PADI Sidemount Diver

This course is for the individual who wants to get as much as possible from they’re diving while not entering the full blown technical diving environment.

With this course you no longer carry your cylinder on your back. Instead you move it to your side and have the option of carrying another one on your other side. There are copious benefits to this new configuration, these include:

  • Easy access to regulators in case of dive emergencies.
  • Streamlined diver profile which gives much less resistance in water and much less snag points.
  • Much more gas since you can now carry 2 cylinders.
  • Less change of back problems occurring due to there being much less strain on your back from the cylinders.
  • Because the cylinders are easily attached and removed they can be carried down to the water individually, thus making shore entries much easier.

These are but a few benefits of Sidemount diving. Once you have completed this course you will find that Enriched Air Nitrox and Wreck Diving compliment it very well! Sidemount is inherently a discipline that calls for cave or wreck penetration, so why not also use it for what it’s famous for!

  • Be certified as a PADI Open Water Diver or equivalent from another organisation
  • Be 15 years or older
  • Be medically fit to SCUBA dive (click here for the PADI medical questionnaire)

Day 1 - Introduction and Theory: You come to collect your PADI Sidemount Diver materials from our Simon's Town facility. We will then brief you with regards to the self study portion you need to complete at home. This should take no longer than 3 hours.

Day 2 - Theory and Skill Development: We will cover all the theory you completed at home. Once all theory is covered we will move on to doing your first confined water dive. This dive is usually done as a shore entry or in our pool, all depending on the conditions in Simon’s Town on the day. This is usually a very intensive day as many new concepts are learned and the configuration of the equipment also needs to be done carefully and precisely so you can have the best possible Sidemount experience once we go to Open Water.

Day 3 - Skill Development: We will do one dive at one of the coastal dive sites either in Simon’s Town or Camp’s Bay. During this dive we will cover all necessary skills and run through a few scenarios that will make you even more comfortable with the gear. We dedicate a whole day to this as we would like you to be as comfortable as possible before we do the final dive (which is done as a boat dive), so if you have any difficulties we can get back in the water and sort them out.

Day 4 – On the final day of the course you will do a boat launch to either a wreck off Simon’s Town or Hout Bay. This will then give you a final run on the new equipment before you receive certification. During the dive you will run through some of the skills we covered in previous days and then fully experience Sidemount at work!

Once you receive your PADI Sidemount Diver manual you will work through the knowledge reviews like you did before with any PADI course you may have taken on.

The theory is very quick and straight forward. Most of the emphasis is put on the practical part of the course. However the theory is important so you can understand basic concepts of Sidemount before you start configuring and using the equipment.

This is done on the first day of practical work where you will either be going to a confined water dive site or to our swimming pool in Simon’s Town.

During skill development you will learn how to configure your Sidemount BCD, cylinders and weighting. You will also slowly start donning and doffing cylinders and getting used to all the new clips.

Your final dive done as a boat launch is seen as your final assessment. If you demonstrate a good understanding of what is expected from a Sidemount diver’s equipment and the importance of trim, then you will come out from this dive as a PADI Sidemount Diver!

Enquire about this course

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