is available in English, Russian, Polish and Ukrainian languages