​​Aqua Adventures  


                                                                                                      scuba in Winston Salem, NC 27104


As equipment changes make diving easier, they are incorporated into diving. One of those changes has been sidemount cylinders. Sidemount cylinder use has exploded on the scuba diving scene. This course is designed to teach certified divers how to safely utilize side-mounted primary cylinders as an alternative to the traditional back-mounted configuration. The course is strictly non-decompression with a maximum depth limit of 40 metres/130 feet, or within the limit of the student’s current certification, whichever is shallower.

Who this course is for:
The certified diver looking to use a sidemount cylinder instead of the standard back mount unit.

Course prerequisites:
SDI Open Water Scuba Diver or equivalent
Minimum age 18, 15 with parental consent.

What you can expect to learn:

The SDI Sidemount Diver Course takes an in-depth look at all of the following and more:

Gas management utilizing independent cylinders
Equipment considerations

Cylinder options
Regulator options
Buoyancy compensator device (BCD)/harness options
Proper weighting
Equipment configurations


Hand signals

Problem solving

Gas hemorrhages

Water entries


S-Drills (specific to sidemount)

Some of the required skills you will have to demonstrate include:

Plan dive
Test and check all equipment (depth gauges, bottom timers/watches and computers)
Familiarization with area
Descend to planed depth and not exceed any pre-planned limits
Demonstrate the ability to safely manage gas in independent cylinders
Monitor depth/time/air consumption, figure all times on slate
Demonstrate ability to control buoyancy
Attaching sidemount cylinders while

Out of water
On surface standing on bottom
On surface in water to deep to stand
At depth

Perform gas switches
Perform safety stops

What’s in it for you?

Upon successful completion of this course, graduates may engage in sidemount diving activities without direct supervision, provided the following limits are adhered to:

Safety stops as appropriate
Planned dives do not exceed diver’s current certification level

Also, the SDI Sidemount Diver certification counts towards a single specialty rating to achieve the SDI Advanced Diver Development program.

SDI Sidemount Diver minimum requirements:

Perform all land drills and open water dive requirements safely and efficiently
Demonstrate mature, sound judgment concerning dive planning and execution
Log all dives