Sidemount Courses

Sidemount courses have become increasingly popular with divers over the last decade. If you are interested in sidemount diving, the following information may be helpful.

The availability of effective sidemount diving tuition is still a very rare commodity. This is your opportunity to enjoy lessons with a dedicated, active sidemount technical instructor and diver; qualified to teach sidemount at all levels and through three different agencies; one of the first qualified technical sidemount instructors in SE Asia!

What is sidemount diving?

Sidemount Diving is a ground-breaking modern approach for streamlined, comfortable & safe diving, at both recreational and technical levels. It utilises a lightweight, flexible harness system so that you can attach two or more scuba cylinders at the side of your body; instead of wearing them strapped on your back.

For an in-depth explanation, see my article: A Guide To Modern Sidemount Diving

What are the benefits of sidemount diving?

Sidemount diving provides you with a lot more gas on your dives; you can enjoy longer dives without the stress of how quickly your gas is consumed. It is a totally redundant gas system that ensures your safety should a regulator failure occur. Because cylinders are typically attached to the diver once in the water, sidemount diving is very popular with people who have physical impediments and spine problems.

Sidemount equipment is more minimalist and streamlined than traditional scuba gear. Divers who operate in confined spaces, such as inside wrecks of caves, choose sidemount because the low profile means they can explore areas that would be inaccessible in backmount.

Many sidemount divers will testify that the system can feel more refined and intuitive when diving. It gives greater freedom of mobility and promotes natural trim.

Are sidemount courses necessary for sidemount diving?

Sidemount diving, especially the equipment configuration, can be more complex and nuanced than many divers might assume. I have observed some divers who’ve attempted to teach themselves: but the results are not good. With expert instruction, a student can reach a level of proficiency, knowledge and equipment optimization that’d take months, if not years, to achieve by trial and error.

Sidemount training typically takes 2-4 days, depending on the student’s starting proficiency in core diving skills. Technical divers converting to sidemount usually add a couple more days to learn the specific sidemount configuration of stage/decompression cylinders.

Training is equipment focused, converting the divers’ existing skillset for use in a new kit configuration. In addition to a little theory, there is an equipment workshop that explains how to set up your sidemount system optimally. That is followed by extensive skills practice in shallow water; followed by a number of actual sidemount dives.

Why choose Andy Davis for your sidemount courses?

Sidemount is a specialized activity that demands equally specialized expertise from the instructor. Andy Davis was a pioneer of technical sidemount diving in SE Asia. He has accumulated nearly 15 years of full-time experience using sidemount as his primary equipment choice for all levels of diving; including technical wreck penetration and hypoxic trimix. He is a qualified technical sidemount instructor with RAID, ANDI and PADI TecRec.

Andy is recognized globally as a leading authority on sidemount diving. He has given presentations at regional dive shows, written for scuba diving magazines and written books about sidemount diving. Some of Andy’s former students include leading cave explorers and instructor-trainers for several dive training agencies.

What sidemount courses are available?

RAID Sidemount Course

The RAID Sidemount course reflects a reputation for excellence and expertise.

During this very comprehensive course, Andy Davis teaches how to effectively configure and operate sidemount equipment for superior performance. It stresses the development of high attention to detail, solid fundamental skills and expert equipment familiarity. The exclusive training includes a variety of contingency protocols, culminating in challenging emergency scenario training.

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Taught at YOUR level of diving. Suitable for recreational and technical divers. Technical divers conduct extra skills and learn sidemount deco cylinder configuration.

Duration: 2-4 Days

Sidemount Tune-up

For qualified sidemount divers.

This exclusive clinic-style training aims to improve students’ existing sidemount skillset, optimize their sidemount gear and ensure they have best-practice protocols for their diving. It is a perfect choice for qualified sidemount divers who don’t currently feel comfortable, competent and confident.

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The clinic is a flexible training option, providing comprehensive sidemount tuition that can be developed according to the student’s pre-existing qualification level, including technical diving and overhead environment/wreck penetration.

The sidemount tune-up can include; an equipment configuration workshop, shallow skills and protocols, emergency scenario training and sidemount rescue techniques.

Sidemount Performance Diver

The RAID Performance Diver course can be completed in sidemount configuration and perfectly complements the sidemount course.

The course delivers high-level fundamental sidemount diving skills, including; precision buoyance, consistent horizontal trim, advanced propulsion and control, ascent and descent protocols, DSMB deployment, situational awareness, decreased task loading and stress management of comprehensive emergency procedures.

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Duration: 2-4 Days