A tank configuration in which two tanks are arranged on either side of a diver, not on their back. Sidemount is used today in sport, technical and cave diving applications.
Scuba diving with a sidemount configuration simply means that you carry your tanks at your sides instead of on your back. This can reduce drag and is more comfortable for many divers. Sidemount divers often dive with two smaller tanks that are attached in the water. This makes carrying tanks and kitting up easier, especially for those who have difficulty lifting or walking with a backmounted tank. Technical divers typically need to carry extra cylinders, and believe that using a sidemount setup is the best option.
The PADI Sidemount Diver course introduces divers to sidemount techniques for recreational scuba diving. The Tec Sidemount Diver course Tec Dive Sidemount Diver Course teaches technical divers how to mount at least four tanks for their technical diving adventures.
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There are many sidemount diving systems available and your PADI Sidemount Instructor or Tec Sidemount Instructor can give you with the best advice regarding which sidemount rig will work for you. Here are a few considerations:
To keep your sidemount equipment in good shape, follow the three general maintenance procedures: