What sidemount diving is
Sidemount diving (SM diving) is a different way to approach diving. It’s not the only way to dive open-circuit or closed-circuit for that matter, but many divers find it suits their diving style and “mission-specific” goals.
First of all, your back is not strapped to a metal plate and it does not have a big metal cylinder – or two of them – keeping it from flexing. Consequently, it is a comfortable way to dive, and it allows a diver a lot more scope to move around and avoid entanglements.
Secondly, you can put your tanks on in the water. No heavy lifting of doubles and struggling to the water or side of the boat. Put on your sidemount harness (without tanks), walk into the water, clip on your tanks and GO. More comfort. Simple. Easy. (Actually, SM works when boat diving too.)
Thirdly, sizing of your scuba cylinders and achieving trim. Many tech divers who use traditional North Florida Cave Kit (backplate, wing, doubles, long-hose, etc.) have issues with balance and trim. Some of this is due to trying to dive the wrong sized cylinders. The nature of sidemount diving and the way the primary cylinders are configured and attached allows way more scope and divers have more options for cylinder size.
Additionally, sidemount divers travel easier… pack a lightweight harness and some CAM bands and clips, rent a couple of tanks when you arrive. Less stress, easy, more time in the water, less time fussing over kit. There are other bonuses… why not sign up and find out the benefits of sidemount for your diving.
I offer two levels of sidemount training: Sport Diver (Level S) Two-Day Clinic (successful completion earns SDI SM diver certification): Tech Diver (Level T) One-Day Clinic (successful completion earns TDI SM diver certification).
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about the possible benefits to you of diving sidemount.