Quite curious about the diving trends, i could not miss the chance to try the side mount diving at the dive centre. It personally appeals to me as i plan to get into wreck diving one day and sidemount is gaining its popularity among serious wreck divers for its flexibility and safety.
My instructor Steve, who just returned from cave and wreck diving in Mexico, helped me to get the gear on and explained the main principle of using the equipment. On the surface it felt a bit weird to have so many straps but i felt much lighter and flexible in the water. My back would definitely say a big thank you for removing the pressure from it. So why should anyone opt for side mount? Here are some pro’s and con’s that will help you yo decide if it may work for you.
What I Liked
– Safer as it has two independent air sources.
– Excellent for wrecks and caves as it allows to go through smaller places
– Perfect for self reliant diving as it is very safe due to its functions.
– Easier to get in and out of the water as tanks are attached once you are in the water. It especially works well for elder divers as well as petite females
What I Liked Less
-More complex in handling and requires additional training. Due to the different configuration, one must take a course to understand how to use it and spend some time in the water perfecting the skills. However, many sidemount users will argue that once you get good at it, it makes dives far more enjoyable
-More expensive than regular equipment
– Not all dive centre provide the courses, equipment or cater to sidemound divers