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Welcome to Sidemount Diving...

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by The Chairman, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    Appreciate this forum, Pete. Maybe you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! I have been talking about side mount with a local instructor who does it. My concern was that being a videographer, I wasn't sure how well side mounted cylinders would work in terms of contact with the bottom (I often film there) and stability when trying to film. He thinks it will be much better.

    My deep diving in the past (to 200 ft) was with an HP120 and backup. Conditions here are murder on steel tanks so I'm thinking of dual Al 80s. The instructor claims they are much easier to stabilize because the positive buoyancy places them up out of the way vs steel tanks.
  2. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    It actually increases stability in my mind.
  3. theskull

    theskull Divemaster

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: St. Louis, MO
    I have been diving Sidemount almost exclusively since I tried it in January of 2012. Hollis SMS-100. I selected that system after discussing with a number of my cave diving sidemount friends and extensive research on the Cave Divers Forum. There are a number of great off-the-shelf harnesses available now, all of which are good in their own way. There is a steep learning curve in terms of hose routing, tank selection, trim weights, and where to put the long hose--which can be greatly reduced by taking a class with an experienced sidemount instructor! I mostly figured it out myself, but save my students all the trial and error it took me to end up with an easy system--and of course allow a number of variations per personal taste.

  4. rsq_dvr

    rsq_dvr Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Kuwait :(
    I use the Hollis sms 100, I will tell you after getting sidemount cert in 2010, I use sidemount 90% of the time, I do a lot of diving in Asia and theboats are small at times and nothing is easier than handing up/down your tanksand climbing aboard with just a BDC.
    As the tanks get low they become positive as I don't need a weightbelt when using two tanks I found at the end of my dives I had issues deployingSMB so I bought two weight dump pockets from Tri-voodoogas.com and add 1-1.5kilos (about 3 lbs) to each tank band. I have no more issues and it keeps thetanks from floating as the air is consumed. I am planning to try the SMS 50 for when I am traveling and not needing a bunch extra gear if only diving a reef or drift

  5. Plotek

    Plotek Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Poland
    I started to use SM some times ago. My first harness was Armadillo, then XDeep Stealth and now Hollis SMS100. This configuration give a great flexibility, which is excellent for Under Water Photography. But for diving in open sea I prefer twin-set.
    In Poland this configuration became very popular and the number of SM diver increasing quite fast. There is gallery with images taken during our activity according to SM, but not only SM. Quite often we did dives with mixed teams Sidemountdiving.pl - poczuj wolno?? - Galeria

    Like this
  6. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
  7. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
    This sidemount thing is just a fad......it won't go anywhere........
  8. Razorista

    Razorista Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Germany
    Yes, in a few years nobody will understand the term - it will just be 'diving' then. :wink:
  9. Coztick

    Coztick Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: calgary
    Well I guess we are the ambassadors to this aspect of scuba. Wow I got looks/comments/questions!
    "Hey why'd ya jump in with yer tank on yer hip?", " tec. rig?", "Did you come up with that?" (That made me lol), "oh, somebody's overdressed...
    Life is 10% -what happens and 90% -how you handle it. I met some great people, had some laughs, got some good feedback and maybe got some converts.
    Point is to kill 'em with kindness if they have issues... Change the topic...walk away if needed...Some people are close minded when it comes to messin' with life support or a hobby they spent so much time and money on. Some are gue.
    I say dive responsibly and be positive influence. Stress has no place among divers.

    Cheers, Kevin
  10. mockney

    mockney Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney
    I was diving last weekend and chatting to a guy on the boat who was telling me how he normally dives sidemount and how great the config was. I have only ever dived single tank with standard BCD.

    Its something I am now thinking about because I was planning to go tech route maybe later this year so I am looking at the best config options. Maybe you can answer a couple of questions:

    1. Is sidemount used in tech diving (always thought it was mainly for cave diving)
    2. Do you always have to use 2 tanks when diving in sidemount config (presume steel or alloy tanks are both fine)
    3. Do you always pass off the cylinders when you return to the boat
    4. Does it affect your buoyancy compared to standard set up, do you have weight yourself differently
    5. What are the main benefits of using this config
    6. What's the recommended training needed for sidemount (I'm PADI trained, do they offer a course or is there something better).
    7. What's the main issues diving with sidemount (if any)


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