To the Next level

Discover the balance and efficiency of sidemount scuba diving with your PADI dive instructor. Many divers find sidemount tanks are more comfortable and easier to put on in the water. Sidemount diving is also beneficial for divers who want improved balance and prolonged dives.

Take This Course If You Want to
  • Experience a different scuba configuration
  • Improve gas management
  • Gain insight into basic tec diving techniques
Learn How to
  • Gas matching procedures to include dissimilar volumes
  • Gas management utilizing independent cylinders
  • Psychological considerations of technical diving
  • Equipment considerations including:
    • Cylinder options
    • Regulator options
    • Buoyancy compensator/harness options
    • Proper weighting
    • Equipment configurations
  • Communication (light and hand signals)
  • Problem solving in a sidemount configuration
  • Diving in tight or confined spaces
  • Conservation
  • Water entries/exits
  • S-drills specific to sidemount diving
  • Some of the required skills you will have to demonstrate include:
  • Demonstrate various propulsion techniques such as the frog kick, modified frog kick, modified flutter kick, backwards kick, helicopter turns, and hand pulling if appropriate for the environment.
  • Demonstrate adequate buoyancy control; ability to hover at a fixed position in water column without moving hands or feet
  • Demonstrate adequate trim; ability to maintain proper position during the descent, bottom, and ascent portion of the dive
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform the following exercises while maintaining trim and buoyancy in the water column:
    • Unclipping and attaching sidemount cylinders
    • Perform gas switches with and without a mask
  • Demonstrate the ability to safely manage gas in independent cylinders
  • Demonstrate conservation, awareness, and back referencing techniques
  • Deploy a lift bag
  • Carry additional cylinders is optional in this course
Equipment to be prepared by yourself
  • SIDEMOUNT DIN Regulator (recommended)
  • SIDEMOUNT BCD (recommended)
  • 2x Torch Primary + Secondary
  • DSMB (Spool and Surface marker buoy)
  • 2x Cutting device
  • Backup Mask
  • Dive computer
  • Double ender snap
  • Wrist type Compass


E-learning5daysHome studying
Day13 hoursConfiguration your Equipment and Knowledge review paper test
Day27am – 12pm1 confined water dive
Day37am – 2pm3 open water dives
With us
First, you’ll make a confined water dive to become familiar with sidemount diving equipment. Your PADI Instructor will also teach you sidemount diving skills including: frog kicking, attaching and removing scuba tanks as you enter and exit the water, unclipping a scuba tank and swimming with the tank in front of you, and how to switch second stages and manage your breathing gas when wearing two scuba tanks. When you’re comfortable with these skills, you’ll make three open water dives where you’ll practice your new skills, buoyancy control and problem solving.
Prerequisites & Minimum Age
PADI Open Water Diver
15 years
After this course
Consider taking the Self Reliant Specialty. While it is generally recommended that you always dive with a buddy, this course will teach you the skills, risk management, and emergency processes for self-diving!