Sidemount Diver

Sidemount Diver

TDI’s Sidemount Diver specialty is the perfect course for any technical diver wishing to use this increasingly popular equipment configuration, either as a ‘stand-alone’ course or in conjunction with one of TDI’s other open circuit specialties. It teaches students how to safely utilize side-mounted primary cylinders as an alternative to the traditional back-mounted method.

This course takes students through the specific techniques, planning procedures and skills that set side-mounted cylinder diving apart from the traditional back-mounted method. During the course, the TDI Instructor takes students on a minimum of three dives and covers skills such as:

  • Equipment considerations
  • Gas management
  • Attaching cylinders
  • Trim and buoyancy
  • Deployment of surface marker
  • Different water entries

TDI’s Sidemount Diver Specialty is a useful stand-alone course for the technical diver who wants to become more skilled and proficient with different gear configurations regardless of if he intends to use sidemount all the time. The course may also be taught in conjunction with any of TDI’s other open circuit specialty courses, on the condition that all prerequisites and standards applicable to both courses are fully met.

The maximum depth limit of this course must not exceed that of the student’s current certification, unless being taught in conjunction with another TDI course which allows a greater depth. Prerequisites to enroll on the TDI Sidemount Diver course are: Age 18, SDI Open Water Diver or equivalent. (Otherwise open water diver)

Who this course is for:

  • The SDI or TDI diver looking to expand their in-water skills and techniques
  • The certified diver who has interest in moving forward with technical diving education and expanding their equipment configuration options

What you can expect to learn:
The TDI Sidemount Diver Course takes an in-depth look at all of the following and more!

  • Gas matching procedures to include dissimilar volumes
  • Gas management utilizing independent cylinders
  • Psychological considerations of technical diving
  • Equipment considerations including:
    • Cylinder options
    • Regulator options
    • Buoyancy compensator/harness options
    • Proper weighting
    • Equipment configurations
  • Communication (light and hand signals)
  • Problem solving in a sidemount configuration
  • Diving in tight or confined spaces
  • Conservation
  • Water entries/exits
  • S-drills specific to sidemount diving

Some of the required skills you will have to demonstrate include:

  • Demonstrate various propulsion techniques such as the frog kick, modified frog kick, modified flutter kick, backwards kick, helicopter turns, and hand pulling if appropriate for the environment.
  • Demonstrate adequate buoyancy control; ability to hover at a fixed position in water column without moving hands or feet
  • Demonstrate adequate trim; ability to maintain proper position during the descent, bottom, and ascent portion of the dive
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform the following exercises while maintaining trim and buoyancy in the water column:
    • Unclipping and attaching sidemount cylinders
    • Perform gas switches with and without a mask
  • Demonstrate the ability to safely manage gas in independent cylinders
  • Demonstrate conservation, awareness, and back referencing techniques
  • Deploy a lift bag
  • Carry additional cylinders is optional in this course

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