About the Course
During the TDI Sidemount Diver course, you will learn how to safely utilise sidemounted primary cylinders as an alternative to the traditional back-mounted configuration.
Following successful completion of the course, you will be certified to engage in sidemount diving activities to the limits of your current diver certification level.
The course is broken up into 3 stages, undertaken one after the other. Click through below to get more details on each of the stages.
During the self study portion of the TDI Sidemount Diver course, you will learn about the following topics:
- The history of sidemount diving
- Different sidemount diving equipment
- How to configure your sidemount system
- Sidemount diving skills and procedures
The TDI Sidemount Diver course self study theory is all digital, meaning you can do it from the comfort of your sofa on a computer or smart device.
Typical time commitment: 4-6 hours
On the morning of the open water dives, and prior to getting in the water, your instructor will go through the following the following topics:
- Gas matching and management
- Psychological considerations
- Equipment setup and considerations
- Problem solving
- Tight spaces
- Water entries and exits
- S-drills; specific to sidemount
Typical time commitment: ½ day
Open Water Dives
To complete the TDI Sidemount Diver course, you will need to complete a minimum of three open water dives.
Your instructor will teach you, and ask you to demonstrate the following skills:
- Demonstrate various propulsion techniques: 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 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 whilst maintaining trim and buoyancy in the water column:
- Unclipping and attaching sidemount cylinders
- Performing 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 (optional)
Typical time commitment: 1½ days
Previous dive experience and/or qualifications: You must be a certified SDI Open Water Scuba Diver, or equivilent from another recognised diving agency.
Minimum age: 18 years old.
Medical fitness: In order to take part in diving, you should be medically fit to dive. As part of your booking process, we will ask you to complete a medical form. If the form indicates that you must get a diving physician’s medical evaluation, we recommend getting this sorted in good time ahead of your course, and prior to finalising your booking. We won’t be able to take you diving if you do not obtain any required approvals, and your deposit may be forfeit. For a list of qualified diving physicians, visit the SPUMS website.
Our base price includes the learning and administrative costs of the course. There may be additional costs to consider depending on the course and your individual requirements, we will confirm these with you when you book onto the course. Find below our typical inclusions, and other costs that you may need to consider:
- In-water instruction:
- 2 days of open water diving,
up to 4 open water dives
- Certification processing fee
Other Costs to Consider
- Equipment hire
- Boat tickets
- Air fills
You will require the following equipment for this course:
- Two independent cylinders, preferably with sidemount valve configuration
- Two independent first and second stage regulators, each with a submersible pressure gauge and inflator hoses for BCD and drysuit (if required)
- Buoyancy compensator device (BCD) with power inflator, appropriate for sidemount configuration
- Exposure suit adequate for the diving environment
- Dive computer, and an additional depth and timing device; backup computer is recommended