REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD DIVE SIDEMOUNT
I’ll write here my personal experience and why I chose to take Sidemount diving and buy equipment dedicated to this type of diving. I was thinking about sidemount almost 2 years now as it seemed an easy option to put more cylinders on yourself if you go for a deep diving. I firstly went for technical diving and now stepped one more step into sidemount.
What is the sidemount you probably already know of have heard of. It’s the type of diving then you put cylinders on your sides instead of putting them on your back. Each cylinder has their own independent first and second stages and SPG as well as low inflation hose. Configuration may varies depending of your equipment, availability and environment you are planning to dive.
Why I have decided to go sidemount? I am not planning to go for cave diving, but I like wrecks, some of the wrecks that stand not straight, but are lying on the side would be ideal for sidemount as doorways make wide swim through.
Sidemount is considered optimal for caves and not for boat, wreck diving (unless ship lies on the side) as you have tanks on your sides and you are much wider so it’s harder to move on the surface with both tanks than backmount and if you go wreck diving you have to flip yourself to go through the doorways. However, still I chose to go sidemount. So why?
And here are some good reasons to choose this path:
Back pain is main concern and the ultimate deal breaker for me. Even though I have started training a lot more and got rid of lower back pain I don’t want to face this problem again. Just changing location of the tanks to the sides and taking backplate off me improved my overall feeling of comfort and stress on my lower back. I will provide more detailed information about back pain and diving in the future posts with a help of my physician.
Constant improvement is the second motivator for me. It’s fun to have more courses and improve your knowledge and the way diving could be done. There is always something new to learn from different instructors, dive buddies, diving enthusiasts. I try to keep myself open minded with the new ideas and improvements.
I like to rely on myself then diving and sidemount gives my ability to have 2 independent air sources with easy reach in any situation, it is more complex as you have to monitor gas consumption and not to forget to switch from one tank to the other at the right time. This builds more confidence in my ability to solve an unexpected situation as you can see more that is happening with your equipment if it fails (get ready for the worst and expect the best). Easy reach and visibility give you the comfort and ease of mind. Saying that this also gives you more work, you have to not to forget to switch from one tank to the other.
New equipment is something we are always happy about. Even the small change makes us feel happy and if you buy quality stuff that lasts for a long period or every time you use your kit. It’s like shoes for women 😊 No matter how many pairs you have there is always space for one more. As technology and trends improve, you can now order different colors and make your own style which helps your buddy to identify you underwater and not to mix up equipment on a surface if you all using same kits in your group.
Just because it’s trendy and I can. There are a lot of divers now that choose sidemount and this type of diving have great reviews. Diving industry pushes everyone to take more courses and improve ourselves more and more. The amount of divers in the word is increasing, the amount of courses and options of agencies too. This variety pushes all of us to move forward.
To sum everything up I really like sidemount course and it’s something I will do in the future however I’m not considering sidemount as the only option. Diving with 2 tanks could be done in 3 ways: Backmount doubles, sidemount or single tank backmount and a stage. It all depends that equipment, training, accessibility you have and the circumstances,type of diving you do.