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Going from backmount d12 to sidemount

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by alex_nr, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. alex_nr

    alex_nr Garibaldi

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    So, I've been diving backmount doubles dir style since I started, but now one of my knees isgiving me a bit of trouble. I'm considering going sidemount so that I can drop the tanks in/near the water to ease entry/exit.

    90% of what I do is cold water (5-6C) shore/pier diving with pretty crappy entry/exits. Is it insane to go sidemount without the specialty course thing? Steel or AL tanks? Thoughts about alternatives?
     
  2. AJ

    AJ Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Netherlands
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    I went sidemounting without any formal training. Viewed video's on sidemounting.com. It worked out fine. Diving in the cold suggest dry suit? In that case, go steel.
     
  3. a878bob

    a878bob Barracuda

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Michigan
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    You don’t need a course, but it sure does make the learning curve a lot shorter. It takes awhile to figure it out on your on, but then you don’t know what you don’t know.

    Steel cylinders can help with weighting in cold water but they have an entirely different way of mounting them. Not harder but different. I tried using my steel 100’s, but liked al80’s better. They were easier to trim and adjust. My buddy loves his steel 85’s for sm.

    Go diving with some sm guys , and take some video of yourself, so you have some feedback.
     
  4. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
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    Most of my dives are cold water (drysuit, steels), low vis, current and rocky entries with long walks. In those conditions the benefit of proper instruction is a life saver. You can forgo instruction but as mentioned it’s a long frustrating road. There is also a lot of bad to dangerous info out there (also bad instruction) so you make your choice dependent on what type of person you are.
     
    northernone likes this.
  5. scuba-flea

    scuba-flea Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Kansas City, Missouri
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    I'd second AJ's recommendation to go to sidemounting.com to get a jump start on it. I did that then got a good teacher.
     
  6. alex_nr

    alex_nr Garibaldi

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    Fair points, you don't know what you don't know as Bob put it.

    Only need a bcd and some minor stuff if I split my current steel doubles to try it out.

    Any one of you do Al tanks in cold water with drysuit? Do you need much extra weight in that case? Heard a guy in my area that dropped a steel tank at 25 ish meters and ended up rear end first on surface.
     
  7. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
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    I did the course and about 20 SM dives last year before deciding it wasn’t for me. As part of the course, we had several hours in the pool. I tried dropping a tank as part of the class. I was in a 3mm. I went straight up with only one. Happened when I was out at the quarry and tried it in a drysuit, too. I ended up needing 10 lbs with 2 steel HP80s and a drysuit with heavy undersuit. I’m naturally floaty.
     
  8. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
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    And that’s a case for learning that your tanks are not part of your weights.......
     
    RVA_Diver and racanichou like this.
  9. RainPilot

    RainPilot completey delusional scientology snowflake Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: UAE
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    Agreed, but it can get pretty crazy pretty fast if you are diving dry with heavy steel tanks and still trying to keep balanced rig.

    RAID advocates that handing off SM tanks is in emergency only, if you have NO other option. In drysuit I dive 8.5L steels (70 CF) and they are perfect with no extra weight but I cannot hand one off. If I dive my 7L 300 bar tanks, I can hand one off if needed.
     
  10. a878bob

    a878bob Barracuda

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Michigan
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    I dive al80’s cold and warm. Setup and feel is the same. Results are the same. Cylinders can be handled easily.
     

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