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Drawbacks of Sidemount, compared to backmount diving

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by DevonDiver, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States
    What about if it was a real scooter AND a tank ? :)
    I could use a long body gavin with half of it the tank, and half the scooter motor and battery..... That would be fast and fun for all the tinkerers that like SM :)
  2. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    Here you go...

    Monkey Diving
  3. Kevrumbo

    Kevrumbo Banned

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: South Santa Monica Bay/Los Angeles California, USA
    The big drawback to diving single tank recreational sidemount at a large dive-ops like Sams Tours here in Palau is setting up your tank strap kits everyday, which is a big inconvenience compared to just slipping your BP/W or BCD conventional backmount kit over the single AL80/11L tank. Unless you are sure you will get the same set of tanks everyday for the duration of your dive vacation, it's not safe to leave your sidemount strap kits on especially with a dive-ops that fills dozens of Nitrox tanks every night (i.e. can be easily misplaced or mistakenly removed by dive-ops personnel).

    Went back to conventional single tank backmount BP/W today after two weeks on Z-system sidemount, and I kept banging the back of my head on the reg's 1st stage: I miss the freedom and full flexibility of being able to arch your back & pivot your head back to look up and around when diving on sidemount. . .
  4. DA Aquamaster

    DA Aquamaster Directional Toast ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: NC
    What are you using for a strap kit?

    I'm using a cam strap to hold the bottom bolt snap, an upper snap around on a length of 550 cord looped over the valve, and a pair of hose retainers. It takes all of 30 seconds to put it all in place and adjust if I hurry, and maybe a minute if I do not. It's a bit more time intensive than putting a BCD over a tank, but not enough for me to alter my diving/configuration preferences.

    I also run the upper snap and 550 cord through the loops of everything else and clip it back on itself to keep it all together so nothing goes missing between dive days. It's a pretty simple system.
  5. Kevrumbo

    Kevrumbo Banned

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: South Santa Monica Bay/Los Angeles California, USA
    Similar "travel" stap kit & cam band set-up for me too . . .but try doing that on a "cattle skiff" with 10 other divers analyzing their nitrox tanks and setting up all their gear, gettin' suited-up etc. as well. . .
  6. ajduplessis

    ajduplessis Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: dry land :-(
    One of the main reasons I am not a "true" DIR follower, they are stuck in their ways/configurations.
  7. gekodivebali

    gekodivebali Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Padang Bai
    One issue I have is having to take the tanks off in the water to get back on the boat. This is very difficult if there is current or waves. Have gone out with the tanks still on in the past as I had to get out of the water in a hurry. Not as easy as with backmounts. At the same time that effort to get back up on the boat could end up being responsible for DCS, so...
    No issue with getting in the water from small boats where giant stride is out of the question. Just backroll with all gear on, reg in and go straight down for bubble check and S-drill.
  8. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    Drop a line for the tanks. :)

    sidemount drop line.jpg

    Research... subject knowledge.. :wink:
  9. gekodivebali

    gekodivebali Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Padang Bai
    I'd really like to see one do that in drift conditions or with heavy swell.
    Location knowledge..
  10. Dive-aholic

    Dive-aholic Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Florida - Marianna area
    I've done this on the same boat with backmounted 95s and sidemounted 108s. It was easier to get back on the boat with the sidemounted 108s. The backmounted 95s pulled me back away from the ladder. The sidemounted 108s pulled me down into the ladder and made me more stable on my ascent up the ladder. Personally, I don't remove sidemounted tanks before getting out of the water. It's a lot easier to just climb them out and do this on the bench even in choppy waters. Gear line is okay for deco tanks and a scooter, but conditions need to be good for the scooter to be hung on the line.

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