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What is your reason for Sidemount Diving?

Written by Marc van der Poel

What is your reason?

Perth Scuba Sidemount Course Western Australia
Saturday morning and I am prepared, I have all the harnesses, rigging kits and sleek 7 litre HP cylinders ready to go. I am teaching the Sidemount course.
The students arrive and I find myself with four seasoned dive professionals ready to take on the weekend. One Dive-master and three Instructors. What is so interesting about teaching the sidemount course, there are so many reason to try.
At the beginning of the course I always ask students to share with the group, their name, dive experience and what they seek to get from this course. 

At the end I ask whether they enjoyed the course, what they particularly liked and did they get what they wanted out of the course. I think this week’s course nearly had all the reasons. This is what they had to say..

Ben: I am not very flexible and struggle with the valves in a backmount configuration, I like the fact that I can see all my valves, first & second stages and are now really easy to reach. Valve drills are now a cinch.
Craig: I want to take my tech diving further but I am not crazy about lugging a heavy set of twins to and from. I like the buoyancy and trim but particularly the fact that it isn’t as demanding on my back, as I can carry my cylinders separately.
Joseph: I Love the how easy it is to find your trim in sidemount! It is going to be great, I want to do the Advanced Side mount course and then take my video camera to greater depths in sidemount configuration.
Mike: I have heard and read about this Sidemount diving and wanted a challenge. I am in the process of completing my Advanced Nitrox & Decompression procedures certification and think I would like to combine the two. 

Marc: That sums Sidemount diving up right there! It has so many advantages and benefits, I enjoy diving & teaching it! It is an enjoyable course for every level of diver. 
Students are somehow really pleasantly surprised and often I hear them say- Hmmm not so sure about backmount anymore..

Sidemount might not take over, but it is certainly not a FAD!

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